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How to Knit a Purl Front Back (PFB)

The PFB increase is a common increase in knitting that creates a small bump or "bar."

Updated June 21, 2018
Purl Front Back
Purl Front Back

The purl front back increase (abbreviated PFB) is one of the most common increases in knitting. It's super easy to do, and it's almost invisible, which makes it useful for things like sweaters and shawls.

With this particular increase and it's pairing, the knit front back (KFB), there is a small bump on the right side of your work. This is sometimes called a "bar," and it's sometimes used in lace knitting as a decorative element.

The PFB increase does include a technique called ptbl (purl through back loop). This is a more advanced stitch, but once you've worked it a few times, it's really easy to do, and you'll notice after a few rows that this is what gives this increase its signature bump.


Materials List

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles


Note: Most of the time, PFBs will occur on the wrong side of your knitting.

  1. Work your pattern to the stitch that calls for a purl front back.

  2. Insert your needle purlwise.

  3. Yarn over and draw the loop through but do not sweep the old stitch off of your needle yet.

  4. Insert your needle into the back of that same loop as if to purl through the back loop.

  5. Yarn over and draw the loop through.

    This time sweep the old stitch off the needle to complete the PFB.

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