The M1R and M1L (make 1 right and make 1 left) are often seen in knitting patterns. They lean in different directions and are often worked in pairs, for example in raglan increases.

Leaning increases are of course used for increasing the number of knitting stitches, but they are also used to make textured patterns and lines in knitting. When using them for these kinds of patterns it’s crucial to use the right one for the leaning increases. Otherwise, the pattern will be messed up!


If you’re not familiar with the M1L and M1R increases, I suggest that you check this tutorial out first and come back again. This post will make a lot more sense after learning about the increases!

The needle tip will point you in the right direction

When knitting the M1L and M1R increases the tip of your working needle will point you in the right direction.

The working needle would be the righthand needle if you knit righthanded and the lefthand needle if you knit lefthanded.

The increase will lean in the same direction as your needle tip is pointing when inserting it into the loop to make the increase.

This is how my knitting needle tip points when making an M1R. As you can see my working needle (the right one) is pointing to the right side so I know the increase will do to.

And this is how it looks like when I make an M1L, the tip of my working needle points to the left. And so will the increase.

Simple right? I just love discovering these small things that make my knitting life smoother! And hey, it works for decreases too!

Your next read:
––> How to knit M1L and M1R
––> Tips for knitting leaning decreases
––> Best journals for knitters!