How to Increase a Stitch in Knitting

How to Increase a Stitch in Knitting

Learning how to increase a stitch in knitting allows you to create stunning shapes for sweaters and other garments. Whether you follow a simple or complex pattern, they help you create a masterpiece that will appeal to your customers. 

How to increase a stitch in knitting
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If you have not started a clothing business, you can learn essential tips on how to start a clothing line and earn from your knitting hobby. To learn more about increasing stitches in knitting, read on. 

Check out this video to learn more on how to increase in knitting.

Knitting Increases

Knitting increases are essential, especially when learning how to knit a sweater or a garter stitch pattern. Below are various knitting increases you may use in different projects:

    • Yarnover Increase

Yarnover knit and purlwise
Image source: Nimble Needles

Also known as the Yarnover Knitwise and Purlwise, the Yarnover increase is one of the simplest ways to add stitches to your project. Like its name, you execute it by wrapping the yarn over between two stitches. 

While it is easy to perform this increase, it produces eyelets, making it unsuitable for projects that use intact knitting patterns.

You can use it in lace patterns where eyelets are preferred or other projects that utilize holes as a decoration. The good thing is that it does not have a slant; you can use it on your project’s right or opposite side. 

Video tutorials can help you learn this technique fast. For example, if you want to learn how to increase a stitch in knitting using the yarnover method, here is an elaborate video for you. 

    • Twisted Yarnover Increase

How to increase in knitting
Image source: Pinterest

Most beginners confuse this increase method with the Yarnover technique since it is derived from it. When executing this increase, you only need to make a yarnover on a row and another yarnover on the next row to close it. 

While the Twisted Yarnover increase is a bit complex compared to the Yarnover method, you can learn how to perform it with practice. This increase is preferred by most knitters since it does not leave holes on knitting garments. 

    • Knit Front and Back (KFB)

Swatch with kfb knit front back
Image source: Nimble Needles

The Knit front and back is a popular increase among novice knitters as it requires knitting in the same stitch. When executing it, you knit into the front loop and then the back loop of the same stitch. This method creates a horizontal bar at the new stitch; that’s why it is also known as the Bar increase.

Other names for the Knit front and back technique include the Knit front, slip back (KFSB) and Knit back front (KBF), which gives a twisted version of the KFB. To avoid the decorative bar, you can knit a front loop and then slip it back. 

    • M1 (M1L and M1R)

How to add a stitch in knitting
Image source: Smart Knit

M1 uses the loop between two stitches to make a new stitch. It entails making a left increase and a corresponding right increase, making slants on both sides. The method increases the garment evenly on both sides, making it a great option for projects that require uniformity.

The M1 creates small eyelets or holes visible when you place the two sides beside each other. Since this method uses the strand between two stitches, you cannot apply it at the end of a row.

    • Lifted Increase

Right slanting increase knitting
Image source: Smart Knit

The lifted increase depends on existing stitches similar to the M1 increase. The lifted increases can either slant on either side, depending on the position you execute the technique. 

To increase, start by locating the V under the stitch you want to increase and then insert the right leg on the needle and knit the stitch. 

    • Loop Cast On

The loop cast on creates mirrored increases and is usually applied at the beginning of a row or buttonhole. Unlike the yarnover increase, this method uses less yarn, resulting in narrower spaces between stitches.

You can use this increase on knitting patterns that require intact garments. You can also learn how to increase a stitch while knitting using the loop method in this step-by-step guide.

Besides increases such as KFB and M1, you can enhance your knitting garment with woven labels or care labels. These will help you improve your brand appealing to existing and prospective clients.

Increase

Advantages Disadvantages

Yarnover increase

    • It is easy to follow
    • It is decorative
    • Not suitable for some patterns.

Twisted yarnover increase

    • It is decorative
    • It leaves a slanting edge
    • It’s a bit complex

Knit front and back

    • Forms a decorative bar
    • It’s a bit complex

M1

    • It increases all sides evenly.
    • It can be tight, depending on the fabric.

Lifted increase

    • It’s invisible
    • Produces a relaxed fabric.
    • Working with less than three rows draws the garment together.

Loop cast on

    • It uses less yarn
    • Suitable for patterns with no eyelets.
    • Slants on the increasing side.

How to Increase 1 Stitch in Knitting

Knitters cannot evade the need to increase a stitch because most projects require shape alteration. For instance, when following a guide on how to knit a sweater, you have to add stitches on the shoulder region. 

How do you increase a stitch in knitting? Check out this video.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to increase one stitch in knitting

The Bar Increase

How to increase one stitch in knitting
Image source: Itchin’ For Some Stitchin’

Before you begin to increase your garment, ensure you have around 20 stitches on your needle. So, how do you make one stitch in knitting using the Bar increase method?

Step 1. Knitting a stitch

    • Insert your working needle on the first stitch on the opposite needle (the one holding all stitches).
    • Yarn over and pull the loop through. This step will leave a new stitch on your working needle.
    • Don’t slip off the first stitch on the other needle as usual.

Step 2. Knit another stitch 

    • Insert your working needle on the first stitch (the one you had worked with in step 1).
    • Yarn over and pull the stitch through onto the working needle. This step will leave you with two stitches on the working needle.
    • Slip off the original stitch on the needle (holding all stitches) like in normal knitting. 

After completing step two, you can now knit your row as usual. At the end of your row, if you count the number of stitches on the needle; you will realize you have an extra stitch. 

Once you add the stitch in consecutive rows, you will notice the project is becoming a bit wonky. To avoid this, you can increase a stitch on the middle instead of the edge. 

How to Add on Stitches in Knitting

While learning how to add a stitch in knitting is an essential skill, some projects demand multiple increases. You can accomplish this using the double increase, usually abbreviated as inc2 or KFBF.

What Is a Double Increase?

A double increase adds two stitches to the existing row, for instance, if you have 12 stitches and the pattern states: 

    • Knt 11, inc 2 (14 stitches)

You will work on the first 11 stitches and work a double on the last stitch (12th stitch). The increase will produce two extra stitches leaving you with a total of 14 stitches. 

Unlike the KFBF increase, the KFB increase would state:

    • Knt 11, kfb (13sts)

In this case, you will knit the first 11 stitches as usual, then increase the last stitch leaving you with 13 stitches in total. 

How Do You Increase in Knitting Using Inc2?

How do you increase in knitting
Image source: Amanda Berry

Step 1. Knit into the front of the specific stitch and don’t slip off the needle.

Step 2. Knit into the back of this stitch again, but don’t slip off the needle. At this point, you will realize it looks like the KFB except that you’ve held the stitches on the needle.

Step 3. Knit into the front of this stitch again to have a total of three stitches from one loop. Now you can complete the knitting by sliding off the needle.

You can apply this method in stockinette stitch or other projects that require uniformity as the new stitches are evenly aligned to both sides. The inc2 also leaves a neat look, so you don’t have to worry about slants or wonky appearances. 

How to Increase Stitches in Knitting M1

How to make one knit stitch
Image source: Tin Can Knits

Searching for how to increase stitch in knitting using M1L and M1R? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to increase stitches in knitting M1

    1. M1L

Step 1. Insert the left-hand needle into the bar (in a front to back direction.)

Step 2. Lift the bar to create a new loop on the left-hand needle.

Step 3. Knit the bar 

      • Slide the working needle into the newly formed loop in through the back.
      • Yarn over the needle’s tip and pull through to form a new stitch.
      • Drop the loop on the left-hand needle.

That is how to make 1 right, a beginner-friendly technique that is simple to follow. After you complete knitting the rest of the stitches normally, you will realize you have an extra stitch from the original stitch count.

      2. M1R

Also known as make 1 right, this increase is part of the M1 technique. To increase with M1R, follow these steps.

Step 1. Insert the left-hand needle under the bar in a front-to-back direction.

Step 2. Lift the bar onto the left-hand needle to form a new loop.

Step 3. Knit the bar

      • Slide the working needle into the bar in a front-to-back direction.
      • Yarn the working over the needle’s tip and pull the new loop through to form a new stitch.
      • Slide off the original loop from the bar to complete executing the technique.

Another easy way to increase a stitch in your knitting projects. If the pattern requires you to create new independent stitches on the existing ones, you can use this guide on how to cast on knitting

The M1 is applicable in numerous knitting projects, like when learning how to knit a hat.

How to Increase Knitting in the Round

Increase stitch knitting
Image source: The Spruce Crafts

After learning how to join knitting in the round, most novice knitters explore different hat and legging patterns that do not require increasing skills. With more projects coming their way, they must learn how to increase knitting in the round to complete some projects. 

If you’ve learned how to start knitting a sock with circular needles, here is how you can increase knitting in the round:

Step 1. Start by counting the number of stitches you have on your needle.

Step 2. Divide that by the number of increases required

    • Let’s say your circular needle holds 100 stitches, and you need ten increases.
    • You will take 100, divide it by 10 to get 10 as a result.
    • The digit you get, in this case, we have ten, represents the position of the stitch you will be making an increase. So you will knit nine stitches normally and increase on the 10th stitch.

Step 3. Making an increase using the KFB

    1. Knit first stitch
      • To start knitting the front and back increase (KFB), make a knit stitch but don’t slip off the left-hand needle from the stitch.

      2. Knit second stitch

      • At this point, you have the old stitch on the left needle and a new stitch on the right-hand needle.
      • To make the second stitch,  insert the working needle in the old stitch again, yarn over, and pull the loop through.
      • You will now have two stitches on the right-hand needle and the original one in the left-hand needle.

      3. To complete this step, slip off the old stitch. You will have one increase in your row.

Step 4. Complete the row and count your stitches to confirm the increase is there.

Whether you are learning how to knit a blanket or a shawl with a shape that needs increases, you need to ensure you increase every side to avoid slanting edges. You can also learn how to increase by purling at the front and back of a stitch

Knitting How to Increase Stitches at End of Row

Increasing multiple stitches knitting
Image source: Sweater Babe

Here’s a video to show you how to add stitches at the end of a row.

Unlike when learning how to cast off knitting, increases do not leave an independent stitch in the previous row. Rather, it carries the existing ones along while increasing the number of stitches on the next row.

Here’s is how to increase a stitch in knitting at the end of a row:

Step 1. Complete the row to have all stitches on one row, then transfer the needle to your right hand.

Step 2. Wrap the working yarn on your left index finger.

Step 3. Slide the needle into the loop on your thumb and tighten the new loop on the right-hand needle to make a new stitch.

Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have the number of increases required. 

When you get the desired stitch count, you can continue knitting your garment. Once you get to the last row of your garment, ensure your project is intact by following this guide on how to weave in ends knitting, then you can gift your loved one or relish the outfit.

If you find it challenging to knit with needles, you can learn how to finger knit and make stunning knitting projects that will sell. 

Conclusion

Increases help you to achieve different shapes and decorate your knitting project. Whether you are running or starting a business, you can learn the difference between knit and woven fabric and enhance your knitting projects with suitable increase techniques.

If you are a beginner, you can use simple techniques like bar increase, Yarn Over increase, and Knit front and behind. They will help you create stunning projects boosting your business. You can also consider private label clothing fashion if you want to improve your sales. 

Which of the above increase techniques will you try next?

Abbreviation

Meaning

KFB

Knit front and back

KBF

Knit back and front

KFSB

Knit front and slip back

knt

Knit

M1

Make one

M1L

Make one left

M1R

Make one right

 

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