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How to Increase Stitches

By: M. E. Harrington, contributor for AllFreeKnitting

As you get better at knitting and take on more complicated patterns, you're going to have to know how to increase stitches. Decreasing and increasing stitches allows you to shape a garment, such as a sweater or knit top pattern. Learn how to increase stitches with this picture tutorial by M. E. Harrington. This helpful article will teach you two different methods for increasing stitches - the make one method and the knit one method.

BONUS! Be sure to check out our article discussing Beginning Knitting Supllies: The Ultimate Knitting Tools List to learn what you need in your knitting kit.

Make One Method:

  1. One method is to make an extra stitch between two existing stitches.  To do this, pick up the yarn between two stitches with the tip of the knitting needle in your right hand.

  2. Place it on the left hand needle.

  3. Then knit, (or purl) into the new stitch which has been added on.

  4. You now have an additional stitch.

Knit One Method:


  1. To knit an increase in stitches, first knit into the front of the stitch in the usual manner. (If you are increasing on a purl row, purl into front of the stitch.)

  2. Before slipping the stitch off the needle, knit into the back side of the stitch.

  3. You will now have 2 two stitches, where there was one before.


For more beginner tips and tutorials, check out our free eBook: Knitting for Beginners: 9 Free Tutorials.


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When knitting with circular needles, there is no separation or opening of the yarn as you knit, How can an afghan be made? It seems to be tubular!

Hi angel1of10 4459920, While circular needles are great for tubular projects such as socks, sleeves, and hats, they can also be used as straight needles. Circular needles are perfect for larger projects like afghans because they allow for more stitches to be held on your needles. Hope this helps! -Editors of AllFreeKnitting

How can I compute to increase 32 stitche to get 51

Needed help with increasing stitches you helped me alot, Thank You

Thank you! I always wait for my mom to cast on for me. I did it! Yeah! Your pictures were great. I know I'll still "let" her cast on for me though.


Very helpful! Thanks!


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