Stitch: Increase


An Increase stitch is one in which an additional stitch is created in the knitting project subsequent to the cast on row and/or previous work in the design. Like the cast on stitches, an increase is fundamentally either right-slanting or left-slanting. A secondary differentiation between increase methods is location: whether the increase is added to the project in the current row which is being knit (such as a YO) or to one of the previous rows (the previous row would include KFB, M1, bar increases, etc.; two rows below would include L1). With these considerations in mind, one is well-equipped to make an informed and artistic choice. Keep in mind that names of increases are not standardized; that is to say, depending on the source, different methods can be intended by use of the same or similar terms.

YO (Yarn Ā Over)

The Yarn Over is the most basic form off adding a stitch; in British patterns it is referred to as Yarn Forward. When you knit into the front of the Yarn Over stitch as you reach it on the next row, it will slant to the right and make a hole in the fabric. If you knit into the back of the stitch on the next row the increase will slant to the left and close up the gap. If you flip the legs and knit into the front of the stitch, it will slant to the right and close the gap created by the hole.

M1 (Make 1) | M1L | M1R | RLI|LLI

There are a lot of increases going by this name that can have subtle variations. Essentially, this involves retroactively placing a Yarn Over into an earlier row (either by picking up the yarn between two stitches in the previous row, or by picking up the leg of a stitch in an earlier row which actually places the increase two rows below) and lifting it onto the holding needle then adding a twist in it so as to close up the gap that typically is caused by a Yarn Over. Depending on how you work your stitch into this Yarn Over, it will either slant to the right or the left. If you knit into the back leg of the stitch it will slant to the left. If you flip the legs of the stitch so the yarn over is reversed as it is placed on the holding needle and then knit into the left leg, it will be right slanting; moreover, it will, in either case, closeup the gap otherwise caused by a Yarn Over due to the added tension on the garment by creating the increase in a preceding row. Ā Sometimes these are called lifted increases such as LL1 (left lifted increase), RLI (right lifted increase),

KFB (Knit through Front and Back) and KFBF (Knit through Front and Back and Front)

“Knit through Front and Back” creates an increase stitch by working two stitches into a single one from the previous row. The standard technique creates a bar for the second stitch; the bar can be avoided if the second stitch (the stitch created by using the loop from the back of the stitch) is slipped from the holding needle to the working needle instead of stitched. As with the M1 above, this actually works the increase into the previous row by creating an extra loop into the side leg of the existing stitch.

“Knit through Front and Back and Front” begins as KFB and then one simply knits one more time into the same stitch, this time into the front of the stitch. By doing so you increase from one stitch to 3 stitches, adding 2 stitches–a double increase.

Increases Used in My Designs