Tutorial: M1L and M1R Increases

So your pattern tells you to increase at both ends of the row, but it fails to tell you how.

There are quite a number of different ways to create increases in knitting and some will suit different situations better than others. Today I'm going to talk about one of the lifted increases - make one left or right. 

Make one left (m1l) and make one right (m1r) are mirror images of each other, so are perfect when you need to make two increases on the same row. If you want to see the details of the swatch below, just scroll to the bottom of the post.
Pale blue sample with lifted increases on dark pink background


  • Blend into the knitting more than a lot of other increases
  • Don't create large holes under the stitch, so are neater
  • They are mirrored versions, so look good worked in pairs


  • Can be a little tricky (tight) to work sometimes but does gets easier with practice
  • As it's a lifted increase, they pull up the stitches from below, which can cause distortion
  • Other increases can be faster to work 
Here's the video tutorial but if you prefer a photo tutorial, just scroll on down.
This is an increase that I tend to use quite a lot in my patterns, as it does give a neat finish. Though I do prefer other increases, my go-to increases are left and right lifted increases but that's a tutorial for another day.

Traditionally, m1l increases are described in a particular way and I'll show you how to work them below but there is a slightly easier method too, so check that out below.

How to work a Make One Left (m1l) - traditional way

  1. Find the strand between the needles

  2. Insert left-hand needle from front to back into this strand 

  3. Knit through the back loop

How to work a Make One Left - easier method

  1. Insert right-hand needle into strand between needles from back to front

  2. Insert left-hand needles into the front of this strand

  3. Knit this strand and if done correctly, it should look like this with the twisted strand

How to work a Make One Right (m1r)

  1. Insert left-hand needle from back to front into strand between needles

  2. Insert right-hand needle knitwise into this strand

  3. If you struggle to get your needle in, then roll the strand on the LHN to the front to give you a bit more room

  4. Knit this strand
Ok, so you can see how to work them but if I have to work them on the same row and the pattern doesn't tell me where, then what should I do? There is no wrong way but here are a few photos showing them in different situations, so you can see which you might prefer.

My preference is for the bottom row and to use the m1r before the m1l. Which do you prefer?
4 images showing m1r and m1l in different positions


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