How to Knit in the Front and Back

Woman knitting

Christoph Hetzmannseder / Getty Images

Overview
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

There are lots of ways to increase the number of stitches on your needle. Knitting in the front and back (or KFB as it’s known in patterns) is a rather easy stitch that will increase the number of stitches in your project. This stitch basically turns one stitch into two. While increasing and decreasing can be tricky, especially for beginning knitters, don’t get discouraged; it’s not as hard as it sounds.

This how-to will give you step-by-step instructions on how to properly knit front and back. This stitch is often used in sweater patterns. While you may not be ready to tackle your first sweater just yet, knowing how to do stitches like this will give you the knowledge needed to follow many other patterns as well. 

If you intend to learn this knitting technique by knitting a sample swatch, then choose the size needle you are most comfortable working with. You can use any kind of yarn for practice but choosing a simpler yarn will be easier to work with than a specialty yarn. Anything with frills or fringe is likely to be harder to knit with and to see the results of your practice. Sticking to standard wool in a color that makes ​stitches stand out will help make your practice easier. 

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Watch Now: How to Knit in the Front and Back

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 set of knitting needles

Materials

  • 1 skein of yarn

Instructions

  1. Knit the First Stitch

    To begin a knit in the front and back increase (KFB) you simply make a knit stitch ​but don't slide the stitch off the left-hand needle.

    Knit in front.
    Sarah White
  2. Knit the Second Stitch

    You now have one stitch on the right-hand needle and the old stitch still on the left-hand needle. To finish the increase, knit into the back of the old stitch on the left-hand needle.

    This stitch is made in exactly the same way you'd make a stitch on the front part of the loop, you're just doing it in the part of the loop that is behind the needle.

    Knit in back of stitch
    Sarah White
  3. Finishing the Increase

    Now you have two stitches on the right-hand needle. To finish, simply slide the original stitch off the left-hand needle. You have just increased one stitch.

    Tip

    As with most stitches, the gauge will be influenced by how tightly you pull the yarn as you work the stitch. You don't want to make it so tight that you have difficulty working the needle into the yarn of the other needle. 

    Finishing the increase
    Sarah White
  4. Continuing to Knit

    Once you have finished your increase, just keep knitting as the instructions say. There are often paired increases of this sort on each side of a knitted item, such as a knit bandana to make a triangle shape.

    Increases on one side only make a slanted piece, as shown.

    Increased stitches
    Sarah White