A step-by-step tutorial on knitting the M2 double increase and all its useful variations.
Are you currently knitting a project that requires you to Make Two? But you have no clue how to knit it? Or do you simply want to expand your knitting skills? Then you came to the right place. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to knit the double increase step by step. It is often used in the center of shawls and lace patterns.
You knit make two in a very similar way as M1L and M1R. So, if you already know these you’ll learn this knitting increase in no time. There are quite a couple of variations around. I’ll show you the most common way to knit it and a couple of alternatives you definitely should consider.
ⓘ In knitting patterns, you’ll often find the abbreviation M2 for make two. Sometimes it also says Double Increase. While there are many other double increases (like kfbf, etc), then make two will be a good guess for all occasions. Here’s a tutorial for the central double increase which looks pretty similar.
Note: Explore my fee knitting school to find all my other knitting stitch tutorials
Make two is knit from the strand connecting two stitches. That means, you need at least one stitch to either side of the increase and you can’t use it on the edge (like the M1BL).
Step 1: Pick up the strand connecting two stitches with your left needle from the front. It should lean towards the left.
Step 2: Knit that loop through the back loop (here’s my ktbl tutorial in case you need to catch up).
Step 3: Now, pick up the connecting strand again just the way you did before.
Step 4: And knit it through the back loop once more.
From here, continue knitting according to your pattern.
The final increase will show a little eyelet in the center.
Note: You can also knit two M1Rs into the same stitch if that’s easier to knit for you. In this case, you’ll create almost the same structure. The stitches will appear mirrored.
M2 Left and Right
My problem with the standard M2 technique is not the eyelet. That can actually look quite beautiful as a centerline for a shawl. My problem is the two asymmetrical stitches to either side of the increase. I personally feel it looks pretty lopsided. The good news: There’s an easy way to prevent that and I call this technique “Make two left and right”.
Instead of knitting what is essentially a M1L twice into the same strand, I propose to knit a M1L and M1R instead.
Step 1: Pick up the strand connecting two stitches with your left needle from the front.
Step 2: Knit through the back loop (until here, everything remains the same).
Step 3: Pick up the same strand again, but this time from the back so it leans towards the right.
Step 4: Knit it through the front loop (use your left needle to loosen up the loop a bit so it’s easier to knit).
So, it’s front-back, back-front.
M2 Right and Left
You can also do it the other way round. So, you start with a M1R followed by a M1L (so just switch steps 1+2 and 3+4 from above). That way, you create a double increase with a little wrap around the center. This is certainly quite a bit more ornamental but it can look stellar with the right kind of design.
And here’s the last important variations of the Make two double increase you should know. Instead of dropping the strand after you knit it through the back loop, you keep it on the left needle and knit the front loop. So, if you know how to knit a KFB, this is will be easy.
Step 1: Lift the left strand connecting two stitches on your needle from the front
Step 2: Ktbl and keep the strand on the left needle. Don’t drop it like you usually would after you knit
Step 3: Knit once more through the front loop.
This double increase will be easier to knit as you don’t have to pick up the strand twice. It doesn’t create as big an eyelet either. But, to be quite honest, I personally don’t think it looks all that good. I’m sure there are some fun applications, but it doesn’t really convince me.
Obviously, you could also knit front and back into the loop, in this case, you’d have to pick up the strand from behind. If you pick it up from the front and knit front and back, this increase will look a bit smoother, but there will be an eyelet. So, a couple of different options, but none of them ideal in my opinion and I like picking up the strand twice better.
3 thoughts on “How to knit the make two (M2) double increase”
Hello! Thank you so much for the helpful instructions. Do these increases also work when you’re using garter stitch instead of stockinette, and if so, do they produce the same effect? I want to knit a shawl that calls for YO, K1, YO up the center spine to increase but I don’t want the eyelet holes, so I’m looking for a way to do a double increase that’s more invisible, but the shawl is in garter stitch so I don’t know how these would turn out.
Well..here’s one problem to consider really. A yarn over is created from the working yarn while M1l or KLL is knit from the strand below. these two decrease shorten the fabric while a YO elongates it. And if you stack a lot of these decreases on top of each other this will become noticeable. So, depending on your pattern maybe increasing with a backwardloop increase instead might be a better option.
Thank you! I’ll try knitting a swatch with a backward loop increase and see how it looks 🙂