CAL: Bobbles & Hooks

Hey, if you haven't heard, we're busy over in the forums making a sweater together. It's the Ocean Pearls Cardigan (it's in the Summer 2008 issue of Interweave Crochet. If you have the issue, fabulous. If not, you can buy it here or buy the pattern alone here.) Come join us!

If you're just getting started, I have  a word or two to say about that bobble.

As you select your hook, you should look not only for the right size, but also the right shape. To make that swell bobble, you should work with an inline head. To acquaint yourself with the anatomy of a crochet hook, first look here.

Then look here:

See the shapely swanlike neck on the hook on the left? It's lovely, but just terrible for this bobble. (btw, this is a Boye hook — it's a great hook for much crochet work, but not for this project). Now take a look at the hook on the right: The neck is the same diameter from shank to lip. This is what you want for this project (this is the Flamie-Award-Winning Susan Bates hook, perfect for this project).

A word about that bobble: More properly the bobble in this project is a bullion. The difference is that a bobble is worked into the same stitch on the row. This bullion-like bobble is worked into the side of a partially worked stitch.

First you make half of a double crochet:

Then you turn the hook, yarn over, insert hook into the space between the partially worked stitch and the previous stitch and pick up a loop:

You do this four times, so you have a total of 10 loops on the hook:

Then you YO and draw yarn through all 10 loops:

And here, my friends, is where you really, really appreciate the in-line head. If you use that shapely hook, your YOs will be tighter than the drawn-up loop. You will find yourself plucking each loop over the hook and saying things not suitable for a family blog (at least, that's how it happened in my house). It will make you crazy. Crazy is not good.

So, in order to get to this next stitch:

Use the hook with the inline head. If you don't have one, go get one. One of the nice things about crochet is that the tools are really affordable. In fact, after making my own self crazy trying to find my G hook, I went out and bought two more, to save on the angst. Now, I can (almost) always find one when I need it. 

So here's your take-away from this blog: When you swatch for this sweater, make sure you are happy not only with the gauge, but also the way the hook makes the bobble.

I mentioned earlier that I have fallen in love with a yarn that won't meet gauge. I'll write more about this in my next blog.

Meanwhile, let us know how your work is coming along!


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