KAL Tutorial: KFBF

Join the Knitter’s Pride KAL Thread for chat and to win awesome prizes! We still have two awesome prize packs to give away. KAL runs through August 21!

The KFBF increase is, of course, an extension of the KFB (also referred to as kfb, kf&b, kf/b) increase. In a regular kfb, you knit into the front and then back loop of the stitch – this ‘uses up’ one stitch from the previous row, as opposed to an increase worked between stitches like an m1. A kfb results in 2 stitches being created out of 1 stitch from the previous row.

In a KFBF, we’re tripling the number of stitches on the needle – creating 3 stitches out of 1! It requires a little bit of needle acrobatics, but it’s easy to work and doesn’t require yarnovers or multiple rows to increase the stitch count quickly.

Here’s a quick step by step tutorial for the KFBF increase! Click any photo to see a bigger version.


Insert the right needle tip into the stitch knitwise as normal.


Pull the new stitch through, but don’t remove the stitch from the left needle. Try to keep this stitch a little bit looser than normal – it’ll give you more room to maneuver.


Swing the right needle tip around to the back and insert it into the back of the stitch.


Wrap the yarn as normal for a knit stitch.


Pull the new stitch through, but still don’t remove the stitch from the left needle!


Bring the right needle tip to the front and insert it into the front of the stitch again – this step can be a bit tricky especially if you are a tight knitter. Pull the stitch open a little to get the needle tip in if you need to.


Wrap the yarn as normal.


Pull the new stitch through and then you can remove the stitch from the left needle!


Ta-da! You have created 3 stitches out of 1.


I’m a few rows into the ruffle of my JERL and I’m onto the second last colour. I plan to knit the ruffle until I’m nearly out of yarn, which should add perhaps an inch to the length of the ruffle.

How’s your summer neckwear knitting coming along?

Edited to add: I’m using Knitter’s Pride Marblz needles, available at WEBS! Aren’t they awesome? Someone on IG said they look like glow sticks ;)

KAL Tutorial: Infinite Long-Tail CO

It’s kickoff day for the Neckwear Knit-a-Long with Knitter’s Pride!

Here’s the awesome plan!

Join the fun by sharing your photos in the Knitter’s Pride Ravelry Group and on Instagram using the hashtag: #kpchauKAL

Prize #1 Buy a pattern
Purchase any neckwear pattern using the coupon code neckwearKAL15 by July 31 and you’ll be entered to win a Nova Platina Deluxe Needle Set!

Prize #2 Post to Instagram
Post a photo on Instagram of your KAL progress using #KPchauKAL and you’ll be entered to win a Marblz Fixed Circular knitting needle. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, July 31.

Prize #3 Start a project page on Ravelry
Start a project page and use the tag KPchauKAL and you’ll be entered to win a Marblz Fixed Circular needle. We’ll choose a winner on Friday, August 14th.

Prize #4 Finish Your Project
Post a photo of your finished project by August 21, 2015 in the Ravelry KAL thread and you’ll be entered to win a Eucalan Gift Pack.


I’ll be knitting Just Enough Ruffles Light in this gorgeous Mountain Colors yarn gradient set, and I have a few tutorials to help you out as you knit.

If you’re not knitting this particular pattern and have an issue, feel free to post questions here on the blog or in the Ravelry thread – there are lots of helpful knitters there who just might help you out a little faster than I can!


Today we’ll be covering a really valuable method of working the Long-Tail Cast-on – an Infinite Long-tail cast-on! Lots of people love the traditional long-tail CO (myself included) but it can be a bit of bear to figure out how long of a tail to pull out of the ball, especially when working a CO of several hundred stitches. Working from both ends of a ball is a great solution – you never have to estimate how long of a tail and come up short (or way too long).

You’ll need a center pull ball of yarn – don’t worry, if you don’t have a ball winder, you can always wind a center pull ball by hand! If you’re using two different skeins of yarn, you can also use one tail from each ball. You can even use two different colours for a contrasting edge if you’re feeling fancy!


Pull out the ends of the ball (in this case it’s one from the inside, one from the outside) and hold them together to make a slipknot.


I usually count this doubled slipknot as the first cast-on stitch, though you can also choose to take it off the needle at the end of the first row of knitting, if you’re making something delicate where the doubled yarn will be apparent.


Put the doubled slipknot on your needles and tighten it up – I’m using the US 4 / 3.5mm tip and longest cord from my Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina set.


There are lots of long-tail cast-on videos out there I’m sure, so I’m just going to go through a little quickly! The two ends of the ball will now become your two tails. If you want to knit your project from the center of the ball, make sure that the strand coming from the *outside* of the ball is over your thumb. Create a ‘slingshot’ with the two tails.


Bring your needle up through the thumb loop from the outside…


Up and over the inside index finger loop…


And draw through the center of the thumb loop.


Take your thumb out of the loop and use it to snug up the stitch. You don’t want to tighten too much when you cast on, because it can produce a rigid, inflexible edge.


Sometimes the yarn can get a bit tangled when working this cast-on over a large number of stitches, or in very twisty yarn. Don’t worry too much about it, just let go of the tails every once in awhile to allow the twist to equalize itself.

You could also use this method of pulling from both ends of the ball to do a number of other types of long-tail cast-ons, like the German Twisted Cast-on or the Austrian Long-tail Cast-on.


I like to place markers in as I go, every 25 or 50 stitches depending on how many I need in total. Just slip the stitch marker onto the right needle and keep casting on!

When you’re finished, cut the strand of yarn that was over your thumb – in this case, it’s the strand on the right of the photo above. Leave a few inches of tail for weaving in.


And that’s it! You can cast on 40, 100, 200+ stitches with this Infinite Long-Tail Cast-on and never have to worry about running out of yarn!

Don’t forget to use the Ravelry coupon code neckwearKAL15 for 25% all my neckwear patterns before July 31 to be entered to win an awesome interchangeable needle set!

See you in the Knit-a-long thread :)

Grafting Underarm Stitches – With No Holes!

Grafting Underarm Gussets with No Holes

I love knitting (and designing) seamless sweaters knit from the bottom up. The body and sleeves are knit separately from the hem (cuff) to the underarm, where they’re united to form the yoke – the rows are long, but you get to decrease a lot! When you get to the Finishing instructions though, there’s a line that can be daunting to knitters unfamiliar with the construction:

Close underarms using Kitchener stitch.


Graft underarm stitches closed.

(or something to that effect)

Side note: What’s the difference between Kitchener stitch and grafting? Nothing really. They both refer to stitching together sets of live stitches to create a seamless join. I think grafting can also refer to joining bound off stitches (say two sets of shoulder stitches) in a mostly invisible way by mimicking the structure of knitted fabric, as opposed to mattress stitch or a straight seam like backstitch.

I know a lot of knitters have trouble getting that underarm join nice and neat without holes at the edges, so I thought I’d put together a tutorial on how I do graft underarm gussets! There are a few different variations out there, including working a three-needle bind off at the inside of the sweater rather than grafting, but with many, many sweaters under my belt I think I’ve got it down pretty well! I took these photos while I was finishing the blue sweater from my last post, which should be ready for release this month!

Click on any of the photos to see them BIG!

The Setup

underarm gusset setup

Here’s the before – the underarm gusset stitches from the arm (top) and body (bottom) have been held on scrap yarn, and I’ve left a tail from the sleeve to use for grafting. Arrange your knitting so that this tail is coming off the back right of the gap. The length of the tail will depend on how many stitches you have to graft, but 12-18″ is usually more than enough for an underarm gusset.

set up for grafting

Place your held stitches back onto needles. I’m using a circular needle here, so I want to thread it through the stitches with the points towards the end of the gap with the tail (the right). If you use double pointed needles here, it doesn’t really matter which direction you put them in, because you can knit off either end! Once your stitches are back on the needles (fig. 3), carefully open the scrap yarn and pull it out of the stitches. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle – I love the bent tip ones for this (fig. 4).

Right Side Gap

right side underarm gap

Figure 1 shows how large the gap is at the edge, between the two sets of gusset stitches. If you skip this area and just start grafting, you will indeed end up with a hole here! And since the tail of yarn is attached to the knitting already, you wouldn’t have a convenient piece to close the hole with afterwards. So I’m going to thread the tapestry needle in and out along this edge (fig. 2 and 3) to gather it up. In figure 4 you can see that I’ve pulled the tapestry needle through and you can’t even really see the yarn I’ve woven in there!


Here’s the last little bit that I’m gathering up before starting the actual Kitchener stitch.

Kitchener Stitch

Note: This is the way I’ve always done my Kitchener stitch – I think I learned it from Sally Melville’s The Knit Stitch book back in the day (haha, maybe 10 years ago). The rhythm of this set up sticks well in my mind, and I don’t ever have to look it up now. I close sock toes the same way.

working Kitchener stitch

Ready to Kitchener stitch those two sets of gusset stitches together!

Figure 1. Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the front needle, as if to purl. Leave it on the needle.

Figure 2. Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the back needle, as if to purl. Remove this stitch from the needle (fig. 3).

Figure 4. Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the back needle, as if to knit. Leave it on the needle.

Figure 5. Insert the tapestry needle into the stitch on the front needle, as if to knit. Remove this stitch from the needle.

Figure 6 shows what the grafting stitches look like before you tighten them up.

grafting underarm stitches

Here’s about half of the grafting done. Snug up the yarn as you graft, but don’t pull it too tightly or it’ll cinch in the fabric – we’re going for nice and smooth, matching the tension of the knitted fabric.

Here’s the shorter way I remember the steps of Kitchener stitch:

Front, purl, on; back, purl, off.

Back, knit, on; front, knit, off.

The Last Couple Stitches

grafting underarm stitches

Here are the last pair of stitches – one on each needle. How do you finish this off? Go into the front stitch purlwise and leave it on as usual (fig. 1), then into the back stitch purlwise (fig. 2). Remove this stitch from the back needle, then insert your tapestry needle under both legs of the next stitch in the fabric (fig. 3). Then go knitwise into the last stitch and remove it from the needle.

Here’s how it looks once the grafting is complete. Pretty good, but what about that hole?

left side underarm gap

Left Side Gap

close the left side underarm gap

You want to close the left side gap in a similar manner to the right side, by weaving the needle in and out of the fabric in a circle to gather it up (fig. 1-3). Pull it up tight and the gap is gone! Then you just need to bring the end to the inside and weave it in – if you’re still having gaps after all this, you can use this tail to help close it up even more on the inside.


finished underarm gusset with no holes

And we’re done! Grafting underarm stitches without holes or gaps takes a little bit of practice, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s really quite easy. I would love it if you share this tutorial – gapless underarm gussets for all!

Thanks so much to Stephanie from Dirty Water Dyeworks for the beautiful Targhee yarn that I used to design this sweater.