Knitting bobbles

OK, I thought that this was going to be easy. My friend Jimmie started to make the  Nano cover by Debbie Bliss for his daughter & had problems. I thought, 'Oh plesase, somethning so small can't be that hard.' Wrong.

What is it about bobbles? Why are they so hard? Or what am i/we missing?

Any tips will be very welcome. I've googled & got a few sites but they don't seem to match Debbies instructions.


To me nothing says "granny sweater" quite like bobbles, so although I don't care much for the effect I do find them fun to make.

Basically, you increase several times into one stitch, knit a few rows back and forth over just the bobble stitches, decrease back down to one stitch and carry on with the main row.  I've found a couple of things make them stand out better.  First, work the stitches loosely when increasing and knitting the bobble, except pull the yarn a little extra tight when turning and starting each new row.  Then, work tightly while decreasing and joining the bobble back up with main fabric.  Finally, once everything is secure, possibly after knitting the next main row or round, insert something blunt into the bobble from the wrong side of the fabric (I like to use the non-working end of a crochet hook) and gently push it outward to form a nice little sphere.

I wish Jimmie success with his project and hope this is helpful.



You can have my entire share of bobbles.  There are two types of knitters: Thems that likes Bobbles & thems that hates bobbles.  Count me in the latter camp!  But, if you must, here is a quick tutorial that shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes to digest.  Then, you'll be armed to the teeth for any damned bobble you stumble into.

-from Mdm. Walker's 1st Treasury of Knitting Patterns:

" . . . Bobbles are "turned".  "Turning" means that the work is turned around to the other side, and a few stitches worked backward over the most recent ones.  In most bobble patterns the work is turned 4 times for each bobble.
 . . . A bobble is completed all at once on the same right-side row."

Vis:  (You might cast on 17 sts. on another pair of needles for this short exercise)
Multiple of 6 sts. plus 5.
Note:  Odd-numbered rows are wrong-side rows.

Rows 1 - 5 - knit.
Row 6: K5, *(yo, k1) 3 times into the next st, forming 6 bobble sts.;
  turn work around and slip 1 st, purl 5 across these 6 sts;
  turn again and sl 1, k5; turn again and (p2 tog) 3 times;
  turn again and sl 1 - k2 tog - psso (pass slipped stitch over) completing bobble;
  K5; rep from *
Row 7: K5, *p1-b (through the back loop), k5; rep from *.
Row 8 - 11:  Knit
Row 12: K8, * make Bobble in next st as in Row 6, k5; rep from * end k3.
Repeat Rows 1 - 12.

(On subsequernt repeats, always purl into the BACK of each bobble st on the return row, as in Row 7.) 


Clear as mud?   Write me and I'll help you out.Cool

~Mike in Tampa

~Der Gefährliche Schal-Stricker

Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

First Time = A Mistake

2nd Time = A Mistake

3rd Time = A Pattern!


Hey Martin, please forgive the huge post but this was just emailed to me the other day and may help. 


That's knitting shorthand for "make bobble," an embellishment that adds delight and whimsy to any knitting project.  Bobbles have become cherries in cherry pie, olives, leaves of a tree, absorbent bumps on a dishcloth, or simply polka dots on a sweater.   Just think, from a single stitch, out grows this beautiful berry of a bobble on a baby hat.  Are you inspired to give it a try?

There are zillions of ways to make bobbles but today I'll tell you how, in wonderful detail, how to make a 5-stitch bobble.   They are so easy and fun!

FOR ADVANCED KNITTERS, these instructions ought to do it:
MB (Make Bobble): K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 into a single st, turn and K5, turn and P5, turn and K5, turn and sl 2, K3 tog, PSSO for both sts.

FOR US OTHERS, let's walk through how one stitch grows to 5 stitches that you work for two rows, then magically return to just a single stitch.  Take the mystery out of these and the rest is easy!

Row 1:
'Tis one of those things that is easier to do than to read about, but here goes.   Start with a knit stitch and get to the part of making a loop on the right needle, then -STOP! - just short of sliding it off the left needle.  Bring the yarn through the stitch to the front.  Now Purl up to adding a 2nd loop on the right needle.  Pull the yarn through to the back to knit the 3rd stitch.  And so on... alternating until you have 5 stitches on the right hand needle.  Whew!  Congratulations, you've just done a [bbl inc]!  A toast to many more bobbles!

Rows 2 and 3 form the body of the bobble.  You work only the 5 stitches of your bobble for these short rows.  The rest of your work simply has to wait while you make the bobble nice and poofy!

Row 2:
 After turning, let's check.  Are you looking at the wrong side?  Good.  Now, purl all 5 stitches.

Row 3:
Turn your work and knit all 5 stitches.

Row 4, the bobble decrease:

You'll need to know how to slip [sl] a stitch and how to pass that slipped stitch over [PSSO].   A little primer for those who need it:

   [sl]- slip a stitch by simply moving the left needle loop to the right needle.  No knitting required!  These instructions say "knitwise" meaning you insert the right needle as if to knit. (Note, if your knitting pattern doesn't say either "knitwise" or "purlwise," you always do it "purlwise")

 [PSSO]- Pass slipped stitch over.  If you've ever finished a project then you'll see it's like binding off.  Pick up the right needle loop with the tip of the left needle and pass it over the loop on the left needle.

Ready to rumble for row 4?  Slip the first two stitches, knitwise.  Knit the next 3 stitches together.   It's like a knit 2 together [K2tog] decrease only you do 3 stitches.  So, the score is now 2 to 1 at the end of the 4th.  Two slipped stitches and one knit stitch.  Pass both slipped stitches over the Knit 3 together stitch, similar to binding off.

Row 5:
Turn your work and work the top stitch of the bobble but be sure to pull it TIGHT.   Complete the rest of the main row.   I goofed the first time I made a bobble, I got to row 4 and continued on my merry way and shorted a row on the left side of my project.

Bring out the scrap yarn and do a small swatch, making bobbles of various sizes, then decide which one you like best and use that. Make notes on how many stitches/rows you use on each - it is really hard to count after the bobble is made, lest we forget . . .
-       When doing row 1, bbl inc, try alternating yarn overs [YO] with the knit stitches.
-       Try alternating knitting into the back of the stitch with knitting into the front.

-       The width can vary from 3-6 stitches across.
-       Want poof?  Add more rows between row 1 and row 4
-       Try a contrasting color
Enough bobble babble.    There's only clear and easy-to-understand language in my ebook Knitting Secrets.  Basic stuff is easy-as-pie and I take the mystery out of more challenging techniques.   I'd like to tell you more about it but I'll let others do it for me.

Knit away, knit away

"They say best men are moulded out of faults; and, for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad." William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Thanks guys so much it works. I can now do bobbles! 

Knit away, knit away

"They say best men are moulded out of faults; and, for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad." William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure