There are lots of ways to increase the number of stitches on your needle. Purling in the front and back of the same stitch, also known as the pfb increase, is the purl side version of the kfb increase. In other words: you work the pfb on the purl side of the fabric, which is often the wrong side) to get an extra stitch that looks like the kfb increase on the knit- or right side of stockinette fabric. This increase can be a bit tricky to work at first, but once you know how to do it, you will breeze right through them.
The pfb increase is also known as a “bar increase” because it forms a little horizontal bar in your work. Due to this little bar, this increase is virtually invisible in garter stitch. When used in stockinette, as shown in this tutorial, it forms a series of decorative bars along the increase line when viewed from the knit side of the fabric. This how-to will give you step-by-step instructions on how to work the “purl front and back” increase.
Yarn: * Paintbox Yarns Simply DK, a good value, good quality 100% acrylic yarn, here in the color 128 Lime Green.
Needles: * KnitPro Zing Fixed Circular Needles. In this tutorial, I used the 4 mm (US 6) size with a cable length of 80 cm (32 inches).
Working a pfb step-by-step
In this tutorial I’ll continue the swatch that I used in previous tutorials on increases and decreases.
- First, work your way across the row until you’ve reached the point where you want to make the increase.
In this case, I want the increase 2 sts in from the garter stitch border on the right. A pfb first makes a purl stitch, followed by the extra “bar” stitch on the left of it. Because of this, I start working the pfb over the third stitch.
- To start, insert the right-hand needle purl wise into the front loop of the stitch.
To finish this part of the stitch, wrap your yarn around the needle, and pull it through the stitch. Don’t drop it of the needle yet!
- Now we insert the right-hand needle purl wise into the back loop of the stitch.
To do so, insert the needle from the left to the right through the back loop. This is the tricky part, I find it helps to pull the fabric down a bit as shown in the picture, because it makes it easier to see where to insert the needle.
- Next, wrap the yarn around the needle and pull it through the stitch.
To complete the pfb stitch, drop the loop from the original stitch off the left-hand needle.
- This is how it looks now.
Do you see the purl stitch with an extra “bar stitch” to the left of it?
- This is how it looks after some more rows with increases, when viewed from the purl side of the fabric.
In this swatch, I’ve also made increases on the left side of the fabric. Very invisible here!
- And here is the view from the knit side of the fabric.
When viewed from this side, it really looks like a kfb, right?!
And that’s all there is to it!
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