M1R and M1L are two popular knitting increases that are often seen in knitting patterns, both one by one and as a pair.

These increases mirror each other. They look almost the same but lean in different directions, and that’s why they are often used in pairs.


You can use them for functional details like raglan increases when knitting a top-down sweater or use them together with decreases to knit intricate texture patterns.

No matter what you want to use them for, they are a must-have in your knitting stitch arsenal!

This is how to make an M1R

M1R is short for Make 1 Right, or increase one stitch that leans to the right.

Knit up to the place where you want to add a stitch.

Use your left needle to pick up the bar between the stitches from behind the work.

Insert your right needle into the bar you just picked knitwise.

Wrap the yarn around the needle as usual and finish knitting the stitch.

And this is what it looks like when it’s done!

How to knit an M1L

And now let’s knit the M1R’s mirrored increase M1L, or Make 1 Left. To speak clearly: we’re going to increase one stitch that leans to the left.

Knit up to the point where you wish to add a stitch.

Use your left needle to pick up the bar between the stitches from the front of the work.

Insert your right needle into the back leg of the bar, just like when you knit a stitch through the back loop or back leg.

Wrap the yarn around your needle and finish knitting the stitch.

And this is what it looks like when you’re done!

How M1R and M1L look used in pairs

It’s kind of cool how these increases make the stitches go in different directions when you make them on top of each other on several rows. For example like I did in this swatch.

On this swatch, I started with an uneven number of stitches and marked out the middle stitch. Then I increased two stitches on every right side row.

Before the middle stitch, I made an M1R, then knitted the middle stitch and made an M1L directly after. All wrong side rows were only purl stitches.

Your next read:
––> M1R & M1L: How to remember which is which
––> Determine the leaning direction of knitting decreases
––> Knitting abbreviations (+ free cheat sheet!)