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Bladderwrack (R3)

knitted bladderwrack

Bladderwrack is common type of seaweed in Britain. It gets its name from the small pockets of air that are trapped in the fronds (like bubble wrap). This pattern is designed in sections that can be worked in any order.

A printable version of this pattern is available.

You will need:

  • green or black double knit
  • 4 x double ended knitting needles (2.75mm)
  • tapestry needle
  • scissors

Pattern:

General

Cast on 12 stitches and join into the round. Choose one of the following pattern sections to work.

section diagrams
  1. Paired Bladders produces a straight section with a pair of bobbles placed symmetrically on either side of the stem and ends with 12 stitches on the needle.
  2. Alternate Bladders produces a straight section with a bobble on one side, then the other. It ends with 12 stitches on the needle.
  3. Branch separates the stem into two, there are 12 stitches on each branch.
  4. End is the finishing section. It ends with no stitches on the needle.

Work sections 1 to 3 in any order until finishing with an end section. Then go back and pick up any reserved stitches from the branch sections (reattach yarn at the centre of the fork). Repeat until no stitches remain.

In this pattern we will use the abbreviation B1. This means Bobble 1 and is worked on 1 stitch as follows:

  • kfbf, turn/
  • p3, turn/
  • k3, turn/
  • p3, turn/
  • sl1, k2tog, psso

(A list of further abbreviations is available.)

1. Paired Bladders

  1. Rounds 1 & 2: [p2, k1] x 4 (12)
  2. Round 3: [pfb, p1, k1] x 4
  3. Round 4: [p3, k1] x 4
  4. Round 5: [p1, B1, p1, k1] x 4 (16)
  5. Round 6: [pfb, ybk, sl1, yfwd, pfb, k1] x 4
  6. Round 7: [p2, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2, k1] x 4 (24)
  7. Round 8: [p2, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2, k1] x 4
  8. Round 9: [p2tog, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2tog, k1] x 4
  9. Round 10: [p3, k1] x 4 (16)
  10. Round 11: [p1, p2tog, k1] x 4
  11. Round 12: [p2, k1] x 4 (12)

Repeat these 12 rounds or move on to another section.

2. Alternate Bladders

  1. Round 1: [p2, k1] x 4 (12)
  2. Round 2: [pfb, p1, k1] x 4 (16)
  3. Round 3: [p3, k1] x 4
  4. Round 4: p1, p2tog, k1, p1, B1, p1, k1, p1, B1, p1, k1, p1, p2tog, k1
  5. Round 5: p2, k1, pfb, ybk, sl1, yfwd, pfb, k1, pfb, ybk, sl1, yfwd, pfb, k1, p2, k1
  6. Round 6: p2, k1, p2, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2, k1, p2, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2, k1, p2, k1
  7. Round 7: p2, k1, p2, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2, k1, p2, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2, k1, p2, k1
  8. Round 8: pfb, p1, k1, p2tog, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2tog, k1, p2tog, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2tog, k1, pfb, p1, k1
  9. Round 9: [p3, k1] x 4
  10. Round 10: p1, B1, p1, k1, p1, p2tog, k1, p1, p2tog, k1, p1, B1, p1, k1
  11. Round 11: pfb, ybk, sl1, yfwd, pfb, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, pfb, ybk, sl1, yfwd, pfb, k1
  12. Round 12: p2, ybk, sl1 yfwd, p2, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, p2, ybk, sl1 yfwd, p2, k1
  13. Round 13: p2, ybk, sl1 yfwd, p2, k1, p2, k1, p2, k1, p2, ybk, sl1 yfwd, p2, k1
  14. Round 14: p2tog, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2tog, k1, pfb, p1, k1, pfb, p1, k1, p2tog, ybk, sl1, yfwd, p2tog, k1
  15. Round 15: [p3, k1] x 4

If repeating the alternate bladders section stop here and work through rounds 4 to 15 again. Rounds 1 to 3 and 16 to 18 exist to change the stitch count only. If moving on to a different section finish as follows:

  1. Round 16: [p3, k1] x 4
  2. Round 17: [p1, p2tog, k1] x 4
  3. Round 18: [p2, k1] x 4 (12)

3. Branch

  1. Rounds 1 & 2: [p2, k1] x 4 (12)
  2. Round 3: [p2, kfb, p2, k1] x 2
  3. Round 4: [p2, kfb, k1, p2, k1] x 2
  4. Round 5: [p2, k1, pfb, k1, p2, k1] x 2
  5. Round 6: [p2, k1, pfb, p1, k1, p2, k1] x 2
  6. Round 7: [p2, k1, p3, k1, p2, k1] x 2
  7. Round 8: [p2, k1, pfb, pfb, p1, k1, p2, k1] x 2
  8. Round 9: [p2, k1] x 2, slip next 12 stitches onto stitch keeper and reserve, [p2, k1] x 2.

Work pattern sections on the 12 live stitches before returning to pick up the reserved stitches.

4. End

  1. Rounds 1 to 3: [p5, k1] x 2
  2. Round 1: [p1, p2tog, p2tog, k1] x 2

Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.

Making Up:

Simply sew in any remaining loose ends.

Notes:

Needle/Yarn Size

As with most ODDknit patterns the yarn and needle sizes in the "you will need" section are just a guide. Feel free to improvise with whatever needles and yarn you have lying around - that's half the fun!