Looking for a knitted increase that’s nearly invisible? Try the Left and Right Lifted Increases! This photo and video tutorial will show you how.
Have you ever been shaping a project with increases, and wished the increases could blend into the fabric more?
Most increase stitches create some kind of raised bump or other blemish in the fabric. These increase marks are sometimes used decoratively when they all line up, but most of the time, I prefer not to see my increases in the work.
Well, this increase method is nearly invisible. Not in the sense that you could never, ever see it, but in that it blends with the fabric very well. It just looks like there are new stitches coming out of the other stitches, but with no bumps or other marks.
The lifted increase creates a new stitch from the stitch below, by lifting it up onto the needle and knitting into it. As long as you understand the basic structure of the knitted fabric, this increase is not hard to work.
How to Knit a Lifted Increase
The Lifted Increase is one of my favorite increase methods for knitting. It blends into the knitted fabric nicely, without any bumps, and lays flat. The lifted increases are great for shaping a top-down raglan sweater, because the technique gives a clean, simple look.
As with most increases, the lifted increases are directional. This means that the increased stitch will either slant to the right or to the left. Therefore, many increases have a right-leaning and a left-leaning version, which are often used together to create mirror-image shaping.
The lifted increases are great for shaping a top-down raglan sweater, because it gives a clean, simple look to the raglan lines. For this tutorial, I’ve swatched a mock-up of the type of raglan line shaping that would normally be used in a sweater. One stitch is increased on either side of the stitch marker on every other row / round.
The lifted increases are also known as “raised increases”. If you are not familiar with the structure of the fabric, and have a hard time knowing which “leg” of the stitch to pick up, this post and this post might help explain that.
Right Lifted Increase
Knit according to your pattern until you have reached the stitch in which you are instructed to work an increase. With the right needle tip, reach down and pick up the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on your left needle. (This strand is marked in photo #1 with a red line.)
Lift that stitch up and place it on the left needle (see photo #2).
Knit the lifted stitch as normal and slide it off of the left needle, leaving the original stitch on the left needle (see photo #3).
Knit the original stitch as normal. This adds one stitch, which appears to come out of the right side of the original stitch column.
Left Lifted Increase
Knit according to your pattern until you have reached the stitch in which you are instructed to work an increase.
Knit the stitch as normal. With the left needle tip, reach down and pick up the left leg of the stitch 2 rows below the next stitch on your left needle. (This strand is marked in photo #1 with a red line.)
Lift that stitch up with the left needle (see photo #2).
Knit the lifted stitch and slide it off of the left needle (see photo #3). If you pick up the stitch as shown, you’ll need to knit the stitch through the back loop, inserting the right needle in front of the back leg of the stitch. If you pick up the stitch so it sits on the needle normally, and the right leg of the stitch is in front, you can knit into the front leg of the stitch as normal. This adds one stitch, which appears to come out of the left side of the original stitch column.
In my mock-up swatch of this raglan shaping, the lifted increases create a clean line, without any bumps or marks in the fabric. It just looks like the new stitches are coming out of the other stitches seamlessly.
Watch the video tutorial below for a visual demonstration of the Left and Right Lifted Increases:
If you like to knit items with increase shaping, you’ll definitely want to give lifted increases a try. These increases can totally change the look of your project!
What’s your favorite increase method?