We’ve talked about the yarn-over increase, which adds a stitch by creating a new one. Now let’s look at the bar increase and the moss increase, which turn one existing stitch into two.
The bar increase, sometimes also called the “plain increase,” abbreviated K-fb:
Knit into the front of the stitch as usual, but do not remove the stitch from the needle. Knit into the back of the same stitch. Now you can release the increased stitch from the left needle.
Knit into the back of the stitch to be increased. Do not remove stitch from needle. Knit into the front of the same stitch. Now release the increased stitch from the left needle. Personally, I find it easier to make the bar increase this way. For me, it’s just less awkward to knit into the back first, then the front.
It’s called a bar increase because the created stitch wears a little horizontal bar across its base. This has two advantages:
1. It’s easier to locate and count the created (added) stitches.
2. You can turn it into a decorative element by making two bar increases, one right after the other. If on subsequent knit rows you make the bar increase in the same place, it creates the appearance of a single chain stitch flanked on each side by little bars.
The moss increase:
This also makes two stitches out of one, but in a slightly different manner.
Knit into the front of the stitch to be increased. Do not remove from needle. Bring yarn forward. Purl into the same stitch. Now remove from needle.
Be aware that this kind of increase can create a noticeable hole in your fabric. It’s best to save the moss increase for a side edge, where the joining of the seam will hide it.
Tomorrow, the raised (make-one) increase.