Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another Question for the KnittingGuru - How to Make Bobbles

Suzan wrote to me last night asking about how to make a mini-bobble - a stitch she read about in a pattern given online. I must say that I find MANY errors in online patterns. I guess you often get what you pay for and some designers are less careful when posting patterns than they would be if they were submitting the pattern to a publication. Therefore, Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware)!

Anyway, bobbles are usually made by knitting several times into one stitch and then immediately decreasing back to the one stitch. The pattern Suzan is attempting only has you knit three times into the one stitch -- therefore the name mini-bobble.

Here's Suzan's question:

Can you explain about making a mini bobble? Here are the directions: knit one, purl one, knit one all into the same stitch, (this is where I get lost). You will now have 3 stitches from ONE stitch on your right needle. (I don't understand one stitch. I am thinking I should have 3). Take the tip of the left needle and lift the furthest away over the top two then lift the 2nd over the first one. I understand the lifting, but when I start the next row I am short a few stitches. I am 1/2 way finished with this and really don't want to put it up. Any help would be great and thanks for your time!

The KnittingGuru answers:

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I decided to knit a little swatch to demonstrate each step of the stitch. Many photos follow with a description under the photo.

........... Here is the first knit stitch.

Here the yarn is brought forward to prepare for a purl stitch.

The purl stitch is made and the yarn is brought behind the left needle to prepare for the next knit stitch.

All three stitches have been made in the one stitch and taken off the left needle.

Of the three stitches made, stitch 1 is being passed over stitches 2 and 3.

Of the three stitches made, only stitches 2 and 3 remain on the right needle.

Here stitch 2 is being passed over stitch 3.

Here the bobble is completed. You are back to one stitch. No stitches have been lost.

This is the mini-bobble. In my opinion it's too mini to bother with.

Here's the same bobble made with 5 stitches instead of 3. I think it looks much better.

This photo shows the mini-bobble (bottom) and the 5 stitch bobble (top). You can see that the mini-bobble is not too visible and the 5 stitch bobble is more effective.

This is a photo of a Better Bobble. It is made by knitting into the front and back of the bobble base stitch 5 times rather than knitting and purling into the base stitch.

This photo shows both 5 stitch bobbles. You can see that the Better Bobble (on top) has much more stitch definition and stands out more from the background knitting. I will give a tutorial on how to do this in next week's Knitting Tip of the Week on KnittingGuru.

I hope this was helpful to Suzan and to many other "bobblers"!

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