How to knit m1

A step-by-step tutorial showing you how to increase with m1 in knitting for beginners

You just started knitting and now your pattern tells you to “m1”? And you have no clue what it means and how to knit it? Well, then you came to the right place because in this tutorial I will be showing you everything you need to know about this super simple stitch.

close up of the m1 knitting increase in green yarn

What is m1?

M1 stands for make one. It’s the abbreviation for the simplest increase in knitting. By following the instructions, you can increase your stitch count by one and this will make your project get wider. Often, it appears in the context of M1R or M1L – Make one right or Make one left. In some (older) patterns, the abbreviation is also used to indicate just any knitting increase. It’s a different way to say “create one new stitch”

Let’s show you how to knit it!

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Instructions: How to knit m1

Instructions: How to knit m1

side view of the make one knitting increase shown on a swatch

Make one is worked through the bar or strand that connects two stitches. As a result, you cannot knit it at the very beginning or end of a row.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute

Instructions

  1. Knit up to the position where you want to increase.

    knit up to the position where you want to place the increase
  2. Pull your two needles apart a bit. You should be able to see a little strand connecting the two stitches one row below.

    finding the strand between the two stitches
  3. Lift that strand back to your left needle coming in from the front.

    lifting the strand between the two stitches back to the knitting needle coming in from the front
  4. Insert your left needle into the loop you just lifted coming in from the front.

    inserting the needle from left to right
  5. Wrap the working yarn around the needle counter-clockwise

    wrapping the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise
  6. And pull the yarn through.

    pulling the yarn through
  7. Drop the resulting stitch off the left needle. There is your m1.

    someone showing how to knit m1 - make one left

Notes

This is the most simple form of this increase. It will result in a visible eyelet or hole as you knit across.

Typically, when patterns want you to "make one" they actually refer to M1R or M1L. These are a bit more complicated to perform (see below). However, especially when it comes to older patterns, the instructions are precisely what you need to perform and it is important to note that M1 and M1L are actually two distinct (but related) stitches!

Once you knitted across a couple of rows the classic m1 stitch and a yarn over increase have the same structural result. The difference is that a m1 will be a bit tighter as you don’t add any extra slack by wrapping the strand around the needle.

In both cases, the result will be an eyelet and that may or may not be what you are looking for. Hence, smart knitters invented a way to prevent this by adjusting the instructions a tiny bit. These variations are known as Make One Right (M1R) and Make one Left (M1L). They are so-called directional increases. When you stack them upon each other in consecutive rows, you will create an increase line that either leans to the left or to the right.

close-up of a knitted swatch increased with m1r and m1l on the left and the right side
A swatch increases with M1L on the right side and M1R on the left side

How to M1L

If your pattern requires a right-leaning increase, you have to knit Make one Let. Here’s how you need to adjust the instructions from above:

Step 1: Lift the strand between two stitches back to the left needle coming in from the front.

picking up the strand so it leans towards the left

Step 2: Insert your right needle into the back loop of the lifted stitch.

entering the picked up loop through the back loop

Step 3: Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.

wrapping the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise

Step 4: Pull the yarn through, and drop the stitch off the needles.

pullinging the yarn through and dropping the stitch off the needles to finish M1L

It’s actually quite easy to remember: Make one Left = left-leaning = pick up the strand so it leans towards the left.

How to M1R

Whenever you need a right-leaning increase, you have to knit Make one Right. It’s almost as simple:

Step 1: Lift the strand between two stitches back to your left needle coming in from behind.

lifting the strand between two stitches coming in from behind

Step 2: Insert your right needle through the loop you lifted back to your knitting needle from left to right (so through the front).

entering the front loop from left to right

Step 3: Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.

wrapping the yarn around the left needle counter-clockwise

Step 4: Pull the working yarn through and drop the stitch off the left needle.

someone showing how to knit a m1r - make one right

M1R is just as easy to remember: Make one right = right-leaning = pick up the strand so it leans towards the right. In both cases, you have to knit the strand twisted. Basically, you have to go in from the more difficult side. If you knit it and you see the lifted strand forming a big eyelet below, you know you did it the wrong way.

Difference between M1L and M1R

someone showing how to knit m1r and m1l with a swatch

The swatch above shows you the two stitches side by side. As you can see, they look slightly different and can be used depending on your preferences and the pattern you are using. Typically, you will use M1L on the right side of the project and M1R on the left side.

The standard M1 is slightly left-leaning but can be used anywhere in your knitting. Typically lace patterns that want to achieve a more condensed mesh-like appearance will use it.

Further tips, tricks, and FAQ

I end up with visible holes and eyelets despite twisting the stitches. What can I do?

Try to work as closely to the tip of the needle as possible. Also, if you pull the stitch too tight, you might actually make things worse as the surrounding stitches will be super small while the strand you lifted back to the needle stole yarn from the adjacent stitches and will appear to be much looser.

Ultimately, make one is a stitch that will always create a little eyelet. Consider using a lifted increase instead.

What happens if I need to m1 in a purl row?

wrong side of a swatch increased with m1pl on both sides to see in which direction it leans

There is a version of M1 for the purlside as well. It’s called Make one purl left (M1PL) and Make one purl right (M1PR) respectively. When you use these stitches on the wrong side, they will look exactly as M1L & M1R on the right side.

My pattern only says M1. Do I use M1R or M1l?

This is entirely up to your preferences. If you look at the swatched throughout this tutorial, you will get a good impressions how the different variations appear in your knitted fabric. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to use these stitches. It will depend on your preferences.

But as a rule of thumb, you use a left-leaning decrease on the right edge and a right-leaning increase on the left side.

Anyway, that’s how to m1 in knitting. Comment below in case you have any questions

how to knit m1 - make one tutorial for beginners

1 thought on “How to knit m1”

  1. Hello Norman!
    You are a joy and I am so grateful to have found your tutorials. Your positive, “never give up” encouraging message is needed in today’s world.
    Thank you for all of your hard work. If anyone can teach me how to read a graph pattern, it will be you!
    Sending a hug from Canada
    Lori

    Reply

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