Make One Left and Make One Right – Step by Step

When a pattern tells us to “make 1 stitch”, it means that we should use the most common way to increase stitches – make a new stitch from the strand between stitches. This increase is so common that sometimes a pattern will simply tell us to “increase 1 stitch” and imply that we should use “make 1” increase.

This way to increase stitches is fairly simple and it does not create any unwanted holes in the fabric. The added stitch looks nice and blends well into the project. What not to like, right?

The only drawback of this increase is the fact that it could only be done between stitches. We can’t use this method to add stitches at the beginning or at the end of a row. 

That’s not really a big issue. Given that the finished look of this increase is so lovely, we can easily make it between the first and the second stitches to add a stitch at the beginning of a row, and between the last and the second last stitches to make a new stitch at the end of a row.

To make the finished look even more polished, there are two variations of this increase – one produces a right-slanting line of stitches and is called “make 1 left”. The other is called “make 1 right” and results in increases that slant to the left.

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

When a pattern does not specify whether we should make 1 left or right, choose the one that is more comfortable for you. Usually, “make 1 left” is the easier of the two.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these variations.

If you prefer to watch every step in a video tutorial, click here.

MAKE 1 LEFT (M1L)

1. Work to the spot where you’d like to add a new stitch. 

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

2. Insert the tip of the left needle from front to back under a strand that is between the last worked stitch and the first stitch from the tip of the left needle.

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

3. Insert the tip of the right needle from right to left into the wrap formed by the picked strand. 

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

Wrap the needle with the yarn and pull the wrap through creating a new stitch. In other words, knit the picked strand through the back loop.

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

MAKE 1 RIGHT (M1R)

1. Work to the spot where you’d like to add a new stitch. 

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

2. Insert the tip of the left needle from back to front under a strand that is between the last worked stitch and the first stitch from the tip of the left needle.

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

3. Insert the tip of the right needle from left to right into the wrap formed by the picked strand. It will feel a bit tight. To make this step easier, it helps to move the picked strand closer to the tip of the left needle.

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

Wrap the tip of the right needle with the yarn and pull it through creating a new stitch. Simply put, knit the picked strand as usual, through the front loop.

Make One Left and Make One Right - Step by Step

As you see, the main difference in the process of “making 1 left” and “making 1 right” is how we insert the tip of the left needle under the strand in step 2. To “make 1 left” we insert the needle from front to back, to “make 1 right” – from back to front. 

It helps to remember the phrase “I’ll be RIGHT BACK” to avoid confusion between “make 1 left” and “make 1 right”.

In the next step (step 3), we knit the picked strand as a twisted stitch to make sure we don’t get a hole at the bottom of the increase. To achieve that, we should knit the strand picked from front to back through the back loop, and the strand picked from back to front through the front loop.

These are the few basic rules that will help you master two variations of the most common knitting increase – M1L and M1R.


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Happy knitting 🙂


Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right - step by step | 10 rows a day
Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right - step by step | 10 rows a day
Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right - step by step | 10 rows a day