Lifted increases (also called ‘raised increases’) are a great way to inconspicuously add stitches to your knitting. Unlike many other increase techniques – knit front & back, yarnovers, M1L & M1R – there is no bar, hole or twisted stitch to draw attention to itself. It elongates the stitch from the row below but nothing else. That’s why it’s the increase I recommend in my Astrophil patterns. Below are step-by-step photos for how to work lifted increases which will differ depending on whether you are working on the right or left side of a stitch.
The photo above demonstrates how they can be used to create a Raglan increase. Once you learn the basic idea there are several ways you can combine these increases together for decorative effect. I love to use these for double increases in my patterns so you can bet there will be another follow-up tutorial in the future! For now let’s look at how to do the single increase:
Adding a stitch to the right side:
Once you get to the spot where you want to insert a stitch, lift the right side of the stitch from the row below up onto the left needle. Work a normal knit stitch into this loop:
1. Catch the stitch that was worked on the row below (highlighted in green) by inserting the tip of the right needle from back to front.
2. Lift this stitch onto the left needle. It will be in the same orientation as the stitch next to it.
3. Knit into this stitch and move it to the right needle – the same way you would any normal stitch. You’ve finished creating the new stitch.
4. Now knit the original stitch of the current row. You can see how two stitches are now coming out of the original column of stitches.
Adding a stitch to the left side:
The left side is worked the same as the right side except you have to lift the stitch that is two stitches below. This is because as you work the original stitch and remove it to the right needle, the stitch that had previously been one row below is now two rows below:
1. Look for the stitch which is two rows below the stitch you just finished working. I’ve highlighted it in red in the photo below. The stitch highlighted in green is the stitch you would pick up if you were working from the right side – you can see how these two stitches (red and green) are on the same row.
2. To “lift” the stitch you are going to work into, take the tip of the left needle and catch it – from back to front – and keep it on the left needle. Insert your right needle into the lifted stitch in order to make the new stitch.
3. Bring the yarn around and through just as you would a normal knit stitch, and remove to the right needle. There are now two stitches coming out of the original single column of stitches.