It seems that the most common way to increase stitches in knitting is to make one stitch from the strand between stitches – a way known as “make 1” increase. It’s a great technique, but it could be difficult to use when we work with fragile yarns or yarns with halo (like mohair). It can also become a pain when the fabric is tight or, simply, if you are a tight knitter.
That’s when it helps to know an alternative way to make an almost invisible increase – lifted (also known as raised) increases.
The idea behind lifted increases is to make a new stitch from a stitch that is below the live stitch sitting on the needle. This way does not add tension to the fabric and it does not create any holes.
When we make a new stitch before working a live stitch, we create a right-slanting lifted increase. When we do it after working the live stitch, we get a left-slanting lifted increase. Easy and quite straightforward 🙂
Let’s see how we can make these increases step by step.
If you are a visual learner, click here to watch each step in a quick video tutorial.
RIGHT LIFTED INCREASE
1. Work to the spot where you plan to make an increase. Then insert the tip of the right needle from the bottom up under the strand at the top of the stitch that is below the first stitch on the left needle.
Make sure you don’t insert the needle through the stitch. We only need to pick the top strand of that stitch.
2. Place the lifted strand on the left needle.
3. Knit the lifted strand to make a new stitch.
Now, that we’ve added a new stitch, we can continue to work in pattern.
If we make these increases in every other row and stack them on top of each other (for example, to shape raglan lines or the toe part of toe-up socks), we’ll form a soft line of increases that blends well into the fabric.
LEFT LIFTED INCREASE
1. Work to the spot where you plan to make an increase. Insert the tip of the left needle under the strand between the last stitch you’ve worked and the first stitch on the left needle. Watch how to do it.
2. Then move the tip of the left needle a bit forward to pick the left leg of a stitch that is below that strand between stitches. This left leg of a stitch is our “lifted strand”.
3. Knit the lifted strand through the back loop to add one stitch to the work.
Continue to work in pattern to the end of the row, or until it’s time to make another increase.
When these increases are made in every other row, they create a lovely line like this one:
These instructions are the same for working back and forth and for working in the round.
Feel free to make lifted increases in any instance where you need to add a new stitch in the middle of a row or round without creating a hole. It’s a simple and versatile technique that, I hope, will become one of your favourite ways to increase stitches 🙂
If you like this tutorial, you will LOVE e-books and charts
in the Library of Free Knitting Resources
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Happy knitting 🙂