PFB & PFBF Increases
In order to knit a shape other than just a rectangle, 'increases' and 'decreases' are vital.
Increases are methods used to increase the total number of stitches on your needles so that what you are knitting becomes wider.
Decreases are methods used to decrease the total number of stitches on your needles so that what you are knitting becomes narrower.
On this page I'm going to teach you how to knit the pfb and pfbf increases, which are the purl equivalents of the kfb and kfbf increases respectively. They are usually used part-way through a row of purl stitches.
pfb = purl front and back.
This is a single decrease i.e. it increases the total number of stitches on your needles by 1.
pfbf = purl front, back and front again.
This is a double decrease i.e. it increases the total number of stitches on your needles by 2.
'Front' and 'back' refers to where you knit into a stitch; through the front of the loop or through the back of the loop (loop = stitch).
You may find that in these methods, the purling through the back of the loop (p tbl) is quite awkward to do...but don't worry, that's how it's supposed to be!
In the demo below, I have added an alternative to the pfb at the end of the video; the pbf.
This means that you purl into the back of the loop before you knit through the front of the loop, which makes it a bit less awkward to do.
So if you're struggling with the pfb, you can switch to the pbf if you wish. The appearance is slightly different, but it gets the same result. It also more closely mirrors the kfb increase.
Both the pfb and pfbf are 'left-leaning' increases.
All this means is that these increases, like most other increases, lean/slant to one side when you look at them from the front of your knitting.
The pfb and pfbf lean slightly to the left.
They are also sometimes referred to as 'bar' increases, because they create a small, raised 'bar' of yarn, which is visible on the front of the knitting.
Thanks for reading :)