How to Make 1 Left (M1L) in Knitting [FREE Knitting Tutorial]

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Text area which says "Learn How to Make 1 Left (M1R) in Knitting ," followed by hands knitting a blue knitting projectThe Make 1 (M1) is a great increase to have in your knitting arsenal. You can make the M1 slant either to the left, or to the right. In this tutorial, you will learn how to a Make 1 Left (M1L) in knitting.

In fact, the M1 is an almost invisible increase, which makes it great to use when increasing stitches after a rib.

Furthermore, it is a great increase to use when shaping a sleeve or knitting a shawl. You will then work the increases in pairs by combining it with the Make 1 Right (M1R). However, keep in mind that the increases should always slant in the direction of the widening fabric.

You never use an M1 increase at the very edge of your knitting. Usually, it is used at least 2 stitches in from the edge. Having said that, you can use the M1 at any place on a knitted row/round.

If you would like to learn how to do the M1R in knitting increase, you can find a step-by-step tutorial here: How to Make 1 Right (M1R) in Knitting.

In M1 increases, you make the new stitch by using the horizontal strand between two existing stitches.

To make counting easier, we suggest that you place a stitch-marker next to each increase. This will make it easier to count, to make sure you have made the right number of increases at the right intervals.

Many designers just put M1 in their knitting pattern. When that happens, you will need to read your knitting project. Which increase will be the best for your knitted piece? M1L or M1R?


  • Creates a new stitch between two stitches
  • The new stitch has one leg crossing over the other, causing it to lean in that direction
  • It is an almost invisible increase

Ideal for

  • Increase stitches at the end of a right-side row
  • Using with the M1R to shape sleeves

Step-by-Step M1L in Knitting Tutorial

The M1L will slant to the left on the knit side.

With the knit side facing you, knit to the point where the increase is going to be.

M1L Knitting Tutorial Step 1: Hands knitting a blue knitting project with the first stitch to the left highlighted.

Insert the tip of the left-hand needle under the horizontal strand, between the last stitch worked and the next stitch on the left-hand needle. Ensure that you insert the left-hand needle tip from front to back.

M1L Knitting Tutorial Step 2: Hands knitting a blue knitting project with left needle inserted under the yarn between the two needles.

Knit picked-up strand through the back loop so that you twist the stitch.

M1L Knitting Tutorial Step 3: Hands knitting a blue knitting project with the yarn between the two needles being knitted.

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