Two bibles on our beloved subject give conflicting advice: "The Knitter’s Bible", by Kate Buller, suggests that a garter stitch edge, knitting the first and last stitch of each row can form a helpful guide when sewing the two pieces of fabric together, and I know that this approach has been adopted by designers and knitters whose skills I admire and respect. Indeed, in "Vogue Knitting. The Ultimate Knitting Book", the creation of these knots or ridges is recommended for beginners to help count the number of rows. And perhaps tellingly, this is the only selvedge described for joining fabrics in Jane Crowfoot’s "Finishing Techniques for Hand Knitters". However, in the "Ultimate Knitting Bible", Sharon Brant tells us that this same edging "can cause rough side seams especially if you are using mattress stitch" – a view shared by Margaret Radcliffe in "The Knitting Answer Book". So where does this leave us?
In fabrics that are to be sewn together, Katharina Bliss, author of the "Big Book of Knitting", and Margaret Radliffe, both prefer to use stocking stitch to form the selvedge. Katharina Bliss further suggests that when knitting with thick yarns, only half the stitches should be sewn-up to help the seam lie flat. So in most "plain" patterns, the "do nothing" approach will produce this type of selvedge. Is this what you do? Seriously, do you treat your knitted edges any differently to the rest of the fabric? If so, do you have a preferred method for producing your selvedge?
In terms of "Battersea", its particular 12 row repeat starts / ends each row in stocking-stitch so it sounds as though all boxes have been ticked: The pattern consistency will be maintained and one of the recommended selvedge edges is automatically being produced. In which case, there's nothing for me to do. I guess that I could add an extra (stocking) stitch at each end of the row but I suspect that this will only over-egg what sounds like an already perfectly edible pudding. So let's assume that the designer has got it right and cast on the number of stitches as specified in the pattern. Finally.