Those are five-stitch, four-row bobbles, made with slipping the first stitch of each row to make them rounder (a tip from Wikipedia.) Clever note: on the wrong-side row immediately after the bobble, cable the stitch coming out of the bobble with the one after it, then use the bobble stitch to make the vertical line.
The background doesn't really show up that well; it's three rows reverse stockinette alternating with one row of stockinette to produce those horizontal grid lines that tortoise informs me are called a staff. Perhaps they would show up better if this was wider, or after it is blocked. I am not willing to do horizontal cables to make the staff, because the staff is not all that important, and horizontal cables are slow.