Today I’m sharing a tutorial with you on one of my favorite crochet tequniques – the puff stitch! I love this stitch because it it’s a very versatile way to add texture to any project and can be combined with other techniques to make lots of different stitch patterns. You can easily use it straight or in the round, and it will make any piece appear more dynamic. We’ll also talk about the difference between this and some other similar stitches that often get confused with one another.
Let’s get started!
What is a puff stitch?
A “puff” is a beginner to intermediate crochet technique that creates a raised textured surface in the shape of a pointed oval. It is created by drawing up several loops from the same point and then cinching them together at the end so that the middle appears to puff out.
How do you make a crochet puff stitch?
There are actually lots of different puff stitches you can make but they all use the same method.
Basically, you repeatedly yarn over and draw up a loop from the same stitch without drawing through any of them, and then drawing through all of them at once. It’s as if you are making several half-finished half double crochets, and then finishing them all together.
Another way to think about it is that you are increasing six and decreasing six in the same stitch. But if you’re a beginner learning the puff stitch, that might not totally make sense yet. That’s OK! It’s not important how you think of it as long as you learn the correct steps.
Your puff stitches will also look different depending on how many loops you pull up and how far up you pull them. The shorter you pull up your loops or the more loops you pull up, the wider and more full your puff will be.
Conversely, if you pull your loops out farther or if you make fewer of them, your puff will end up looking more thin sparse.
A pretty standard puff will have 7 loops total, and that is what we will be learning today.
Different ways to crochet puff stitches
So let’s dig in a little deeper into the different ways you can crochet puff stitches.
As I just mentioned, one way you can easily make a puff stitch smaller or larger is by changing the number of loops you pull up.
However, there are other things that people differ on as well. For example, after pulling up the desired amount of loops, some people choose to finish off the stitch right away by pulling through the very last loop. While others yarn over one last time and pull through the last 2 loops.
Personally, I prefer the latter method. It gives you a slightly taller puff stitch. It really is a very attractive stitch! But both ways are perfectly valid for a puff. Below you can see the difference between the two:
As you can see, the puff without the second yarn over is smaller, and almost “squished” down a bit. I prefer adding the extra YO to give the puff a bit more height.
Puff Stitches vs. Popcorns vs. Bobbles
Not to make it more confusing, but the puff stitch is often confused with some other, similar-looking crochet stitches. Usually either a popcorn stitch or the bobble stitch. They are very similar in structure with minor differences.
A puff stitch is made of half-finished half double crochet stitches.
A popcorn stitch is made of half-finished double crochet stitches.
And a bobble stitch is actually made from several FINISHED double crochet stitches that you then connect with an additional slip stitch.
How to Crochet the Puff Stitch – Easy Tutorial
Watch this video tutorial or keep reading below for a step by step photo tutorial.
Note: different yarns and hooks were used for each of these tutorials. For the video, I used Lily Sugar and Cream. For the written step-by-step instructions, I used Lion Brand Basic Stitch Anti Pill.
Step 1: Make your foundation row.
To make a long string of puff stitches, we will start by making a slip knot and chaining 6. (If you want to make a swatch of puff stitches, refer to the end of this post for a list of stitch patterns you can use!)
Then single crochet into the second chain from your hook.
Continue to single crochet in each of the next four stitches, and your foundation row is done! You should have 5 simple single crochet.
Step 3: Make the first puff stitch row.
To get started with the puff stitch row, turn your work and chain three.
Skip the first stitch. The middle stitch (where the hook is pointing, below) is where you will be creating your first puff.
Yarn over and insert hook into this middle stitch, then draw up a loop. You’ll want to hold the hook up higher than normal so that the loops are a little longer than usual. This is generally called “extending” the loop.
Before you finish off the stitch, we have a few more things to do! Simply repeat the previous step 2 times more – yarn over and draw up a loop in that same stitch two more times. You should end up with 7 loops on your hook.
Yarn over and pull through six loops.
Yarn over one more time and draw through both loops to fish off the first puff stitch.
Skip the next stitch and complete one double crochet in the last stitch.
Step 4: Continue making puff stitch rows!
Turn your work and chain three to start the second row.
Skip the first stitch again, and make your next puff stitch in the closing loop of the previous puff stitch.
And to finish off the second row, double crochet into the last stitch.
Repeat the second row as many times as you need to practice and you’ll end up with a long string of puff stitches like this.
Crochet Puff Stitch in the Round
Puff stitches are also easy to work in the round. This particular puff will be best worked with rounds of double crochet.
Simply join a chain together, and start by working double crochet all around. Then, you can either do a round of puff stitches right next to each other. Or to spread them out, you can also alternate puff stitches with a chain one space.
Unique Crochet Stitches That Use Puffs
The amazing thing about puff stitches is you can combine them with other stitches in SO many ways to get a multitude of beautiful fabrics!
There is a virtually unlimited number of ways you can combine puffs with other stitches to make a stitch pattern of your own. You may have to fiddle around with the number of loops and the height of your stitch to get it to look just right.
To get you started, here are six crochet stitch tutorials I have made that use the exact same puff stitch we made here today.
Puff Stitch Crochet Patterns
And while we are at it, here are some crochet project patterns that use this particular puff stitch as well:
I hope you found a new puff-stitch project to make and I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
To see all my stitch tutorials, click HERE.