The Bar Increase ~ MHC

I have decided to make my MHC (Must Have Cardigan) a guinea pig for the newfound techniques I have been reading about lately.  This sweater will be all about ‘the process’ rather than the outcome, although I AM hoping that incorporating the new tips into this sweater will give me a beautiful byproduct.  So, I guess this project will not be entirely about ‘the process’ afterall!

After you knit the ribbing in a sweater, you are often instructed to increase a certain amount of sts across the last row while you are still using the ribbing-size needle.  I prefer to use THE BAR INCREASE to do this.  The first time I did this increase row I did not realize that you were supposed to work the Bar Increase into the stitch regardless of whether the stitch was a knit or purl.  Consequently, when I got to a purl stitch, and it was time to do an increase, I would use a purl increase which resulted in leaving a hole!  I have since learned that you knit the Bar Increase in the stitch whether it is a knit OR a purl.  And, you keep in the ribbing pattern except for the stitch you increase.

My methodology?  First I divide the number of stitches on the needle by the number of stitches I am told to increase.  The quotient is the stitch into which I will work the BAR INCREASE.  In this case, I will be knitting a BAR INCREASE into every 8th stitch because I have cast on 114 sts and I am to increase 13 sts (114 divided by 13 = 8).

So, what is a BAR INCREASE and why is it called that?  Well…it produces a horizontal bump, or bar, to the left of the original stitch.  When you work these evenly spaced across the last round of ribbing they mingle right in with the purl stitches and look like they are supposed to be there!  How do you do it?


1.  Knit the next stitch but do not drop the stitch off the needle.


2.  Knit through the back of the same stitch (on the needle).


3.  Drop the stitch off the needle.  You will now have two sts on your right hand needle.

Very easy.  Very effective.  Almost invisible.



4 Comments on “The Bar Increase ~ MHC

  1. I must try that , I usually use the divine EZ’s backward ( or forward ) loop, love the must have cardigan , it prompted me to start a winter woollie …

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