M1 is a knitting increase
What is an M1 knitting stitch? M1 stands for “make one.” It’s a knitting increase. Sometimes patterns will use the abbreviation M1, or sometimes they will break those down in to M1L and M1R, or “make one left” and “make one right.” A series of M1L increases makes a left-leaning line, and a series of M1R increases makes a right-leaning line. When you just see M1 in a pattern, it won’t make a big difference, which one you do, but I have seen it suggested that M1 is synonymous with M1L.
One important characteristic of the M1 increase is that the strand/bar that you pick up and knit gets twisted in the process. This is different than a yarnover (yo) increase. When you do a yarnover you leave a hole in the fabric, which makes it perfect for lace. A M1 increase twists that strand of yarn, thereby closing any potential hole, which makes this the perfect increase for shaping solid fabrics.
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How to do M1 or M1L knitting stitch
M1 increases are done between two stitches. To do an M1 or M1L knitting stitch, use your left needle to pick up the strand of yarn that goes between the two stitches on the ends of your left and right needles. Put your left needle through the front side of the fabric to pick up that strand, or “bar,” as we sometimes call it. Then you will knit that strand of yarn through the back loop. Watch the video below to see it in action!
How to do M1R knitting increase
Again, M1 increases are done between two other stitches. To do a M1R increase, use your left needle to pick up the strand of yarn, or “bar,” between the two stitches on the ends of your right and left needles. For this stitch, you will need to pick it up from the back of the fabric. Then you will knit this strand of yarn through the front loop, just as for a standard knit stitch. Watch the video below to see it in action!
How do you remember these as you are knitting?
Well, it gets easier with practice. Eventually you will have them memorized. One thing that I find easy to remember about them is that you will pick them up from one side and knit them through the opposite loop. For example, the M1L is picked up from the front and knitted through the back. The M1R is picked up from the back and knitted through the front. Sometimes people make up little sayings to help them, but it can get tricky since you pick them up and knit them oppositely like this. I like to think of how I pick up the stitch, so I use these phrases “I’ll be right back,” and “I left by the front door.”
What phrases and tips do you have to remember them? Or can you come up with one that works for you?
Do you like the look of the yarn I used in these videos? It is Knit Picks City Tweed DK. You can get that here.
Like the circular needles I’m using? Those are from Knitter’s Pride and you can order those here.
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