A step-by-step tutorial on knitting m1pl. A simple left-leaning increase for the wrong side.
Does your pattern call for knitting a M1PL and you have no clue what it means or how to knit it. Then fear not, this tutorial will show you everything you need to know about this easy left-leaning increase.
M1PL stands for ‘make one purl left’ and it’s typically used on the wrong side. When you turn your work around, it will look exactly like a M1L. These two stitches are interchangeable. The corresponding right-leaning increase for the wrong side would be M1PR.
Let’s show you how to knit it!
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- Pick up the strand between two stitches coming from the front and lift it back to the left needle. The resulting loop should lean towards the left.
- Insert your right needle through the backloop of that extra loop. The working yarn should be in front of your work.
- Wrap the working yarn around your needle counter-clockwise.
- Pull the yarn through and drop the loop off your left needle to finish the M1PL.
It can be quite difficult to insert the needle into the backloop of that extra stitch. Using sharp needles and knitting very close to the tip of your needles will help a lot.
Where does the M1PL increase lean to?
You might know that almost all knitting increases lean towards one side. Either to the left or to the right. So, how about M1PL? Is it right- or left-slanting? Well, this question is actually a bit more difficult to answer.
Kindly take a look at the swatch above. I increased with M1PL on both sides (four stitches removed from the edge). And you can clearly see that it forms a more balanced and neater increase line on the left side. Hence, one could be inclined to call M1PL left-leaning.
On the right side, however, it is probably the left side that forms the neater decrease line as well. And that’s quite surprising as that’s not the same edge that would be my personal favorite on the wrong side.
Still, I don’t feel it’s all that clear as the right side seems to be a bit more compact. Here’s another swatch where I just placed a single increase in the center. And then it’s quite easy to determine that the additional stitch branches out to the left – i.e. it’s left-leaning.
But when stacked upon each other, the verdict is less clear. And that’s probably something you will notice as well. You do, however, need to realize that this will depend a lot on your technique and your individual knit and purl tension. That’s why I urge you to test things.
And I do feel this kind of behavior is very common for purl increases or purl decreases in general. Since I showed you both sides, I leave it up to you how you want to employ this increase. At the end of the day, it really boils down to personal preferences.