All imagery and text courtesy of Compendium of Crochet Techniques by Jan Eaton published by Search Press Ltd
A bobble is a group of stitches, usually treble crochet stitches, worked into the same stitch at the base and closed at the top. Made from three, four or five stitches, bobbles are usually worked on wrong-side rows and surrounded by flat, solidly worked stitches to throw them into high relief.
Tip -When calculating yarn requirements for a project, remember that bobbles use up more yarn than most other stitches. Multicoloured bobbles are a great way of using up short lengths of leftover yarn.
How to Crochet a Basic Five Stitch Bobble
1. On a wrong-side row, work to the position of the bobble. Wrap the yarn over the hook, work the first stitch, and skip the last stage to leave two loops on the hook.
2. Work the second and third stitches in the same way. You now have four loops on the hook.
3. Work the remaining two stitches of the bobble in the same way, so you end up with six loops on the hook.
4. Wrap the yarn over the hook and draw it through all six loops to secure them and complete the bobble. You may find it helpful to gently poke the bobble through to the right side with the tip of one finger as you draw the securing loop through.
5. Continue along the row, working bobbles as required. When working the following right-side row, take care to work one stitch into the securing stitch at the top of each bobble.
1. Working in the main yarn, leave the last double crochet stitch incomplete with two loops on the hook. Use a separate length of contrast yarn to complete this stitch. Work a bobble as usual into the next stitch.
2. Holding down both ends of the contrast yarn with your thumb, bring the main yarn across the bobble and work the securing stitch with this yarn. Continue working in the main yarn until you reach the position of the next bobble.
Bobbles can be arranged in rows for all-over texture or grouped together to create a simple shape such as a diamond (shown here), triangle, square, heart or flower.
Individual bobbles can be used to work remnants of plain, textured, metallic or hand-painted yarns with striking results.