How to knit M1PL – Make One Purl Left

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.

close-up of a knitted swatch increased with m1pl on the right side
A swatch increased with M1PL on the wrong side.

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.

right side of a knitted swatch increased with m1pl
The right side of the same swatch

Let’s show you how to knit it!

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How to knit M1PL

a swatch increased with m1pl on the wrong side

Make One Purl Left is knitted into the strand between two stitches - typically on the wrong (purl) side. As a result, it cannot be performed as the last or first stitch of a row. Here's how to knit it.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  1. 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.

    pickung up the strand between two stitches coming from the front
  2. Insert your right needle through the backloop of that extra loop. The working yarn should be in front of your work.

    inserting the right needle through the back loop of the etra loop
  3. Wrap the working yarn around your needle counter-clockwise.

    wrapping the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise
  4. Pull the yarn through and drop the loop off your left needle to finish the M1PL.

    pulling the yarn through and dropping the stitch off the needles


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.

wrong side of a swatch increased with m1pl on both sides to see in which direction it leans
I increased this watch with M1PL four stitches removed from the left and the right side each.

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.

the right side of a knitted swatch increased with m1pl on both sides
This is the right side of the very same swatch

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.

a single m1pl increase in the middle of a swatch knitted in stockinette stitch
In the red circle: A single m1pl increase

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.

Anyway, that’s how to do m1pl in knitting. Comment below in case you still have any questions

how to knit m1pl - make one purl left knitting increase

4 thoughts on “How to knit M1PL – Make One Purl Left”

  1. norman – this is absolutely the best m1PL explanation I’ve seen. I’ve struggled with this increase for years. thanks for making it crystal clear

  2. Hi Norman. I have a question about the M1Lp stitch. Some patterns, such as those by Petite Knit and Purl Soho, have you pick up the bar from back to front and purl through the front. For the M1Rp, you pick up the bar from front to back and purl through the back. Opposite of the M1s on the knit side. Help!?

    • I am not sure I understand your question. But basically, this is a very uncommon increase. And I think what is happening here: Some use this increase for the wrong side and other for the right side.
      So for me, it’s M1P left, because it’S left-leaning on the right side.
      But if you go by the way you pick up the stitch, then you’d call it M1Pr.
      And if you look around the internet, you will find both versions with the same name. yeah, it’S kinda confusing.

  3. I only needed to look at the first two steps because you highlighted something in a way that no one else has.
    “ The resulting loop should lean towards the left. ” Now I don’t have to look up m1r every time I have to make one.
    Thank you!


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