Have you ever heard or seen the m1 knitting stitch?
This tutorial explains how to add stitches to your knitting with a make 1 increase; also known by the abbreviation (M1). M1 is an increasing stitch, and simply means to make one stitch.
Decreasing and increasing help shape a knitted piece but today's tutorial is on how to add stitches. Some are invisible, like the M1 knitting increase, whereas others, like the yarn over are very visible and decorative.
There are lots of ways to increase the number of stitches on the needle but a common way to add knitting stitches is the M1 or "make one" stitch. It can be worked two different ways - make 1 right (M1R) and make 1 left (M1L).
Today's tutorial will explain how to add stitch with the "make one" increase. But, it is also nice to learn a couple of different types of increases. Some other methods for adding stitches are:
- Bar increase
- Yarn-Over Increase (YO)
- Casting On
- Knit Front and Back (KFB)
- Lifted Increases
- Raised Increase
- Multiple Increases in One Stitch
Depending on the effect the knitter desires, increases can be inconspicuous while others can be very visible and decorative.
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Let's get started learning the M1 increase. Learn how to add stitches in knitting with a M1R and M1L by watching this video or keep reading this post for a photo tutorial with instructions.
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Why do knit designers like the make one right and make one left increase?
The m1 increase is fairly simple, barely visible on the right side of the knitting, and also won't leave any unwanted holes. The added stitch looks nice and blends well into the project.
The photo above is an example of a knitted piece using the M1R (make 1 right) and M1L (make 1 left) increases. This increasing method looks very tidy and professional.
The fact that this make one increase can lean to the left or to the right makes it really nice for shaping a variety of knitting projects.
What to do if the pattern only says M1?
Patterns often don't specify which increase to use. It may just say M1 rather than M1L (for left-slanting) or M1R (for right-slanting). If this is the case, you can do whichever you prefer.
Knitting Increase Methods?
There are two major categories of knitting increase methods: those that create stitches in the bar between the needles and those that create stitches in existing stitches.
The M1R and M1L increase involves lifting the horizontal bar up between two stitches onto the left needle and knitting it as if it were a stitch. The following photo shows the horizontal bar.
Make one right (M1R) INSTRUCTIONS :
This is a right slanting increase.
To make one right increase, insert the tip of the left needle under the horizontal bar from back to front between the last stitch worked and the next stitch to be knitted. Lift it to form a loop on the left-hand needle. Notice how the front of the loop slants toward the right.
Knit through the front of the loop by inserting the right needle into the front of the loop on the left needle. To make it easier to knit, loosen the loop a little with the right-hand needle.
Wrap the yarn over the right needle.
And knit it. This creates a right-leaning stitch.
Note: The photo shows a right-slanted make 1 on the right side. Working it on the purl side is technically the same. The horizontal bar is lifted onto the left needle from back to front and is purled in the front.
Make One Left (M1L) Instructions
This is a left slanting increase.
To make one left increase, insert the tip of the left needle under the bar from the front to the back between the last stitch worked and the next stitch to be knitted.
Lift the bar onto the left-hand needle forming a loop. Notice how the loop slants toward the left.
Now, do this M1L knit increase by inserting the tip of the right knitting needle into the back of the loop on the left needle as shown above.
Wrap the yarn over the right needle.
and knit it. This creates a left-leaning stitch.
Note: This photo above shows a left-slanting make 1 on the knit side. Working it on the purl side is technically the same. The horizontal bar is lifted on to left needle from front to back and is purled in the back loop.
What to do if the pattern does not specify the type of increase and where?
If the instruction only say, "Increase 1 stitch at the beginning of the row" or "Increase 1 stitch at the end of the row". The M1R and M1L increase is a good choice.
However, it is neater to position increases two or three stitches in from the edges. This means to increase at the beginning of the row, work the first two stitches, perform the increase. Then work until the last two stitches remain on the left needle and work the increase.
K2, M1R, K to last 2 stitches in row, M1L, K2.
Your edges will be tidy this way.
Have fun trying out this knitting increase.
A handy tool when having to add stitches is an increase calculator. Do you have trouble determining how to evenly increase knitting stitches across a row or round? We have some free online knitting calculators that will help.
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