Increases are used to shape a piece of knitting by adding stitches to make it larger. Some increases are inconspicuous and do not interrupt the pattern, while others are visible and add a decorative touch. (Decorative increases are generally worked two or three stitches from the edge of the work.)

Most increases are worked on the right side of the work, for two reasons. First, you’ll be able to see the finished look and placement of the increases. Also, it is easier to keep track of your increase rows when you work them at regular intervals, such as on every right-side row.

A knitting pattern may not specify the type of increase to be used. Increases that have a definite right or left slant can be placed to follow the slant of the increase. To choose an appropriate one, learn a variety of increases and note their characteristics. The symbolcraft symbol appears for each type of increase shown. Use these as a reference when working with patterns that are charted in symbolcraft.

If you want to add one or two stitches, use increases, but if you need to add several stitches at one time at the side edge, it is better to cast on the additional stitches.


bar increase inc 1 st
bar increase bar increase bar increase
The bar increase is a visible increase. A horizontal bar will follow the increased stitch on the knit side of the work, whether you work the increase on the knit or the purl side. 1. To increase on the knit side, insert the right needle knitwise into the stitch to be increased. Wrap the yarn around the right needle and pull it through as if knitting, but leave the stitch on the left needle. 2. Insert the right needle into the back of the same stitch. Wrap the yarn around the needle and pull it through. Slip the stitch from the left needle. You now have two stitches on the right needle.


working in front and back loops

The front of the stitch is the loop closest to you, and the loop that you’ll normally work into. To knit into the front loop, insert the right needle from left to right into the stitch on the left needle. To knit into the back loop (loop farthest from you), insert right needle from right to left under left needle and into stitch. To purl into the front loop, insert needle from right to left into stitch. To purl into the back loop, insert needle from behind into stitch.

knitting into front loop purling into front loop  
Knitting into the front loop Knitting into the back loop  
knitting into back loop purling into back loop  
Purling into the front loop Purling into the back loop  


make one m1
M1 increase    
The make one increase is made between two stitches and is practically invisible. This one slants to the right on the knit side.    
knit side
M1 increase M1 increase  
1. Insert the left needle from back to front into the horizontal strand between the last stitch worked and the next stitch on the left needle. 2. Knit this strand through the front loop to twist the stitch.  
purl side
M1 increase    
To make the increase on the purl side, insert the left needle from back to front into the horizontal strand and purl it through the front loop.    

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