how to increase in knitting 3 ways

Have you come across a pattern that asks you to add stitches to your work, and you are not quite sure how to do this? In this post, you will learn 3 easy ways to increase in knitting.

Normally the pattern you are working with will tell you which kind of increase they want you to do. If it is not made clear what method you should use then it’s safe to assume that any technique will do.

Learning to increase in knitting is an important skill to know as it’s used to shape the knitted fabric for making toys, garments and any knitted project.

I have found that the videos on YouTube are very useful when I need to see how something is done.

Jessica Kaufman demonstrates how to increase a stitch in your knitting 3 ways

Watch the Video

The 3 ways of increasing stitches are demonstrated in the video above from Howcast.

Supplies Needed

To practise these techniques you’ll need to have a pair of knitting needles and some spare yarn.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Knit One Front & Back Method

To increase using this method you need to knit a stitch in the normal way but don’t drop the stitch off from the left-hand needle. Hold that yarn on the left-hand needle, and then knit into the back of it. In this way, you end up with an additional stitch on the needle.

When you use this method you’ll see you get a little bump on the work from the increase.

2. Yarn Over Increase Method

In this method, to make an additional stitch, what you do is to bring the yarn to the front of your work and then knit a stitch in the usual way. As you do this, you’ll see that the yarn coming to the front means that as you knit that stitch, the yarn comes over and makes an extra stitch.

This system of increasing means that you get a hole formed in the work. It will be used in patterns where this lacey effect is required.

3. Make 1 Method of Increasing

In this third method, you are going to make a stitch using the bar of thread that exists between one stitch and the next. Lift that bar of yarn up from the back using the left-hand needle. With it on the left-hand needle, knit it in the normal way by knitting into the front of that made stitch. You will find that it is quite tight as there is not much yarn to work with.

Practice these 3 techniques over a few rows of simple knitting til you feel comfortable with them.


So there you have 3 ways of increasing stitches when knitting:

  • the knit front and back method abbreviated to kfb
  • the yarn over method abbreviated yo and
  • the make 1 system – m1

You will see that by following the video carefully how easy it is to increase stitches. These techniques are important ones to master as many patterns use them.

Now, why not look for a project to make that uses these skills? Small knitted toys or novelty items like this Dachshund Dog draught excluder generally use one or more of these increasing techniques.

Have you learned how to decrease in knitting?

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