Wyif and alternating knit and purl stitches

I have a pattern starts (RS) WYIB, Sl 3, p 2, [k1, p1] repeat to last 4 sts. The next row starts with the WYIF and then alternates with p1, k1. For the first row with yarn in back, or in front when WYIF, does this mean that the yarn is kept in back (or in front for WYIF) the entire time you stitch both knit and purl? When I try to do this, it creates a mess.

First…can you tell us the name of the pattern and provide a link if possible? All patterns and wording can be a little different due to the designers personal choice and/or culture.

How many stitches do you have on the needle? Since I can’t see the pattern I would say that you slip with yarn in front or back as the pattern says and then move the yarn front or back depending on the stitches. (in front for purls, in back for knits) Are you doing seed stitch?

This is a pattern for cowl scarf called Sadie’ Cables and lattice from a local knitter and shop. gauge is 22 sts and 30 rows =4" in stickinette stitch unblocked. The first section I was trying to knit is titled ‘Ribbing’ and alternates with row 1: the (RS) WYIB, Sl 3, p 2, [k 1, p1] repeat to last 4 sts, p 1, k 3. (93 sts). Row 2: (WS) WYIF, Sl 3, k 2, [p 1, k 1] repeat to last 4 sts, k 1, p 3. Then repeat rows 1 and 2 until ribbing measures 2".

Thanks for any help!