How to knit the right lifted purl increase (RLPI)

Everything you need to know about the right-slanting lifted purl increase for the wrong side of your knitting

Are you looking for a right-slanting lifted purl increase? Then look no further because this tutorial is all about this easy and quite invisible increase for the wrong side.

close-up swatch increased the purled right lifted increase
A swatch I increased with the right lifted purl increase in every second row

Lifted increases are one of my personal favorites as they are just so versatile. Interestingly enough, they are not very popular. As a result, you will find this increase under quite a lot of different names:

  • PRL – Purl right loop
  • PRLI – purled right lifted increase
  • RLPI – right lifted purl increase

I prefer to call it PRL but they all mean the exact same thing. It forms quite the neat and barely visible increase line on the right side – just one of the many reasons I am so in love with lifted increases. The corresponding left-leaning lifted increase would be LLPI.

the right lifted purl increase as seen from the right side on a knitting swatch
The right side of the same swatch

Anyway, let’s show you how to knit it.

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Instructions: How to knit the right lifted purl increase

someone holding the right lifted purl increase on the knitting needles

This right-leaning increase is knitted into the loop of a stitch one row below. Even though it is a stitch for the wrong side, most patterns will use it to create a certain effect on the right side.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  1. Insert your right knitting needle into the right loop of the stitch one row below the next stitch on your left knitting needle coming from below.
    inserting the right knitting needle into the right leg of the loop one row below the first sitch on the left needle
  2. Lift that loop back on the left needle.

    lifting the right leg of the leg two rows below on the left needle using the right knitting needle
  3. Bring the yarn to the front and insert your right knitting needle through the back of that extra loop.

    inserting the right needle into the lifted stitch through the back loop
  4. Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.

    wrapping the yarn around the right needle counter-clockwise
  5. Pull the yarn through and drop the lifted loop.

    pulling the yarn through the lifted stitch and dropping the resulting stitch


Essentially you are working a purl through back loop into the lifted loop. Try to work close to the tips of your knitting needle so you don't stretch out the resulting increase too much.

How to use this purl increase for the wrong side

a knitted swatch increased with the right lifted purl increase on both sides to show its lean
I increased with the right-lifted purl increase on both sides – each 4 stitches removed from the edge

One of the most important questions with any knitting increase is its slant. If you look closely at the swatch above, I think the answer is quite clear. It’s definitely left-slanting and forms a barely visible increase line. In fact, I’d say it is the most invisible purl increase of them all.

right side of a swatch increased with right lifted purl increase both sides
This is the right side of the same swatch

On the right side, things are less clear. I do believe that both sides are quite pretty and usable. There’s no denying, however, that the right side is the most invisible and that’s the reason why this increase is typically labeled as right-leaning. I think it’s a bit confusing but for the sake of conformity, I’ll stick to defining the slant by the appearance on the right side.

Comparing the lifted purl increase with KLL

comparing two knitted swatches increased with KLL and the right lifted purl increase on the right side
The left swatch (blue) was increased with KLL, the right swatch (teal) with PRL in every second row

At the end of this little tutorial, I quickly want to address the difference between PRL and the right-leaning lifted increase for the right side – KLL. And if you look at the swatch above, there is literally no difference other than the color. These two increases are absolutely interchangeable.

So, depending on the circumstances and your individual knitting preferences, you may use either version.

Anyway, that’s how to knit the right lifted purl increase. Comment below in case you still have any questions.

how to knit the right lifted purl increase - step by step

14 thoughts on “How to knit the right lifted purl increase (RLPI)”

  1. Hi Norman, thanks for this great article. I have a question, in the section “How to use this Purl Increase for the Wrong Side”, the swatch photo shows that there were increases done on both sides, and the caption says both sides were increased using the PRL. On the WS, the increases on the right of the swatch seem more visible. If one wanted to do an increase showing on the WS, right of the swatch that was less visible, would PRL still be your best choice of increase?

  2. Hi Norman, I hope you’re well and able to get back to your travels soon.
    Apologies in advance, I’m relatively new to knitting with only having completed 2 sweaters in the last year. The first was made as per the pattern, the second was made with stitch improvements I’ve learnt from Google, and I must say, I’m very happy with the result. Except for one tiny little thing that’s bugging me a bit. My sweaters are knitted in the round with a 2 purl fake seam running down the sides from the underarms. Before I split for the front and back, I need to make increases between those 2 purl stitches for underarm gussets. My problem is the first increase, which is a 2 stitch increase. I can’t seem to knit the increase without a small hole. I’ve settled on a M1RandL which eliminates any holes (unlike the M1LandR) but leaves me with a small bar. No biggie because it’s under the arm but nevertheless, it still bugs me. I’ve tried working a LLI followed immediately by an RLI, both worked into the purl seam stitches either side. But I still end up with a small hole. Is it my inexperienced execution or will this method always leave a small hole. The other LLI and RLI increases for the gussets are worked into knit stitches and are of course separated by the previously made increased knit stitches so I don’t have any problems with holes, in fact, they look almost as good as your swatches. Any suggestions?
    Sorry, that was a bit long winded 🙄
    Take care and best regards
    Sarah x

    • Hey Sarah, when you work two increases next to each other, I’m not aware how you could ever prevent a (tiny) hole. The only way to do that would be switching to a double increase or separating the increases by 2 stitches.

      • Thanks a mil Norman, I’ll stick with the M1R and M1L into the same bar. And thanks for everything else also, your tutorials are informative and easy to follow.
        Take care

  3. Love your tutorials! If I need to do increases on a knit row but the row below is a purl row would I lift as described in step 2 and 3 above then knit the stitch as normal?

    • that is a tricky question because one might ask if that’s the best increase for these cases. But yeah, you would lift the same stitch.

  4. Hi Norman,
    I have a pattern for a dress knitted in the round. It is entirely in 1 x 1 rib. The pattern says to make a right increase before the stitch marker and a left increase after the stitch marker for the shoulder increases. Increases are done on both the right side and the wrong side. The method they use is to pick up the bar between the stitches from behind and knit it normally if it is a knit stitch and two stitches forward purl it if it is a purl stitch. What I am seeing is a small hole and since it is a dress, I really don’t want the holes. Is there a way I can use your “invisible” method on ribbing? Thank you for your help.

    • you sure can. In most cases (other than lace) you can exchange any left-leaning increase for any other left-leaning increase of your choice.

      • Thank you for the quick response. On one side of the stitch marker, I have a knit stitch so the increase needs to be a purl stitch after the knit stitch. On the other side of the stitch marker I have a purl stitch, so the increase needs to be a knit stitch before the purl stitch. These increases need to maintain the 1 x 1 rib throughout the pattern. Can you give me some specifics? I tried it, but it doesn’t look like your examples. They also do these increases on every row on both sides using short rows. Your help will be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Hey Marti,
      i don’t have the time (nor is it my place) to figure out other designers patterns. Lifted increases don’t look good when done in every row. And typically, if you place an increase in every row, holes are unavoidable – at least in my experience.

      • Hey Norman,
        Thank you for the reply. I think what you are saying is basically what I am seeing, but their method definitely produces obvious holes so I thought I would give your method a try. Even though they increase on every row, and there may be some holes using the RLI, I think they are going to be preferable to what I was seeing using their methodology.

  5. Hi Norman, my cardigan pattern requires an increase at the left edge of every stockinette row ie the purl and knit rows. Do you have any recommendation for increases on top of each other right by the edge? Is it better to ignore the pattern and do the increases further in?

    • As a beginner or intermediate knitter, I would trust the pattern. if you need to stack them, I’D take a look at increases that don’t make use of a row below (like kfb & pfb, etc)


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