Knit Front Back (kfb) and Knit Front Slip Back (kfsb)

“Knit in the front and back” or “knit front back” (kfb) is a common increase in knitting. Essentially you are making 2 stitches out of one by knitting into the front AND back of a stitch. 

Kfb leaves a small purl bump to the left of the stitch. If you don’t want that purl bump in your work, an alternative to the kfb is the “knit front slip back” (kfsb). Learn how to knit both stitches in this video:

Kfb is sometimes referred to as a bar increase because of the small purl bump it creates. It is nearly invisible in garter stitch.

One word of caution about the kfsb. Don’t use it on the first row of a color change. The slip part of the stitch will create a stitch in the old color where there is supposed to be a stitch in the new color.

Here is a photo of a swatch with KFSB on the left and KFB on the right below the red line. Above the red line, KFB is on the left and KFSB is on the right.

Comparison of knit front back (kfb) & knit front slip back (kfsb)

Because it is a small difference I thought a close-up might be helpful. In the following photo, I’ve marked the little purl bumps created in a KFB with red arrows and the corresponding stitch without a bump in KFSB with blue arrows. The yellow lines show the columns of stitches that are formed from each increase. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Close up of knit front back (kfb) and knit front slip back (kfsb)

How to KFB

  1. Knit into the stitch like normal, but don’t slip it off your left needle
  2. Swing your working needle and yarn around to the back and knit into the back of the stitch (insert your working needle from the top to the bottom, so it is slanting downward to the left through the stitch – this motion is similar to how you insert the needle to make a purl stitch, but it is in the back of the needle)
  3. Slide the stitch off your left needle

Now look at the stitches you just made. You should have 2 stitches coming out of one, with the first new stitch looking like a knit stitch and the 2nd new stitch looking like a purl stitch.

knit front back (kfb)

How to KFSB

  1. Knit into the stitch like normal, but don’t slip it off your left needle
  2. Swing your working needle and yarn around to the back and slip the back of the stitch off the left needle (insert your working needle from the top to the bottom, so it is slanting downward to the left through the stitch – this motion is similar to how you insert the needle to make a purl stitch, but it is in the back of the needle)

Now look at the stitches you just made. You should have 2 stitches coming out of one that looks kind of like a knit stitch and yarn over coming out of the same stitch.

knit front slip back (KFSB)

Though this stitch is commonly done as described above, it doesn’t matter if you slip the stitch from the back of the needle or the front, as long as you slip it purlwise.

Other Knitting Increases

There are a lot of ways to do increases in knitting. Learn how on our Increases Tutorials page.

Want to Practice KFB?

Our Brady the Snowman knit along is a fantastic little project for practicing kfb, as well as several other increases and decreases. Check it out at https://knitalongclub.com/course/brady/.

Brady KAL
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