Knitting garments usually involves shaping and that means you will need to increase or decrease stitches. In hand knitting is easy to increase and decrease stitches across the row but in machine knitting it is really only possible at the ends of the row.
If you need to increase multiple stitches then this is basically casting on and you can cast on stitches at the carriage edge using whatever cast-on method you prefer i.e. e-wrap, latch tool.
Most of the time you will be increasing one stitch at a time. Often your pattern may direct you to increase one stitch at both ends of the same row or by increasing one stitch at the start of the next two rows, for example when making a sleeve. If you need to increase by more than one stitch then you would do this by casting on at the start of a row.
This post will explain how to do a simple increase and a fashioned increase. The photograph above shows the fashioned increase on the left (gives a nice straight knitted edge) and the simple increase on the right. The fashioned increase can upset a pattern so is more usually done with simple stocking stitch raglan jumpers to give a nice effect.
This is a very quick and easy method that tends to be my usual way of increasing.
Just pull the first empty needle at the side of your knitting into hold. You can do this at both ends of your knitting if required. Then knit the row as normal. That is it! It works whether you are doing stocking stitch or patterns.
You will then just put new needles into hold every on every row that your pattern says increase. The weights will need to be moved as your knitting gets wider.
Normally you would increase at both ends for a sleeve or when doing armholes in a body, but for necklines you would only do this at the neck edge. If a pattern says increase at both ends of row every 2nd row, then you could just increase at the start of every row if this is easier for you.
The above method is quick and easy with the increases on the edge of knitting. This method does not give the straightest of edges though. If you need a straighter edge to sew, or just to look nicer, you may wish to use a fashioned increase. A fashioned (or sometimes called fully-fashioned) increase takes longer to do but gives a nicer finish.
You use can use a one, two, three of multi-pronged tool to do the fashions. A simple one pronged tool will create one straight column, a two-pronged tool creates two straight columns etc. If you are creating a sleeve edge a simple one column edge would be enough to help you sew the edges together.
In this example, I will show you how to create a two column fashioned increase on the right side of your knitting, using a two-pronged tool. (a one column is created using a one-pronged tool, three column with three pronged tool and more columns using a seven-pronged tool).
Transfer and Move End Stitches
First transfer the two edge stitches onto your two-pronged tool.
Then move the stitches one needle to the right leaving one needle without a stitch creating a gap.
Using a one-pronged tool, pick up the heel of the stitch left of the gap and then place on the needle in the gap.
You have now increased by one stitch. Now you would just knit the row as required by your pattern.
Increasing on the Left Side
It is likely that you may need to do this at the left side of the knitting if your pattern requires you to increase at this end of the row (for example, when knitting the arms of the sleeves you would increase at both ends of each row).
To increase at the left, you just do the mirror reverse, i.e. you would move the two stitches one needle to the left and then pick up the heel from the stitch at the right of the gap.
I tend to do the quick easy non-fashioned increase when doing sleeves and patterned garments. However, if doing a plain raglan sleeve garment I will do fashioned decreases for the tops of sleeves and the armholes. The next post shows you how to do this.