Techniques to Improve Speed in Knitting

Techniques to Improve Speed in Knitting

Knitting is a beloved craft that allows for countless possibilities of creating beautiful garments and accessories. However, one common challenge that knitters may encounter is the need to increase stitches. Whether you’re working on a pattern that requires additional stitches or simply want to widen your knitting project, knowing how to increase stitches is a valuable skill to have. In this knitting guide, we will share five essential tips on how to increase stitches effectively.

1. Knitting Front and Back (KFB): One of the most common methods for increasing stitches is the Knit Front and Back technique. This method involves knitting into the front loop of a stitch, and then immediately knitting into the back loop of the same stitch. This creates two stitches where there was previously one, effectively increasing the stitch count.

2. Make One (M1): Another popular method for increasing stitches is the Make One technique. To accomplish this, you will need to pick up the bar of yarn that lies between two stitches and place it onto the left needle. Then, you can knit or purl into this new stitch, depending on the pattern, effectively adding a new stitch to your work.

3. Yarn Over (YO): The yarn over technique is commonly used in lace knitting to create decorative holes and patterns. It is also an effective way to increase stitches. To execute a yarn over, simply bring the yarn to the front of your work, as if you were going to purl. Then, wrap the yarn over the right needle, and continue with the pattern. On the next row, the yarn over will appear as a new stitch.

4. Increasing within a Stitch: If you need to increase several stitches within a single stitch, you can use the Knit One, Knit into the Front and Back, and Knit One (K1, KFB, K1) method. This method involves knitting into the front loop of a stitch, knitting into the back loop of the same stitch, and then knitting into the front loop once again. This creates three stitches where there was only one before.

5. Increasing at the Beginning and End of a Row: When you need to increase stitches at the beginning or end of a row, you can employ various techniques such as the Lifted Increase, where you pick up the stitch below the first stitch on the left needle and knit into it. Alternatively, you can use the Knit Front and Back technique discussed earlier, making sure to knit into the first stitch on the needle and then into the back loop of the same stitch.

With these five tips in your knitting arsenal, you are well-equipped to increase stitches and expand your knitting projects. Remember to practice these techniques and experiment with different stitch patterns to truly master the art of increasing stitches in knitting.

“Increasing stitches in knitting opens up a world of possibilities in your projects. Whether you’re creating intricate lace designs or simply adding more width to your work, these tips will help you achieve beautiful and balanced results.”

Why Increasing Stitches Matters in Knitting

Increasing stitches is an important technique in knitting that allows you to create a wider or larger piece of fabric. Whether you’re working on a scarf, a sweater, or any other knitting project, the ability to increase stitches is essential for achieving the desired size and shape.

Here are a few reasons why increasing stitches matters in knitting:

  1. Adjusting the Size: Increasing stitches can help you adjust the size of your project. If you want to make a garment larger or wider, you can increase stitches in a controlled manner to achieve the desired dimensions.
  2. Shaping the Design: Increasing stitches is often used to shape the design of a project. For example, if you’re working on a sweater, increasing stitches at certain points can create a flattering silhouette or add darts to the design.
  3. Creating Patterns: Increasing stitches can also be used to create patterns in your knitting. By increasing stitches in specific sequences or at specific intervals, you can create intricate patterns and textures in your fabric.
  4. Adding Flare: If you want to add flare or a ruffled effect to your knitting, increasing stitches is the way to go. By increasing stitches in a controlled manner, you can create a flared edge or add ruffles to a scarf or a skirt.
  5. Customizing the Fit: Increasing stitches allows you to customize the fit of your knitted garments. By strategically increasing stitches in certain areas, you can create a tailored fit that flatters your body shape and size.

Overall, increasing stitches in knitting is a versatile technique that provides you with the flexibility to adjust the size, shape, and design of your projects. It allows you to unleash your creativity and customize your knitting to suit your preferences and style.

The Anatomy of a Knitting Stitch

Knitting stitches are the building blocks of any knitting project. Understanding the anatomy of a knitting stitch can help you become a better knitter and enable you to create more intricate and complex designs.

A knitting stitch is made up of several components:

  • Loop: The loop is the basic unit of a knitting stitch. It is created by inserting the needle into the previous stitch and pulling the yarn through.
  • Yarn Over: A yarn over is a technique used to create an extra stitch and an eyelet hole in the fabric. It is created by wrapping the yarn around the needle before knitting the next stitch.
  • Purl Bump: A purl bump is a raised stitch on the wrong side of the fabric. It is created by purling a stitch instead of knitting it.
  • Decrease: A decrease is a technique used to decrease the number of stitches in a row. It is often used to shape the fabric or create decorative patterns. There are several types of decreases, including knit two together (k2tog) and slip, slip, knit (ssk).
  • Increase: An increase is a technique used to increase the number of stitches in a row. It is often used to shape the fabric or create decorative patterns. There are several types of increases, including yarn over (yo) and make one (m1).

By understanding the different components of a knitting stitch, you can begin to experiment with different stitch patterns and create unique designs. With practice, you can master these techniques and create beautiful knitted creations.

Tip #1: Choosing the Right Needle Size

One of the most important factors in increasing stitches while knitting is choosing the right needle size. The needle size you use can greatly affect the tension and size of your stitches. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider the yarn weight: Different yarns have different recommended needle sizes. It is important to match the yarn weight with the appropriate needle size to achieve the desired tension. Check the yarn label for recommendations.
  • Use a larger needle: If you want to increase your stitches, try using a larger needle size than what is recommended for your yarn. This can make the stitches looser and larger.
  • Experiment with needle sizes: If you are not achieving the desired stitch size, try using a smaller or larger needle to see the difference in your stitches. This can help you find the perfect needle size for your project.

Remember, finding the right needle size may require some trial and error. Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust as needed to achieve the stitch size you desire.

Tip #2: Using Different Yarn Weights

Another way to increase stitches when knitting is by using different yarn weights. Yarn weights refer to the thickness or thinness of the yarn, and they are categorized into different categories such as lace, fingering, sport, DK, worsted, bulky, and super bulky.

When you use a lighter yarn weight than what the pattern recommends, it will naturally result in more stitches because the stitches are smaller and more compact. This can be useful when you want to increase the width or circumference of your project.

On the other hand, if you use a heavier yarn weight than what the pattern suggests, it will result in fewer stitches because the stitches are larger and more spread out. This can be helpful when you want to increase the length or height of your project.

However, it’s important to note that using different yarn weights can affect the overall look and feel of your project. Thicker yarns will create a bulkier and warmer fabric, while thinner yarns will result in a more delicate and lightweight fabric.

Before using a different yarn weight, make sure to check the pattern gauge and adjust your needle size accordingly. This will ensure that you achieve the desired measurements and fit for your project.

  1. Choose a yarn weight that is either lighter or heavier than the recommended weight in the pattern.
  2. Check the pattern gauge and adjust your needle size accordingly.
  3. Knit a gauge swatch to make sure you are achieving the correct measurements.
  4. Calculate the number of stitches you need to cast on or increase based on the gauge swatch.
  5. Start knitting with the new yarn weight and follow the pattern instructions, making any necessary adjustments.

Using different yarn weights can be a fun and creative way to customize your knitting projects. It allows you to experiment with different textures and densities, and it gives you more flexibility in terms of size and fit. So don’t be afraid to step outside the recommended yarn weight and explore the world of knitting possibilities!

Tip #3: Increasing Stitch Types

There are several different ways to increase stitches in knitting, and each method creates a different type of increase. Here are some common types of stitch increases:

  • Knit Front and Back (KFB): This is one of the most common methods for increasing stitches. To perform a KFB increase, insert your right needle into the front of the next stitch, knit it as usual, but do not slide it off the left needle. Instead, bring the right needle to the back of the stitch and knit into the back loop. Finally, slide the stitch off the left needle.
  • Make One (M1): Another commonly used increase is the Make One. This increase can be done in different ways, but the most common method is to lift the bar between two stitches with the left needle from the front to the back, and then knit into the back of it with the right needle.
  • Yarn Over (YO): The Yarn Over is a type of increase that creates an eyelet hole in your knitting. To do a YO increase, simply bring the yarn from the back to the front over the right needle, and then continue knitting the next stitch.
  • Knitting into the Same Stitch: This increase involves knitting into the same stitch multiple times to create additional stitches. Simply knit into the stitch as usual, leaving it on the left needle, and then knit into it again. Repeat this process as many times as desired.

These are just a few examples of the different types of stitch increases you can use in your knitting projects. Experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for your project and desired outcome.

Tip #4: Blocking and Stretching Techniques

Blocking and stretching your knitted project is an essential step to achieve the desired size and shape. It helps to even out the stitches, smooth any uneven tension, and make the knit fabric more cohesive. Here are some techniques to help you block and stretch your knitting:

  1. Soaking: Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of wool wash or mild detergent. Gently submerge your finished knitting project in the water and let it soak for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Gently squeeze out excess water: After soaking, take the knitting out of the water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as it can cause stretching or damage.
  3. Lay flat to dry: Lay a clean towel on a flat surface and place your knitting project on it. Gently shape the fabric to the desired size and pat it dry with another towel on top. Avoid pulling or stretching the fabric excessively.
  4. Pin to block: Use stainless steel pins or T-pins to secure the edges of your knitting project to a blocking board or foam mat. Pin it in place, making sure to maintain the desired measurements and shape.
  5. Steam blocking: If your project is made of a fiber that can withstand steam, you can use a hand-held steamer or steam iron to block. Hold the steamer or iron a few inches away from the fabric and gently steam the knitting, being careful not to touch the fabric directly.

Blocking and stretching techniques can help transform your knitting project from a shapeless piece of fabric into a beautifully finished garment or accessory. Take the time to block your knitting properly, and you will be rewarded with great results.

Tip #5: Adjusting Tension while Knitting

One important aspect of knitting is maintaining a consistent tension throughout your project. Tension refers to how tightly or loosely you hold the yarn while knitting. If your tension is too tight, your stitches will be smaller and harder to work with. On the other hand, if your tension is too loose, your stitches will be larger and looser.

Adjusting your tension can be a bit tricky, but it’s an important skill to master. Here are some tips to help you adjust your tension while knitting:

  1. Practice makes perfect: The more you knit, the better you will become at maintaining a consistent tension. Keep practicing and experimenting with different yarns and needles to find what works best for you.
  2. Pay attention to your hands: Observe how you hold the yarn and how tightly you pull it while knitting. Try different techniques, such as wrapping the yarn around your fingers or holding it in your palm, to see which method gives you the most control over your tension.
  3. Use knitting aids: There are tools available, such as tension rings or knitting thimbles, that can help you regulate your tension. Experiment with these aids to find the ones that work best for you.
  4. Take breaks: If you find yourself getting frustrated with your tension, take a break and come back to it later. Sometimes a fresh perspective can help you find a solution.
  5. Embrace imperfections: Remember that knitting is a handmade craft, and a little bit of variation in tension is normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your stitches aren’t perfect. Enjoy the process and the unique character that comes with handmade items.

By adjusting your tension while knitting, you can create beautifully even stitches and improve the overall quality of your projects. Practice, patience, and experimentation are key to finding the right tension for you. Happy knitting!


Is it possible to increase stitches while knitting?

Yes, it is definitely possible to increase stitches while knitting. There are various methods that can be used to achieve this, such as yarn overs, knitting into the front and back of a stitch, and using make-one increases.

Why would I need to increase stitches in my knitting?

There are several reasons why you might need to increase stitches in your knitting. One common reason is to create shaping in a garment, such as adding extra stitches for bust shaping or to widen a sleeve. Another reason is to create decorative elements in your knitting, like lace patterns or eyelets.

How do I do a yarn over increase?

To do a yarn over increase, simply bring the yarn to the front of your work (as if to purl) and then over the right-hand needle to the back again. This creates a new stitch on the needle without having to work into an existing stitch.

What is the difference between a make-one increase and a knit front and back increase?

A make-one increase involves lifting the horizontal strand of yarn between two stitches onto the left-hand needle and then knitting it. This creates a new stitch. In contrast, a knit front and back increase involves knitting into the front of a stitch, then without taking it off the needle, knitting into the back of the same stitch. This also creates a new stitch.

Are there any tips for increasing stitches evenly across a row?

Yes, there are a few tips for increasing stitches evenly across a row. One method is to count the number of stitches you have, then divide that number by the number of increases you want to make. This will give you the number of stitches to skip between each increase. Another tip is to place markers in your work to help you keep track of the increases.


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