Understanding m1 in Knitting: A Beginner’s Guide

Understanding m1 in Knitting: A Beginner’s Guide

Knitting is a popular craft that allows you to create a wide range of garments and accessories. If you’re new to knitting, you may come across abbreviations and terms that are unfamiliar. One such term is M1, which stands for “Make One.” M1 is a common knitting increase that is used to add stitches to your work.

To “make one” in knitting means to create a new stitch where there wasn’t one before. There are different methods for making stitches, and M1 is one of the simplest and most commonly used. It is often used to shape a garment or add decorative elements.

When you encounter the abbreviation M1 in a knitting pattern, it means you need to make a new stitch. This can be done by picking up the strand of yarn between two stitches and knitting it through the back loop, or by using other techniques depending on the pattern. M1 increases are typically used to add stitches evenly across a row or to shape a specific area of the work.

Mastering the M1 increase is an essential skill for knitters of all levels. It is relatively easy to learn and can open up a world of possibilities in your knitting projects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, understanding M1 increases will allow you to take on more complex patterns and create beautifully crafted garments.

Understanding M1 Increases in Knitting

When knitting, increases are used to add stitches to your work and create shaping. One commonly used increase method is the M1 increase, which stands for “Make One” increase. This increase is used to add a new stitch to your knitting without using a specific stitch from the previous row.

To perform the M1 increase, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the left needle, from front to back, under the strand of yarn that runs between the last stitch you knitted and the next stitch on the left-hand needle. This strand of yarn is also known as the “running thread” or “bar”.
  2. Lift the running thread onto the left-hand needle, creating a new stitch.
  3. Knit or purl this new stitch as required by your pattern.

The M1 increase is a great method for creating invisible increases that blend in seamlessly with your knitting. It doesn’t leave a visible hole or disrupt the pattern of your work. This makes it especially useful for adding shaping to lace or textured patterns where uniformity is important.

There are different variations of the M1 increase, such as M1L (Make One Left) and M1R (Make One Right). These variations create slightly different angles in the increase, which can be useful for creating specific shaping effects in your knitting.

It’s important to carefully read your knitting pattern to determine which type of M1 increase to use. The pattern should provide instructions or abbreviations for the specific M1 variation to use.

M1 Variation Description
M1L (Make One Left) Creates a left-leaning increase.
M1R (Make One Right) Creates a right-leaning increase.

Practice the M1 increase on a swatch or scrap yarn before using it in your actual project. This will help you become comfortable with the technique and ensure you’re getting the desired results.

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to confidently use the M1 increase to add shaping and create beautiful, professional-looking knitted garments.

Different Techniques for M1 Increases

There are several techniques for making a M1 increase in knitting. Here are a few common methods:

  • Knit Front and Back (KFB): Insert the right needle into the front of the next stitch, knit it as usual, but do not slip it off the left needle. Then, without twisting the stitch, insert the right needle into the back of the same stitch and knit it again. Finally, slip the stitched off the left needle.
  • Make One Away (M1A): Insert the left needle from the back to the front under the horizontal strand between the stitches. This creates a new stitch. Then, knit the new stitch through the front loop.
  • Make One Towards (M1T): Insert the left needle from the front to the back under the horizontal strand between the stitches. This creates a new stitch. Then, knit the new stitch through the back loop.
  • Lifted Increases: Lifted increases are worked by picking up or “lifting” the horizontal strands between the stitches. There are different methods for lifted increases, such as the lifted knit increase (LKI) and the lifted purl increase (LPI).

It’s important to consult your knitting pattern to determine which M1 increase method to use. The pattern may specify a specific increase or provide instructions for a specific type of increase that complements the stitch pattern.

Comparison of Different M1 Increase Techniques
Technique Description
KFB Increases stitches by knitting into the front and back loops of the same stitch.
M1A Creates a new stitch by picking up the horizontal strand between stitches and knitting through the front loop.
M1T Creates a new stitch by picking up the horizontal strand between stitches and knitting through the back loop.
Lifted Increases Worked by picking up the horizontal strands between stitches. Different methods for lifted increases exist.

When to Use M1 Increases

The M1 increase is a basic knitting technique used to add stitches to your project. It is often used when you want to create a shaped garment or add decorative details to your knit fabric. Here are some instances where you might want to use M1 increases:

  1. Shaping: If you are knitting a sweater or cardigan, you may need to shape the sleeves, neckline, or waist. M1 increases can help you gradually add stitches in specific areas to achieve the desired shape.
  2. Decorative elements: M1 increases can be used to create decorative details like lace patterns, cables, or textured stitches. By strategically placing M1 increases, you can add dimension and visual interest to your knitting.
  3. Darts or pleats: M1 increases can be used to create darts or pleats in your knitting. These folds add structural interest and shaping to your garment.
  4. Buttonholes: M1 increases can also be used to create buttonholes. By creating an M1 increase followed by a corresponding decrease, you can create a buttonhole that won’t stretch out over time.

It’s important to follow a pattern or design plan when using M1 increases to ensure that they are placed correctly and in the right quantity. Some patterns may specify a specific type of M1 increase, such as M1L or M1R, which creates a left or right-leaning increase. Always refer to the pattern instructions to determine which M1 increase is appropriate for your project.

With practice, you will become more familiar with using M1 increases and how they can enhance your knitting projects. Experiment with different stitch patterns and techniques to achieve the desired effect in your knitting.

Note: Remember to always swatch and check your gauge when using M1 increases to ensure that your finished project will fit properly.

Tips for Performing M1 Increases

  • Choose the Right Variation: There are many variations of the M1 increase, such as the M1L (Make One Left) and M1R (Make One Right). Each variation creates a slightly different result, so make sure to choose the one that best suits your knitting project.
  • Work on the Correct Side: M1 increases are typically worked on the right side of the fabric, so be mindful of which side you are currently knitting on. If you accidentally perform the increase on the wrong side, it may not have the desired effect.
  • Use a Lifeline: If you’re uncertain about the placement or execution of an M1 increase, consider adding a lifeline before attempting it. A lifeline is a thread that is woven through the stitches on a particular row and can be used to easily recover stitches if a mistake is made.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: M1 increases can be a bit tricky, especially for beginners. It’s important to practice the technique to get comfortable with it. Consider making a few practice swatches before incorporating M1 increases into your actual knitting projects.
  • Keep the Yarn Taut: When performing an M1 increase, make sure to keep the yarn taut as you work the new stitch. This will help create an even and neat increase without any loose or saggy stitches.
  • Read and Follow Instructions: Different knitting patterns may have specific instructions for M1 increases. Be sure to read and follow the pattern instructions carefully to ensure the desired result.
  • Pay Attention to Tension: Maintaining consistent tension throughout your knitting is important for a neat and uniform fabric. Pay attention to how tight or loose your M1 increases are and adjust your tension accordingly.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Doing M1 Increases

When working on knitting projects, it is common to use the M1 increase to add stitches to your work. However, there are some common mistakes that beginners make when doing M1 increases. Here are a few to watch out for:

  • Twisted stitches: One of the most common mistakes is accidentally twisting the stitch when doing the M1 increase. This can happen if you don’t correctly insert your needle into the stitch or if you twist the stitch when knitting the increase. To avoid this, make sure to follow the instructions for the M1 increase carefully and take your time to ensure that you are working the stitch correctly.
  • Gaps: Another common mistake is creating gaps between the M1 increase and the surrounding stitches. This can happen if you don’t pull the new stitch tightly enough or if you don’t knit or purl into it correctly on the next row. To avoid gaps, make sure to snugly pull the new stitch and work into it as you would any other stitch on the next row.
  • Inconsistent tension: Inconsistent tension can also be a problem when doing M1 increases. If you pull the yarn too tightly when making the increase, you may end up with a tight, puckered stitch that doesn’t blend well with the surrounding stitches. Conversely, if you don’t tighten the new stitch enough, it may appear loose and stand out from the fabric. To avoid this, practice maintaining consistent tension and adjust as needed when making the M1 increase.
  • Confusing M1 with other increase methods: There are several different increase methods in knitting, and it’s easy to confuse M1 with other techniques. Make sure to read the pattern instructions carefully and understand which increase method you should use. M1 increases are typically done by lifting the bar between stitches and knitting into it, rather than knitting into the front or back of a stitch.

By being aware of these common mistakes and taking the time to practice and perfect your M1 increase technique, you can improve your knitting skills and create beautiful projects without any issues. Happy knitting!

Examples of M1 Increases in Knitting Patterns

Here are some examples of how the M1 increase can be used in knitting patterns:

  1. Pattern: Basic Hat

    This simple hat pattern uses the M1 increase to shape the crown. After knitting the ribbed brim, the pattern instructs you to M1 between stitches every few rounds to create the rounded shape of the top of the hat. This increase method creates a nearly invisible increase that blends seamlessly with the surrounding stitches.

  2. Pattern: Lace Shawl

    In a lace shawl pattern, the M1 increase is often used to create additional stitches in areas where the lace pattern requires more stitches than the previous row. This increase method creates a new stitch by lifting the strand of yarn between the stitches and knitting it, resulting in an invisible increase that doesn’t disrupt the lace pattern.

  3. Pattern: Raglan Sweater

    The M1 increase is commonly used in raglan sweater patterns to shape the raglan sleeve seams. This increase method is worked at the beginning and end of each raglan seam, creating diagonal lines that add structure and visual interest to the sweater. The M1 increase is often paired with other increase methods, such as yarn overs or knit front and back (kfb) to achieve the desired shaping.

These are just a few examples of how the M1 increase can be used in knitting patterns. With practice, you’ll become proficient in this increase method and be able to incorporate it into a variety of designs.

Troubleshooting M1 Increases

M1 increases, or make one increases, are commonly used in knitting to add stitches to a project. They are often used in lace patterns, garment shaping, and various other knitting techniques. However, beginners may encounter some difficulties when attempting M1 increases. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome these challenges:

  1. Identify the correct stitch: It is important to correctly identify the stitch on which you need to make the increase. M1 increases typically involve picking up the horizontal strand between stitches. Make sure you are not picking up the strand from the wrong row or the wrong part of the stitch.

  2. Avoid twisting the stitch: When making the M1 increase, be careful not to twist the stitch. Twisting can distort the stitch and create an uneven appearance. Make sure to carefully insert your needle from the correct direction and avoid any unnecessary twisting.

  3. Practice the technique: M1 increases can be challenging for beginners, so it’s important to practice the technique before attempting it on your actual project. Knit swatches or small samples to familiarize yourself with the correct motions and improve your skill.

  4. Use the correct knitting needles: The type of knitting needles you use can affect the ease of making M1 increases. Some knitters find it easier to work with needles that have a slightly sharper tip, as they can more easily pick up the strands for the increase. Experiment with different needle types to find what works best for you.

  5. Watch tutorial videos: If you are still having trouble with M1 increases, consider watching online tutorial videos. Visual demonstrations can often provide clearer instructions and help you understand the technique better.

Remember, practice makes perfect. With time and perseverance, you will be able to master the M1 increase technique and incorporate it smoothly into your knitting projects.


What does M1 mean in knitting?

M1 stands for Make One and it is a common technique used in knitting to create an increase in stitches.

How do you perform M1 in knitting?

To make one stitch in knitting, you can use the M1 technique by picking up the horizontal loop between two stitches with your left needle, placing it onto the left needle, and then knitting into the back of that loop to create a new stitch.

Is M1 the same as KFB?

No, M1 and KFB are two different techniques used to create increases in knitting. M1 involves picking up a loop between stitches, while KFB stands for Knit Front and Back, where you knit into the front and then the back of a stitch to create an increase.

When should I use M1 in knitting?

You can use M1 in knitting when you want to add stitches and create a gradual increase in your project. It is commonly used in patterns to shape sleeves, yokes, or other parts of a garment.

Can M1 be used for decreasing stitches?

No, M1 is specifically used to increase stitches in knitting. If you want to decrease stitches, you would use other techniques such as knit two together (K2tog) or slip, slip, knit (SSK).

Are there different variations of M1?

Yes, there are different variations of M1 depending on the project and the desired outcome. Some common variations include M1L (Make One Left) and M1R (Make One Right), which create a slightly twisted stitch for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

Can M1 be used in lace knitting patterns?

Yes, M1 can be used in lace knitting patterns to create additional stitches and increase the overall width or shape of the lace motif. It can be incorporated into the lace pattern seamlessly.


How to knit M1L (Make 1 Left) – Increasing 1 stitch

How to increase one stitch in knitting

Knitting Help – Make 1 (M1)

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