Lifted increases are an excellent way of adding extra stitches to stranded knitting. They produce a virtually invisible result that blends well into the surrounding knitting. The video below shows the increases being made in the toe of my ‘Tess’ slippers. It also includes some instruction in how to ‘trap’/‘wrap’ floats in stranded knitting.
Most of the standard terms for these increases refer to the direction in which the resulting increase leans, eg ‘make one left’ or ‘make one right’. However, some knitting authors call them ‘lia’ (‘lifted increase after’) and ‘lib’ (‘lifted increase before’). I prefer the latter terms because they are neutral re knitting direction. As I am lefthanded my default knitting style is mirrored, ie I knit in the opposite direction to the majority of knitters. Hence my preference for direction-neutral knitting terms. ;o)
The ‘lifted increase after’ makes a new stitch from the stitch two stitches below the first stitch on the working needle. Thus it is an increase into the stitch column of the stitch that was just knitted. It is worked after the stitch at the top of the column, hence ‘lifted increase after.
The ‘lifted increase before’ makes a new stitch in the stitch below the first stitch on the passive needle. It is worked before the stitch at the top of the stitch column, hence ‘lifted increase before.
Don’t worry about remembering that the ‘lia’ has to be worked two stitches below rather than one stitch below. The first stitch below the needle cannot be used for a lifted increase because the working yarn has already been looped through it; if you attempt to knit into it again you will simply end up with a double wrap on the needle.
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