Weight: The finished bauble weighs about 0.88 oz/25g and needs about 0.7 oz/20g wool batting for stuffing.
Needles: The balls are knit on U.S. size 2.5/3mm needles and the hanging loops crocheted with hook U.S. D-3/3mm. You can work with larger or smaller needles but the balls will be a different size.
BO- bind off (British cast off)
CO- cast on
dpn- double point needle
k2tog- knit 2 together (decreases 1 stitch)
RS- right side
WS- wrong side
gauge- British tension
stockinette- British stocking st
The charted motif for each individual ball is designed to work within this basic pattern. The charts only show the stitches for ¼ of the ball. The chart stitches are repeated on each of the 4 double-pointed needles. The first row of 3 stitches on the chart represents the 3 cast-on stitches and is not knitted again.
The top 3 stitches are not worked either. On the last round, cut the yarn and pull the tail through the remaining 12 stitches, pull tight, and weave in tail on WS. Most of the patterns are divided over 4 dpn but some of the balls have patterns only over 2 needles. In that case, the chart shows two repeats side-by-side.
Work as follows:
Rnd 1: (the bottom row on the chart with 3 blocks): Cast on 12 sts over dpn US 2.5 / 3 mm. Divide these 12 sts over 4 dpn = 3 sts per ndl.
Rnd 2: Knit 12.
Rnd 3: (K2, inc 1, k1) on each ndl. [Note: see page 27 for how to increase]
Rnd 4: Knit 16.
Rnd 5: (K1, inc 1, k2, inc 1, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 6: Knit 24.
Rnd 7: (K1, inc 1, k4, inc 1, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 8: Knit 32.
Rnd 9: (K1, inc 1, k6, inc 1, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 10: Knit 40.
Rnd 11: (K1, inc 1, k8, inc 1, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 12: Knit 48.
Rnd 13: (K1, inc 1, k10, inc 1, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 14: Knit 56.
Rnd 15: (K1, inc 1, k12, inc 1, k1) on each ndl.
Rnds 16-27: Knit 64.
Rnd 28: (K1, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 29: Knit 56.
Rnd 30: (K1, k2tog, k8, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 31: Knit 48.
Rnd 32: (K1, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 33: Knit 40.
Rnd 34: (K1, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 35: Knit 32.
Rnd 36: (K1, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 37: Knit 24.
Rnd 38: (K1, k2tog, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 39: Knit 16.
Rnd 40: (K1, k2tog, k1) on each ndl.
Rnd 41 (the top round with 3 blocks on the chart): Do not knit.
Cut yarn, leaving a tail about 8 in / 20 cm long. Pull through the last 12 sts.
Finishing the ball
Use the tip of your index finger to push the 12 stitches at the top smoothly together and under at the top of the ball. Thread the yarn once more through all the stitches at the top. Bring the needle and yarn through the hole at the top, secure the yarn by pressing the top towards the hole at the base of the ball and sewing it down securely. Steam the ball and fill with wool batting.
Thread the yarn through the stitches at the base, tighten, and tie off yarn. When you fill the ball with wool batting, loosen the wool first so the filling is lofty, and then spread it out well inside the ball. Use the index finger to press in fine layers of wool batting. Don’t wad the batting when you are stuffing it in the ball because it will clump up.
Chain 40, leaving a tail long enough to pass through the whole ball. Finish the chain by joining to the first st with a slip stitch. Pull both tails through the last stitch on the hook and sew the tails through the ball.
To knit the motif, follow the pattern below. If it feels a bit fiddly, you may want to embroider them with duplicate stitch instead of knitting them- use the same yarn for the embroidery as the knitting.
Note: Decorate Rudolph's nose with a red crystal for an extra special effect. You can also use this design of sweaters worked in knit and purl relief stitches.
- Extract from 55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Collourful Festive Ornaments, Arne & Carlos, Search Press.