How to KFB – knit front back

A step by tutorial on how do the KFB knitting stitch. An easy left-slanting increase for beginners.

So, your pattern tells you to increase with KFB and you got no idea what it means and how to knit it? Well, you came to the right place. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you exactly how to kfb.

A swatch with kbf knitting increases
A swatch where I increased with KFB on the right side and the more invisible KFSB on the left side

What does KFB mean in Knitting

The abbreviation KFB stand for “Knit front back” and refers to a popular knitting increase where you knit twice into the same stitch – once through the front of the loop and one more time through the back loop of the same stitch. It is also known as “Bar Increase” because you’ll create a little visible purl bar with it. Sometimes is also abbreviated as “K1fb” or even “K1f&b”.

The resulting increase leans towards the left (so just like M1L) and is quite visible in stockinette stitch due to the little bar. Further down below, I’ll show you a variation of the KFB without the bar.

Step by Step Instructions

So, let’s show you how to increase with knit one front and back:

Step 1: Knit one stitch (so, just do a normal knit stitch) AND DON’T slip it onto the right needle.

knit one stitch for the kfb increase

Step 2: Insert the needle into the back loop of the same stitch from right to left.

insert needle into the back loop of same stitch

Step 3: Wrap the yarn around your needle counter-clockwise and pull the yarn through and drop the stitch.

Knit into the same stitch through the back loop

And there is your KFB. It’s really that simple. Essentially you are combining a regular knit stitch with a knit through the back loop (ktbl) into the same stitch. hence the name.

kfb knit front back on right needle
The final kfb knitting increase on the right needle

KFSB – Knit front, slip back

So, you don’t like the little bar / bump the KFB creates and you are wondering if there is a way to avoid it. There are plenty. The most invisible left-slanting increase for stockinette stitch is probably KLL (Knit through left loop). But if knitting into a stitch two rows below sounds a bit too complicated to you, you can achieve a similar result called KFBS, the abbreviation for knit front, slip back.

close-up of a green swatch increases with kfb (knit front back) and kfsb
KFSB on the left side and KFB on the right side.

Instead of knitting the second part of the increase through the back loop, you only slip the back loop onto your right needle. Here is how.

Step 1: Knit one stitch and don’t slip it onto your right needle yet (so just like before).

kit one for knit front slip back

Step 2: Insert the needle in the back loop of the same stitch.

insert needle into the back loop of same stitch for kfsb

Step 3: Slip it onto your right needle WITHOUT knitting it through the back loop.

knit front slip back on the right needle

And that’s it. It’s even simpler than the KFB, right and quite a bit less conspicuous. You will see the tiniest little eyelet, but as long as the portion of the fabric is not put under stress, you won’t really be able to see it.

Note: In patterns, where knit stitches are followed by purl stitches (like Moss Stitch, etc) this increase can be a very good and invisible option. The little bar can be a bonus as well, don’t just think of it as something to avoid!

Knit back and front

Another variation of the KFB is the KBF, knit back and front. You can probably already guess how to knit it. You knit through the back loop first and then, in a second step, you knit a regular knit stitch into the front loop of the same stitch. Otherwise it’s exactly the same knitting technique.

This will result in one twisted knit stitch on your needle and a slightly smaller bar. For an untwisted version, you could slip the stitch before you knit through the back loop first. So, slip 1 knitwise, slip the stitch back to the left needle, and only then ktbl.

So, this was my tutorial on how to do a KFB in knitting. I hope I was able to show you how to knit this increase. Please leave a comment if you got any questions!

how to knit kfb (knit front back)

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