Whenever I get asked which M1s should be used with my patterns and where, I’m always certain that my answer is not going to be well received. I tell people that it doesn’t really matter, and they should knit their M1s however they prefer. If they want to mirror them M1R and M1L or M1L and M1R, or knit them all as M1Rs or all as M1Ls, it all works as long as the knitter likes the look and they’re knitting M1s. This is probably a good time to mention that M1 stands for “Make One,” which is the name of a specific type of increase, not a generic instruction to increase one stitch.
Here on the thumb gusset of my Aida mitts I used mirrored M1s. It looks nice, right? I went with mirrored M1s for three reasons. First, the thumb gusset is a highly visible place so the increases are going to get noticed and should look nice. Second, the increases are worked every other row so they form a distinctive line, and mirrored M1s made a slightly nicer line. Third, this particular yarn is a solid color with multiple plies, and it shows off texture really well. That meant I had to be deliberate with any textural difference I might make like the twist of M1s. Would this have looked okay if I did all the same M1 instead of mirroring them? I think so. The direction of the M1s wouldn’t make or break this project.
And here on the side shaping of my Armande sweater I used all the same M1s. One direction is significantly easier for me to knit and M1s are so small that I will always knit my M1s all the same if I think I can get away with it. I didn’t think it would be noticeable here because the shaping is under my arms, spread out, and knit in a heathered yarn. Does knitting M1s all the same direction look as nice? Nah, but it’s more pleasant to knit, and that counts for a lot in my book. These M1s might drive an extremely detail orientated knitter crazy, and that’s why I like to leave the final decision up to the person who is doing the knitting. How do you like to knit your M1s? If you don’t know your own preference, I always say that when in doubt, knit some swatches!