How to M1L and M1R and remember which is which!!

How to Make 1 Left (M1L) and Make 1 Right (M1R)

I’m going to show you how to M1L and M1R.  These are increases made on the knitted side of your work.  Not sure what I mean by “knitted side”? check out this post here

To make a M1L or a M1R, you will use this “bar” between two stitches.  It effectively adds a stitch by knitting this “bar” as if it was a stitch.


Step 1 in either a M1L or M1R is to pick this “bar” up. Whether you pick up from the front or the back will determine whether the stitch “leans” to the left or to the right.

How to Make 1 Left (M1L)

So here are the steps for how to M1L…



How to Make 1 Right (M1R)

Now I’ve shown you how to M1L, here are the steps for making a M1R…



How to remember whether it is a M1L or M1R

Now I’ve shown you how to M1L and a M1R. If you’re anything like me, you’ll forget this tutorial, come to a pattern, it will say M1L or M1R and you’ll think….gah! I can’t remember which is which!!!

So, here are two ways I use to remember which is which:

  • The first one is that you make a M1R by picking up from the REAR (Right / Rear).
  • The other way is by looking at the “bar” you have picked up. 

In a M1R , the bar will lean to the right…

In a M1L it will lean to the left (see picture below for M1L! 🙂 )


I hope that this helps you remember how to M1L and a M1R!! 🙂


17 Responses

  1. Thanks for the helpful tips. I used to always get them mixed up until I heard Stephen West use these cute little phrases to remember which is which:

    I’ll be “right back” = M1R


    I “left” the “front” door open = M1L

    Now I just mutter to myself while I’m increasing, which isn’t weird at all. LOL!

  2. Mariane Martin

    I was taught in 1958 by my Finnish grandmother to pick up the loop in the row below and knit it. Pick up before knitting the stitch and it leans left, pick up after and it leans right.

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