Puff stitches, to me, are the definition of soft and squishy. They’re formed basically by gathering a bunch of loops up into one clump. These are not the same as clusters and bobbles. I plan to have tutorials for those available soon too.
Puff Stitch Photo Tutorial
(scroll down for video tutorial)
To make a puff stitch, you start by drawing up a bunch of loops in the same stitch or chain. If you’re working a pattern, it should specify how many loops. The more loops you draw up, the puffier your puff will be. Let’s look at a puff with 13 loops.
Yarn over (yo), insert hook into specified stitch or space, and draw up a loop to the same height as your current row. Repeat this 5 more times in the same stitch or space, for a total of 13 loops. Yo and draw through all 13 loops. Some people will stop here, but I always like to finish with a slip stitch to close.
Your pattern should specify whether or not to add the slip stitch at the end. If it doesn’t say to do it, don’t do it (unless you intentionally want to modify the pattern).
Puff Stitch “Beads”:
Recently, I’ve been infatuated with making puffs into chains instead of stitches. When you make a puff into a chain, it looks a little bit like a bead. Plus, the leading chains help you position it wherever you want, even sideways! Let’s do this with a 7 loop puff.
Start with a ch 3. The chain furthest from our hook (green, in the picture below) is just going to be a chain space leading up to the puff. The 2nd chain from the hook (red) is going to be the base of the puff – this is the one we’re going to work into. The chain closest to our hook (blue) helps set the height of the puff and gives us a little wiggle room with our hook. We’re going to work our puff into the 2nd ch from the hook. I like to work into the back bump of the chain, but you can work into the chain any way you normally do.
Now work the puff up to 7 loops, this means (yo, insert hook in specified ch, draw up a loop) 3 times. Be sure to pull all your loops up to the same height. Then yo and pull through all 7 loops, and chain to close.
Chain one more (as a spacer), skip a few stitches (I skipped 5 here) and continue across the row. The puff stitch “bead” should turn and lie sideways. I did my row in dc stitches, which left plenty of space for the puff stitch. You can do it with smaller or taller stitches though too, for different looks.
I love the versatility of puff stitches, and recently have been using them a lot. You’ll find them in my Storm Clouds pillow, Jelly Beads, and Dew Drop Necklace, plus I’m incorporating them in a new project coming out soon!