Knitted Lace Ball, basic version

by Judy Gibson, June 1997

Free-standing knitted lace ball This ball is knitted pole-to-pole in short-rowed sections. Fingering weight (baby) cotton, or other fine yarn, on US size 2 needles, will make a ball about 6 inches in diameter.

Cast on 36 sts. (this will make 9 repeats of the 4-stitch faggotting pattern).

One section:
(K2, yo, K2tog) across the row (9 times).
(K2, yo, K2tog) 6 times, turn.
(K2, yo, K2tog) 3 times, turn.
(K2, yo, K2tog) 4 times, turn.
(K2, yo, K2tog) 5 times, turn.
(K2, yo, K2tog) 6 times, turn.
(K2, yo, K2tog) 7 times, turn.
(K2, yo, K2tog) 8 times, turn.

Detail of lace ball, showing faggoting stitch pattern.

Repeat these instructions a total of 14 times, and bind off loosely. Cut off yarn with enough of a tail to sew up the edge. Run the tail around through the edge stitches on one "pole" of the ball and draw into a tight circle. Sew up the seam with the tail thread and draw through the end stitches on this pole but don't tighten.

Get the ball wet, then soak it in white glue (like Elmer's) diluted with an equal amount of water and squeeze out. There are stiffening products on the market, which I haven't tried, that might be better. One is called "Stiffy."

Insert a balloon into the ball through the open pole. Blow balloon as tight as you can and tie off. Pull the tail thread so that the pole opening tightens down, but leave enough room to pull the (popped) balloon out later. Hang by the tail thread until it dries.

When it's dry, break the balloon free from the knitted ball by poking a blunt object (spoon handle, end of watercolor brush, etc.) through the holes in the lace all over the ball, to push the balloon away from the lace. Pop the balloon and pull it out. Et voila! a free-standing knitted lace ball. Handle and store carefully so it doesn't get crushed.

Copyright: ©Judy Gibson, 1997. No commercial use or publication of this pattern is permitted, and all copies made for personal noncommercial use must carry this notice.

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