Tutorial: knitting bobbles

Tutorial: knitting bobbles

The first in this mini-series of textured stitches is the bobble. Bobbles are a classic means to create a very defined texture in knitting. They are typically found in patterns that are already textured on their own like cables, ribbing or twisted stitches. Spread on stockinette the bobble makes a popcorn kind of appearance.

There are several ways to make a bobble. Size can be altered through the amount of stitches you use and how many rows you knit the bobble. The standard bobble in the tutorial here uses 5 stitches and 1 row.

Here is how you do a standard bobble over 5 stitches:


1. Knit into the stitch where your bobble should be. Leave the stitch you knitted in on the knitting needle.


2. Yarn over.

3. Work 1 knit stitch, 1 yarn over and 1 knit stitch through the same stitch as previously used. Let the stitch slip off the left needle.



4. Turn your knitting. Slip the first stitch. Knit 4 stitches loosely.


5. Turn your knitting. Slip the first stitch. Knit 4 stitches together. Pull the slipped stitch over the knitted stitches.

Here is another way to decrease the bobble to one stitch again. Work the bobble from step 1 to 4, then work the decreasing like shown below.


5. Slip 4 stitches.


6. Knit the 5th stitch.


7. Pull the 4 slipped stitches over the knitted stitch.

09 10

Here is a comparison between the 2 ways of decreasing the bobbles and a 3-stitch-bobble. The upper row is a 5-stitc- bobble with the 4 slipped stitches over one knitted decrease, the middle row is a 3-stitch-bobble, the last row is a 5-stitch-bobble with one slipped stitch over a knit-4-together stitch. The upper row is a bit sturdier than the last row of bobbles, but in some patterns the more teardrop shape of the last row bobbles can be a better fit.


Here are the links to the tutorials in this series

1. Introduction

2. Bobbles

3. Wrapped stitches

4. Nupps





Anne is an embroidery enthusiast living in rural north eastern Germany.

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