During my trip to New Orleans last month, Miss Laura confided to me that she’d recently had a fascination with ball fringe, that lush, bouncy, dingley-dangley trim from our childhood. I admit, the inky black ball fringe looked pretty sweet along the hem of a short, pale pink polka dotted cape, giving it weight and highlighting its swing. I guess bobbles are the knitter’s version and boy, are they hot these days! I love the whimsy of them and the deep, 3-dimensional texture that bobbles offer.
I rediscovered them recently while looking for an edging for my very simple Martha cardigan. I’m still not sure exactly how the edge will play out, but I know there will be bobbles.
A quick Ravelry search yields dozens of really cute patterns involving bobbles, not the least of which is my favorite pattern ever, the Buttonbox Vest by Elizabeth McCarten. (Bobble Bath Mat by Jem Weston, Bobble Capelet by Cathy Payson, Bobble Ballerina Slippers by Lucy Hulett, Corinne Sweater by Jennifer Wood)
There are many ways to knit bobbles, tiny, large, joined by a strip, arranged geometrically and there’s some great bobble reference out there. Loveknitting offers this tutorial which covers 4 methods. Craftsy’s got one too, it’s really fun and easy to follow. Vogue Knitting has one too and Knitting Kingdom offers some interesting stitch patterns that incorporate bobbles.
They’re very easy to knit…here’s a basic version:
Knit to the point where you want a bobble. Make 5 sts into next st by working into the front, then the back, then front, back and finally front again. K 1, turn. P 5, turn. k 5, turn. P 5, then pass the other sts, one at a time, over the first st. Turn and knit into the back of the original stitch.
Try some today! They’re the perfect cure for winter ennui. Keep Calm and Bobble On!