Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Bobbles...I swore that I would never knit one again after the scarf I made for my friend's charity drive last year (see blog post: Knitting for Charity - Part I from March 2011). 

As I recall, I swore bobbles off because I found knitting them to be highly tedious as one must knit a few stitches (really few!), turn the work, purl those few, turn the work, knit those few, blah blah blah.  And I have managed to avoid them.  Until now.  In the course of one week I say!...several people have come to me regarding bobbles!! Bobbles!!! Of all things

The first was my sister - who can refuse their sister?  Not me (shhh, don't tell her).  Finally having a peaceful moment in her life (she doesn't get many) she was trying to get back to her knitting.  She picked a pattern that had...bobbles...and was asking for a bit of help figuring out the bobble stitch directions.  Okay, it was brief, she was doing the work, no problem. Even though I had to pick up my needles and knit a bobble or two to refresh my own memory,  I was grateful that it was a project she was making and not I.

Soon after my sister's request, that same friend who had presented me with the charity project from last year came to me with this years project...the same thing only bigger!!!  Instead of knitting Bobble Ribbon scarves, she reported, her group is making Bobble Ribbon shawls for the Breast Health Initiative Race this spring. Bobbles.  Out of my mouth comes, "No problem, love to help" (what is wrong with me?).  It is for a good cause, I tell myself, and I can get past this bobble issue of mine, I think.  I haven't seen the pattern yet... 

Well now, here is the kicker.  My friend has a problem with knitting bobbles as well.  Additionally, she is more comfortable crocheting than she is knitting and lamented that if she could figure out how to crochet a bobble she would be so much happier.  That's where The Crafty Librarian comes in!!  I don't crochet (yet)  but I can find resources to help her.  And there are some excellent references available for crochet stitches.

The first book I found on our library shelf is titled "Ultimate Crochet Bible - A Complete Reference with Step-by-Step Techniques" by Jane Crowfoot. 

With a title like that, I reasoned, it must have a Bobble Stitch in it that even I might be able to follow.  And I am correct.  I found the Bobble Stitch in the index and turned to page 100 to determine if this book would be helpful to my friend.  The diagrams are large and very easy to follow and are accompanied by a photograph sample of the stitches - the best of both worlds.  Love it!!  I learn that the crocheted Bobble is worked on the wrong side rows (unlike knitting) and is, very simply, a group of stitches worked into one stitch to form a raised "puff" that is pushed through to the right side of the work.
For a 5-Stitch Basic Bobble (a double crochet bobble on a base of single crochet worked into the back of the stitch) it instructs:
  • With the wrong side facing, work to where the bobble should be formed.  Work 3 incomplete stitches (by leaving the last loop of each stitch on the crochet hook so that 4 loops remain on the hook. 
  • Then work 2 more incomplete stitches to leave 6 loops on the hook. (I don't really understand why it doesn't just say work 5 incomplete stitches until 6 loops are on the hook...) 
  • Wrap the yarn around the hook and draw it through all the loops on the hook. 
  • Wrap the yarn around a final time and draw through the loop on the hook. Gently push the group of stitches through to the front of your piece.
Sounds nice, looks easy (trust me, the diagrams that go with that description make it appear much simpler than what I wrote!), and it doesn't involve constantly turning your work.  Hmmmm, maybe I have to learn to crochet.

This book is a wonderful go-to resource for anyone who wants to learn to crochet or learn some advanced crochet styles and techniques (such as Tunisian,  Entrelac, Broomstick and Hairpin Crochet).

Another very good resource for someone who is new to crochet or for someone who is interested in learning some advanced stitches and techniques is one that relies specifically on photographs to exemplify each.  It is aptly titled "The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet" by Margaret Hubert. 

As the title suggests it provides a wealth of excellent photographs of a comprehensive number of stitch patterns and covers a number of specialty crochet methods as did the previous book.

Here are the instruction for the Bobble Stitch provided in this book (also worked from the wrong side):
  • Wrap the yarn over the hook and pick up a loop in the next stitch. 
  • Wrap the yarn over the hook again and pull it through 2 of the stitches on the hook 
  • Repeat this 5 times in the same stitch. 
  • Then wrap the yarn over the hook and pull it through all 6 loops on the hook. 
  • The bobble stitch is worked from the wrong side and pushed to the right side of the work.
These instructions are a little different from the other book in that a yarnover is done before the hook is put through the stitch but for all I know it is simply a different crochet stitch.  You still work in the same stitch until 6 are left on the hook and pull the yarn through all of those (but, you don't yarn over and pull through that one.)

Okay, I have to go get some practice yarn and a crochet hook....I think that I have some experimenting to do!! 

I started with the Ultimate Crochet Bible and taught myself the Single Crochet stitch.  Easy Peasy! Instructions are good but I became a little lost when it came to the Bobble because a) I didn't know where to go in the row once I did the steps for the bobble, and b) once I got past that, I didn't know where to stick my hook on the way back.  I looked at the Complete Photo Guide to Crochet and followed their instructions as well.  It left me with the same questions but ultimately I figured it out.  I think it was just my lack of crochet experience making me overthink things.

Here's my little sample! 

Now I can  provide resources for my friend as well as show her how to crochet bobbles.  I can't wait.  Bobbles are much less of a pain when crocheted...almost fun even!

In the fianl analysis, when I am really ready to sit down to learn to crochet I think the Ulitmate Crochet Bible will offer me the most intital guidance while The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet will supply a number of stitch patterns to keep me occupied once I am off and running.

For those who would like to actually see the stitch being made I found a video on YouTube that helped me understand what the book instructions meant (again, since I don't crochet I needed to see!).  You can search for Crochet Bobble Stitch instructions on YouTube yourself (or do a Google video search) however, click here to link to one video that I found helpful. 

Both of the above books could be of interest to those of you who are already accomplished crocheters as they both offer a number of stitch patterns and an introduction to some advanced methods of specialized crochet as I mentioned.  But, if you want to investigate a book of patterns that employs some of those techniques then  the following book could be very interesting:

Crochet Master Class - Lessons and Projects from Today's Top Crocheters
by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

I found this book while I was searching for Bobble Stitch instructions and while it is not a stitch instruction book it has so many interesting and beautiful projects in it that I wanted to give it a mention here.  It is not a book that I can use, yet, but one of you might!!

1 comment:

  1. Woo Hoo ... what a wonderful blog. What a lucky sister!! What a lucky friend!! Can't wait to try this pattern ..... off to buy some pink yarn. What is that saying "many hands make the load lighter" or something to that affect/effect ... never know which is correct!!