Kfb Increase – How to Knit Front and back

The knit front and back (kfb) increase is one of the easiest to learn. It creates a visible bump, which can be very useful in the right situations. Learn how to work this increase, and some of the places you may want to use it.

Knit front and Back Increase (kfb) tutorial on Stitches n Scraps

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When NOT to use the kfb increase

The knit front and back increase creates 2 stitches that look like a knit followed by a purl. If you’re working in stockinette and want a smooth, less visible increase, the kfb is probably not the right choice. Try the make 1 right and make 1 left (m1r and m1l) increases instead.

Make 1 right (m1r) and Make 1 left (m1l) increases tutorial

When to use the kfb increase

As a design element

Sometimes, the kfb bumps can be a pretty design element. For example, creating a spiral of increases on the crown of a hat. But I find this increase most useful when working I’m not working in stockinette.

Seed stitch and ribbing

Seed stitch and 1/1 ribbing both involve pairs of knit and purl stitches, so the knit front and back increase can be used to match this pattern perfectly. If you make two increases side by side, a knit and a purl stitch pair becomes two pairs of knit and purl stitches, with no interruption in the pattern.

You can see this in the flap of my Date Night Clutch pattern, which is worked in seed stitch.

Date Night Clutch - Free knitting pattern on Stitches n Scraps

Other knit/purl patterns

In fact in any pattern that contains both knits and purls, you should be able to strategically place your kfb increases at a point where they will seamlessly blend in to the pattern.

Working the kfb increase

Each stitch has a front leg (where you normally place your knit stitches), and a back leg.

front and back legs of a knit stitch

Knit through the front leg as normal, but don’t take the stitch off your other needle.

Knit through front leg

Now insert your needle into the same stitch again, but this time through the back leg, and knit that as well. Then go ahead and take the stitch of your other needle.

Knit through back leg

You have now created 2 stitches out of one. Notice the first new stitch looks like a knit and the 2nd new stitch looks like a purl.

Placement of kfb increases

You often will want to mirror your increases on two sides of your work or around a central stitch. To make it visually symettrical, it’s not the increase itself you need to mirror, but the location of the purl bump.

On my triangle swatch, I made the kfb increase in my 2nd stitch. The kfb looks like a knit stitch followed by a purl stitch. So visually from the edge, I have 2 knit stitches followed by a purl.

Finished KFB stitch

If I was to do an increase in the 2nd to last stitch, the knit would come first, then the purl bump. So visually, there would only be one knit stitch after the purl bump.

By doing the increase in the 3rd to last stitch instead, I get the look of a purl bump followed by 2 knit stitches. Note the location of my increase stitches, highlighted in red.

Placement of kfb increases

Knit Front and Back – Video Tutorial

Watch This Video on YouTube

Knit front and Back Increase (kfb) tutorial on Stitches n Scraps

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