How to Increase a Stitch in Knitting

Knitting is a delightful craft, but when you’re striving for perfection, the need to increase stitches often arises. Whether you’ve experienced wonkiness or detected visible increases in your fabric, fear not. There are numerous ways to increase stitches, both visibly and invisibly, each serving a unique purpose in your knitting projects. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through various methods of increase a stitch in knitting, providing you with the expertise to elevate your knitting game. So, grab your knitting needles and join us on this stitching adventure!

When Do I Need to Increase the Number of Stitches?

Knowing when to increase stitches is crucial and depends on the nature of your knitting project. Whether it’s a yoke sweater, a lace shawl, or a 3D knitting endeavor, the reasons for increasing stitches vary. In a yoke sweater, increases strategically shape the garment, while in a lace shawl, they might create decorative patterns. In 3D projects, like stuffed animals, increases shape the piece for a lifelike appearance.

Knitting Increases

Knitting increases are vital for various projects, from sweaters to garter stitch patterns. Let’s explore different knitting increases you can use:

Yarnover Increase

The Yarnover increase involves wrapping the yarn between two knit stitches, creating eyelets. While simple, it’s unsuitable for certain patterns due to the decorative holes it produces.

Twisted Yarnover Increase

Derived from the Yarnover technique, this method involves making yarnovers on consecutive rows to close the gap, avoiding holes in the fabric.

Knit Front and Back (KFB)

Also known as the Bar increase, KFB requires knitting into the front and back loop of the same stitch, creating a horizontal bar. It’s a popular choice for novice knitters.

M1 (M1L and M1R)

M1 involves using the loop between two stitches to create a new stitch. It produces slants on both sides, offering uniform increases for projects that require consistency.

Lifted Increase

Similar to M1, the lifted increase utilizes existing stitches. It can slant in either direction, depending on the execution.

Loop Cast On

This method creates mirrored increases and is suitable for projects requiring intact garments with narrower spaces between stitches.

Read More: Knitting Patterns Poncho: Step By Step Instructions!

How to Increase 1 Stitch in Knitting

Adding a stitch in knitting is a common need, especially when shaping a project. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to increase one stitch using the Bar increase method:

The Bar Increase

Knit a Stitch

  • Insert your working needle into the first stitch on the opposite needle.
  • Yarn over and pull the loop through, leaving a new stitch on the working needle.
  • Do not slip off the original stitch on the other needle.

Knit Another Stitch

  • Insert your working needle into the first stitch again.
  • Yarn over and pull the stitch through onto the working needle, resulting in two stitches on the working needle.
  • Slip off the original stitch on the needle holding all stitches.

After completing these steps, knit your row as usual. You’ll notice an extra stitch at the end, adding the desired shape to your project.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Increases

Understanding the pros and cons of each increase method helps you choose the right one for your project:

Increase TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Yarnover IncreaseEasy and decorativeUnsuitable for certain patterns due to visible holes
Twisted Yarnover IncreaseDecorative, no holesSlightly more complex
Knit Front and Back (KFB)Forms a decorative barA bit complex
M1 (M1L and M1R)Increases evenly on both sidesCan be tight depending on the fabric
Lifted IncreaseInvisible and relaxed fabricMay draw the garment together with fewer than three rows
Loop Cast OnUses less yarn, suitable for patterns with no eyeletsSlants on the increasing side

How to Increase 1 Stitch in Knitting – Video Tutorial

For visual learners, here’s a video tutorial demonstrating how to increase one stitch in knitting:

Video Tutorial on Increasing Stitches in Knitting


Increasing stitches in knitting is a valuable skill, allowing you to shape your projects with precision. Whether you opt for visible eyelets or invisible increases, understanding the techniques equips you to tackle a variety of knitting challenges. Embrace the creativity knitting offers, and enjoy the journey of crafting beautiful, well-shaped garments!

Read More: How to Fix Knitting Mistakes

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