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How to Become an "Expert Knitter"   *Buy this book on CD for offline reading!

table of contents Ľ chapter 11 (of 29)

11: Shaping (cont.)

Always balance the increases, even if the shaping is only at one end of a row. When the garment is joined, the shapings will always match in pairs. Whether the bar is balanced wonít matter as far as the shape is concerned, but it is important for the visual effect when the seams are joined [pic 11,12].

11: (left) The increases are not matching in position in relation to the seam.
12: (right) The increases have been balanced so the seam is perfectly matched.

If you have decided to increase one stitch in from each edge, increase into the first stitch at the start of the row, balancing that increase by working into the second last stitch at the end of the row.

The position of the bar is the same whether an increase has been worked knitwise or purlwise.


Another way to increase is often used in pattern stitches. Place the point of the needle under the thread connecting the stitch on the right needle to the stitch on the left needle, and then knit a stitch using this thread as the base [pic 13].

13: An increase worked using the connecting thread between two stitches as a base forms a large hole.

Increasing in this way will make a hole, which can be very decorative [pic 14].

14: The effect of an increase made with decorative holes.

You still need to balance or match the position of the hole, but you donít need to allow for an extra stitch at the end of the row, because no bars are formed by the increase.


Some knitters increase by knitting into the stitch below the row being knitted and then into the next stitch on the row being knitted. That makes a tight stitch and also forms a small hole, which can be treated as a decorative feature. This kind of increase doesnít work easily for balancing or pairing increase stitches, as the sloped stitch is always on the right hand side. Only use this increase if a pattern specifically suggests that this is the way to increase [pic 15].

15: An increase adding a stitch by knitting into the row below, then knitting the next stitch in the row.

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