Add a Pop of Texture to Your Knits With the Bobble Stitch

Bobbles are making a comeback — and we couldn't be more thrilled. Their bold, nobby texture adds a bit of fun to traditional knit sweaters and blankets. And really, the sky's the limit when it comes to bobbles. The technique is less a stitch pattern and more an actual stitch, meaning you can work a bobble into a single stitch of your project at any point.

The hardest part is deciding how big to bobble. But don't sweat it — we'll show you how to make two different size options.

How to Knit a Large Bobble

Level: Intermediate

What You Need

Instructions

1. Increase

Once you've worked up to the stitch where you're planning to place our bobble, you'll work the knit front, back, front, back, front increase (also known as kfbfbf...seriously.)

 

To do this, knit into the front and back of the stitch twice without pulling it off the left needle, then into the front once more and drop the stitch from your left needle. You've increased 4 stitches (and have 5 stitches worked into that original stitch).

2. Build Up the Bobble

Now, you're going to work 4 rows, just on your bobble stitches. Start by turning your work to the wrong side, and purling across the five stitches. Turn, and knit just the bobble stitches. Turn again and purl the bobble stitches. Turn one last time and knit the bobble stitches.

3. Decrease

Now we need to decrease back down to one stitch. To do this, slip the second stitch on the right needle over the first stitch four times. You'll have just one stitch left on your bobble and it should look like the photo above.

That's it! Essentially, the bobble is an increase into one stitch, then about four tiny rows, and a decrease back down to one. The tiny rows fold onto themselves to make the bobble.

Variation

Small Bobbles

If you're like me and prefer the more subtle texture of smaller 3D stitches, this little bobble is for you.

1. When you get to the stitch where you want to place your bobble, increase the stitch to four by knitting into the front and back of it twice (also known as fbfb).

3. Turn, and purl across the bobble stitches. Then turn again, and knit the stitches.

 

4. On the right needle, slip the second stitch over the first stitch three times to get back down to one.

Above is a comparison of the big and little bobbles. Most patterns will specify what sort of bobble you should use. There will likely be instructions at the beginning of the pattern to tell you exactly how to make it.

Don't be intimidated by these stitches — it's just increases, decreases, and stockinette stitch. You got this!

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