Increases: Make One Left and Make One Right

You've found a pattern with the abbreviations m1r and m1l or M1R and M1L. What kind of nonsense is this? This, my friend, is the magic of adding stitches!  There are many different methods to create increases in knitting, this post addresses two common increases; make one right and make one left.

You may be familiar with the knit front and back increase, (kfb), and you might be thinking, "why can't I just use a knit front and back to increase?" It is because the pattern designer had a specific result in mind. Make One Left and Make One Right impact the direction of the increase, and a make one increase doesn't add that little purl bump to a stockinette fabric that is the result of a knit front and back.

M1R and M1L are commonly used in raglan sweaters to get that lovely line in the shoulders like in the Spin Raglan by Andrea Mowry. You can see in the photo below how using M1R makes a right-leaning increase, the M1L makes a left-leaning increase, and together they form a beautiful shape for a shoulder.

But how do you knit them?!

Let's start with M1R (make one right):

I like to think of M1R as my BFF. Your right-hand person is you best friend forever. But in knitting a M1R, remember BFF: pick up the strand entering from Back to Front, knit in the Front. 

Start by finding the strand of yarn between the stitch you just worked and the next stitch on the left needle. Take your left needle and pick up that strand from Back to Front placing it on the left needle.

 

Then you will knit into that picked up strand through the front of it.

In the case of the M1L (make one left), I think opposite of my best friend forever - my FBB. Pick up the strand entering from Front to Back, knit in the Back.

Find that strand of yarn between the stitches again, but this time take your left needle and pick it up from Front to Back placing it on the left needle.

 

Then knit into that picked up strand through the back of it.

To see the M1R and M1L in action, we've made a video for you.

Now you are ready for those crazy increases!

Make Stuff. Have Fun. Stay Curious!