5 Tips to Increase Your Knitting Skills

5 Tips to Increase Your Knitting Skills

If you’re an avid knitter, you know that increasing is an essential skill for creating various shapes and designs in your knitting projects. Whether you’re working on a sweater, a hat, or a scarf, knowing how to increase correctly can make all the difference in the final outcome of your project. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and techniques for increasing in knitting that will help you improve your skills and take your knitting to the next level.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the different methods of increasing in knitting. The most common method is known as a yarn over (YO), where you simply wrap the yarn around the needle before knitting the next stitch. This creates an extra stitch and an eyelet hole in your knitting. Another method is to make a knit or purl front and back (KFB/PFB), which involves knitting or purling into the front and back of the same stitch to create an extra stitch. Lastly, you can also use the make 1 (M1) technique, which involves picking up the horizontal bar between stitches and knitting into it to create a new stitch.

Remember to maintain tension and gauge when increasing in knitting. It can be easy to unintentionally tighten or loosen your stitches when creating new ones, which can lead to uneven fabric and ill-fitting garments. Practice maintaining consistent tension as you increase to ensure a professional-looking result.

Furthermore, it’s important to pay attention to the placement of your increases. Where you place your increases can determine the overall shape and structure of your knitting project. For example, placing increases near the center of a row can create a symmetrical shape, while placing them at the edges can create a diagonal effect. Experiment with different placement options to achieve the desired effect in your knitting.

In conclusion, increasing in knitting is an essential skill that allows for endless design possibilities in your projects. By understanding different methods of increasing, maintaining tension and gauge, and paying attention to placement, you can improve your knitting skills and create beautifully shaped garments and accessories. So grab your needles, yarn, and these tips, and get ready to elevate your knitting to new heights!

Master the Basic Stitches

Before delving into more advanced knitting techniques, it’s important to master the basic stitches. The basic stitches in knitting are the foundation for all other knitting projects, so it’s essential to have a good understanding and control over them. Here are three basic stitches that every knitter should learn:

  1. Knit Stitch: The knit stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting. It is created by inserting the needle into the stitch on the left needle from front to back, wrapping the yarn around the right needle, and pulling it through the stitch. This creates a new stitch on the right needle while dropping the old stitch from the left needle. Knit stitches create a smooth “v” shape on the right side of the fabric.
  2. Purl Stitch: The purl stitch is another fundamental stitch in knitting. It is the reverse of the knit stitch, creating a bumpy texture on the right side of the fabric. To purl, insert the needle into the stitch on the left needle from back to front, wrap the yarn around the right needle, and pull it through the stitch, dropping the old stitch from the left needle. Purl stitches create a horizontal bar on the right side of the fabric.
  3. Stockinette Stitch: The stockinette stitch is a combination of knit and purl stitches and is one of the most common stitch patterns in knitting. It is created by knitting one row and purling the next row. This pattern creates a smooth, flat fabric with the knit stitches forming “v”s on the right side and purl stitches forming horizontal bars on the wrong side. The stockinette stitch is often used for sweaters, scarves, and other garments.

By mastering these basic stitches, you will have a solid foundation for expanding your knitting skills and tackling more advanced techniques. Practice these stitches until you feel comfortable with them, and then you’ll be ready to explore the world of knitting possibilities!

Choose the Right Yarn and Needles

One of the most important factors in increasing your knitting skills is choosing the right yarn and needles for your project. Here are some tips to help you make the best choices:

Consider the Yarn Weight

Yarns come in different weights, ranging from lace weight to super bulky. The weight of the yarn you choose will determine the thickness and drape of your finished project. Thinner yarns, such as lace weight or fingering weight, are great for delicate items like shawls or lacy accessories. Bulky or super bulky yarns are perfect for cozy blankets or winter accessories.

Think about the Fiber Content

Yarns can be made from various types of fibers, including wool, cotton, acrylic, and blends. Each fiber has its own characteristics and properties. Wool is known for its warmth and elasticity, while cotton is breathable and perfect for summer garments. Acrylic yarns are often soft and easy to care for, making them great for everyday items. Consider the qualities you want in your finished project and choose a fiber that meets your needs.

Match the Needle Size to the Yarn Weight

The size of your knitting needles should be compatible with the weight of your yarn. Thicker yarns require larger needles, while thinner yarns work best with smaller needles. Look for the recommended needle size on the yarn label or in your knitting pattern. Using the correct needle size ensures that your stitches will be the right size and your project will have the desired gauge.

Experiment and Have Fun

Experiment and Have Fun

Don’t be afraid to try different yarns and needle combinations to see what works best for you. Sometimes, unexpected combinations can produce beautiful results. Knitting is a creative and personal craft, so feel free to experiment and have fun with your choices. You never know what unique projects you might create!


Choosing the right yarn and needles is crucial for successful knitting. Consider the weight and fiber content of the yarn, match the needle size accordingly, and don’t be afraid to experiment. With the right materials, you’ll be on your way to improving your knitting skills and creating stunning projects.

Learn Different Increase Methods

As a knitter, it’s important to have a strong foundation of increase methods in order to create different shapes and designs in your knitting projects. Here are some common increase methods that you can learn:

  • Knit Front and Back (KFB): This is the most basic increase method, where you knit into the front and back of the same stitch. It creates a small bump and is often used for creating simple increases.
  • Make One (M1): This increase method is used to create a new stitch between two stitches. There are different variations of the M1 increase, such as the M1L (make one left) and M1R (make one right), which create a left or right-leaning increase respectively.
  • Knit into the Increase: This increase method involves knitting into the stitch below the next stitch on the left needle. It creates a more invisible increase and is often used in lace knitting.
  • Lifted Increase (LI): This increase method involves lifting the horizontal bar between two stitches onto the left needle and knitting into it. It creates a nearly invisible increase and is often used in more complex pattern designs.

It’s important to practice these increase methods on a swatch before incorporating them into your knitting projects. This will help you become comfortable with the techniques and ensure that your increases are neat and evenly spaced.

By learning different increase methods, you’ll be able to add more versatility to your knitting projects and create unique designs and shapes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, experimenting with different increase techniques can help you improve your skills and take your knitting to the next level.

Practice Tension Control

One of the most important skills to master in knitting is tension control. Proper tension ensures that your stitches are even and consistent throughout your project. Here are some tips to help you improve your tension control:

  • Relax your hands: Tension issues often arise when we hold the yarn too tightly. Try to relax your hands and hold the yarn lightly, allowing it to flow smoothly through your fingers.
  • Avoid gripping the needles too tightly: Just like with the yarn, gripping the needles too tightly can create tension problems. Hold the needles firmly but not too tightly, allowing for smooth movement.
  • Practice consistent stitch size: Try to make each stitch the same size by pulling the yarn consistently. This will help maintain even tension throughout your knitting.
  • Use the right size of needles: Using the correct needle size for your yarn can significantly impact your tension. If your stitches are too tight, switch to larger needles, and if they are too loose, switch to smaller ones.
  • Warm up: Before starting a knitting session, take a few minutes to warm up your hands and fingers. This will help improve blood circulation and loosen up your muscles, resulting in better tension control.
  • Practice, practice, practice: The more you knit, the better your tension control will become. Don’t get discouraged if your tension is off at first. With practice, it will gradually improve.

Remember, don’t be too hard on yourself if your tension isn’t perfect right away. Knitting is a skill that takes time and practice to master. By incorporating these tips into your knitting routine, you’ll gradually improve your tension control and create beautifully even stitches.

Follow Knitting Patterns

One of the best ways to improve your knitting skills is to work with knitting patterns. Knitting patterns provide a step-by-step guide and instructions on how to create different types of stitches, patterns, and designs.

When you follow knitting patterns, you can learn new techniques, stitches, and combinations that you may not have been aware of before. This can help you expand your knitting skills and create more complex and intricate projects.

Here are some tips for effectively following knitting patterns:

  • Read through the entire pattern: Before you begin knitting, take the time to read through the entire pattern. This will help you understand the overall structure of the project and any special techniques or stitches that may be required.
  • Check your gauge: Knitting patterns often specify a gauge, which is the number of stitches and rows per inch. Checking your gauge before you start knitting will ensure that your finished project will be the correct size and fit.
  • Use stitch markers: Stitch markers can be helpful in keeping track of different sections or repeats in a pattern. They can help you avoid mistakes and make it easier to follow complex stitch patterns.
  • Take notes: While working on a pattern, it can be helpful to take notes of any modifications or changes you make, or any adjustments you need to make for a better fit. These notes will be valuable for future projects.
  • Count your stitches: Counting your stitches regularly can help you catch any mistakes early on and avoid having to rip out a large section of knitting. It’s easier to fix a mistake if you catch it right away.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you work with knitting patterns, the more comfortable you will become with different techniques and stitches. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself with more advanced patterns, as this is a great way to continue improving your knitting skills.

Use Stitch Markers

One of the most helpful tools for improving your knitting skills is stitch markers. These small rings or clips can be placed on your knitting needles to mark specific stitches or sections of your project. They can be especially useful when working on complex patterns or when you need to keep track of your progress.

Here are a few ways stitch markers can improve your knitting:

  • Identify pattern repeats: When working on a pattern with repeats, such as lace or cables, stitch markers can help you keep track of where each repeat begins and ends. This can make it easier to read and follow the pattern, reducing the chances of getting lost or making mistakes.
  • Mark important stitches: Stitch markers can be used to highlight specific stitches that need extra attention, such as increases, decreases, or stitch pattern changes. By placing a marker before and after these stitches, you can easily locate and work them correctly.
  • Track progress: If you’re working on a large project, stitch markers can help you keep track of your progress. You can place a marker at the end of each row or section to easily see how many rows or sections you have completed. This can be especially helpful if you need to take breaks or put your project down for a while.
  • Prevent mistakes: Stitch markers can act as a visual guide to help you spot mistakes before they become too difficult to fix. By checking that the markers are lining up correctly, you can ensure that your stitch count remains consistent and that your pattern is being worked correctly.

When using stitch markers, it’s important to choose the right type for your project. There are various types available, including locking stitch markers, split-ring markers, and removable markers. Experiment with different types to find what works best for you.

Overall, stitch markers are a simple but powerful tool that can greatly enhance your knitting experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, incorporating stitch markers into your projects can help you improve your skills and create more precise and beautiful knitted items.

Explore Different Knitting Styles

When it comes to knitting, there are various styles that you can explore to improve your skills and create unique and interesting projects. Each knitting style has its own characteristics and techniques, so it’s worth trying out different styles to find the one that suits you best. Here are some popular knitting styles to consider:

  • English Style: This style involves holding the yarn in your right hand and wrapping it around the needle to create stitches. It is known for its speed and precision, making it a popular choice for many knitters.
  • Continental Style: In this style, you hold the yarn in your left hand and use your right hand to pick up the yarn and create stitches. Continental knitting is known for its efficiency and is often preferred by those who crochet or have experience with other needle crafts.
  • Combination Style: The combination style combines elements of both English and Continental knitting. It involves holding the yarn in your right hand like the English style but using the yarn-picking motion of the Continental style. This style can result in a unique tension and is often favored by knitters who want to experiment with different techniques.

Each knitting style has its own benefits and challenges, so don’t be afraid to try them out and see which one feels most comfortable and intuitive to you. You can also switch between styles depending on the project or stitch pattern you’re working on.

Remember, no matter which knitting style you choose, practice is key to improving your skills. The more you knit, the more comfortable and proficient you will become. Happy knitting!

Seek Inspiration and Learn from Others

One of the best ways to improve your knitting skills is to seek inspiration and learn from others. Whether you are a beginner knitter or have been knitting for years, there are always new techniques and patterns to discover. Here are some tips on how to seek inspiration and learn from others:

  • Join a knitting group or club: Knitting groups and clubs are a great way to meet other knitters who share your passion. You can learn from more experienced knitters, get feedback on your projects, and swap patterns and tips.
  • Attend workshops and classes: Workshops and classes are a fantastic way to learn new techniques and improve your skills. Look for knitting workshops and classes in your area or even consider taking an online course.
  • Visit yarn shops: Yarn shops are not only great places to buy yarn, but they can also inspire you with their displays of beautiful knitted items. Many yarn shops also offer classes or knitting circles.
  • Follow knitting blogs and social media accounts: There are many talented knitters who share their knowledge and projects through blogs and social media. Follow their accounts and read their blog posts for tips, tutorials, and inspiration.
  • Join online knitting communities: There are online communities dedicated to knitting where you can connect with other knitters from around the world. These communities often have forums, groups, and resources for learning and sharing knitting techniques.
  • Attend knitting events and conferences: Knitting events and conferences bring knitters together for workshops, demonstrations, and socializing. Check for upcoming events in your area or consider traveling to a larger event.
  • Knit-alongs: Joining a knit-along is a fun way to knit a project alongside others who are working on the same pattern. There are knit-alongs for all skill levels and a variety of patterns to choose from.

Remember, knitting is a craft that takes time and practice to master. By seeking inspiration and learning from others, you can continue to improve and expand your knitting skills.


What are some tips for increasing in knitting?

Some tips for increasing in knitting include using the M1 (Make One) increase method, practicing with different types of increases, and keeping track of your stitches as you work. It’s also helpful to use stitch markers to mark your increases, and to follow specific patterns or stitch guides for proper technique.

What is the M1 increase method in knitting?

The M1 (Make One) increase method is a way to increase stitches in knitting by creating a new stitch between two existing stitches. This is typically done by picking up the horizontal strand of yarn between two stitches and knitting into it, creating a new stitch.

What are some different types of increases in knitting?

Some different types of increases in knitting include the M1 (Make One) increase, KFB (Knit Front Back) increase, and YO (Yarn Over) increase. Each type of increase creates a different effect and can be used in different stitch patterns.

How important is it to keep track of your stitches when increasing in knitting?

It is important to keep track of your stitches when increasing in knitting to ensure that you are creating the correct number of stitches and maintaining an even stitch count. This can be done by using stitch markers to mark your increases and by keeping track of how many stitches you have worked.

Can stitch markers be helpful when increasing in knitting?

Yes, stitch markers can be helpful when increasing in knitting. They can be used to mark your increases and help you keep track of your stitches as you work. By placing a marker before and after the increase stitches, you can easily see where the increases are located and ensure that you are placing them correctly.

Should I follow a specific pattern or stitch guide when increasing in knitting?

It is recommended to follow a specific pattern or stitch guide when increasing in knitting, especially if you are a beginner. Patterns will usually provide instructions on the type of increase to use and where to place it within the pattern. Following a pattern will help ensure that your increases are done correctly and that you achieve the desired outcome.

How can I practice increasing in knitting?

You can practice increasing in knitting by creating swatches or small projects that incorporate increasing techniques. Start with simple patterns that require only a few increases and gradually work your way up to more complex patterns. You can also try knitting samples or practicing on scrap yarn before working on your actual project.


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