P1b & K1b in Knitting Explained + Easy Photo Tutorial

K1b in knitting is a wonderfully easy knitting technique that can add a lot of depth to your knitting project. Read on to learn what it is, how it effects your knitting, and most of importantly, the no-tear method of how to make an easy knit 1 below and purl 1 below!

How to P1b & K1b in Knitting

What is Knit 1 Below, aka “k1b” in knitting?

A knit 1 below stitch, also known as “k1b” in knitting, is essentially the same as a regular knit stitch. The difference is that a k1b is knit into the stitch below the working stitch on your needles, which knits together the working stitch and the stitch in the row below.

The purl 1 below, also known as “p1b”, does exactly the same thing, but you’re creating a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch.

Why use a K1b & P1b in knitting?

Working a k1b or p1b essentially releases the yarn from the working stitch into the stitches on either side, elongating those stitches.

This can be done occasionally for visual effect as with Zephryos & the Zephyros Cardigan. Or it can be repeated every (or every other) row to create depth and warmth.

When this stitch, paired with 1×1 ribbing, is repeated every row, it is called Fisherman’s Rib. When it is repeated every other row, it’s called Half Fisherman’s Rib.

Repeating the k1b in knitting so often produces a deep, squishy rib that provides a ton of warmth and therefore is named for the fishermen it protected the bitter cold of the frigid northern seas.

So now that you know the what and why, let’s get you set up for success! Follow your pattern until you come to your k1b stitch and then let’s dive in!

Knit 1 Below for Knitted Texture + P1b

Where Exactly is “Below”?: Read First for K1b in Knitting

Before diving into the knitting tutorial, you first need to locate where exactly this “below” is. To make it easier to see your stitches hold your left needle horizontally and position the first knit stitch, which we’ll not call the working stitch, on your needle so that you can see both “legs” of the stitch.

When the yarn loops over the top of your needle one side or “leg” hangs off the front and one side or “leg” hangs off back. The front leg sits to the right and the back leg sits to the left. These same left and right legs make up all the stitches going down the column of stitches.

To create a typical knit stitch, you would simply knit into the space beneath the needle between the two legs.

To create a k1b, look for the V of the fully formed stitch beneath the working stitch. It will have a horizontal bar of yarn behind the two legs of the working stitch which holds the stitch in place. The bar is the top and the V are the legs of the stitch below your needle, and it is into center of this stitch that you are going to make your knit 1 below.  

Once locating the correct spot, it’s easy! You’ll simply work a knit stitch in this loop. Read on for step by step photo instructions!

Free video tutorial with sign up!

How Do I Work a K1b in Knitting?

Now that we’ve defined exactly where “below” is, create a k1b in knitting by performing the normal steps of a knit stitch.

Kb1 in Knitting Step 1. Insert the right-hand needle beneath the horizontal bar and between the two legs of the stitch below the left-hand needle from front to the back.

1. Insert the right-hand needle beneath the horizontal bar and between the two legs of the stitch below the left-hand needle from front to the back.

Kb1 in Knitting Step 2. With your working yarn in the back, wrap the yarn around your needle from bottom to top/front to back (exactly the same way you wrap for every knit stitch).

2. With your working yarn in the back, wrap the yarn around your needle from bottom to top/front to back (exactly the same way you wrap for every knit stitch).

Kb1 in Knitting Step 3. Pull the yarn back through both legs of the stitch, taking care to come back beneath the horizontal bar of the stitch below the needle and not through the working stitch.

3. Pull the yarn back through both legs of the stitch, taking care to come back beneath the horizontal bar of the stitch below the needle and not through the working stitch.

4. Push/pull the working stitch off the left-hand needle.

And ta-dah! You have created a beautiful and mind-blowing easy knit 1 below!

Where do I P1b in Knitting? Read first!

A purl 1 below is made in exactly the same location as that k1b in knitting, but on the purl side, it looks a little different!

That horizontal bar that you looked for with the knit 1 below, is actually the purl bump! So when you’re working a p1b into a column of purls, you will insert your right needle from back to front beneath the purl bump into the center of the stitch below the working stitch on the lefthand needle.

See below for a step-by-step photo tutorial!

How Do I Purl 1 below (p1b) in Knitting?

Just remember to create a purl one below (p1b) find the same loop as when creating a k1b but work a purl stitch instead of a knit stitch. Remember that when working with purl stitches the yarn is at the front of your needles.

Pb1 in Knitting Step 1. Insert your right-hand needle from the back to the front of your knitting into the center of the stitch below your left-hand needle.

1. Insert your right-hand needle from the back to the front of your knitting into the center of the stitch below your left-hand needle.

Pb1 in Knitting Step 2. Wrap the working yarn around your needle from bottom to top/front to back (exactly the same way you wrap for every purl stitch).

2. Wrap the working yarn around your needle from bottom to top/front to back (exactly the same way you wrap for every purl stitch).

Pb1 in Knitting Step 3. Pull the yarn back through the stitch taking care to come back under the purl bump and not through the working stitch.

3. Pull the yarn back through the stitch taking care to come back under the purl bump and not through the working stitch.

Pb1 in Knitting Step 4. Push/pull the working stitch off the left-hand needle.

4. Push/pull the working stitch off the left-hand needle.

Get the Video Tutorial!

Want to see the p1b and k1b in knitting in action? Grab a copy of my free video tutorial by signing up for my email list below! When you do, you’ll also have access to all other video tutorials as well as PDF copies of my free patterns!

Free video tutorial with sign up!

How Will You Use Your New Knitting Technique?

Comment below with your plans for using this excellently easy knitting technique!

Will you work up a cowl in Fisherman’s Rib? Or maybe you’ll grab a copy of Zephryos or the Zephyros Cardigan for $7 each… or get both for just $9! Let me know!

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