I've spent most of today knitting the hooded baby sweater for a class I'm teaching Wednesday (it wouldn't do to be behind where I asked my students to be!!!) The sweater, really a cardigan, features a garter button band and the designer suggests using a chain selvedge at the edge of the band.
Selvedges are used either to facilitate picking up stitches and seaming, or as a decorative edging. In this case, the chain selvedge for garter stitch gives a very nice, finished edge to the work.
This close-up photo doesn't do it justice. You'll have to trust me when I say it has a very attractive appearance!
To work this edge, at beginning of every row,
with yarn in front, slip 1 stitch as if to purl, bring yarn to the back, continue as directed for your pattern.
This knitting instructions for this are often written as:
wyif, sl 1 pwise, yb, continue in pattern
where wyif=with yarn in front
sl = slip
pwise = purl wise
yb = yarn in back
You can incorporate this into any pattern that calls for garter stitch. This is NOT the chain stitch used for stockinette stitch.
Give it a try!
Yours in knitting,