They may not be able to walk, talk or parallel park, but one thing babies are very good at is playing with balls! Like cavemen inventing the wheel, babies love to marvel at the physics and possibilities of a thing that rolls. It makes them giggle, which makes us giggle, which makes everybody happy!

These soft and squishy Crocheted Balls are just right for little explorers. A simple crocheted sphere serves as a canvas for colorful cross-stitched stripes. Don't worry if you've never cross stitched before, because not only do we explain it all, but it's also really easy!

A set of all four Crocheted Balls makes a wow-I-love-these present for baby showers, birthday bashes and just cuz. Get everything you need with our Materials for Crocheted Balls kit right here and get rolling! -Whitney

Materials

Our Materials for Crocheted Balls kit includes...

These are enough materials to make all four sizes of balls.

You'll also need...

Gauge

5 1/2 single crochets = 1 inch

Sizes

Extra Small Ball 's Finished Circumference: 7 3/4 inches

Small Ball 's Finished Circumference: 9 3/4 inches

Medium Ball 's Finished Circumference: 11 1/4 inches

Large Ball 's Finished Circumference: 12 1/2 inches

Pattern

Extra Small Ball

Round 1: With the Main Yarn (the Skinny Cotton), chain (ch) 1 into an adjustable loop, make 8 single crochets (sc) into the loop. (8 stitches)

NOTE: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable stitch marker. Be sure to reposition the marker at the beginning of each round to mark the new first stitch.

Round 2: Make 2 sc into each stitch. (16 stitches)

Round 3: Make 1 sc into each stitch.

Round 4: *Make 1 sc into next stitch, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)

Round 5: *Make 1 sc into next 2 stitches, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (32 stitches)

Round 6: *Make 1 sc into next 3 stitches, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (40 stitches)

Make 1 sc into each stitch for 8 rounds.

NOTE: Mark the leg of the first stitch of the next round with a piece of scrap yarn.

**Next Round: *Make 1 sc into next 3 stitches, make 1 single crochet decrease (sc dec), repeat from * to end of round. (32 stitches)

Next Round: *Make 1 sc into next 2 stitches, make 1 sc dec, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)

Stuff the ball firmly.

Next Round: Make 1 sc into each stitch.

Next Round: *Make 1 sc into next stitch, make 1 sc dec, repeat from * to end of round. (16 stitches)

Top off the stuffing.

Next Round: Make 8 sc dec. (8 stitches)

Cut the yarn and sew the top closed.

To weave in the ends, thread a tail onto the tapestry needle and insert the needle through the ball, starting from where the tail originates and exiting anywhere.

Repeat, inserting the needle back into the ball at the last exit point, and exiting somewhere else.

Small Ball

Work Rounds 1-6 of Extra Small Ball pattern (above).

Round 7: Make 1 sc into each stitch.

Round 8: *Make 1 sc into next 4 stitches, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (48 stitches)

Make 1 sc into each stitch for 10 rounds.

NOTE: Mark the leg of the first stitch of the next round with a piece of scrap yarn.

++Next Round:  *Make 1 sc into next 4 stitches, make 1 sc dec, repeat from * to end of round. (40 stitches)

Next Round: Make 1 sc into each stitch.

Work from ** of Extra Small Ball pattern.

Medium Ball

Work Rounds 1-8 of Small Ball pattern (above).

Round 9:  *Make 1 sc into next 5 stitches, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (56 stitches)

Make 1 sc into each stitch for 12 rounds.

NOTE: Mark the leg of the first stitch of the next round with a piece of scrap yarn.

^^Next Round:  *Make 1 sc into next 5 stitches, make 1 sc dec, repeat from * to end of round. (48 stitches)

Work from ++ of Small Ball pattern.

Large Ball

Work Rounds 1-9 of Medium Ball pattern (above).

Round 10: Make 1 sc into each stitch.

Round 11:  *Make 1 sc into next 6 stitches, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (64 stitches)

Round 12:  *Make 1 sc into next 7 stitches, make 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (72 stitches)

Make 1 sc into each stitch for 16 rounds.  NOTE: Mark the leg of the first stitch of the 13th round with a piece of scrap yarn.

Next Round:  *Make 1 sc into next 7 stitches, make 1 sc dec, repeat from * to end of round. (64 stitches)

Next Round:  *Make 1 sc into next 6 stitches, make 1 sc dec, repeat from * to end of round. (56 stitches)

Next Round: Make 1 sc into each stitch.

Work from  ^^ of Medium Ball pattern.

Cross Stitching

Note: These photos show the cross stitching on the Small Ball.

The crocheted fabric forms the grid on which you will cross stitch. The corners of each "square" are located on either side of a single crochet, horizontally, and over one round of single crochet, vertically. This photo illustrates the corners of the cross stitch grid and the order in which the stitches will be formed.

To begin, thread a tapestry needle with a yard and a half of embroidery floss. Insert the needle anywhere into the ball, exiting right below the stitch marked with scrap yarn. This exit point is the bottom right corner of the first cross stitch square.

Pull the yarn through, leaving a 3-inch tail.

Insert the needle up one round and over one hole to the left (into the top left corner of the cross stitch square), exiting one hole to the right (the top right corner).

Insert the needle down one round and over one hole to the left (the bottom left corner), exiting two holes to the right (the bottom right corner of the next cross stitch).

Remove the scrap yarn.

*Insert the needle into top left corner, exiting top right corner.

Insert the needle into bottom left corner, exiting two holes to the right (the bottom right corner of the next cross stitch).

Repeat from * to the end of the stripe (see Where to End and Begin Stripes, below).

Adding New Thread

When a few inches of floss remains, insert the needle into the next place it needs to go and exit through the ball.

Re-insert the needle through the same hole and exit through the ball somewhere else.

Trim the tail. Start a new thread the same way you started the first one.

Where to End and Begin Stripes

End a single round stripe when the top right corner of the last cross stitch meets the bottom left corner of the first cross stitch.

If there is a two-round stripe, end with the last stitch you can make before having a vertical column of 3 cross stitches.

If there is one round of single crochet between stripes, the new color's top left corner meets the last color's bottom right corner.

If there is more than one round of single crochet between stripes, make the first cross stitch of the new color so that it lines up below the first cross stitch of the last color.

Stripes

Floss

DMC #958 - Aqua

DMC #964 - Light Blue

DMC #E980 - Neon Yellow

DMC #307 - Yellow

DMC #972 - Light Orange

DMC #740 - Dark Orange

Extra Small Ball

Starting below the stitch marked with scrap yarn...

Cross stitch 1 round of Light Orange.

Skip 3 rounds of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Yellow.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Light Blue.

Small Ball

Starting below the stitch marked with scrap yarn...

Cross stitch 1 round of Aqua.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 2 rounds of Light Blue.

Skip 3 rounds of single crochet.

Cross stitch 2 rounds of Neon Yellow.

Medium Ball

Starting below the stitch marked with scrap yarn...

Cross stitch 1 round of Aqua.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Light Blue.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Neon Yellow.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Yellow.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Light Orange.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Dark Orange.

Large Ball

Starting below the stitch marked with scrap yarn...

Cross stitch 1 round of Light Orange.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 2 rounds of Dark Orange.

Skip 1 round of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Light Orange

Skip 2 rounds of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Yellow.

Skip 2 rounds of single crochet.

Cross stitch 1 round of Neon Yellow.