k1-b/r Increase

So I cast on for the beautiful Elizabeth cardigan (or Magic Sweater, as we've been calling it around the office) just the other night, and I couldn't be happier with the yarn and the pattern so far...

I got home, indulged myself in a delicious beer and got to knitting. It is worked from right cuff to left cuff, so you cast on anywhere between 41 and 47 stitches to start. Okay, one by one rib, that's easy enough. Then I got to the point where I begin increasing and noticed a notation I wasn't familiar with--k1-b/r. Huh? A flip to the back page of the book brought me to the Abbreviations section where that increase is explained this way:

Slightly twist work on LH needle towards you so that WS of work is visible. Insert RH needle from top down into next stitch on LH needle one row below. Knit this st then knit st of LH needle (1 st increased).I was a little baffled by this, so went to the Stitches section of the Classic Elite website, a page with photo tutorials of a wide range of techniques, from cabling to crochet and embroidery stitches to casting on. You'll find many of the techniques used in our patterns explained here, so when in doubt, refer to this page. The increase was explained a little more articulately and the question I was asking myself, "Why not just use a m1 increase?" was answered.

This is the abbreviation that we came up with to describe my favorite way to increase stitches without leaving a hole. It is worked by knitting into the stitch in the row below the next stitch on the needle and then knitting the stitch on the needle. Because you are knitting into a stitch and not pulling up a strand, as in a m1, the new stitch does not disrupt the tension of the previous row nearly as significantly. This increase is very easy to work and the new stitch fits in neatly and snuggly with the ones surrounding it.

Another thing that I love about this increase, when you work two k1-b/r next to each other, specifically when working raglan shaping, a neat straight line of slightly raised stitches is formed.

The pictures, though they were extremely useful, still didn't cement the deal for me and I found myself wishing for a video.

So I decided to make one! If you can excuse the absence of a manicure and questionable resolution of my digital camera, I hope you find it helpful. Let us know if you like to see techniques explained here on the blog!

Video no longer available. 


  1. Thanks for this quick vid. It does show the process of picking up that stitch in the row below. I am a visual person, so this helps.

  2. Okay - so I read the instructions - what? - maybe three times. Still stumped. Your video was *perfect* - thank you so much. I will know exactly what to do from now on with this! Hooray!

  3. Thanks for the "Elizabeth"cardi ... this Elizabeth would love to knit one ... but how do I find the pattern??????

    and YES ... once I get the pattern and start "Elizabeth"... I would like to SEE the techniques... I'm a visual learner.

    Looking forward to the next blog, Elizabeth

  4. Thanks for the tutorial, would like to see more techniques explained in the blog

  5. Elizabeth-
    The "Elizabeth" cardi is part of the CEY Liberty Wool pattern booklet. It's on classiceliteyarns.com here: http://www.classiceliteyarns.com/pattern_detail.php?patternID=107

  6. This tutorial is wonderful. I can't wait to put it into practice!

  7. Thanks for that tidbit. I may take out the work I have done on a cardigan that I just started. I wasn't very happy with the holes caused by the make 1 stitch increase I used. This will make it much more finished looking.

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

  8. I've ordered the booklet, but can't wait until it gets here to find out the answer to my question. :)

    How are the front sections attached (collar and front "bands") to the sweater? Please don't tell me that it's knitted separately and sewn to the sweater. (yikes!)

  9. Hello Anonymous Commenter! Bad news perhaps, but yes, the pattern is written with the collar knit separately and sewn to the body of the sweater. I can't speak for the designer, but the change in orientation of the stripes (and the stitches) is a beautiful detail in the finished sweater. The alternative, I suppose, would be to pick up the stitches along the sides and neck, which for me would be a less desirable option, and a lot more finicky work. You're inspiring me to do a mattress stitch video tutorial!

  10. wish i can be there to join in the fun, excitment and most of all the motivtation in knitting by meeting fellow knitters, exchange ideas and tips, and looking at the beautiful handknit FOs and not forgetting those lovely yummy...............YARNS !!

    thanks for this "east-to-understand" video, yes, i learn how to do it now :)

    i like the shortie cir needle, may i know what is the brand please.

    (i prefer to use cir ndl which is short and the cable is shorter than the 16" than dpns.



  11. The technique for this increase is great! The video was great and easier to learn than thru just words. I hope you put up more. I've been knitting and crocheting since I was in grade school, it's nice to learn something new that wont leave a hole like the M1 does.
    Thanks again and keep them coming.

  12. Thank you for providing both a more complete verbal description and the video. LIke the writer, I sat down last night with a glass of wine ready to knit and came across the k1-b/r and was puzzled. Knowing that I would get nowhere with trying to "make do" with a glass of wine nearby, I quiet rolled it up and waited till morning when a cup of coffee and the internet were better companions to learn a new stitch.
    I am so appreciative that you had this post for a new pattern and yarn. Good work!

  13. When doing a raglan increase ( 2increases ) is there a "left" and a "right" way ? Thanks !

  14. I'm almost certain this is the same as the on here called "Knit Right Loop".


    If that's the case then there is a mirror to it: Knit Left Loop.

  15. Thank you so much for your instructions. Please show the mattress stitch.

  16. Brilliant, thank you!

  17. Thanks for the video, it helped. Now I am having a problem with how to work the pattern after the first increase row. Is this the correct sequence? (for large sweater)
    Inc row (rs) K1 k1-b/r
    stst row 2 - 9
    row 10 increase & repeat twice
    row 11 stst
    row 12 increase & repeat 6 times
    then work stst until piece measures 18 inches.
    This really doesnt make alot of sense to me (new knitter)
    Any help would be appreciated.

  18. Thanks so much for this video - I've been doing it a different way and I have these ugly pulls and holes - my increases don't look at all like yours! I'm going to rip back and start again.

  19. Ahhh. It is so simple. Now I can go off with my new sweater pattern and have a fabulous time knitting and relaxing. Thanks!

  20. That video was instructional but I have a further question. Is the k1-r/b still the same when used without alternating rows, ie: every row. For me, it seems that if i work that increase for two or more rows in the same spot,
    raglan increasing, on the second increase (left side) there is a long "stitch"
    that keeps getting longer. Can this be avoided?

  21. This is so helpful, thank you for making this tutorial !!

  22. Thank yoooooooooou! This one was stitch abbreviation that I couldn't find very many videos for and yours is well done. Thanks again :D