How to Knit: Increasing (or Decreasing) Evenly Across a Row

I cringe when I see this direction in a knitting pattern without the exact method spelled out: "Increase (or decrease) ___ stitches across row."

I always end up trying at least three times to get the stitches increased without having too many on one end and therefore skewing the hang of the finished sweater.

Do you have this problem, too? Well I found the solution! I thought there must be something out there on the internet to tell me how to increase or decrease evenly, and I was right.

A gal who calls herself Knitting Fiend has put a math-driven generator on her site, and all you have to do is plug in the numbers from your pattern and the generator will give you directions on how to increase or decrease in order to get to your desired number of stitches. It's so handy!

I use it all the time and I think you might, too, so check out Knitting Fiend's stitch generator and bookmark it!


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Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

14 thoughts on “How to Knit: Increasing (or Decreasing) Evenly Across a Row

  1. There’s also a great app called “KnitEvenly” that does all the calculating you’ll need for increasing, decreasing, on a flat piece or in the round, and with 2 options: simpler and easier to remember or more evenly distributed. Love it!

  2. Maybe I’m an atypical female, but – why not just use simple division? I haven’t seen many patterns where the increase/decrease is more than 10 in a row/round, so you don’t even have to break out the /long/ division.

  3. I have always used Cheryl Brunette’s “more or less right formula” from Sweater 101
    all increases/decreases on sleeves or above ribbing. Nice to have options, though.

  4. I tried the stitch calculator but found that the number of stitches after the increases is different in the examples. The “unbalanced” version comes out right, but with the “balanced” version you end up with too many stitches. Am I reading the sample wrong???

  5. Knitting Fiends decrease generator gives me ridiculous results, not even at all. For example, I want to decrease evenly from 406 to 232 sts. The calculator tells me to k2tog/k1 x30; k2tog x112; k2tog/k1 x30 – how is that even?