Saturday, 29 November 2014

The one with the crochet balls

So I found a couple of polystyrene balls which I've had in a box for yeeeears and I decided to do something festive with them.


I was thinking along the lines of homemade Christmas baubles for the kids' teachers, but actually, these would look great displayed in a big bowl too. 



The first ball is made using good old double crochet in continuous rounds. A few increases and decreases help create the shaping- you'll need to use a stitch marker so you know where the beginning of each round is. 

The second uses joined rounds and a few different stitches and techniques, but is just as simple to make.



Fancy making one, or two? 
Then here's what to do...

(Oh and BTW if you're quick, you can still use the fab 10% discount code, ABXMAS off RICO Creative Cotton from Black Sheep Wools. It's valid until 2nd December 2014...)

I used:
2 x 70mm polystyrene balls (if you haven't got these, then you could try stuffing them firmly with toy filling instead),
Odds and ends of Rico Creative Cotton Aran from my stash: Red (05), Orange (74), Light Green (40), Light Yellow (63), Turquoise (36), Candy Pink (64), Fuschia (13)
4mm hook,
Stitch marker
Ribbon for hanging loop.

[This pattern is written in UK terms. US equivalents are given below]

UK double crochet = US single crochet
UK treble crochet = US double crochet

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch 
dc = double crochet
dc2tog = double crochet two together*
sts = stitches
* how to make the dc2tog stitch using the invisible decrease method:
Insert hook into the front loop of the first stitch.
Insert hook into the front loop of the second stitch (3 loops on hook).
Yarn over and pull yarn through the first two loops (2 loops on hook).
Yarn over and pull through both loops.


Striped Ball
Worked in continuous rounds.


I changed colour every round. You'll find that this isn't at the beginning of the round where stated in the pattern, so use a stitch marker and you won't lose your place.
To make the colour change, work the last dc until you have 2 loops on your hook. Yarn over in the new colour and complete the stitch. Make the next stitch a slip stitch (not too tight as you'll need to work into it on the next round) and continue for a few more stitches. Knot the ends of your old and new yarn together and you're done! (And there's no need to weave in your ends- they'll be on the inside, so won't show.)

Work in the following colours: Orange, Candy Pink (from Rnd 2), Fushcia, Yellow, Fuschia, Turquoise, Green, Yellow, Red, Turquoise, Orange, Fuschia, Green, Turquoise, Yellow, Candy Pink, Red, Yellow, Fuschia, Green, Orange.

6dc in magic ring, OR ch2, 6dc in 2nd ch from hook.
Rnd 1: 2dc in each st (12 sts)
Rnd 22dc in each st (24)
Rnd 3: (dc 2, 2dc in next st) repeat around (32)
Rnd 4: dc 32
Rnd 5: (dc 3, 2dc in next st) repeat around (40)
Rnds 6-15: dc 40
Rnd 16: (dc 3, dc2tog) repeat around (32)
Insert polystyrene ball and continue to crochet around it

Rnds 17-18: dc32
Rnd 19(dc 2, dc2tog) repeat around (24)
Rnd 20(dc 1, dc2tog) repeat around (16)
Rnd 21: dc 16
Rnd 22: dc2tog around (8)

Sew closed. Add hanging loop.

Star Ball
Worked in joined rounds



Change colour every round in the following order:
Turquoise, Fushcia, Yellow, Green, Red, Yellow, Turquoise, Candy Pink, Fuschia, Green, Orange, Yellow.

You'll need to know a few extra stitches here, in addition to the ones above:
tr = treble crochet
sk st = skip stitch
beg tr cl = beginning treble cluster*
tr cl = cluster**

* to make the beginning treble cluster stitch:
Chain 2, then make 2 trebles, leaving the last part of each tr unworked (3 loops on hook). Yarn over hook and draw through all 3 loops.

** to make the treble cluster stitch:
Make 3 trebles, leaving the last part of each tr unworked (4 loops on hook). Yarn over hook and draw through all 4 loops.

Begin with a magic ring OR, chain 4 and join with a sl st to make a ring.
Rnd 1: beg tr cl, ch 3, (tr cl, ch 3 repeat x 4) into ring [you should have a 5-pointed star shape] join with a sl st to top of ch 2. (25 sts)
Rnd 2: ch 1, (dc 3, ch 2 in each ch-3 space around) join with a sl st to first dc. (25)
Rnd 3: ch 1 (dc 3 then dc 2 in each ch-2 space around), join with a sl st to first dc. (25)
Rnd 4: ch 3 (counts as tr), 2tr in next st, (tr 1 in next st, 2tr in next st around), 2tr in last st, join with a sl st to top of ch 3. (38)
Rnd 5: ch 3 (counts as tr), tr 1 in same st, sk st, (2tr in next st, sk st around) join with a sl st to top of ch 3. (38)
Rnds 6-7ch 3 (counts as tr), tr 1 in space between 2tr sts, (2tr in each space between 2tr sts around) join with a sl st to top of ch 3. (38) 
Insert polystyrene ball and continue to crochet around it.

Rnds 8-9: ch 1, (dc 1, ch 1 in space between 2tr sts around) join with a sl st to the first dc (38)
Rnds 10-11: ch 3 (counts as tr), tr 1 in each ch-1 space around, join with a sl st to the top of ch 3. (19)
Rnd 12: ch 1, dc2tog around, dc 1 in last st (10)

Sew closed.

And that's about it.


Enjoy making and have a fab week,

Sarah x