Monday, November 18, 2013

Photo Tutorial: How to make a M1 Knitted Increase

Here is a "make 1" photo tutorial that I posted on my old blog in 2011. Before I learned how to do this, I only knew one way to make an increase, kfb (knit into the front leg of the stitch, then without slipping, knit into the back leg of the stitch). I have found this particular increase to be _extremely_ good at making a hidden increase. I've used it mostly in making skirts, since I don't want large openings or strange bar stitches on my hips. But, it's a useful increase to know about for many other types of projects (sweaters, mittens, etc.) and gives you a great alternative to the kfb increase stitch. Further, depending on if you do a M1L or M1R, the slant of the stitch will look more gradual than an kfb stitch.

Original Post from March 8, 2011:

When I first started knitting in 2006, I had one goal: finish a scarf. I attempted to learn to knit from a book, but a friend of mine, Christine, pointed out that I was doing it wrong. Once corrected, that scarf took no time to finish.

After finishing my first project, I just had to start knitting other things. I made a couple of hats, made a scarf for my husband, but I felt like I wanted to do more. Christine pointed me to the local yarn shop, and it took no time to get hooked on Malabrigo and merino.

Then started Knitter's ADD. Suddenly, a whole new realm of fabulous fibers were exposed to me. I bought alpaca, mohair, and more merino. To increase my knitting knowledge, I started working on harder patterns. I also learned how important it is to make a gauge swatch! Much of my earlier work was too small for me, so I sent it along. If I really wanted to keep the yarn, I would re-knit the item, or choose a different pattern. Eventually, I had multiple knitting projects going and, for some, no finish date in sight.

I've read on places like Ravelry, that many knitters have several works in progress (WIPs). I like to have an easy project (something that doesn't require me to keep track of stitches or rows), a medium project (my current knitting level), and a harder project (introduces new stitches, patterns, shaping, etc.). This keeps my sanity.

My New Year's Resolution for 2011 was to learn how to knit socks, something I had been avoiding for a few years. I made my first sock by the end of January 1st. I can see how they might be addictive, but a pain if you knit one sock at a time. I have several more months this year to learn 2 socks at a time, so I'll keep you posted on that development.

So, what have I been up to lately? I'm revisiting some yarn that I had knitted into a partial dress, but soon realized that the yarn isn't meant for that pattern (when a pattern calls for wool yarn, don't use cotton yarn--it doesn't have the same kind of stretch). I'm knitting a skirt with 100% cotton. I'm confident that this will be a finished project that I'll actually wear. Here are a couple of pictures of the pattern:

I'll also show you how to do a M1 increase, with photos. I've done the KFB (knit front back) to increase, but the M1 is a little different. If you knit through the front of the knit stitch, and, without slipping the stitch off the needle, knit through the back of the same stitch, you will have made a KFB increase. It takes one stitch and makes two. The M1 increase is a little different. Below is a photo-tutorial of the M1 stitch:

The M1 stitch is very easy to make. In between stitches, there is a "bar," as can be seen in the above picture. Pick up the bar with the tip of the right hand needle from the front side of the work. Place the bar on the left needle purlwise. The bar should rest on the needle, as you can see in the picture below.

In the following picture, you just knit the bar as if it were a normal knit stitch. It will feel a bit awkward and a bit tight, but that will be normal.

If I pull the stitches like I do in the picture below, you can see how the stitch looks when it's just been made.

I'm a huge fan of this increase, since it leaves no discernible hole like you would have with a yarn over increase. There is only a subtle trace of the increase, unlike the look of a KFB stitch. The last picture is a close-up of how the M1 stitch looks in a knitted garment.

In another post, I'll revisit this project since it involves a fishtail lace pattern. The lace is knit separate and grafted onto the base of the skirt (the part I'm making right now) by using the kitchner stitch.