I’ve been writing a series about blog posts about knitting stitch structure and am currently focusing on ways of knitting two stitches in the same column of stitches. Today’s post in this sequence is about the Right Lifted Increase (RLI).
All my other stitch structure posts can be found under my stitch structure tag, or in the menu at the top of this page.
- These posts aren’t meant as instructions for how to work these stitches; instead I’m showing the structure of the resulting stitches. In aid of that, I am not showing needles in the stitches as I feel they make it harder to see the fabric structure.
- The yarn is drawn to be much thinner relative to the stitch size than would be practical for actual knitting. This helps make it easier to see the structure, but it doesn’t look exactly like the final knitting.
Here is a small piece of knitting three stitches wide; it’s an excerpt of a larger piece of knitting. Three rows have been knit and a fourth row has been started. One stitch of the fourth row has been knit, and now it is time to make two stitches from the middle column of stitches. There are other options, but lifted increases are among my favorites for stockinette.stitch; among other things, they have a mirror image version that I will explain in my next stitch structure post. Depending on gauge, they are almost invisible. (Sometimes M1L and M1R work better for invisibility.)
Note: because the Right Lifted Increase involves pulling up a stitch from the row below, it’s not generally a good idea to use these more often than every other row.
One of the next two stitches will be made by pulling a loop through the next stitch as usual, but the other stitch is formed by lifting one side of the stitch below and knitting through the resulting loop. The Right Lifted Increase involves lifting the right side of that stitch; it’s the side closest to the needle before knitting the stitch above it as usual.
There are two basic options after lifting up the stitch from the previous row.
First option: untwisted
The first option is to knit through the stitch again as it is. This structure is exaggerated. The yarn to make that loop has to come from somewhere. Usually the stitches from the second row are all pulled a bit tighter, and also the light green loop doesn’t reach the same heights as the stitches in the third row. My drawing skills aren’t quite up to making it perfect in that regard, but I think the drawing still shows the basics of what’s happening.
I’ve colored the rows differently to help show where the different stitches end up, but I think in this case it helps show that this increase can look a bit odd when knitting stripes or variegated yarn. M1L and M1R can work better for that situation.
The next step is to knit the second stitch from the dark green row as usual, ready to knit what was the third stitch, and is about to be the fourth stitch. The lifted stitch is leaning toward the right. The center column of stitches has two stitches emerging from it.
Second option:: twisted
The second option is to introduce a half-twist into the lifted stitch before knitting it. When I feel a right lifted increase needs this, I usually prefer to knit it through the back loop. The result is slightly tighter than the first option, but sometimes it’s too tight.
Note that because that twisted loop has been pulled up into the next row, it doesn’t make a horizontal bar that looks like a purl blip. Instead, it looks like a slightly smaller stitch sitting at an angle.
Here the top stitch from the center column has been knit as usual.
Of course, that half twist could be made in the opposite direction if you prefer. It’s worth experimenting to see what you like!
Next time I make a structure post, I’ll explain the Left Lifted Increase.
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