Where I write about knitting, crocheting and lace, and, on occasion general comments on other topics

Master Knitter Level I – Swatches #4, #5, & #6 – Increases

Written by: Lindy

Swatches 4 through 6 in the Master Knitter Level I program are all about increases. Specifically, each swatch demonstrates a particular type of increase. The increases are done on each side, with three stitches before the right edge increase and three stitches after the left edge increase.

Bar Increases

Swatch 4 - Bar Increase

Swatch 4 demonstrates the Bar Increase. This is probably the increase most knitters first learned to make when knitting. It often written as “KFB” in patterns — which means “Knit in the front and back loops”. When you knit into the front loop of a knit stitch and then knit in the back loop of the same knit stitch, the resulting increase has a purl bump where the second stitch was made. It is clearly visible as you can see in this picture.

I learned a few things working on this swatch. Since I am now much more aware of my tension, I found that the purl bumps looked much better if I made certain I kept the tension even with both stitches. It’s much the same issue as when I had trouble getting even tension in ribbing.

Also, through my research, I learned that you should never make your increases on the very edge of your knitting — you should have at least one stitch on the edge before doing the increase. This makes it much easier and neater to do seams. This is something to pay attention to when you are knitting pieces that will be sewn together — I know I will practice this in my future knitting projects.

Swatch 5 - Knitted Make 1 Increases

Swatch 5 - Make 1 Increases

Swatch 5 demonstrates Make 1 increases. On the right edge, I knit an M1R increase — which means “Make 1 Right” — this is a right-slanting increase. It is made by inserting the left needle from the back and lifting the horizontal strand between stitches onto the left needle and knitting into the front of this strand.

On the left edge, the increase is an M1L — which means “Make 1 Left” — a left-slanting increase. It is made by inserting the left needle from the front and lifting the horizontal strand between stitches onto the left needle and knitting into the back of this strand.

M1 increases are tighter and there is no purl bump on the front of the knitting.

Swatch 6 - Lifted Increases

Swatch #6 - Lifted Increases

Swatch 6 demonstrates the Lifted or Raised Increase. This is the most invisible of increases — and was an increase I had never used before, so the entire swatch was a learning experience.

Again, I knit a right-slanting increase on the right edge. This increase is done by lifting the stitch below the stitch on the left needle and knitting it.

The left-slanting increase on the left edge of the swatch gave me the most difficulty. I had to search out several different pictures of it in my references before I figured it out. The left-slanting lifted increase is done by lifting the stitch below the stitch just knitted on the right needle and then knitting it.

The best pictures and explanations I found of this increase, as well as the others, were in an online article at Knitty.com, entitled “Techniques with “Theresa – Increases”.

So, these three swatches improved my technique when knitting increases and I learned a method of increasing that I had never used before. Check out the article on Knitty.com if you want to explore these methods.

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