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Project info
Bubble Wrap Shawl
Bubble Pops by Tanya Cunningham
Machine Knitting
One Size
Tools and equipment
Brother KH-940
unknown lace weight acrylic from stash

I have been intrigued for a long time with this pattern. I first came across it in a blanket/pillow offered for sale at Nordstrom (third photo). I never figured out just how to replicate this pattern, but then I came across a video by Anna Kovin where she replicates this pattern exactly. Only a matter of days after I found the YouTube video, there ensued a discussion in the Machine Knitting Group about a similar pattern, Camino Bubbles

That inspired me to transcribe the steps shown in Anna’s video, and then to try it myself. The fourth photo shows my swatch using the instructions I got from the video, and was very happy with how it turned out! I will try that version again, with a tighter tension to see if I can get even closer to the pattern in the Nordstrom ad.

I wanted to see how it would look if I knitted with a very fine yarn and blocked it severely. Again, I was very pleased with my sample.

I then decided to knit a full length stole/shawl. I knit at T4/T4, looser than the sample, which I knit at T2/T2. I actually love the way it looks unblocked, and I’m not sure what to do. The bubbles are oh, so bubbly!!

I knit the 2 ends completely differently. At the beginning I knit with WY, then did a circular cast with MC in FNR and only knit about 2 rows before beginning the pattern. This resulted in a really neat looking scalloped edge. At the end, I knit about 10 rows of FNR, the removed on circular WY. Off the machine, I did a “smiles & frowns” cast off with a tapestry needle. That worked extremely well!!

I noticed after it was done that, in my eagerness to get the piece off the machine I forgot the last round of dropping stitches, so there is quite a lot of solid FNR on that end. It doesn’t look bad, just not what I intended.

All-in-all a very successful experiment. I think I’ll probably sell this shawl and knit myself one in wool.

Following is my attempt at transcribing the steps as I see them happening in Anna’s video, adjusted for the larger version of bubbles for this project:

Bubble Wrap Shawl

I recommend swatching to find the stitch size that works best for your yarn. I used a lace weight yarn and T4/T4 for the blue shawl pictured.

Cast on in FNR 23x + 12 stitches, on the main bed, plus 3 stitches on each end which will remain in FNR for the entire shawl to provide a defined side edge. For this example, L55 - R55. Half pitch on the ribber, and corresponding 54 ribber needles, with first and last needles in work on the main bed. Circular cast on, and two plain rows of FNR knitting (more if you like that look).

At this point, we need to do the initial transfer of stitches. This only happens once, at the beginning of the stitch pattern. For this I brought the ribber into full pitch, with needles matching up on the left edge, and one main bed needle on the right without a matching ribber needle.

Transfer the stitches in this way: Beginning at the right side, and leaving empty needles out of work:
• Skip the first 3 stitches, they’ll stay in FNR.
• Transfer the next 11 stitches from the ribber to main bed needles R51-R41 (no transfer to R52).
• Transfer main bed stitches R40-R30 to ribber.
• Transfer ribber stitches to main bed needles R28-R18 (no transfer to R29).
• Transfer main bed stitches R17-R7 to ribber.
• Transfer ribber stitches to main bed needles R5-L6 (no transfer to R6).
• Transfer main bed stitches L7-L17 to ribber.
• Transfer ribber stitches to main bed needles L19-L29 (no transfer to L18).
• Transfer main bed stitches L30-L40 to ribber.
• Transfer ribber stitches to main bed needles L42-L52 (no transfer to L41).

Yay! You’re done with the double ended transfer tool for the rest of the project!!

Important - now place ribber back into half pitch so that the groups of 12 needles in work on each bed are exactly between the groups of 12 needles in work on the opposite bed. This will look like an ‘industrial’ 12x12 rib setup.

Now we begin knitting the pattern repeats:

  1. Bring empty ribber needles into work. (Keep empty main bed needles out of work) Knit 16 rows.

  2. On the ribber bed, drop groups of 11 stitches on ribber from needles that are directly opposite the 12 main bed needles that are in work, and place these now empty needles out of work. Do this all across the row on the ribber.

  3. Bring the empty main bed needles into working position. Knit 16 Rows.

  4. On the main bed, drop groups of 11 stitches on main bed from needles that are directly opposite the 12 ribber needles that are in work, and place these now empty needles out of work. Do this all across the row on the main bed. (Repeat steps 1-4 to desired length.)

At the end of the last step 4, don’t forget to drop the stitches. Then bring all needles back into work on main bed and ribber. Knit 2 rows of FNR (more if you like that look). Leave a length of yarn 3-4 times the width of the piece, and break off. Thread WY, and set carriages for circular knitting. Knit 20 rows, break yarn and remove piece from machine.

Using a tapestry needle, cast off in “smiles & frowns” method. Diana Sullivan has a good video on that method, here.

Good luck. I’d love to hear from you if you try this. If you have questions, send me a message.

viewed 996 times | helped 13 people
September 8 2013
September 8 2013
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42 projects, in 85 queues
  • Project created: September 9, 2013
  • Finished: September 9, 2013
  • Updated: October 11, 2013