Years ago I was at a knitting retreat where a knitter I respect mentioned that her daughter, a master knitter, though the lifted increase was the best. That sent me on an expedition. because I always want to know why. Nothing in knitting is new; we constantly reinvent and refine things to suit our knitting. Once I explored and learned the lifted increase–what I call an incR, but is also called RLI–I came to agree with the daughter on its superiority. This lifted increase will work in all cases except when paired increases are desired. To keep this clean, and not too long, I’ll do incL or LLI next week.
Lifted Increase, incR, RLI
In an incR, a new stitch is created by knitting into the top of the stitch just below the next stitch on your left needle. It is a “lifted increase” because you effectively lift the stitch below the stitch worked in the previous round onto the left needle, then knit into that stitch. The new stitch leans towards the right because it is squeezed between the last stitch knitted and the next stitch. It sprouts from the row below.
Finessing the Lifted Increase
My explanations for how to do techniques tends to be for those who may not be familiar with the technique. IncR is explained here. This is how I personally do my lifted increase, the incR.
IncR: I rarely actually lift the stitch below onto my needle to work it. Whether or not it saves time, I don’t know, but it helps me not stretch out the original stitch. When I am looking at the stitch on my left needle, I tilt the left needle towards me so I can see the stitch below, or in some instances I can see and access it easily from the side, and put my needle into the top of that stitch going from front to back. I then wrap/grab the yarn as I would to knit a stitch, and complete that stitch. The original stitch on the needle is then worked.
IncRp: Another reason I like this increase is that it is relatively easy to work the increase as a purl. Instead of going into the stitch from front to back to do the lifted increase, the right needle goes into the stitch below from back to front, with the yarn in position to make a purl. The increase is worked as a purl. How the original stitch is worked is based on the established stitch pattern.
I think if you try this lifted increase–and practice it so it becomes easy to do–you will see why the incR and incRp are lifted increases you can love.