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Bumbling around with bobbles

Apr 27, 2011

I love the look of bobbles, but I didn't used to be able to stand knitting them. All that turning back and forth, working five stitches into one, It just seems like a pain. 

The thing about knitting is that some things are a pain, but they're usually worth it (just another instance of knitting imitating life, right?). This goes for bobbles; sometimes you just have to have a bobble!

One of my favorite knit combos is bobbles + cables. I've been looking at a scarf pattern for awhile now, not starting it because I wasn't in a bobble mood. I was recently reviewing  Eunny Jang's DVD Workshop Getting Started Knitting: Basics and Beyond, and lo and behold, there was a segment on making bobbles! 

Not only does Eunny show a neat way to do a yarn-over variation to make more stitches for a bobble, she shows how to KNIT BACKWARDS so you don't have to turn your work ad nauseum when making bobbles. As always, Eunny knows of what she speaks.

You must learn this technique right now, so here's the video:

Kathleen's bobble and cable scarf swatch
I've started a practice swatch for a cable-bobble scarf (at right). I'm getting better at the bobbles, and I'm actually enjoying working them. Eunny's bobble tips are really worth using.

I think the top right bobble is the best one. I'm going to keep swatching until I get several perfect bobbles in a row. And I'm not sure if I like this scarf pattern. I think I'll do away with the knit stitch up the middle and add some bobbles in that space, mirroring the bobbles on the outsides of the cables. What do you think?

I really love the knitting backwards technique; you should practice it a bunch, because I can promise you that it'll come in handy. Like when you're knitting a 5-stitch button band or a purse strap or a shoulder strap.

I've already used it in a Christening dress I'm working on. The top of the dress is a knit and purl lattice pattern, and on the wrong side it's hard to see where to knit and where to purl. It's easy to see the pattern develop on the right side, so I've been using the reverse knitting technique. Try it!

Every time I watch this DVD workshop, I have an a-ha moment. Order your copy of Getting started Knitting: Basics and Beyond and get ready to "a-ha" with Eunny.


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Grankate wrote
on Aug 30, 2011 12:57 PM

Does anyone have or know where I can get a pattern for a baby blanket with bobbles?  My daughter saw one the other day and would like me to make one for my new granddaughter.  She said it was in variegated pastels and had bobbles sporadically placed around the blanket.  Thank you in advance.

Brideb88 wrote
on May 3, 2011 4:19 PM

That was really cool! I had thought bobbles were something for the advanced knitter!

Gletting wrote
on May 3, 2011 2:53 AM

I have a little problem because Eunny is holding her knitting another way than I do. But I will try to learn and practise this just as Kathleen says. My bubbles have always been very sloppy and have not burst like a flower bud as Eunny's. Is it so that she is picking up the new stitches as she is casting them on, then turning her knitting?

I am impressed of how easily she is turning her knitting without slipping the yarn from her left hand. Always new things to learn! I have knitted for 60 yrs and "after" Ravelry and Knitting Daily I have learnt more thn in the 55 years before.

Friendly, Grete from Norway

Leiahc wrote
on May 2, 2011 11:39 PM

I am making a beautiful sweater out of a beautiful soft cotton, that calls for many, many bobbles.... can hardly WAIT to use this technique! And I think your idea for making another line of bobbles instead of the knit stitch up the middle is brilliant. The knitted row just doesn't do it for me, it looks too much like an 'afterthought'.

Knit on, McDuff! LOL

Joan Runion wrote
on Apr 30, 2011 5:45 PM

I can watch this video from my computer and from my phone but not from my iPad. does anyone know how to fix this?


LeslieB@3 wrote
on Apr 29, 2011 1:35 PM

Jolie, I believe the cardigan Eunny is wearing is the Icelandic Star, from Interweave Knits Winter 2009.

on Apr 28, 2011 6:13 PM

What a great technique!  The video is so helpful and I will definitely be practicing knitting backwards. I've always avoided bobbles before. What sweater is Eunny wearing?  Is it an interweave pattern?  I want to make one!

eksmore wrote
on Apr 28, 2011 9:55 AM

What is the pattern for the first bobble demonstration? Eunny mentions that the pattern is on the website but doesn't name the pattern.

dots needles wrote
on Apr 28, 2011 8:07 AM

Thank you for the video.  Love E's concise, clear method of presentation.  During moments of frustration, turning to the DVDs saves both me and my projects!

zackds wrote
on Apr 28, 2011 8:02 AM

I really like your idea to replace the middle column of knit stitches with bobbles, but rather than do them in line with the outside bobbles, I would offset them to the row midway between the rows the outside bobbles are in.

on Apr 28, 2011 7:08 AM

I can't wait to try this out, I think knitting backwards would be an amazing technique to add to my toolbox!  Thank you Kathleen, you are such an inspiration!

on Apr 28, 2011 6:27 AM

I like the idea of bobbles too...but they've always been too complicated and I just want to revert to the way I make 'em in crochet!

BBurgess32 wrote
on Apr 28, 2011 5:38 AM

Totally enjoyed the video and will practice the technique.  I do like the middle stitch on the swatch, it adds texture and interest to a pattern intended to exhibit a variety of different looks.  

Patr Kitchen wrote
on Apr 28, 2011 2:58 AM

I used to teach knitting at the local school to where I lived and we had some very left-handed girls, so I taught myself how to teach left-handed or knitting backwards.  My husband used to know when I had been teaching because I would knit forwards and backwards - no turning, no purling, it was brilliant.  The best thing was these girls also got to knit and loved it.  I still use it at times when I have a small amount of stitches on the needle and find it a bother to keep turning.

on Apr 27, 2011 10:52 PM

I'd never buy a video of this type of teaching.  I enjoying listening to ONE person giving instructions - not two people, where the second person is busy talking over the instructor's explanations with unnecessary comments.

bpool wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 9:39 PM

Great tutorial!  I love Eunny, she has such great technics to share.

Jolie@5 wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 9:36 PM

Great video, especially the bit about knitting backward, but does anyone know about the sweater Eunny is wearing?  I want the pattern!

barb@3 wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 7:14 PM

@Rustydip, if you might try updating your Flash -- I did that and the videos work fine now.  Before I just got a blank box with a red X in the corner.

go to:

mhalvor wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 6:40 PM


I love you enthusiasm for all things knitting.  You asked for an opinion on the scarf pattern.  I think you should lose the center knit stitch AND the bobbles on the outside.  I like the idea of an open cable with bobbles down the middle.   Go for it!  

CoyC wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 6:18 PM

I´m left-handed, but I knit with my right hand and I'm a thrower. However, I just love watching Eunny knit because she's so good at it!  Thank you so much for sharing these great techniques. Maybe I'll now try to knit something with bobbles in it, because it doesn't seem like an endless, boring chore!

on Apr 27, 2011 5:34 PM

I knit "backwards" in all my knitting. Not that I can't knit in a traditional fashion, I just enjoy the speed. however, when working from the right needle to the left I am a picker and when working from the left needle to the right I am a thrower. I do have to think about pattern instructions before doing them, but in the end it's all the same to me.

Rustydip wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 5:30 PM

I personally love to watch Eunny work! I know how to continental knit (pick) but know it will take a lot of practice before it flows for me. When I'm not working on a porject that I want to get done quick, I'll just play with getting comfortable with picking & work on speed once I get it down pat...

Eunny also does throw, not just pick. I've watched her do both. But if I ever get as fast as her at picking, I'll do that... I like to get things done fast.

Now....Has anyone else had trouble getting the videos to work??? Mine used to but they don't anymore and I'm logged in.... I need help...I miss watching them!!

Rustydip wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 5:13 PM

I still can't get the videos to show up for me anymore! What is the problem? Did something happen to my computer that I need to fix? I need help!

LaurieR@16 wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 4:28 PM

How can I get the pattern that eunny is doing the bobble demo on?


on Apr 27, 2011 3:50 PM

I loved the video on bobbles!  I can also really use the backward knitting how-to as I really love to knit entrelac!!!

on Apr 27, 2011 3:31 PM

Awesome tutorial can't wait to try it and incorporate it into my next design!

rbrenner wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 3:12 PM

There is knifty way of making very tidy bobbles using a crochet hook.

 Knit/Purl (depending on your background).  Slip stitch back to left needle.  Hold both needles with left hand  and pick up crochet hook.  (I keep it behind my ear)

Pick up the stitch with crochet hook. Chain 4. Insert hook into the 4th chain from the hook from front to back, reaching behind the chain.  Yarn over and draw the loop through both stitches  Return stitch to Right needle.  Since I can't post a picture in my comment here is the link to a diagram in hat pattern I posted on Ravelry.

chaparito wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 2:39 PM

I agree With Marion about throwers versus pickers. Perhaps Eunny Jang should consider both techniques when knitting.

One of the reasons I don't watch you forget about throwers.

Too old to change


on Apr 27, 2011 12:57 PM

Eunny "picks" when she knits.  I throw and since I am now 82, am not inclined to pick.  I find I knit fast enough for my purposes and enjoy the action. I have knit sweaters, jackets, scarves, afghans, stoles, baby booties and baby hats.  I was interested in seeing the various ways she knits bobbles, but would appreciate being shown the simple ways throwing rather than picking my stitches.  Is that possible?


Marion R.

EllenF@3 wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 12:55 PM

Knitting backwards is indispensible for entrelac, and useful for all sorts of small, fiddly projects. It seems like a good "right brain" workout, too.

on Apr 27, 2011 12:49 PM

at first glance of the scarf swatch I thought,"What's with that knit stitch in the middle?"  I don't like it either.  The knitting backwards technique is funny to me because I originally learned how to knit "left-handed" from a book twenty years ago.  I only started knitting right handed about two years ago after being convinced it would make life so much easier when trying to follow patters.  I now love knitting right handed but have caught myself reverting to old ways on occasion.  I never thought of the advantage of being able to do it.

JOROB wrote
on Apr 27, 2011 12:25 PM

Do you know where I can any teaching about knitting?I really would like to learn how to knit.I live in Boones Mill.Thanks

on Apr 27, 2011 12:03 PM

You know, you can also knit backward rather than turn the work back and forth, a simple technique taught to me by a Norwegian lady that came in our shop. For this kind of stitch it works great!