Bobbles, puff stitches and other popcorns
Crochet terminology is a vast subject – often complicated, never standardized! This month, I try to find my way through the jungle of names and techniques when it comes to textured stitches – specifically, stitches of the type in which several stitches are worked into one stitch to create a rounded, often tridimensional shape without increasing the total number of stitches.
Please feel free to add your comments and opinions in the comment section below. I have no reason to say that I’m an expert, but here is what I have found when researching the subject.
Let’s start with bobbles: several stitches worked together into the same stitch below.
In this filet swatch, I’m going to replace some of the dc’s with bobbles.
a. I start as if to make an ordinary dc: yo, insert the hook into the stitch in the row below, pull up a loop. There are 3 loops on the hook.
b. Yo, pull through 2 loops.
Repeat steps a and b twice. There are now 4 loops on the hook (the one that was there at the start + 1 loop for each of the « half-made » dc’s).
Yo, pull through all loops. The bobble is finished.
In the finished swatch you can see one row where a bobble has been worked instead of each dc in the filet (except for the selvedge stitches), and higher up a row where every other dc has been replaced by a bobble.
You can, of course, play around with your bobbles, changing the number of stitches (2, 4 or 5) and the height of the stitch (treble, double treble…).
If you work your bobbles on a background of sc’s, you obtain a stitch pattern called « hazelnut stitch » in French. I explain it in this video (in French, but there are English subtitles):
However, if you work hdc’s instead of dc’s, you are actually not making bobbles anymore but puff stitches.
For a tutorial on the puff stitch, please refer to my January 2012 newsletter about « japanese » puff stitches.
In the version explained there, you pull the last yo through all the loops on the hook except the last one, then make an extra yo and pull through the last 2 loops.
The puff stitch can also be made more simply by working off all the loops at once to finish the stitch.
But in all cases, puff stitches are really hdc’s worked together into the same stitch.
Popcorns are an entirely different business. These are not stitches worked together in the same way as the others.
To start your popcorn you work several complete dc’s into a single stitch – here I made 4.
Take your hook out of the loop, insert it in the first dc in the group just made, and put the loop back on your hook.
Pull this loop through the first dc in the group – your popcorn is finished.
You can, of course, play around with this one too, using other stitches or changing their number. In my swatch, the popcorn to the right is made with 4 dc while the one on the left contains 5.
If you flip the swatch towards you, you can see the tops of the dc’s, especially in the left popcorn containing 5 dc. This means that the shape of the finished popcorn is different – it’s flatter on the top than a bobble or a puff stitch.
I hope this makes sense and will help and inspire you to continue experimenting with 3D stitches.
And do not hesitate to start the conversation in the comments below!
See you soon