Thanks for your reply! The adjacent page that says the first stitch should be purl is only instructions on how to K1b.
As far as the pattern itself, Row 3 is the last and it says to keep repeating rows 2 and 3 until scarf reaches 60 in.
I've noticed that each row starts and ends with a knit stitch and think that a purl stitch before a k1b stitch is not an essential stitch. If that makes any sense at all.