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Knitting Tutorial: Two Symmetrical Increases

Most of us know how to work the usual increases, like M1 (Make 1) and yo (yarn over), but today, I'm going to show you how to work them a little differently in order to create matching, or symmetrical, increases.

Symmetrical increases are important for a variety of projects, including shawls, sweater sleeves, top-down hats and more. These two methods have different looks, but each results in a beautiful, clean and balanced shape.

M1R & M1L

M1R (Make 1 Right) has a stitch direction that leans to the right. It's great for stitches at the beginning of the row or as the first stitch in a matching series.

Click here for larger image

Step 1: Insert your needle, from behind, under the horizontal strand between the needles and lift the strand. You'll notice the stitch is sitting twisted (with the back leg of the stitch more forward than the front leg of the stitch) on the needle.

Step 2: Knit into the stitch like normal. This feels weird and can be a little hard to work, but just use your fingers to loosen the stitch enough to wiggle your needle tip in there, if needed.

M1L (Make 1 Left) has a stitch direction that leans to the left and is a great mirror to M1R. Use this increase at the end of a row or as the second increase in a matching series.

Click here for larger image

Step 1: Insert your needle, from front to back, under the horizontal strand between the needles and lift the strand.

Step 2: Knit into the back loop of the stitch. This feels weird too, but the same rules given above apply.

YOR & YOL

These are my own unique abbreviations for an increase that we are all familiar with - the Yarn Over. But, did you know they can lean in different directions?

YOR (Yarn Over Right) has a stitch direction that leans to the right.

Click here for larger image

Step 1: Work a yarn over the "wrong" way by bringing the yarn strand over the top of the needle, to the front, and then back between the needles to work the next stitch. It's worked in a clockwise manner.

Step 2: On the next wrong-side row, purl into the "wrong" way yarn over as normal (twisting the stitch).

YOL (Yarn Over Left) has a stitch direction that leans to the left.

Click here for larger image

Step 1: Work a normal yarn over by bringing your yarn in between the needles to the front, and then "over" the right-hand needle as you knit the next stitch. It's counterclockwise in technique and is created as the next stitch is worked.

Step 2: On the next wrong-side row, purl through the back loop of the regular yarn over.

Click here for larger image

These are two of my favorite increases because they can be matched so neatly. What do you think?

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