How to Crochet Polka Dots
I had made up my mind that I wanted this super girly afghan. Like, super girly. I didn’t want something simple, I wanted something that reminded me of the very girly Minnie Mouse. And what does Minnie do best? Polka dots, amIright?
After pondering it a while I realized that I could easily crochet polka dots by simply using the bobble stitch in 2 colors. Pretty cool, right? And, yep, this is totally just the bobble stitch. Today’s post will show you how to stagger a treble bobble while working with 2 colors of yarn to make polka dot fabric. Sounds easy peasy, right? ‘Cause it totally is.
I have tons and tons of Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn and so I grabbed 2 colors and started to play around. When I saw these gigantic super puffy polka dots I was absolutely smitten and I wound up hitting up every. single. Walmart. within 10 miles of my house to accumulate enough yarn to make a full afghan. And I swear, the hardest part of this whole business was keeping my cool while trying to source enough yarn :)
I have a really bad habit of losing count while I’m crocheting. Get over a handful of stitches and I’m going back and counting them out, totally confused after getting a little more involved in whatever show I’m binge-watching while hooking than the correct number of stitches I’ve created. And dear word help me should somebody on the show start spouting numbers for any reason because it’s gonna totally fry my counting brain.
In making this pattern I found that I can count to 8 over and over and over again while watching a show without any problems, and so that’s the number I stuck with and knowing that I was going to hit a mark every 8 stitches, I was able to keep right on top of my pattern with minimal stress or effort. Because going back and counting out 8, should I lose track, is so much easier than going back and counting out 14o, or whatever.
Now, the pattern works like this… you’ll create 7 stitches and on the 8th stitch (from the previous row) you’ll create a polka dot which is just a bobble stitch (we’ll go over that in a minute). So as you go you’ll just need to count to 8. Awesome, right? 1, 2,3 4, 5, 6, 7 BOBBLE. Now I’m not the best pattern maker or crochet chart go-getter but above is my best attempt. Be gentle with me. :)
Since a bobble works on only one side, to keep consistently crocheting our bobbles on the “right side”, in between each row that contains the polka dot bobbles you’ll have to make a row of just plain stitches (double crochet in this case).
In order to have the polka dots in a nice, staggered pattern, come the third row you’ll switch things up just a little and create a polka dot bobble on the 4th stitch from the previous row and then return to your count of a bobble on every 8th stitch for the remainder of the row. You’ll follow this row with a row of just double crochet stitches down the length.
And if you want, since mistakes can happen even on a simple 8-count, you can make sure your count from the previous row was right by still counting to 8. On the 8th double crochet stitch are you working in the bobble from the previous row? If not something got messed up somewhere.
Want to crochet polka dots using a staggered treble bobble stitch?
The pattern is easy enough to follow once you get going… 1. Create 7 double crochet stitches and bobble on the eighth. Repeat your 8-count until you reach the end. FYI – the last stitch in this row will be on the 7th count. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 and turn. 2. To start the next row you’ll turn, chain 3 (to act as your first double crochet) and then double crochet down the length for the entire row. 3. For the next row turn, chain 3 (acts as first double crochet) and double crochet twice and bobble your polka dot in the 4th stitch of the previous row. Return to your 8-count creating 7 double crochet stitches followed by one bobble. FYI – the last stitch in this row will be on the 3rd count. 1 – 2- 3 and turn. (I’m seriously hoping this makes as much sense to you as it does coming out of my head :)
To start your crochet polka dots you’ll need to chain a length of 8 (for each polka dot) plus 9 using your base color. Mine is pink.
Turn and double crochet in the 4th chain from your hook (first 3 chains act as first double crochet). Continue double crochet stitches until you reach the end.
Turn, chain 3 (to act as your first double crochet and your first count) and double crochet in the next 6 stitches (count 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) On the 8th stitch you’ll create your popcorn BUT we need to introduce the second color of our yarn for our polka dot before we get to that 8th stitch.
To do that once you’ve gotten a few stitches in, around 3 or 4, grab your polka dot color yarn (mine is orange) and run it along the top of the previous row like in the picture above.
Make your double crochet stitches leading up to the bobble OVER the tail of the orange.
This pic is just a close up view… See how you’ll literally look OVER the orange yarn, working around it and trapping it in the crochet fabric as you go?
When you are making your double crochet stitch right before your bobble, take off 2 loops from your hook and stop. You should still have 2 pink loops on your hook like the pic above.
Drop your pink and grab the orange and yarn over.
Finish your double crochet stitch with the orange and pull the pink taut and run it along the bottom of your previous row.
Now it’s time to create a treble bobble stitch with the orange yarn.
A bobble stitch is easy to make. You’ll basically make 5 treble crochet stitches and each time when you’d normally take off the last 2 loops on the hook, you’ll stop and start a new treble crochet stitch. As you go you’ll increase the number of loops on your hook like you see above. You’ll always have one more loop on the hook than treble crochet stitches you’ve created. See how there are 2 stitches visible but 3 loops on the hook?
And see how here we have 4 stitches visible but 5 loops on the hook?
To finish the bobble drop the orange yarn and pick the pink yarn back up. Pull the pink yarn through all of the loops on your hook to finish off the bobble.
Once again work over the orange yarn with your pink creating double crochet stitches until you reach your next bobble or the end of the row.
Once you near the end you can cut your orange yarn leaving a tail long enough to weave into the nearest bobble/polka dot.
Turn your work, chain 3 (acts as your first double crochet) and double crochet down to the end. Remember you can keep up with your 8-count.
Every 8th stitch you should be working into the bobble from the previous row, which will be your secondary color (see how this stitch is orange instead of pink) making it easy enough to keep track of.
You’ll continue on with the pattern working your orange yarn into bobbles on every other row, staggering them like the chart shows.
And you’ll wind up with a polka dot crochet fabric that looks like this. Cool, right?
Now here are a few tips to help you keep your work looking nice. When changing colors remember to pull the yarn taut to remove any slack that will bubble and peek out of your crochet fabric. Pull just enough to remove the slack but not so tight as to bunch up the works.
You’ll need to pull the yarn taut EVERY time you change colors, including before and after polka dots, to keep your gauge consistent.
This stitch works well with just about any kind of yarn. You can rock the Hometown USA and a really big hook or you can grab your favorite worsted weight and get after it with an H hook. Either way, the look is stunning and surprisingly simple to create!