The other day I was online commenting on a fellow knitter’s project (a mitten or some such thing) and they were talking their way through the pattern to account for a thumb gusset, which were installed by way of increases. The selected increase was Kfb, or knit through the front and back loop, creating 2 stitches from one. There is nothing wrong with this method at all, and I use the Kfb myself for various situations. But I asked why they chose that increase instead of a lifted increase, just as a matter of my own curiosity (I often like to ask why knitters do “this” instead of “that”, no implied or intended disapproval in the matter).
My chat buddy though I meant use the m1 increase (or “make 1”, done by lifting the bar between two stitches, twisting and knitting into it, but I was actually referring to the lifted increase, as amply demonstrated by Cat Bordhi, here in her video. I do my lifted increase with a twist, but Cat’s version is just as useful. There are how-to videos for practically every sort of increase or decrease, so I won’t make one for this purpose here.
Instead, I knitted a sample of increases and decreases:
At first glance they all look fairly similar, but the three sections were done differently, on purpose.
Starting in the bottom section, from right to left, you have K2tog, LLinc, LRinc, SSK. The bottom section is the most professional-looking – the stitches are uniform and crisp, and the path of incline is clearly seen.
In the middle section, my decreases were K2tog on the right and K2b (knit 2 together through the back loops). The increases were LLinc and LRinc but the lifted stitches were twisted before knitting into them. I could have done a m1 but there would have been a visible hole.
In the top section, I further mixed up the outer edge of the left leaning band, by alternating K2tog and K2b. Also the increases along he inner edges of the bands were BOTH done with Kfb.
Personally, for this particular purpose, I would probably have used either a m1 increase or an e-wrap increase, but for a solid color yarn and a self-instructing stitch pattern like this, I think I key is consistency. Once you pick a type of increase or decrease, keep doing it the same way. The worst-looking mish-mash of left side of the middle panel demonstrates what happens when you try to use different methods. The top panel increases were both done with Kfb, and it is clear they are NOT mirror images of each other, because they are identical and not mirror opposites. And when you are knitting a project with mirrored increases or decreases it is important that you use a mirrored technique to emphasize the mirror-image visual impact.