Bobble Like It’s Hot: How to Knit a Bobble Stitch

Posted by on Feb 23, 2014 in Knitting | Comments


“Bobble” is not only a fun word to say, it is a fun technique to add 3-dimensional texture to your project. You can add bobbles to pretty much any item. The technique is less a stitch pattern and more an actual stitch. That is to say, you do the entire bobble “procedure” at a single point in your knitting. Does that sound complicated? I assure you, it is not!

Read on to learn how to knit a bobble stitch in two different sizes and explore some Craftsy patterns that feature them.

Title Image: How to Knit Bobbles

How to knit a large bobble

When you get to the point where you want to add the bobble, you have to complete the next few steps:

kfb for bobble bobble step 1
Step 1:

INCREASE one stitch to five. To do this, knit into the front and back of the stitch TWICE without pulling it off the left, then into the front once more and drop the stitch from your left needle.

Bobble before decrease

Step 2:

Turn your work, purl across the five stitches, then turn again, knit across five, turn, purl across five, turn once more, and knit across the five one last time.

Bobble complete

Step 3:

Now we have to decrease back down to one stitch. To do this, slip the second stitch on the right needle over the first stitch four times. Your completed bobble 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.

How to knit a smaller bobble

If you are like me and enjoy the more subtle texture of smaller 3-dimensional stitches, this little bobble is for you.

Step 1 small bobble

When you get to the stitch you want to place your bobble at, increase the stitch to four by knitting into the front and back of it twice.

purling small bobble

Turn, and purl across the four stitches.

small bobble knitting

Then, turn and knit across them.

Slipping stitch small bobble Completed Small Bobble

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

Bobble comparison

Here is a comparison of the big bobble and little bobbles. I’m working on a cowl because that little groundhog says winter’s going to be sticking around for a little bit longer. It’s a dream for this Texas knitter!

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 super easy stitches.

Bobbles around Craftsy

Here are some patterns that feature bobbles. There are so many more! Just search for “bobbles” in Craftsy Patterns to see the selection.

Bobble Knit Hat - Pattern on Craftsy.com
Photo via Handknitsbyelena

This super cute hat, knit with purple yarn here, features a smaller bobble in a diagonal pattern. I love the way it creates a swirl toward the top! Pattern includes instructions for baby and mama hats.

Get the Hat in a Diagonal Rib pattern.

Bobble Knit Shoulder Bag
Photo via Creationsbyeve

Bobbles create an interesting texture on this shoulder bag!

Get the Funky Bobbles Shoulder Bag pattern.

Craftsy Member Pattern - Bobble Cowl
Photo via The Knitting Niche

Sort of like what I’m currently making. This cowl features an all-over bobble pattern while I am spacing mine with a few more stitches. Either way, the texture is just lovely for the winter!

Get the Bobble Cowl pattern.

White Bobble Knit Hat - Craftsy Member Pattern
Photo via Just1More Row.

This hat combines bobbles and cables! I am totally in love with how the bobbles are between some of the cables and on the sides of others. They make the cables POP!

Get the Cabobbles Hat pattern.

Child's Bobble Scarf - Pattern on Craftsy.com
Photo via Meg Roke Knits

This simple scarf pattern uses bobbles as an edge! I would never have thought of that. It is absolutely adorable.

Get the Little Bobbles Scarf pattern.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t a big fan of bobbles before writing up this post. I saw the potential, but always overlooked them when designing accessories. Not anymore! They add interesting texture and are a cinch to knit.

What do you think of bobbles?

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