Twincrease

I’m very excited to introduce a new type of Centred Single Increase – Twincrease.

For the last few years I have been working on increases and decreases. Finally in early 2021 I developed a new single increase which is completely symmetrical (4). As far as I know, all existing single increases (to make two stitches out of one stitch) are asymmetrical. Therefore I hope my discovery will be an important addition to the increase/decrease family.

There are many types of stitch increases: we can add extra stitches in the centre of the fabric or at its edge; we can make new stitches out of the strand between the stitches or from a yarn over (1); we make a new stitch stitch by working the same stitch twice kfb (2) or from the previous row stitch lifted increase (3); we can add two new stitches at once or add just one new stitch… The last type is called a single increase because we made one extra stitch.

All methods and variations described above are non symmetrical – the new stitch appears either on the left or on the right side of the base stitch. This newly-developed single increase is totally symmetrical (4), two new stitches “grow” out of one stitch below. I called it Twin Increase or Twincrease for short. The structure of Twincrease resembles the familiar knot called Сow Hitch.

Twincrease is made in two steps, in the same way as the YO increase: in the first row we create an elongated stitch by working “a double wrap”, in the next row we make two new stitches out of this long stitch. Twincrease is made with an unusual move, which I’m happy to introduce to you. Watching Youtube video will help you to understand the movement. The same video on Vimeo.

Twincrease has knit and purl variations in the same way as existing increasing methods.

How to work kTwin – slip double wrapped st purlwise, and, while leaving the tip of RN in this long loop, wind the loop around the LN from front to back, by bringing RN over LN so it is now at the back of the work. This creates two loops on the LN. Work first knit st from this position and drop the first loop off the LN, work the second knit st inserting the RN into the second loop as usual – knitwise.

How to work pTwin – move yarn to the front, slip double wrapped st knitwise, and, while leaving the tip of RN in this long loop, wind loop around the LN from back to front, by bringing RN over LN so it is now at the front of the work. This creates two loops on the LN. Work first purl st from this position and drop the first loop off the LN, work the second purl st inserting RN into the second loop through the back loop.

Let’s examine Twincrease in detail, after working a few rows. On the knit side, the two legs of basic stitch (in which the increase was made) are close to each other, the new stitches are growing symmetrically on either side, like an angel with two wings. There are two tiny holes on the both sides of the basic stitch. I think it is still pretty well disguised within the knitted surface and can be considered as semi-invisible. The size of those holes can be easily controlled by the tension of the double wrap stitch. On the purl side, the legs of the basic stitch are covered by the horizontal strand of yarn, resembling a smile, while the two new sts are on top of the smile look like two eyes. If we work pTwin on the stockinette side, there is a very visible smiley face, and this can be used as a decorative element.

Important! Twincrease can be made immediately, without a preparatory row, out of a normal length stitch. But in this case the stitch itself and its neighbours will became very tight and small, causing distortion of the fabric.

Where to use Twincrease? The answer is – anywhere. Whenever you make a single increase you can make a Twincrease. To be more specific I suggest you use the Twincrease where its symmetrical appearance will be a benefit. For example, for vertically stacked increases on Raglan worked from the top, as well as Circular yoke constructions. It will be great for the centred increases on skirts, hats and cowls. Use Twincreases in Pi Shawl and Half-Pi Shawl instead of lace yarn over increases. Twincrease will be an ideal choice when we need to put increases for the ribbing 1×1, immediately after the rib cuff on the bodies and sleeves of sweaters, hats, and so on… see the last photo below. There are many others occasions when we need to make increases: you can always experiment and choose the best increase by knitting a sample first. 

Another big application for Twincrease is the lace pattern – use it to improve existing ones, and to create new ones. In the next articles I’ll introduce some Twincrease relatives.

Update. Since this article was first published, I have received a lot of comments and questions. So I would like to add a few words.

Before publishing this new increase, I did extensive research to ensure Twincrease is original. There certainly are similar increases but there are subtle differences between them all. If you think that you already knew this increase, I would really love to see any evidence of your increase. This could be an image of a previously finished garment, or an accessory where it was used. A macro photo with a clear image would be very helpful. I would like to compare it with Twincrease, and see if it is identical to Twincrease.

Previously there have been many occasions when my video tutorials have been remade by others, and the names of my techniques have been changed without my knowledge. I have worked for many long hours to perfect and finalise my designs, and it is obviously frustrating when my work is “recycled” in this way.

I would be more than happy for you to share Twincrease and to use it in your projects, patterns and designs. But I have a polite request: Please refer to the technique as Twincrease by Assia Brill. 

Thank you!