The knit right loop increase – KRL

A step by step tutorial on how to knit KRL . A super invisible left-leaning knitting increase.

Does your pattern require you to do a “knit right loop increase” and you have no clue how to knit it? Then you came to the right place.

close-up of a swatch with a right loop increase
A swatch where I increased with KRL on the left side every 2nd row

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you step by step how to knit this rare left-leaning knitting increase. Especially for stockinette stitch, it’s a particular inconspicuous and almost invisible increase. It forms a pair with KLL, knit left loop and I prefer it to other left-slanting increases (like the backward loop increase). The corresponding increase for the purl side is PLL.

A close-up of a swatch with a right loop increase in contrasting yarn
The right loop increase with a contrasting yarn.

ⓘ In knitting patterns, knit right loop is usually abbreviated with KRL. Sometimes it is also called right lifted increase or RLI and it’s one of 4 lifted increases.


Note: I am using a red contrasting yarn for instructional purposes only.

Preparation: KRL is always performed before a stitch. So, you can’t use it on the left edge of a project.

preparing for the a krl increase

Step 1: Insert the right needle into the right leg of the loop of the stitch one row below the first stitch on your working needle from behind (This sounds very complicated, I know. So, look at the picture below).

insert the left needle into the stitch one row below from behind

Step 2: Slip this stitch on your working needle.

lift the stitch one row below on the left needle

Step 3: Knit this stitch as normal

knit the lifted stitch as normal

Step 4: Knit the next stitch and continue knitting according to your pattern.

the resulting krl increase on the left needle
The resulting KRL increase on your needles

Note: KRL is a fairly invisible increase when it’s all by itself. If you are increasing at the same position every row, even KRL gets pretty visible. So, try to space them out a bit.

The only downside of the KRL increase is that it tends to create a little gap/eyelet. Normally it’s not visible (certainly not as extreme as a M1L or a yarn over), but you’ll see it when you stretch the fabric. You can also knit the lifted stitch (step 2) through the back loop. This helps closing potential gaps, but the increase will be quite a bit more visible then.

A sample swatch with kll and krl knitting increases
A swatch where I increased with KRL on the left side in every 3rd row, but knitted the lifted stitch through the back loop

One other problem with the KRL is that you’ll find it’s almost impossible to knit with very fuzzy yarn (like mohair) or yarn with threads that easily split. Knit front slip back (KFSB) will be a viable alternative then.

I hope I was able to show you how to knit the right loop increase. Make sure to comment with your questions or any problems!

How to knit the right loop increase (krl)

6 thoughts on “The knit right loop increase – KRL”

  1. Oh how I wish I’d had this little tutorial 30 years ago! This was the very first increase I learned when I decided to knit something other than scarves. I learned it from an illustrated booklet that left a lot to be desired. This is MUCH easier to understand.

    • I’D argue it’s exactly the opposite but preferences differ. I wouldn’t use m1l and m1r anymore if my life depended on it, lol ^^


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