Bobbing for Bobbles

The Geraldine Cardigan by Sara Schmidt    

You know that game Bobbing for Apples? I never liked that game because I could never get an apple; all I got was a wet face and wet bangs, which is not a good look at a party. I would much rather bob for bobbles—I know I can get some of those without the wet hair side effects!

The new issue of Knitscene highlights bobbles in all of their glory. I have to mention that although I appreciate bobbles, I don't like designs where they're peppered all over the place. I like a well-placed bobble, and that's just what designer Sara Schmidt did in her Geraldine Cardigan (pictured at left). The lace detail combined with the small bobbles is really lovely.

How do you make a bobble?

The first time I was confronted with the abbreviation "MB" (make bobble), I had no idea what to do. I looked up the technique online and saw several ways to make bobbles so I practiced them all to see which one I liked best. I settled on the 3-stitch bobble, which has just the right profile for me—you can tell it's a bobble, but it doesn't really hang out there too much.

In the Winter issue of Knitscene, designer Sarah Wilson shares how to make five types of bobbles. Here's how to make my favorite three-stitch version:

This traditional bobble is make by increasing into 1 stitch, working back and forth across these stitches for a few rows, then decreasing. In this stitch, Row 2 will teach you to knit backward without having to turn your work. All rows are worked with right side facing.

Worked into 1 stitch.
Row 1. Knit into front, back, and front of next st on left needle—2 stitches increased.
Row 2. *Insert tip of left needle into back of first st on right needle; wrap yarn around tip of left needle, and slip st off right needle; rep from * twice more.
Row 3. K3.
Row 4. Rep Row 2.
Row 5. K3tog—2 sts decreased; return to original st count.

Samples of five different types of bobbles. 1. Traditional 3-Stitch Bobble (instructions above); Traditional 4-Stitch Bobble; Wrapped Bobble; Estonian Button Stitch; Knotted I-cord

Bobbles are an interesting way to embellish your knitwear, and they're fun to work, too. Get yourself the new issue of Knitscene to learn how to make the other four bobbles shown above, and check out the preview to see all of the other warm, wintery designs in the new issue!


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