Sunday Stitch – Three Ways to Make One in Your Knitting


 If I already know how to yarn over and how to knit front&back, why do I need to learn the Make Ones? Why can’t I just do what I already know?

This pattern calls for lifted bar increases. Is that a Make One? They why don’t they just say “make one”?

It just says to M1. It doesn’t say M1R or M1L. So which do I do and why doesn’t it say that???

In my experience the Make One increase can cause confusion, annoyance, and very dark frowns.

Being the hapless knitting teacher, I have at times been called to answer for this. I used to try and defend the knitting gods and their shortcomings. Yeah, that was a mistake. Now I just try and get through it a quickly as possible while taking no responsibility for the fact that knitting instructions are often sad and incomplete, and as frustrating as a how-to guide on changing the time setting in your car.

These days my replies go about like this:

Yarn overs leave a big hole. Knit front&back leaves (almost) no hole at all. Make Ones leave a hole that is somewhere in between. Sometimes you want that. No really, you do.

There are three ways to Make One and two of those involve lifting the horizontal bar between stitches. One does not. They are saying to do the kind of Make Ones where you lift the bar. Yes, it should probably just say that. Yes we should send the author an email. Yes, I’m sure she/he would find that very helpful.

If it doesn’t say R/L (right/left) then you can do whatever you want! But that is always true in knitting since its just yarn and you can always deviate from a pattern and do whatever you wa… Okay. Sorry. Never mind. Yes, we have to follow rules and patterns and white lines at all times or the world will descend into utter chaos. Lets do the backwards e-loop Make One since its neither right nor left.

Then I demonstrate one or more of the three ways to do a Make One increase.


Personally I use the backward e-loop Make One if I can get away with it. Its easy and fast. I vaguely recall a segment of Knitting Around with Elizabeth Zimmermann where she explains that the backwards e-loop is her favorite increase, the only one you really need, and you have her permission to just forget the others.

You have my permission too… if that matters.


I have more free knitting tutorials, if you like that sort of thing. I have some for crocheters and for handspinners too.



Print Friendly

Related Content


"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen

11 Comments on "Sunday Stitch – Three Ways to Make One in Your Knitting"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Kris Paige

I guess I’m a bit of a rebel…I learned, somewhere, to pick up the stitch below the row, and essentially knit into the loop of the row below. I use K1 f&b for increases on edges, where I can hide that silly bar when I do the edging, or bury it with color. My grandmother refused to allow me to learn backward loop, calling it “lazy”. Then again, I wore a suit she knit for my mother’s graduation to was knit on size 00. Sigh


Your grandmother sounds like a bada$$ knitter! That must have been some suit and I hope you still have it.

Btw, you can try the backwards e-loop if you want…. we will never tell on you… its safe….


As usual, you provide very clear directions and explanations. I’m learning a lot from and enjoying your blogs.


Thank-you! That’s just the kind of feedback that keeps me going. 🙂


Thanks for the tip. As always they are very helpful.
BTW, I like the new look to your blog.


Thanks! The video-tips-posts are a breeze compared to coming up with a new web page design. Jeez that just about wiped me out and fried my brain.

I have to go knit and recover my sanity I think.


OMG I have been doing my m1rs as m1ls, and my m1ls completely wrong! No wonder they were so freaking hard! I love the e-loop and I will definitely have to try that one! Also I love the new layout, it looks great!


Then I’m glad to have helped! Yes, try that backwards e-loop and I betcha you’ll be happy. If it was good enough for Dame Zimmermann its probably good enough for the rest of us. :0)

You like the layout? Oh good. Change makes me nervous and anxious and I’d rather hide under the bed with Cowardly Boy Cat than face it. But it had to be done… and I hope it doesn’t have to done again any time soon!


Enjoy your site. Great teacher! What is the difference between make ones and purl/knit into front and back of same stitch. I mean why is it used …it’s not the easier of the options like the make ones?

Hey Juile. I think I answered this on another comment page. I’m going to copy/paste that here: “Now about that other increase stitch: Is it referred to a “kfb” or kf&b” or possibly “pfb”? Those “knit into the front and then into the back of the same stitch are sued by designers for a couple of different reasons. 1) kfb/pfb are more widely known and used than make ones. If you need or want to keep a pattern simple and easy (some publications want all beginner/easy lvl patterns) then you stay away from make ones. 2) kfb/pfb are nearly invisible… Read more »