Knitting Technique: PFB (Purl in Front and Back of next stitch)

Working Increases on a Purl Row when Knitting

When you read a knitting pattern with increases, you most often find that the increases are worked on a Right-Side row. And when you are working in Stocking Stitch, or a variation of it, then these increases will usually be done on the “knit” side – and those increases are pretty easy. (For examples of Knit-type increases, check out the articles on KFB (knit into front and back) and KSB (knit into the stitch below).)

But what about Purl-type increases? They are less common, and can be a bit tricky.

So here is how to do one of those Purl-side increases: the PFB, or purl into the front and back of the next stitch.

The problem is that having purled into the front of the stitch, where do you stick the needle to make a purl into the back of the stitch?

Your yarn has to stay in front, because you are doing a purl. So the point of the needle has to end up in front as well. So you have to insert the needle into the back of the stitch from the LEFT – your right-hand needle will be almost parallel with the left-hand needle while you are sticking the point through. The point of the right-hand needle must stay ABOVE the part where you have already done a purl.

Yep – some pictures are in order – those words just do not cut it!

This first photo shows the purl into the front completed.

PFB part 1: Purl into the Front of the next stitch

PFB part 1: Purl into the Front of the next stitch

This second photo shows inserting the needle into the back – the view is of the top/back of the work.

PFB part 2: Insert needle into back of next stitch

PFB part 2: Insert needle into back of next stitch

And this third photo shows the front of the work, ready to wrap the yarn around the needle to complete the purl.

PFB part 3: Ready to Purl the back of the stitch

PFB part 3: Ready to Purl the back of the stitch

And that’s how to do a PFB. Yes, it’s a bit awkward, but definitely do-able. So try it!

Patterns in this website that use this technique

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