WIP: My 30′s Bobble-Stitch Jumper
I was so eager to start the Bobble Stitch knitting pattern that I posted two weeks ago that I didn’t even finish my ‘Accessory for Your Spring Suit’ Jumper. (Although all that’s left is blocking, seaming, and knitting the neckline bow).
I read all of your comments about the color and I really was looking for a red yarn, but I came up empty-handed when I was at Imagiknit in San Francisco. But luckily I did find my second-choice color, a yummy hunter/grass-green fingering weight yarn by Madelinetosh called Tosh Merino Light in the Moorland colorway. I would have preferred a plied yarn that is a bit stiffer than this drapey yarn, but I loved the color so much more than any other yarns in the shop.
I cast on for this project while I was coming home from New Orleans and this is my progress 1 full week later. You can always tell when I’ve switched to knitting, from sewing, since I get so many rows done in a short amount of time.
When I did my swatch with US #2 needles, I was exactly at the pattern’s gauge of 7.5 stitches per inch. But once I started knitting in the round my gauge changed to 8 stitches per inch. This meant that I now had to redo my math to increase more stitches than I originally planned for my bust. Because of the gauge change, I’m hoping it still fits my waist with enough ease!
Let’s talk bobbles…
I really dislike bobbles, but so far I’m not finding them that bad. Honestly, once I get to a bobble row it’s a welcome change from the 7 rows of stockinette.
You can’t tell from the image above, but there’s a small hole to the right of each of the bobbles, that I’m hoping doesn’t show too much when I’m wearing this jumper. Holes are one of the inevitable symptoms of bobbles, so I’m told. As a result of this, on each of the bobble rows I’ve actually employed a new technique each time to figure out what works best at reducing the holes and also to get nice, uniform bobble stitches.
If any of you are planning on making this jumper, here’s how I’ve gone about making my bobbles. (The top 3 rows of the jumper shows this revised bobble method).
To make the actual bobble:
(This is exactly the same as the pattern directions)
Knit 1 stitch. Put it back on the left hand needle, knit it again, but leave on the needle as though casting on. Cast on 3 more stitches, and a total of 5 stitches should now be on your left hand needle.
To learn how to cast on in the middle of your work, click on the link above which is a youtube video. The video is by Judy Graham, who goes quite fast but it was the best video I found for this technique. Be sure to pause it as needed.
To close the bobble, or reduce back down to 1 stitch:
- With yarn in back, slip 3 stitches knit-wise one at a time to the right-hand needle.
- Then pass the second (or middle) stitch on the right-hand needle over the center stitch (left-most stitch on the right-hand needle).
- Slip the center stitch (or left-most stitch) back to the left-hand needle and pass the next stitch (to the left) on left-hand needle over it.
- Slip the center stitch (or left-most stitch on the left needle) back to the right-hand needle.
Repeat steps 2-3 one more time. You should now only have 1 stitch remaining on your left-hand needle.
- Knit this stitch in the back loop and proceed to the next bobble.
This seems like a lot of work, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it after a few bobbles. Really you’re just passing stitches from the left to the right and back again, folding the stitches over each other from the center of the bobble out towards the edge of the bobble.
On the first row after the bobble row:
Purl the bobble stitch (aka stitch right where you had your bobble on the prior row) instead of knitting it! This makes the bobble more defined and also helps reduce holes.
One more tip: Be sure to knit tightly in the stitch before and after the bobble, as this also helps to reduce unwanted holes.
Now, I should state that my jumper still does have a bit of a gap between the knit stitches and the bobble. But it’s by far, these steps left the smallest hole compared to all other methods. There’s no way getting around these holes with fingering weight yarn, it’s just the way bobbles go.
Please let me know if you have any questions about these steps! I feel like I tried every single variation to these steps so I feel like a mini bobble expert now. heh
Happy knitting everyone!