Greenwood Shawl KAL: How to Make Bobbles

We’re moving right along with our Greenwood Shawl knit-along! Today I’m going to talk about the bobble section—there have been a few questions about how to make the bobbles, so let’s dive right in.

First, let’s answer the question “what is a bobble”? In knitting, a bobble, or in some patterns, a nupp, is simple a small section of extra fabric that forms a raised dot on the fabric. If you look at the pattern for Tove, which features a welted stitch, a bobble is kind of the same thing, only condensed into a small section of stitches. And the tricky thing is that there are many, many different ways to knit bobbles—I wrote about a few of them in this blog post about the Bisbee Shawl. While you can create bobbles in a variety of ways, they are all essentially the same thing—you increase stitches rapidly, work back and forth until the bobble is a certain size, then decrease rapidly as well, all within one row of knitting.

For the Greenwood Shawl, you rapidly increase by working a KFBF stitch. That means you Knit in the Front, Back, and Front of the stitch—making three stitches from the one you started with. You may have done a KFB, knit into the front and back of the stitch, as that’s a more familiar increase and is used frequently. KFBF begins the same way, you just bring the needle back to the front and knit into the stitch one more time. In Greenwood, you work KFBF, then work it again—you know have six stitches in a space that had been taken up by two stitches previously.

After that, you turn the whole work, and purl those six stitches. Turn the work again, and start the decreases.

If you’re having trouble envisioning working the KFBF, never fear! Here’s a video demonstrating both the KFBF stitch as well as the rest of the bobble for Greenwood Shawl.

How’s your Greenwood Shawl coming? Be sure to share your in-progress photos on social media using the hashtag #GreenwoodKAL or post photos in our Ravelry discussion group.

2 Comments

  1. Hi, I am Tomoko.
    I am struggling to make the bubble for Nora Gauhan’s pattern (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter08/PATTsurface.php) and it is so difficult understand it because I have never tried to read the pattern in English (I am a Japanese!) and I am still in a beginner level.
    But with your video, I think I could understand some today and will try to knit….
    Thanks for nice video and have a good knitting day!

    1. Hi Tomoko! Glad to hear you think the video could be helpful! I looked at Norah’s pattern and she used a similar technique to this bobble, so I hope you’ll have a successful knitting experience.

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