Swatches 4-6 demonstrate three different sorts of increases. They each look different, and they each are varying degrees of “invisible.”
The bar increase, my favorite when it doesn’t matter, leaves a horizontal bar across the bottom of the stitch. If you look at the toe of any sock I’ve ever knit, you’ll see them.
The M1 (make one) increase is a little more invisible, although you can see it if you’re looking for increases. This one can slant left, slant right, or leave a yarnover-esque hole (useful when doing openwork or lace). The trick to keeping the hole closed is to knit into the back of the stitch, twisting it and closing up the hole- the slant comes from whether you put your left needle into the stitch from the front or back, and I forget which is which. I always have to look it up.
The lifted increase is very difficult to explain, but is sort of a cross between the two. You pick up a leg of the stitch in the row below. It’s the most invisible of the three, but you need to remember to work at the very tippy tips of your sharpest needles for them, or else they stretch.
From the bottom: bar increase, M1 increase, lifted increase (swatches 4, 5, and 6).
I didn’t have to re-knit this entire swatch, but I re-knit rows 7-10 about 14 times before I was satisfied with the lifted increases. I had never even heard of them before this program, so I needed to look them up. The “Single Increase Savvy” article I mentioned before was great for this, but I just wasn’t grasping the concept. I ended up watching another video from Arenda Holladay for these lifted increases. I find it very helpful to see what legs went where. We’ll see if I have to re-knit this one.
One try on this one, also. I’ve done M1 increases lots, but I didn’t know how to get them right-leaning and left-leaning. There’s an excellent article in the “On Your Way To The Masters” articles on the tkga.com website (membership required) on the three different increases. It’s titled “Single Increase Savvy,” by Binka Schwan.
Only one pass at this one- it’s a bar increase, which is the kind I use most often. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. We’ll see, though, if it gets returned. :)