I always do them this way, CO 2-4 sts less than needed to start the pattern, depends on how many garter ows I want at the neck.
I've also begun doing the edges in stockinette rather than garter. It works a little better with just 2 sts rather than 3 and while the edge st curls under, the other one doesn't and makes a nice border. Another one is one I got from the Arrowhead Lace shawl pattern - it has an edge of 3 sts, but only the outer 2 are in garter, the 3rd one next to the YO is stockinette. That's a nice alternative edging too.
sue- knitting heretic