Skip to content

kfb – knit front and back

October 25, 2013

Kfb is an increase that uses 1 stitch to make 2 sts. A kfb looks like a knit stitch and a little purl stitch off of it.  We use this increase in the Flax pullover, an adorable free pattern that is part of The Simple Collection.

::: How to work kfb (knit front and back) :::

Step 1: knit into the next st without taking it off the left hand needle. You now have a loop on both the right and left needle.

Step 2: knit into the same stitch again through the back loop and take it off the left hand needle.

Knit into the stitch without taking it off the needle.

Knit into the stitch without taking it off the needle.

You now have a loop on each needle.

You now have a loop on each needle.

Knit the same stitch through the back loop.

Knit the same stitch through the back loop.


27 Comments leave one →
  1. Kay permalink
    April 19, 2017 12:01 pm

    I’m driving myself slightly crazy. When you say :Round 1 kfb to 2 stitches before marker, fkb, k1 4x Round 2 work as set” does “as set” mean both Round 1 & round 2 have increases? Or Round 2 works garter panel as set no increases?
    Then when you say “work rounds 1-2 a total of x times” does it mean Round 1 x times plus round 2 x times for a total of 2X OR alternating round 1 & 2 for a total of x times?
    I started with increases only on odd (round 1) rounds, but it didn’t look right so I ripped that out and put increases in both Round 1 & Round 2 – looks better. But alternating for a total of x times seems short. Maybe working in the round is just distorting my perception of size.

    • April 19, 2017 1:37 pm

      Hi Kay – You might be over thinking it a smidge (but who doesn’t on their first sweater?!).

      For round 1 you are working your increases just like you said. Round 2: as set means you are keeping your garter panel where it is (the same number of sts you purled in the set up round), all other sts are knit. So you are keeping the garter where the garter belongs and the stockinette where the stockinette belongs and no increases.

      When we say work rounds 1-2 a total of x times it means work round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2, round 1, round 2 (however many times you need to for your size).

  2. Yen permalink
    March 7, 2017 2:52 am

    I followed the tutorial strictly but cannot make the garter stitch panel straight (on the shoulder part). Why is that?

    • March 7, 2017 9:35 am

      Hi Yen – I’m sorry, without seeing your sleeve I can’t really answer that. Maybe drop us an email ( with a picture?

  3. Sarah Mitchell permalink
    January 2, 2017 10:37 pm

    I’m not a new knitter but this one confused me for a second. It is written correctly (and concisely considering all of the sizes). Look at where the brackets are and just repeat. Basically there is a kfb both before and after each marker (except it’s kfb k1 before the marker for stability). 2 kfb per section is an 8 stitch increase per round. Hope this helps

  4. Linda permalink
    December 21, 2016 8:49 am

    I too am trying to knit the Flax Have now lost count of times I’ve taken it out after attempting the Kfb, Knit to 2 st before raglan etc It seems I’m not the only person having same problem It is my first attempt of top down and I have also spent a lot of cash on needles as my first problem was finding a circular small enough Has anyone managed to come up with a way to write the instructions that may make a little more sense to a beginner of this way of knitting I hate to be beaten but I just can’t get it HELP

    • December 22, 2016 9:44 am

      Hi Linda – first sweaters can be a challenge, the Flax has been successfully knit a few thousand times by beginners so stick with it, it can be done! For the increase round you are working a kfb, knitting to 2 sts before the marker, working a kfb, k1, slipping the marker, kfb, knit to 2 stitches before the marker, kfb, knit 1, slip marker, etc.

  5. Carola permalink
    November 16, 2016 11:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful pattern! At the beginning I was confused but following the instruction I understand clearly this part – Setup round 1: [kfb, knit to 2 sts before raglan marker, kfb, k1] 4 times [8 sts inc – 2 per section and I’m very happy because this is not my mother language :-)

  6. October 28, 2016 6:09 pm

    I agree. This part is confusing. Flax sweater: ‘Set up round 1’:

    can someone please write in where the markers are? insert a ‘slip marker’ in relationship to a full round of increases?

    meaning, the FIRST kfb, – where is that? just before the first marker or after?

    And, what does ‘set up’ mean?

    Thank you!

    • October 31, 2016 9:07 pm

      Hi Margo: we typically don’t write ‘slip marker’ in our patterns, just slip the markers as you come to them. I’m not 100% understanding the following questions, the Marker setup round puts the 4 markers in your work, where they are depends on the size you are knitting. The first kfb in Setup round 1 is right after the beginning of round marker.

      I’m not sure how to explain setup other than that you are setting up the pattern that will continue for the raglan increases at the yoke. You are establishing where the increases occur and where the garter stitch panel is on the sleeves.

  7. Rebecca Lamont permalink
    July 28, 2016 9:08 pm

    In doing the Flax sweater, you have us adding quite a few stitches right after the collar before going on to the yoke portion. I’m only starting this and am wondering why you are not just increasing each round by 8 until you get the number you need. It seems to me you won’t have an evenly distributed number of extra stitches

    • July 28, 2016 9:49 pm

      Don’t worry, this sweater has been knit a few thousand time, it will work! (for some sizes your way might work, but for most the yoke depth becomes unmanageable)

      • Rebecca Lamont permalink
        July 29, 2016 6:58 am

        Wish me luck! Finishing the collar this morning. Making a 3XL so I did the calculations last night for doing the increases. Will add pix to my project on Ravelry so you can follow!


      • Anonymous permalink
        October 16, 2016 8:15 am

        I had a hard time doing the yoke…i really cant understand the pattern… I try over n over… But still get the same result…can u provide more details…my increases totally wrong. No matter how many yime i do it…i cant get it right… Kfb, knit until 2sts left b4 the markers then kfb, k1.. I do folliw the instruction but still cant get the right pattern..

      • October 19, 2016 9:44 am

        Hi – I’m sorry, I’m not really sure how to help without being in person. The instructions definitely work as written. Do you have a local yarn shop or a friend who knits? They may be able to watch what you are doing and tell you where you are going wrong?

  8. April 28, 2016 8:47 am

    I have now ripped out the flax sweater yoke twice. I think I now understand why: the pattern reads:

    Setup round 1: [kfb, knit to 2 sts before raglan marker, kfb, k1] 4 times

    Here is what I think it should read based on my brand new understanding of knitting from back:

    Setup round 1: [kfb, knit to 2 sts before raglan marker, kfb, k1 (marker) k1, kfb] 4 times

    Is that correct? When I did it the way the pattern describes, I need up with what seemed like half of a raglan pattern, with one in entirely the wrong position (2nd marker)

    • April 29, 2016 9:41 am

      Hi Lauren – Nope, the pattern is correct as written. There are 4 sections (front, back, and 2 sleeves) and you are increasing 2 sts per section. There are 2 kfb’s in the brackets and the brackets are repeated 4 times. If you do it your way, the k1, kfb after there are 3 increases per section. Have you checked out our tutorial on the Flax? It goes through where the raglan increases occur etc.

  9. Sharon D'Amato permalink
    November 7, 2015 8:15 am

    I am stuck on starting the rows with Kfb..I can co the stitch but keeping up on reading the pattern for each row is difficult!!! there muct be an easier way to state it.

    • November 11, 2015 3:14 am

      I’m not sure what you mean, or how I can help. Is there a specific Tin Can Knits pattern that you’re having trouble with?

  10. October 1, 2015 12:43 pm

    Hmmm …I thought I posted a comment to this step in the pattern already …but seems to be a no show …so if I post 2x please ignore :)

    The round for the raglan is super confusing. I am not a beginner knitter but this is my first ever top down sweater …hopefully not my last since the needle investment was extreme.

    I thought maybe someone else may have had problems understanding this round as well …I have decided I am going to make it up :) like Frank “I did it my way”.

    • October 2, 2015 8:39 pm

      Hi Anne – sorry, which sweater are you referring to? And which round in particular? I’m not sure which one is the raglan round…in which sweater….

  11. November 10, 2014 5:44 am

    Hi Alexa and Emily, I’ve just started knitting my first pullover ever (your Flax!) and I love it, no problem understanding kfb, but: You say I should knit to 2 sts before raglan marker, then kfb, k1, then kfb, then knit again to 2 sts before next marker…but when I take the marker off to do the increase, where am I supposed to put it as a reference for the next row? At the k1 stitch? I really can’t understand it and my increase looks awful!! I hope I was clear…Thank you so much.

    • November 21, 2014 12:07 pm

      You shouldn’t need to remove a marker, it will just sit in your work. You can work a Kfb without removing the marker

    • Crystal permalink
      March 12, 2016 1:57 pm

      I’m working on flax also and I’m at

      Setup round 1: [kfb, knit to 2 sts before raglan marker, kfb, k1] 4 times [8 sts inc – 2 per section

      This is my FIRST attempt to make a sweater I went with your pattern because they are easy to understand but I don’t understand this completely , when it says 2 sta before raglan marker does “raglan marker” mean all 4 markers that I have in my work? And I assume
      8 sts inc Means that I have increased by 8 sts?

      Confuzzled lol!!!!!

      • March 14, 2016 10:42 pm

        I think you may be over thinking it ;-) Yes, the 4 markers are your raglan markers, and you are increasing 2 stitches 4 times, 8 sts increased in that round.


  1. Sweater Techniques Series – Gramps Baby Cardigan – 5 / 6 : Shawl Collar and Button Band | Tin Can Knits
  2. Let’s Knit a Sweater | Tin Can Knits

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: