advice · ask amanda

Ask Amanda: What type of increase should I use?

Increasing, at its most basic, is simply adding another stitch to the total number on your needle. The potential problem is that there are many different techniques for knitting increases, which can make it seem very confusing!

In Berroco patterns, we tend to leave the choice of increase up to the knitter in most cases (in situations where the increase needs to be a specific type, the pattern will specify). When you’re left to your own devices to decide what increase to use, it can feel a little overwhelming. My recommendation is to use what we refer to in our patterns as a “Make One,” which can be worked as either a knit stitch or a purl stitch.  For a demonstration, check out my how-to video:

This little increase is easy to memorize, and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll find lots of uses for it. It blends in well with the rest of the knitted fabric, and it won’t leave a hole. And since it can be worked either as a knit stitch or a purl stitch, it can be worked on either the right or wrong side of your knitting. It’s a perfect all-purpose stitch that you’ll use over and over again!

11 thoughts on “Ask Amanda: What type of increase should I use?

  1. Not sure what the problem is but it’s only showing 17 seconds worth of video which gets you to the type of yarn being used.


  2. I learned this method from your videos and love it! Some pattern use it as a M1L, or M1R for increases and decreases at waists. It is a seamless way to add shaping to a garment. Love it, so thankful to have Berroco videos to learn from.

  3. Thanks for the video. I’ve used this increase before but didn’t realize this was what was meant by “make one”, also didn’t know how to do it on the purl side so thanks again!

  4. I have used this method of increasing in your patterns. You could perhaps go one step further and show this increase at the end of a row as in ‘increase one stitch at beginning and end of next xx rows’.

    1. Thanks for suggestion! In general, I don’t work an increase at the beginning or end of a row unless absolutely necessary – sometimes it makes the edge look kind of uneven, and can make seaming a little trickier. If I see the direction “increase one stitch at beginning and end of next xx rows,” I’ll usually work this increase between the 1st and 2nd stitches on a row, and between the second-to-last and the last stitches.

  5. First, thank you, and Berroco, for all your wonderful videos. The camera work and lighting are great for seeing every stitch and movement and you demonstrate and explain techniques so clearly a novice could understand.

    I also enjoy knowing which yarn you are using as watching you knit it gives me a sense of how that yarn works up before I buy it. I wish you would also mention what needles you are using (rosewood, bamboo, etc. — not necessarily brand) as that makes a difference in how a easily yarn works and flows.

    Finally, a question: I am currently knitting an old Norah Gaughan pattern — Porthos — for my very slender daughter. I decided to do it on circular needles (until I get to the wrapped stitches at the neckline, that is) to avoid the vertical side seams — which I think look much more prominent on smaller sizes — and to be sure my stitch sizes are equal all around (I have a problem with pearling more loosely than I knit). I am to the point of M1k in the bodice. I marked the location where the back and front would join if seamed. Since I have no seams, however, should I now M1k before and after each marker (4 total), put one or two k1 between the M1k stitches at each marker, or spread the M1k’s still farther apart?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Thanks Roxanne, I’m so glad the videos are helpful! You make a good point about the needles – in most of the videos, I use bamboo needles because I think their light color is easiest to see, but for the M1 video I did end up using rosewood.

      In regards to your question about the sweater for your daughter, my personal preference would be to put one or two k1 between the m1k stitches at each marker – I think they are least noticeable when hidden between two knit stitches. It might be worth trying out a couple of the options you listed, and see which one looks best to you. Hope this will help!

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