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Crocheted Balls

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.

Click here to add a comment

21 Responses to Crocheted Balls


  1. mauri says:

    These are adorable- and so worth brushing up my crochet skills for!
    Thank you for sharing yet another awesome tutorial!
    -Mauri

  2. Jane says:

    How creative! Can't wait to try these.

    Will the balls be washable?

  3. Lily says:

    How would you recommend washing these? (Asking for my drooly baby!)

  4. Jana says:

    I love these! I am an avid crocheter but I am curious why you didn't just crochet a round or two in each color?

    These are just the most perfect shapes! Do you have an old hackey-sack tutorial?

    thanks for celebrating crochet! It's making a huge comeback and I would LOVE to see much more on the PurlBee!!

  5. faith says:

    cant wait to try these im going to do mine with different colors though

  6. Chelsey says:

    So glad to see more crochet patterns on your site! Thanks for sharing

  7. purl bee says:

    Hi Jane and Lily,

    These balls are hand washable. I would soak them in a sinkful of warm, soapy water, rinse and squeeze them, then put them out to dry in a nice sunny spot!

    Thanks for asking!
    Whitney

  8. purl bee says:

    Hi Jana,

    You definitely could just crochet the stripes, but I love the look of the cross stitch on the crocheted fabric. I first tried this technique with my Sweet Home Sweet Pillow (http://purlbee.squarespace.com/the-purl-bee/2011/7/24/whits-knits-sweet-home-sweet-pillow.html) and was totally smitten by both the visual effect and the concept!

    And, about the hackey-sack, no we don't have a tutorial for that, but this small ball might be a great substitute!

    Thanks so much for your questions. Please let us know if you have any more!

    Whitney

  9. Pat Phythian says:

    These are so cute. Someone much cleverer than I could probably figure out how to cross-stitch to make them looke like a softball or baseball.

  10. Tricia says:

    Such a lovely tutorial – you always do the best job with pictures. I've chosen this as one of my 5 favorite tutorials I found this week. Thanks as always for sharing your expertise.
    Tricia

  11. Rita says:

    Preciosas!!!!!!!!

  12. Cookin Itup says:

    Thanks for such a great idea! I saw this and immediately decided to teach myself how to crochet (I'm a knitter).

    One question – I'm having a hard time figuring out how you "sew up" the circle at the end. I've made two small balls and ended up continuing to make decreases to get the circle smaller. Can you point me in the right direction??

  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Cookin Itup,

    You shouldn't have to continue the decreases to finish the top (although if that's working for you, that's fine too!). I threaded the tail onto a tapestry needle and sewed around the top in a circle twice, pulling the tail tight to close the top gap. It may take a little experimenting to get a neat finish, but it does work!

    Thanks so much for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Whitney

  14. These are addorable, I really like them!

  15. Yvonne Peters says:

    This is a great idea. I am from Australia so get mixed up with some terms and s

    izing. I am an ameteur crocheter.

    How do I make an adjustable loop to commence with

    Thank You Yvonne

  16. purl bee says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    You can find our Adjustable Loop Tutorial right here: http://www.purlbee.com/crochet-tutorials/adjustable-loop.html And all of our Crochet Tutorials here: http://www.purlbee.com/crochet-terms-tutorials/ .

    I hope this puts you on the right track. Please let us know if you have any other questions and thanks for this one!

    Whitney

  17. ash says:

    hiya.
    Really loving this project. I am a newbie to crochet and decided to take the plunge but finding that I keep creating holes. My stitches are evenly spaced but not as tight as what yours are. Do you have an idea of how I can stop this from happening?

  18. purl bee says:

    Hi Ash,

    Is it maybe because you are using too big a crochet hook for your yarn (and natural "tension", which is just a word for crocheting a little tight or a little loose)? If you do happen to be a bit of a loose crocheter, then you would need to try a smaller hook.

    By the way, the increase section (the last part you work, i.e. the "top" of the ball") does have small holes at the increases, but it doesn't sound like that's what you're talking about…

    Please let us know if you have any more questions; thanks for this one; and good luck!

    Whitney

  19. Cece T says:

    My ball dosent really form it's turns into a big circle

  20. purl bee says:

    Hi Cece,

    The form should be quite circular until you work the middle rounds of single crochets without increasing or decreasing. At that point, your circle should start to curl up into more of a ball shape.

    Please let us know if you're still having problems and we'll try to work it out! Thanks for your question and good luck!

    Whitney

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