A puff is not a popcorn or a cluster. It can be called a bobble however. And so can a popcorn and a cluster! Confused? Me too! But I’m hoping this explanation will help to clarify. Now, I’ve searched through a few crochet encyclopedias and they seem to come to the same consensus that the official name of a stitch that pops from the yarn is either a cluster, popcorn, or puff. And the term bobble is what a designer might use for their specific pattern.
A puff stitch is made by yarning over once, inserting your hook into a stitch, yarning over and pulling up a loop through that stitch. However, STOP right there, do not pull through any loops already on the hook. Yarn over again, insert your hook, pull up a loop, and STOP right there again. Repeat this yarning over and pulling up a loop as many times as you want your puff to be. In the example here, I’ve repeated the process 4 times. When you finished deciding how many times, then pull through all the loops on your hook and yarn over, pull through and close the puff.
What I love about the puff: it looks the same on both sides of your project. In this sample, I’m working the clusters into a mesh stitch pattern.