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.
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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.
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.
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.
Knit through the front leg as normal, but don’t take the stitch off your other needle.
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.
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.
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.
Knit Front and Back – Video Tutorial
Rate this Knit Front and Back (kfb) IncreaseTutorial!
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