How to Increase Knitting Stitches with the KFB

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Learn how to increase stitches in knitting with the knit front back increase. This simple knitting increase is abbreviated in knitting patterns by KFB.

The KFB knitting increase is the simplest way to add a stitch in knitting. In this blog post I show you how to KFB type of increase with step by step pictures.

There are different ways to increase your knit stitches. This knitting increase method is perfect for a beginner knitter. It’s a common increase for a beginner to learn first because it’s so easy.

6 stitches on needle.
You can see the horizontal bar at the base of the stitch on the second stitch from the right.

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The KFB increase is an easy way to create an extra stitch when you are working in garter stitch. When you knit in the back of a stitch, it creates a bar similar to a purl bump. For this reason its also known as a bar increase.

This is a good choice for increasing on the purl side. If you don’t have a purl row and have to increase on the knit side then you can arrange the increases so that the bars form their own pattern. Add them at the beginning of a row and the end will create a line of increases and bars.

Common Knitting Stitches / Abbreviations (US Terms)

Garter St – garter stitch is knit stitches on both sides of your work

Knit – knit stitch is made with the yarn in back, and needle inserted from the left.

KFB – knit front back; knitting increase by knitting through the front loop and the back loop of a stitch.

Purl – purl stitch is knit with the yarn in front of your work, and needle inserted from the right.

Stockinette St – stockinette stitch is knits on the front of your work and purls on the back.

Chunky white yarn with kfb knitting increases on needle.
In the sample swatch I use KFB increases to add new stitches to both ends of the work.


  • KFB is the abbreviation for increasing by knitting the front loop and the back loop.
  • K followed by a number tells you how many stitches to knit.
  • Your total stitch count is in parenthesis.

Another easy way to increase is through yarn overs. The yarnover increase leaves a small hole which is useful as a decorative hole in lacy designs.

The Umbria Shawl is a free knitting pattern that uses this increase. It works up beautifully as this is a garter stitch pattern.

Video Tutorial

Watch the video tutorial on my YouTube.

Scroll Down For The Step By Step Photo Tutorial on How to Increase Knit Stitches with KFB

6 stitches on needle.

How to Increase Knitting Stitches with KFB

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1

Learn the KFB knitting increase. To KFB you will knit in the front and back loop of the stitch.


  • Any weight yarn. The kind of yarn I'm using is a #5 bulky weight yarn, pictured in Lion Brand Homespun Yarn (98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester, 6 oz / 170 g, 185 yd / 169 m) color: hepplewhite.


  • Matching needle size to your yarn. I'm using 8mm US Size 11 knitting needles with 24" cable.
  • Yarn needle
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors


  1. We'll begin with a single stitch. You can cast on 1 by using a slip knot on your left needle. This is your first stitch. You will knit into it.White slip knot on needle.
  2. Insert the right hand needle in the front leg of the stitch.Right needle inserted into stitch to knit.
  3. Wrap the yarn over the right needle.
  4. Pull the yarn through the stitch.Front loop knit in first stitch.
  5. Without sliding the stitch off, insert the right needle into the back leg of the same stitch.Insert needle in back loop of stitch.
  6. Wrap the yarn over the right hand needle.
  7. Pull yarn through to knit the back of the stitch. You'll have two loops on your right needle and one loop on the left hand needle.
  8. Slide the stitches off the left hand needle. You will now have two stitches on your right hand needle.
  9. Turn your work so that the needle with the stitches on it is now in your left hand.
  10. Now you are ready to start the next row. Knit the front and back loop following steps 2-8 above for both stitches. The number of stitches will increase by two, so at the end of the row you'll have 4 stitches. 4 white stitches on knitting needle. Turn your work.
  11. For the next row, we'll only KFB on the first stitch of the row and the last stitch. Since we're working in garter stitch we'll knit the middle stitches. To do so: Knit the front loop and the back loop of the first stitch, Knit the next two stitches and then knit the front loop and the back loop of the last stitch, turn your work. Your total number of stitches is 6. 6 stitches on needle.
  12. You can continue the stitch pattern to keep increasing by 2 stitches: KFB, K across until there is one stitch left, KFB, turn your work.

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