This tutorial explains an increase method that involves lifting and working into the bar between two stitches. It can be worked two different ways, these are described as ‘left’ and ‘right’ – m1L and m1R.
To m1L (make one left)
- Insert the left-hand needle from front to back, under the bar between the stitches (thus lifting it onto the left-hand needle).
- Knit this bar through the back loop (this twists it into a nice little tight loop).
This is one new stitch made!
To m1R (make one right)
- Insert the left-hand needle from back to front, under the bar between the stitches (thus lifting it onto the left-hand needle).
- Knit this bar through the front loop (this twists it into a nice little tight loop).
This is one new stitch made!
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What IS a Make One, m1, anyways?
Make 1 or m1 is a generic way to say ‘create one new stitch’. There are many different methods that you can choose from, and you should pick the one you prefer. Where a specific technique is listed on our patterns, it is typically for a specific reason (because it contributes to creating a special effect). You can use the suggested method in this case, OR simply substitute your own favourite method for making a new stitch.
How are m1L (make 1 left) and m1R (make 1 right) different?
What if the pattern just says m1, but doesn’t specify where to use m1L and where to use m1R? Well, let’s take a look at the effect of working m1L and m1R in different locations.
When you are increasing AFTER a stitch marker, you create new stitches that slant out leftward from the rest of the work. I prefer to use m1L in this context.
When you are increasing BEFORE a stitch marker, you create new stitches that slant out rightward from the rest of the work. I prefer to use m1R in this context.
Take a look at how m1R and m1L look in these contexts – I find that the most seamless / flat / tight line of increase is to use m1L after a marker, and m1R before a marker. But you may like the effect of using the opposite decrease! It’s all about your preference, there isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it.
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M1L & M1R: knitting stitch structure – String Geekery
December 17, 2021 @ 6:41 am
[…] M1 is a good, basic increase, but it leaves a visible hole. There’s a slight modification of the technique that mostly hides this hole. The two versions of this are M1L (make one left) and M1R (make one right), which are mirrors of each other. This post is about the paths the yarn takes while forming the stitches, not how to make them. Here are some good illustrated instructions showing how to make m1 L and m1R. […]
December 7, 2021 @ 6:54 am
I’m knitting the world’s easiest mittens, but apparently the project is not easy enough for me, because I have a question! Pattern says “Knit to marker, m1, SM.” How can I m1 right before the marker? The marker is in the way of the m1…! Should I m1 kinda backwards? Any help would be appreciated! Many thanks, Maria.
December 9, 2021 @ 12:55 pm
Hi Maria – I use this method https://blog.tincanknits.com/2013/10/03/m1/
October 20, 2021 @ 7:48 am
If you are making a thumb gusset – why would you do M1L first? Surely you want the gusset to lean out in both directions? No?
October 20, 2021 @ 1:15 pm
I like it to lean ‘into’ the thumb gusset, but either way is completely fine, it’s strictly a matter of preference.
September 15, 2021 @ 5:51 am
Thank you very helpful
August 11, 2021 @ 9:21 am
In the Sitka Spruce hat pattern it says M1. Does it matter if I M1R or M1L?
August 16, 2021 @ 1:53 pm
Hi Carol – If it’s not specified either is fine! Or it’s knitters preference.
M1L & M1R: knitting stitch structure | String Geekery
August 5, 2021 @ 9:38 am
[…] M1 is a good, basic increase, but it leaves a visible hole. There’s a slight modification of the technique that mostly hides this hold. The two versions of this are M1L (make one left) and M1R (make one right), which are mirrors of each other. This post is about the paths the yarn takes while forming the stitches, not how to make them. Here are some good illustrated instructions showing how to make m1 L and m1R. […]
June 26, 2021 @ 6:53 am
I am getting started on the Gramps sweater size 2-4 years.(Very big baby) I am already confused on Row 1. It states to knit to 1 stitch before marker, M1, knit 2, M1). If I am knitting to only 1 stitch before the marker, How can I knit 2 after making 1 stitch? There is only one stitch before the marker. Is the M1 counting for one of the Knit 2 stitches? Thanks for any clarification. Julie
June 28, 2021 @ 10:39 am
Hi! You want to slip markers as you come to them, so you are going to m1, k1, slip marker, k1, m1, etc.
September 9, 2021 @ 4:42 pm
I am knitting the Gramps sweater . What method of M1 did you use. If I use m1r and m1l method, what to I start with – the m1r or m1l. Thanks.
September 9, 2021 @ 5:55 pm
Hi Barbra – It’s really knitters choice. I personally use an m1R before the marker and an m1L after, and an m1L at the first neck edge and an m1R at the second neck edge.
Simple Knitting Glove step by step - Crochet Learning
June 24, 2021 @ 8:53 am
[…] You can use any increase you want, for this pattern, you will notice that Alexa Ludeman will work some M1 increases (make 1) and to be a little fancier she does paired increases, first an M1L and then an M1R (make 1 left and make 1 right). See this complete tutorial on M1s. […]
June 19, 2021 @ 6:57 am
In a hat pattern I’m working on it says “move m1 st to the right”. Is this the same as m1r?
June 21, 2021 @ 12:14 pm
Hi Helen – it sounds a little different but I’m not sure what the designer was going for.
February 14, 2022 @ 10:28 pm
“move marker 1 stitch to the right”. Not an increase. Not a stitch at all. Simply a shift in marker placement.
February 18, 2022 @ 12:26 pm
Hi Anna – If it says ‘move marker 1 stitch to the right’ then it is not an increase, if it says ‘move m1 st to the right’ I’m not sure, I would need a little more context.
Tips for knitting your first sweater – Knits of Steele
February 2, 2021 @ 2:49 pm
[…] Here is a tutorial from Tin Can Knits on how to make 1 left and make 1 right. […]
December 1, 2020 @ 4:12 pm
Hello! I found your article very helpful. I do have one question, what does it mean when the pattern says K1, m1 – 3 sts? I know it is Knit 1, and Make 1, but I don’t understand the 3 sts afterwards? Thank you for the help!
December 2, 2020 @ 1:29 pm
Hi Ryan – Sorry, I’m not really sure! I would need a little more pattern context to figure that one out.
December 15, 2020 @ 1:26 am
I wonder if this is the beginning of a pattern? So, if these were the very first stitches in your pattern, you would knit the first, and then make one. The 3 sts is an indicator that you now have 3 stitches on your needle having completed that row. (Stitch counts are given as a way of checking that any increasing you are doing during the pattern is on schedule and you are working correctly). Hope that helps.
Let’s Knit a Cardigan | Tin Can Knits
September 23, 2020 @ 12:12 pm
[…] row (RS): knit to last 2 sts, PM, k1, m1, k1 (this is the end of the row), next, turn work 90 degrees, and pick up and knit 52 (62, 66, 70, […]
Love Note Sweater: Yoke (3/6) | Tin Can Knits
June 18, 2020 @ 6:04 am
[…] There are many types of increases out there, and lots of them will work just fine for this sweater. We like to use an m1 increase. […]
June 11, 2020 @ 6:22 pm
I’m knitting the harvest sweater and starting the raglan increases, but I’m not sure when to move my marker when it says knit to one stitch before the marker, m1, k2, m1. It seems like I should move the marker after I make the first stitch (m1, SM, k2, m1). Is that correct?
June 12, 2020 @ 12:12 am
Hi Karen – You want to use an increase method that makes a stitch without using a stitch to do, like an m1 stitch. So it would be: m1, k1, slip marker, k1, m1
May 13, 2020 @ 3:39 pm
what does pm mean in a pattern prior to inceasing a mlL or MlR?
May 14, 2020 @ 2:44 pm
Hi Karin – in our patterns PM means place marker
May 1, 2020 @ 12:59 pm
Just started Love Note Sweater. After the first 8 rows, the instructions have m1 increases. What m1 is preferable??? Which method do you use??? Thanks in advance
May 4, 2020 @ 12:31 pm
Hi Trudy – Any method is fine really, I use an m1 (like the one in the tutorial), usually an m1R because I find those a little easier but it really doesn’t matter.
Let’s make a Beloved Bonnet | Tin Can Knits
March 31, 2020 @ 10:54 pm
[…] on every right-side row, along the centreline of the piece. This pattern uses both the lifted-bar m1 – make one increase, and the kfb – knit front & back […]
February 29, 2020 @ 7:21 am
Thanks! So very helpful!
December 28, 2019 @ 3:22 pm
This was very helpful. Thank you!
Episode 68 — Air is Delicious – The Unraveling Podcast
October 7, 2019 @ 8:06 pm
[…] started a Gramps cardigan, Pattern by tincanknits. He is using Berroco Vintage. He used a great tutorial from tincanknits for creating balanced increases with M1L and […]
October 1, 2019 @ 7:06 am
Making harvest sweater. The instructions for increases are not clear to me? Exactly when do you slip the marker? Whether to increase to the right or left should be in the pattern?
We spend a lot of money on suggested yarn to not have clearer instructions. This pattern is for beginners or easy?
October 1, 2019 @ 11:42 am
Hi Joann – slip the markers as you come to them. Increases are knitters choice, some prefer them one way, others the other way. I prefer mine as a m1R before the marker and an m1L after the marker. This pattern is designed as a beginner sweater, not necessarily a first ever project.
June 15, 2019 @ 9:00 am
I understand how to do the m1l/m1r. The resulting rows are all puckered. Help please. The pattern calls for knit 1 make 1. I have tried both ways. Thank you I hope you can help.
June 16, 2019 @ 8:43 pm
Hi Jill – I think it might just need a block? k1, m1 is a sharp increase
June 20, 2019 @ 10:20 am
Thank you so much for your reply. Will do. Once again thank you.
May 19, 2019 @ 7:08 pm
I knitted the yoke but the one front had 41 Sr
Tsubasa and other 9 the pattern has increases before marker do second front does not increase enough
May 21, 2019 @ 12:45 pm
Hi Karen – I’m sorry I’m not sure I understand the question, which sweater are you knitting?
What is Textile Design? – kimking studio
May 12, 2019 @ 11:07 pm
[…] The Structure of knit […]
April 5, 2019 @ 6:43 am
Great explanation. So Clear, thank you. Can you advise on a M1P? Thanks x
April 7, 2019 @ 8:00 pm
Hi Jenna – we don’t have a tutorial on that one yet, but it works the same way, lift the bar between the sts and purl into it twisting the stitch.
November 28, 2018 @ 1:31 pm
What does slip marker mean in practical terms?
November 28, 2018 @ 3:35 pm
Hi Hilary – it means to move the marker from the left needle to the right needle
September 10, 2018 @ 3:15 pm
what does the instruction “SM” mean?
September 12, 2018 @ 8:48 pm
July 27, 2018 @ 9:04 am
Can anyone help me. My pattern calls for k1r and k1l in the same bar. This is causing a hole in my pattern. Any thoughts or directions?
July 30, 2018 @ 10:32 am
Hi Arlene – It sounds like that would definitely leave a big hole. Maybe try using a different increase? I might try knitting front/back/front into the same stitch. You are trying to make 3 sts from 1 stitch, is that right?
April 9, 2018 @ 10:27 am
Hello! Thank you for the detailed explanation. Do you have any tips for making these tighter? I am left with gaping holes with m1r especially – not at all as clean and pretty as the instructions
April 9, 2018 @ 1:01 pm
Hi Lilly – it sounds like maybe you are knitting the sts through the back loop when you should be knitting through the front loop and vice versa. Try knitting the picked up bar the opposite from the way you were doing it, that should give you a nice even m1.
January 31, 2018 @ 9:17 pm
In tws mittens in row three of thumb gusset should it read m1L , knit to marker, m1R, SM, knit to end of round
The L and R are not printed
January 31, 2018 @ 11:31 pm
While I do prefer a paired increase, and usually use a bar increase, we think it’s knitters choice and don’t specify the type of make one, or the lean, in that scenario
Wee Heart Ornament -a pattern- – messyjoyhere
December 4, 2017 @ 9:53 am
[…] K Knit P Purl M1 Make 1 increase knit into the bar between stitches (Make 1 explanations here). KFB Knit in the front and back of the same stitch R Row Sl1 Slip 1 stitch T Turn SSK Slip Slip […]
December 2, 2017 @ 5:27 pm
This is my kind of explanation! So clear. Thank you. Onward to the fingerless mitts and matching hat!!
November 5, 2017 @ 10:28 pm
I’m knitting your Waves Mittens and wondering in the round which increase is best m1L or R? Thanks!
November 6, 2017 @ 10:41 am
For the gusset I personally like to do a m1l and then a m1r, but it’s totally knitters choice.
July 19, 2017 @ 3:01 pm
I’m knitting the harvest sweater, and is wondering on row 3 after the set up row, after you knit to first marker, it’s says k2, ml do you do a m1 left or right.. Thank you
July 21, 2017 @ 9:41 am
Hi Jocelyne – I do an m1R but it’s not really critical for that particular part
March 9, 2017 @ 6:13 pm
Hi, I would like some guidance please in relation to the front increases for the harvest cardigan.
When I knit, I do it knitting into the back leg which is closer to the point of my needle. And when I purl, I do it from the front, with the leg on front being closer to my knitting needle in both cases holding my yarn with my left hand.
I think my style of knitting is the uncrossed knit.
So, would I have to reverse between M1L & M1R for the fronts of the cardigan?
March 9, 2017 @ 10:52 pm
Hi Gina – I’m not sure, you would need to try them and see if you get a hole underneath the increase
February 20, 2017 @ 12:27 pm
So in creating a stitch for the purpose of leaning right or left only, say on a design for a knit cap, you would need to decrease were? After creating the stitch or before. I’m trying to create a Resistance pattern for my son’s knit beanie. Thank you in advance.
February 20, 2017 @ 11:10 pm
Hi Teresa – I’m sorry, I don’t know if I really understand the question. You are creating sts but there is a question about where to decrease? Maybe drop us an email and I’m sure we can figure it out.
February 18, 2017 @ 1:06 pm
January 21, 2017 @ 8:56 am
Thank you so much for your clear instructions for the M1R and M1L. More importantly, thanks for demystifying when your use each increase. I am making a poncho that does not specify which increase left or right, and your photo so clearly illustrates why I might want to use each. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You have made me such a happy knitter. :)
January 18, 2017 @ 10:43 pm
Hi,I am a beginner knitter, and I am having trouble understanding last part instructions for row 3,where it says knit to last stich, m1 , k1. If I knit to last stich, how do I do m1 if there is no bar to do M1 Thank you
January 19, 2017 @ 9:46 am
Hi Teresa- There will be one stitch left in the row so there will be a bar to pick up….
December 7, 2016 @ 8:33 am
Excellent explanation. I would always get confused about which one for which side. This certainly clears that confusion. Thanks for posting this.
Let’s Knit some super simple mittens | Tin Can Knits
December 1, 2016 @ 9:00 am
[…] To create this triangle of fabric we are going to work some increases. Some patterns specify which type of increase to use and some don’t, it is knitters choice. You can use any increase you like, for this pattern I am going to work some M1 (make 1) increases and to be a little extra fancy we are going to do paired increases, first an M1L and then a M1R (make 1 left and make 1 right). [check out the full tutorial on M1s here] […]
Sweater Techniques Series – Gramps Baby Cardigan – 3 / 6 : Top-Down Sweater Construction | Tin Can Knits
November 15, 2016 @ 2:10 pm
[…] you prefer! I, personally, use a paired bar increase and the instructions for those can be found here. Before the marker I work an m1R and after the marker I work an m1L, for the neckline increases I […]
October 21, 2016 @ 4:18 pm
pattern calls for k1,m1,*k2,ssk,k2tog,k2,m2, repeat from*to last 9 sts,then k2,ssk,k2tog,k2,M1,k1, I have tried for almost 8 months to work a gauge using 40 stiches but can’t hold each row to 40 stiches I lose 2 stitches on knit rows, rs and purl normal on ws can anyone help me.
October 23, 2016 @ 12:39 am
Hi – I’m sorry, I really tell what the problem is without reading the pattern, maybe try the designer? Or if it is one of ours which pattern is it?
September 27, 2014 @ 9:14 pm
You are a legend for helping me to understand how to do a M1 OR M1r OR M1L. Thank you so much, as I am a beginner and it’s hard to understand the pattern language.
Happy days! Margaret
Let’s Knit a Sweater | Tin Can Knits
September 7, 2014 @ 9:37 pm
[…] I will knit 14 sts, then make 1 stitch 4 times and I will have 60 […]
KAL – Starting at the top! | Sage Yarn
April 23, 2014 @ 8:55 am
[…] This raglan-sleeve cardigan is worked from the top-down. We are casting on at the neckline, a much smaller number of stitches than you would if you were casting on at the bottom. We’ll get “set up” and increase the number of stitches around the yoke until there are enough stitches to divide for the sleeves and body. For a raglan sleeve sweater, we mark 4 places around the circle to place our increases in those particular spots. When these increases are lined up, they form a nice raglan line from the neckline to the underarm, as if we had knit separate pieces and sewn them together. (If you’d like a quick tutorial on M1L and M1R – click here to visit Tin Can Knits.) […]
January 28, 2014 @ 5:36 am
As a left handed knitter I knit in the opposite direction…will that change the order in which you would recommend I do the m1r and m1l? I have always just resorted to using kfb but would like to learn these other increases as well. Thanks for all the awesome patterns and tutorials!
February 11, 2014 @ 8:37 pm
Just reverse the order, use an m1R where others would use an m1L and visa versa
January 21, 2014 @ 2:42 pm
This is SO CLEARLY explained ( and illustrated). Thank you!