The Bobble Stitch (often referred to as a Cluster Stitch) is actually quite straightforward. There are many, MANY variations of this stitch, but once you understand the principle, it doesn’t really matter if a pattern calls for 3 or 5 dc in each Bobble, or 5 or 8 tr. The principle remains the same.
For this tutorial, we are going to crochet Bobble Stitches that contain 3 US dc (UK tr) each. Because making a Bobble with 3 dc doesn’t make it ‘pop’, these are most often referred to as Cluster stitches (although I grew up learning that a Cluster stitch was made over multiple stitches). You are welcome to add more double crochets to your Bobble Stitches. Using 5 dc, for example, will give you a very defined Bobble that will pop to the back of your work. You can see an example of that in Betty’s Beautiful Border.
It is worth noting that you cannot make these Bobble Stitches abutting each other. If you start off with a ch-10 and then make a Bobble Stitch in each of the 10 ch stitches, your work is going to be all squashed and yuk. To that end, you will always chain one or two or three (you get the picture) between individual Bobble Stitches (as per whatever pattern you are using). You will also generally be skipping stitches to give the Bobbles room to breathe.
How to Crochet a Bobble Stitch
We are working on the premise that you already have a pattern to hand that calls for making Bobble Stitches and you just want to clarify how to do that.
The whole idea of the Bobble Stitch is that you partially complete the number of double crochets instructed in the pattern (usually 3, 4 or 5) – all in the same stitch – and then yarn over and pull through all the loops on your hook (the original loop + 1 loop for each partially completed dc). This is essentially a dc3tog, dc4tog, or dc5tog in the same stitch.
Written Only Instructions
First Bobble Stitch
This stitch is used when starting a round with a Bobble Stitch.
Start with a sl st in the indicated st/sp. Ch 3. (Yarn over and insert your hook into the same st as the sl st, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice. Yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on your hook.
Subsequent Bobble Stitches
Yarn over and insert your hook into the indicated st/sp. Yarn over and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops. (Yarn over and insert your hook into the same st/sp, yarn over and pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through 2 loops) twice. Yarn over and pull through all 4 loops on your hook.
Bobble Stitch Photo Tutorial
This tutorial is specifically written for making bobble stitches in rounds. The principle remains the same when working in rows, though. You just won’t be making your first stitch into a sl st join, but rather into the first st of the row.
And that’s it. Bobbles done!
Clare Sullivan from BobWilson123 has done an excellent video tutorial for her Cluster Stitch Bag. About 4 minutes into the video, she demonstrates how to make the first Bobble/Cluster and subsequent Bobbles/Clusters. The bag is very cute and well worth making!
This video tutorial by New Stitch a Day is excellent as well and covers the 5-dc Bobble.
This blog post contains affiliate links. I only link to products I personally use or would use. All opinions are my own.