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.