Baby Surprise Jacket: Increases

Guest post by Elizabeth DeHority
We left off doing decreases until we got to 90 stitches on our needles.  You can look at your pattern to tell you how many rows you were supposed to have done, but I have no doubt that any mother who has more than one child helping her knit might have any number of rows knit so far.  Guess what!  It really doesn't matter, it all ends up folding up right no matter what.
This is not a mini pink BSJ.  This is an oddly shaped swatch.  Have I ever told you I LOVE to swatch?  I am so totally a process knitter.  It's the sensory experience, the colors and the textures that matter to me, not so much the finished garment.  Except for Rosary socks.  I'm good at finishing Rosary socks :-)
See those two diagonal lines?  They are INCREASES, not the decreases we've been doing.  We have many choices about how to do our increases.  They all work out just fine, so if there's any particular method you feel comfortable with, go right ahead.  I thought you might like to see how similar they end up, though.  The diagonal on the right was made with the same "knit into the front and back of the stitch" (KFB) that we used for the increases above the cuff.  The one on the left is the original Elizabeth Zimmermann Make One  (M1) increase.  Let's look at both for a minute.
I do the KFB increase, without leaving a regular knit stitch in between, because for me it's fast and easy.  I like only having to move one marker, and it seems less fiddly to me.  Of course you can also do the KFB sort of increase WITH a stitch in between, so that your diagonals for the increases will line up perfectly centered with your diagonals for the decreases.  It totally, truly doesn't matter. 



 {Elizabeth Foss' increases, using two stitch markers, knit front and back increases, and a knit stitch between the two increase stitches. My thanks to Ginny for talking me through this part. I couldn't reach Elizabeth DeHority, so Ginny and I talked it to death. In the end, these increases look just like the Chloe ones I know and love, so I settled comfortably into a very familiar pattern. -EF}

But here is the original EZ M1 increase.  Note that this is NOT the same one as in the video.  EZ liked to do her M1 by making a backwards loop over the right needle... if you have the pattern in The Opinionated Knitter you can find this info in the little box on page 102.  (Don't worry, we have our own video.  Just keep reading a minute first.  Breathe. )  If you choose this kind of increase, you might want to leave the single knit stitch between your increases, because two loops right next to each other can get a little too tight and hard to work on the next row.  The downside is that you need to move two markers.  Some people I know (Hi, Mrs. Foss!!!)  love their orderly stitch markers, so this might not trouble them. 

I think they look remarkably similar in garter stitch.  In the stockinette stitch part of my swatch, you can see the differences, both are fine... so for this BSJ project, just go with the one that is easier on your hands and your brain.  I guess it would be good to do both sides the same, but if you want to experiment and you're not a swatcher, this would be a good project to try out any increases you've read about...
And we'll keep going at these increases for a while... see your pattern for our target number of stitches where we add ten, evenly spaced across the back... This implies that we actually know which section is the back...  it's hard to see it yet, but it's actually just the part in the middle, between the diagonals.  Count your stitches BETWEEN the stitch markers, or pairs of stitch markers, divide by ten, and remember that number.  I'm not telling you how many stitches between your markers out of respect for the copyright, but also, because, honestly, truly, your counts really might be different from mine by several stitches and I don't want you to stress or rip back.   
So anyway, remember that number?  The divided by ten one?  Let's say it was six point something or other.  You can increase ten stitches evenly enough by doing five knit stitches, then a KFB in the sixth one. therefore turning every group of six stitches into seven.  What about the leftover ones?  Don't worry.  When you get to the markers for the increases, stop counting and just increase as you've been doing. 
And we'll keep doing this until we get to the part where we cast off for the front of the neck.  That's where our next BSJ post will start. 
I promised you a video tutorial for decreases, though.  Here's the link.