Fancy Knitted Lace Balls

by Judy Gibson, revised October 1999

In knitting a few of the Basic Lace Balls, I noticed that the central band -- the "equator" -- of the ball was not involved in the short-row shaping, and therefore would be an easy place to put a lace insertion pattern. The lace ball to the right shows the center strip replaced by simple stockinette (7 sts) as a demonstration. The variegated yarn has a wonderful effect in this simple pattern.

Here's my chart of the generic lace ball in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format--
Generic Chart for Lace Ball
See how to use Acrobat files if you don't know how.

Lace Ball patterned with Mexican Lace Insertion Instead of a stockinette center strip in the generic chart, you can substitute any lace insertion pattern you like. I suggest one with a width of at least 5 stitches, and probably no more than 12 stitches. If the source pattern is a garter stitch design, it will look better if you convert it to stockinette.

The center band on this ball is the Mexican Lace Insertion, pattern #32 from Barbara Abbey's Knitting Lace. Here's my chart for this lace ball in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format--
Lace Ball with Mexican Insertion

Lace Ball patterned with a beaded band If you want to get fancier, why not add some beads? You'll need to clean the glue or starch off the beads with a Q-tip swab before you hang the ball up to dry. For this one I developed a beaded version of the Candy Stripe Edging, also from Abbey's book, pattern #38. By the way, it is this beaded insertion that I used for the graphic on my main lace page. See if you can make a lace ball using this PDF chart of the beaded insertion--
Beaded Candy Stripe Insertion

Notice that these two balls look rather long and narrow, rather than spherical. These were done with 12 repeats. Working more repeats -- say, 14 -- will make a rounder ball. For a less successful experiment, see the Glittery Balloon Cover.


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Judy Gibson
Descanso, California
Email to jgibson (at) cts (dot) com