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How to Crochet the Bobble Stitch

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Looking for a new way to add texture and dimension to your crochet projects? Get ready to fall in love with the bobble stitch! In this in-depth tutorial, I’ll guide you through everything you need to know to start crocheting the bobble stitch. Let’s get started!

another swatch of bobble stitches arranged in an offset pattern, crocheted in blue yarn on a gray background

The bobble stitch is one of my all-time favorite techniques for a fun 3D texture to all kinds of crochet projects – beanies, baby blankets, amigurumi, and more.

In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to start incorporating the bobble stitch into your own projects. We’ll cover the basic technique, along with our best tips, frequently asked questions, and fun pattern ideas featuring bobbles. 

How to Make a Bobble Stitch

To make a bobble, work a group of 3-5 stitches together, all in the same stitch. This creates a round, raised bump that pops out from the surface of your work. (You’ll find step-by-step instructions in the next section.)

a complete bobble stitch in blue yarn with a crochet hook on a gray background

When crocheting a bobble, work from the wrong side (WS) of the fabric so that the bobble “pops out” on the right side (RS).

To make your bobbles really stand out, crochet a shorter stitch before and after the bobble. The shorter stitches next to the bobble will make the bobble appear more rounded and “3D”. 

Bobble Stitch Details

Abbreviation

“BO” is the most common abbreviation for bobble stitch. That said, abbreviations vary from designer to designer. You may see other abbreviations for the bobble stitch, including “dc5tog”, “bob,” or “MB” (for “make bobble.”)

Skill Level

Easy. The bobble stitch pattern is constructed from basic crochet stitches, such as chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet.

Stitch Multiple

Any odd number. Bobbles are worked across a single stitch, and usually bordered by shorter stitches such as single crochet.

Row Multiple

Multiple of 2. Bobbles are worked on the wrong side row (WS). A row of non-bobble stitches is worked between each row of bobble stitches.

Right side vs. wrong side

The bobble stitch pops out on the opposite side than it’s made. If you want the bobble to show on the right side of the fabric, make the bobbles on the wrong side (WS) rows.

A swatch of bobble stitches will have a 3D texture on the front and a relatively flat texture on the back. In other words, it’s not reversible.

Step-by-Step Bobble Stitch Instructions

Here’s how to make a 5-dc bobble.

The Bobble Stitch

Think of making the bobble stitch as if you were making a group of 5 incomplete double crochet stitches into the same stitch. (Bobbles can be made with different numbers of stitches, but this version is one of the most common.)

  1. Yarn over (as if you were going to make a double crochet).
  2. Insert your hook into the indicated stitch.
  3. Yarn over and pull up a loop. (You’ll have 3 loops on your hook now.)
  4. Yarn over again and pull through the first 2 loops. (You’ll have 2 loops on the hook.)
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 four more times in the same stitch. (You’ll have 6 loops on the hook.)
  6. Yarn over one last time and pull through all loops.

The next stitch: Each bobble stitch is followed by another, shorter stitch like a single crochet. The shorter stitch on either side draws the fabric in, which defines the shape of the bobble and helps it pop through to the other side.

top view of crochet showing how to crochet into the top of a bobble stitch
working into the top of a bobble stitch on the next row

The next row:  The next row is a RS row. Depending on your pattern, it may be made up of single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, or other crochet stitches. 

two rows of bobble stitches crocheted in blue yarn on a gray background
3 rows of single crochet in between rows of bobble stitch

A tip for keeping track: Keep track of the number of double crochets you have made by counting the number of loops on the hook. The first on the hook is the loop you started with. Each additional loop represents a double crochet. If you’re making a 5-dc bobble, you’ll have six loops on the hook when you’re ready to finish the stitch.

Bobble Stitch Variations

While the classic 5-dc bobble is the most common, bobbles can be made using different numbers of stitches, and even different heights of stitches. Here are some variations to try:

Taller Bobbles

Increase the height of your bobble stitch by substituting treble crochet for the double crochet. 

Smaller Bobbles

To reduce the size of the bobble, use 3 or 4 double crochets instead of 5.

Bobble Stitch Swatches

Now that you know the basics of the bobble stitch, let’s learn how to crochet a few different swatches of bobble stitch.

Materials and Tools 

Yarn: Any yarn works, but medium weight (aka worsted weight) is beginner-friendly.

Hook: Use the size recommended for your yarn.

Scissors and tapestry needle: Keep these on hand for those finishing touches.

I used Lion Brand Heartland yarn and a 5.5mm hook in this tutorial.

Abbreviations 

  • Bo – bobble
  • Ch- chain
  • Sc – single crochet
  • St/s – stitch/es
  • RS – right side
  • WS – wrong side

Note: All bobbles are made on wrong side (WS) rows.

a swatch of bobble stitch texture in blue yarn on a gray background

Even Bobble Swatch

Row 1: Ch a multiple of 4. Sc in the second chain from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st, here and throughout) sc in next 3 sts, *bo, sc in next 3 sts; repeat from * across. Turn.

Rows 3-5: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. 

Repeat Rows 2-5 to continue the pattern.

another swatch of bobble stitches arranged in an offset pattern, crocheted in blue yarn on a gray background

Offset Bobble Swatch

Row 1: Ch a multiple of 4+3. Sc in the second chain from hook and in each ch across, turn.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st, here and throughout) sc in next 3 sts, *bo, sc in next 3 sts; repeat from * across to the last 4 sts, bo, sc in the last 3 sts. Turn.

Rows 3-5: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. 

Row 6 (WS): Ch 1, sc, *bo, sc in next 3 sts; repeat from * across to the last 2 sts, bo, sc in the last st. Turn.

Rows 7-8: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn.

Repeat rows 1-8 to continue the pattern.

a third swatch of bobble stitches arranged in a closer, offset stacked pattern

All-over Bobble Swatch

Row 1: Ch an even number. Sc in the second chain from hook and in each ch across. Turn.

Row 2 (WS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st, here and throughout) sc, *bo, sc; repeat from * across to the last 2 sts, bo, sc in the last st. Turn.

Rows 3: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn. 

Row 4: (WS): Ch 1, sc in next 2 sts, *bo, sc; repeat from * across to the last 3 sts, bo, sc in the last 2 sts. Turn.

Rows 5: Ch 1, sc in each st across. Turn.

Repeat rows 2-5 to continue the pattern.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Bobbles

Bobble stitches add fabulous texture, but getting them right takes practice. Here are my top tips for making gorgeous, uniform bobbles every time:

Tension: Keep your yarn tension consistent. If your tension is too loose, the bobble may appear sloppy. If it’s too tight, you may struggle to get that last yarn-over through all those loops. Aim for consistency.

Spacing: Give your bobbles room to breathe! We recommend spacing bobbles a few stitches apart in a pattern for the best overall look. Clustering them too closely tends to diminish their 3D effect.

Mixing Colors: Try making bobbles in a contrasting color for a fun design element. 

Crochet Patterns with Bobbles

Sure, bobbles are great, but where can you use them? Here are some of our favorite crochet patterns that use the bobble stitch!

Bobble and Mesh Stitch Blanket by Daisy Farm Crafts

This classic baby blanket pattern features the crochet bobble stitch. Select colors to match your decor and create your own bobble stitch blanket filled with love!

Drexel Beanie by Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts

This intermediate beanie pattern employs both the crochet bobble stitch and front post double crochet to create a luxurious textured beanie perfect for the colder months!

Tulip Cowl by Rebekah Haas

The Tulip Cowl gives you the look of wearing a thick triangle shawl without the challenge of tying or styling it. With the warmth of a cowl and the fashion statement of a shawl, the beginner-friendly pattern includes a video tutorial to help you get the best results. 

FAQs about Bobble Stitch

Check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the bobble stitch. 

Does the bobble stitch use a lot of yarn?

Yes, bobble stitch is a yarn eater. Since you are essentially making 3-5 double crochets in the same stitch, each bobble will use 3-5x as much yarn as a typical double crochet. 

Do you crochet a bobble stitch on the right or wrong side?

Bobbles pop through to the opposite side as you make them. Make your bobbles on the wrong side (WS) rows if you want them to appear on the right side (RS) of the fabric.

What is the difference between a popcorn stitch and a bobble stitch?

A popcorn stitch is a group of completed double crochet stitches that are joined together with a slip stitch at the top. 

In contrast, a bobble stitch is a group of incomplete double crochets joined together at the top (like a 5-dc decrease.)

What is the difference between a puff stitch and a bobble stitch?

A puff stitch is like making a group of incomplete half-double crochet stitches into one stitch.  

Contrast that to the bobble stitch, which is like making a group of incomplete double crochets into one stitch.

Is the cluster stitch the same as the bobble stitch?

No. The cluster stitch is a double crochet decrease worked across multiple stitches, while the bobble stitch is like a double crochet decrease worked in a single stitch. 

More Crochet Stitch Tutorials

After learning the bobble stitch, try one of these other crochet stitch tutorials!

another swatch of bobble stitches arranged in an offset pattern, crocheted in blue yarn on a gray background

Crochet Bobble Stitch

Yield: 1

How to crochet the classic 5-dc bobble stitch

Materials

  • yarn

Tools

  • crochet hook

Instructions

  1. Yarn over (as if you were going to make a double crochet).
  2. Insert your hook into the indicated stitch.
  3. Yarn over and pull up a loop. (You'll have 3 loops on your hook now.)
  4. Yarn over again and pull through the first 2 loops. (You'll have 2 loops on the hook.)
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 four more times in the same stitch. (You'll have 6 loops on the hook.)
  6. Yarn over one last time and pull through all loops.

Notes

Check the post for more information about making swatches with bobble stitches.

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What’s Next?

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pinterest image with background of crochet boobles in blue yarn, with text overlay "how to crochet bobble stitch"

Have questions? Join the Facebook Group!

We hope this article was useful for you! If you have any additional questions, feel free to join my Facebook Group. We created this group for you to share pictures, ask questions, and help each other out.

Jeri

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

WOW! i cant believe how talented you are sarah! Thank u so much for sharing.

Jeri

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