How to Crochet Bobbles – Photo and Video Tutorial

Bobbles, sometimes called clusters, are a wonderful way to add texture to a project. They are more of a technique than a specific stitch, because there are so many ways to make them. Learn how to crochet bobbles, and some of the things you can change to achieve different looks.

How to Crochet Bobbles - Tutorial on Stitches n Scraps

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What is a Bobble?

A bobble or cluster is a group of stitches worked all in the same space and finished together at the top. First, work several stitches part of the way through. Then, finish them all off at once. This is most commonly done with double crochet, but can be done with other stitches too.

Working on the Wrong Side

Bobbles are almost always worked on the wrong side of the fabric. They tend to puff out more to the back. You can work them on the right side, you may just need to push them out the way you want them after finishing the next row.

5 dc Bobble

This is one of the more common bobbles you will see. Start as you would to make a double crochet (dc). Yarn over (yo), insert your hook into the stitch, yo and pull up a loop.

Start of first dc for a bobble

Now yo and pull through the first 2 loops on your hook – again just like you would to make a double crochet. But then we’re going to stop, and not finish the stitch. You should have 2 loops remaining on your hook.

1 partial double crochet stitch at the start of a bobble

Do the same thing again for the 2nd, partial stitch – yo, insert your hook into the same st, yo and draw up a loop. Yo and pull through the first 2 loops. Now you can see the beginnings of 2 double crochet stitches, and you have 3 loops on the hook.

2 partial double crochet stitches at the start of a bobble

Do the same thing 3 more times, to create a total of 5 partial stitches. You should now have 6 loops on your hook.

5 partial double crochets for a bobble

Finish all 5 stitches together to create the bobble. Yo and pull through all 6 loops on your hook.

a 5 dc bobble

Crochet Bobble Variations

As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of things you can change about your bobble to make it look different

An Extra Chain

I like to add a chain to the end of my clusters. I feel it closes them off nicely. Not all designers/patterns do this though, so be sure to pay attention to the instructions in your pattern.

When working back on the next row, work into either the top of the cluster or the chain. If you work into both, you’ll create an increase.

Optional Extra Chain at the top of a Bobble

Number of Stitches

The number of stitches you work determines how much the bobble will puff out horizontally. Work more partial stitches for a puffier bobble, or fewer for a flatter bobble. This picture shows a 5 dc bobble on the left, and a 6 dc bobble on the right.

a 5 dc and 6 dc bobble side by side

Type of Stitches

You can make a bobble with double crochets, or with any taller stitch. You can make a half double crochet bobble, but technically that’s called a puff stitch.

Puff Stitch tutorial on StitchesNScraps.com

The height of the bobble in relation to the other stitches on the row will determine how much it puffs out vertically. The stitches in the bobble get squished down to the level of the stitches around it. For example, if you are working a double crochet bobble on a row of double crochet stitches, it will be taller and skinnier than if you worked a treble crochet (tr) bobble on that same row.

This picture shows a 5 dc bobble on the left and a 5 tr bobble on the right.

a double crochet bobble and a treble crochet bobble side by side

Separation of Stitches

Taller stitches give you more options for finishing, because they have more yarn overs. For example, a treble crochet starts with 2 yarn overs and you normally pull through 3 times when working the stitch.

You can work each stitch all the way up to the last step, or stop somewhat earlier. With the treble crochet, this means you can pull through twice on each partial stitch, or you can pull through just once.

A treble crochet worked through the first step only

The more you finish each stitch independently, the taller, looser, and bigger your bobble will look. The less you finish each stitch independently, the tighter and more dense your bobble will look.

This picture shows, from left to right, a 5 dc bobble, a 5 tr bobble with two “pull throughs” on each stitch, and a 5 tr bobble with only 1 “pull through” on each stitch.

A dc bobble and two different tr bobbles side by side

Follow the Pattern

As you can see, there are lots of options. If you are following a pattern, it should specify exactly how the bobble is made. If you’re doing your own thing, experiment and see what you like!

How to Crochet Bobbles Video Tutorial

Watch this Video on YouTube

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