Want to learn the easiest way to increase a stitch? Learn the kfb knitting stitch – a simple knitting technique anyone can learn!
Common Questions about the Kfb Increase
To kfb, you will work into both the front and the back of the same stitch, and it is very easy to do.
Both of these methods are an increase stitch. To M1 in knitting, you work into the little bar between the stitches in the row below to create a new stitch. To make the kfb knitting increase, you work into both the front and back loop of the same stitch to add an extra stitch.
Kfb means to knit into the front and back of the same stitch, increasing your stitch count by one.
This knitting instruction would most commonly be seen any time you need to increase your stitch count by one (or more if there are several kfb sts in the row/round). You might see it shaping sleeves, triangle shawls, or even certain styles of hats.
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Knitting Basics: How to Kfb
This technique can be used with any stitch pattern, whether you are working garter, stockinette stitch or even a twisted rib stitch. You can use this stitch with straight knitting needles or double pointed needles – really anywhere!
A lot of times a knitting pattern will just tell you to inc (increase) and it won’t tell you exactly the method to do so. For example, when working sleeves on a top down raglan, it may tell you to inc 40 sts evenly around or to *k5, inc. What method do you use?
You can either M1 or kfb in this situation. It really depends on the look you are going for, but if you need an easy increase, you can’t go wrong with knit front and back.
The more you practice basic knitting stitches like increasing and decreasing, the more confident you will feel as a knitter. Then, when you run into instructions that include just an Inc (increase) or Dec (decrease) such as ssk or k2tog, you’ll feel comfortable using the stitch that looks the best.
Sometimes this stitch is called the bar increase because you can see the purl bump on the right side of the fabric. See a tip below to reduce the appearance of this bar.
Kfb Knitting Video Tutorial
How to Work a Kfb Stitch
To practice this stitch, you will need to start by knitting a swatch. You can use any size yarn and needles appropriate for the yarn. If you are a beginner, I would stick to a smooth lighter color yarn so you can easily see what you are doing.
Step One: Insert the right needle into the stitch to knit.
Step Two: Complete the knit stitch but do not drop the stitch off the left needle.
Step Three: Bring the right hand needle to the back and insert it into the back of the old stitch.
Step Four: Yarn over and draw loop through – you should now have two stitches on the right needle, both coming from the same stitch on the left needle.
Step Five: Slide the original stitch off your left hand needle and you’re done! You have increased a single stitch.
Tips for a Perfect Kfb
When working this stitch, you don’t want to pull the second stitch too tightly, so be sure to watch your tension. If the yarn is pulled too tightly, it can create a small hole in the fabric, and it’s also a lot more difficult to work into the back of the stitch if you pull the first stitch too tightly, so watch that tension.
The knit front and back increase does leave a small bar on the front of your fabric, so it works the best for garter stitch. A tip from Roxanne from Rox Knits to remove this bar is the knit into the front of the stitch as normal, and then simply slip the back loop of the stitch onto the right needle instead of knitting it. I think this is brilliant!
Another idea to try is to knit into the back of the stitch first, and then the front (kbf). You just knit it in reverse of the tutorial above. The result is a twisted stitch with a smaller bar.
Practice to see which technique you like best! This technique is really similar to the increase in crochet where you work 2 sts into the same one. You can also work this with a purl stitch and purl front and back, but that’s a different tutorial!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this free knitting tutorial for kfb! Find all of my free knitting patterns here!