I have knitted a number of scarves as gifts, and for myself, but everytime I knit them, they curl up. I find this happens most often with the stockinette stich, but I know that there has to be a trick because I see scarves all over the place that aren't curled up. It makes handing these scarves over as gifts a bit embarrassing!
It's a common problem, especially with stocking stitch. You need a few stitches at each side and a few rows at the beginning and end, in a "non-curly" stitch.
Then you will have nice flat scarves! If you want to start and finish the scarf in stocking stitch (just using garter or seed stitch at the sides) you can put tassels or a fringe on to weight the thing down.
The following link might help
I am pretty new to knitting but have the same problem. I've been doing a lot of reading lately and I read somewhere that if you slip the first stich of every row it helps keep the edges from curling and gives it a cleaner look. I haven't tried it yet so please let me know if it works.
As for the ends, I was wondering if you alternated the first row, k1, p1 if that would keep the ends from curling up or if it would give the ends a ragged look. Again, haven't tried it yet. I've been working on a vintage shawl that is mostly garter stitch so if it works please let me know.
Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. - Emo Phillips
As Lyn said above if you work 2 or 3 sts @ each edge in garter st (or other non curling st) that will end any edges rolling. Good for bibs/dishcloths/scarves/etc. It also tends to keep the edges fr stretching out as well as making a nice border. You can also begin + end w/ 2 or 3 rows of garter st on a project to make all 4 sides match. I remember VERY well my 1st scarf yrs ago...all st st. It rolled beautifully...all the way into a tube.
I have also used ribbing on both ends + sides. Usually just K1P1 on the sides as it tends to not show that way...just a touch thicker. II have also used a 2x2 cable up the sides w/ a purl + a knit st @ the very edge. It only rolls to the cable + looks good.
For me...slipping an edge st causes my edge to be a bit tight...no stretch...not good in a scarf. Maybe I just pull snuggly enough w/o slipping a st?
If you use a basketweave st of some sort for your entire scarf...it won't roll.
Take care, Andrea
I can attest to the basket weave pattern. Just finished one for my father in law in Lion Brand suede. It feels yummy and lays perfectly flat. I wish I had done something on the edges though. While the pattern looks beautiful the edges look a little ragged giving the whole scarf a more rustic look. It's not necessarily a bad thing because I think he will love the more casual look, it just wasn't what I was going for.
The other great thing about the basket weave is that once I got into the pattern I could literally put it on auto pilot. Great therapy for a stressed out brain!