Bobbles, popcorns and puff stitches can add a fabulous dimension to your crochet projects. There are all sorts of uses for them from the practical to the decorative. But what is the difference between them and how do you make them? I’m glad you asked…. I’m going to explain the difference between each type of stitch and show you how to crochet them.
Each of these stitches add texture to your projects but they each have a different appearance and each have many variations. I’ve included the most common in these tutorials. The bobble and popcorn stitch are both rounded balls that stand out from the background of the fabric. They have different textures however. The bobble has a slanted stitch texture with a line running through it, while the popcorn has a vertical texture that is less defined. The puff stitch is different again in that it is a flatter stitch and more rectangular in shape. Each is made using a different technique. So, to learn how to make each stitch… keep reading!
The Bobble Stitch
The Bobble Stitch forms a round ball with the stitches seeming to slant in a diagonal. There are two main variations – the 3-stitch bobble and the 5-stitch bobble. They are both made in exactly the same way. The 3-stitch bobble is smaller and more subtle, while the 5-stitch bobble really stands out from the background. This stitch is the biggest yarn eater of the three, so take that into consideration when you’re planning a project.
The bobble is based on the double crochet (treble crochet in UK terms) and is, in my opinion, the easiest of the three stitches. I often use bobbles when I make my cotton dishcloths. A dishcloth with a bobble has a little extra ‘scrubbing power’ and you can place the bobbles to make designs like the dachshund (of course!), heart and Christmas tree below. All you need is some graph paper or a crochet chart app like Knitting Chart * and you can create any design using bobbles. The Bobble is a yarn eater.
Here’s how to make the bobble stitch… the narration is in US terms but the UK crochet terms are provided in subtitles….
The Puff Stitch
The puff stitch is a lovely stitch. It lies flatter than the bobble or popcorn and looks exactly like its name… a puff of yarn standing out from the background. There are three main variations – the 7-loop puff, the 9-loop puff, and the 11-loop puff. They are made the same way with the difference being their size in width and depth.
The puff stitch is especially effective when used in items worked in the round or squares. It adds an interesting texture to granny squares and can be used to represent petals or leaves of flowers. I use this stitch often to make re-usable, washable makeup remover pads.
How to make the puff stitch….
The Popcorn Stitch
The popcorn stitch is very similar to the bobble stitch but is made a little differently. It gives you a very round ball without the slanting stitch lines of the bobble. Like the bobble stitch, the popcorn stitch is based on the double crochet (treble crochet in UK terms) stitch. You can use this stitch the same way you would a bobble but it has a different visual appearance and texture.
Here’s how to do the popcorn stitch. Just a note about the video… I learned to finish my popcorn stitch by inserting the hook from front to back at the end of the stitch (this will make sense when you watch the video). However, you get a different texture if you insert the hook from back to front. Try it both ways and see which one you like better!
So that’s how you do the Bobbles, Popcorns and Puff stitches! Have a look at other posts on this blog for patterns that use these stitches including the dishcloths featured in this post. All of my patterns are available as FREE downloadable pdfs on Ravelry in the Long Dog Wool Design Store. Why not pop over there and have a look? Happy hooking!
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*Knitting Chart is an app for iPhone and iPad that lets you create stitch charts for knitting or crochet. It is not affiliated with me in any way, nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning it. I just use it myself and love it. Similarly, the Furls crochet hooks I use in my video are my own and I do not receive any compensation for mentioning them or featuring them. They are just awesome hooks and are especially made to reduce repetitive strain injury and help those with arthritis to keep hooking.