A basic felted ballI ran out of dryer sheets the other day, so I decided to try making felted dryer balls instead. I only made it through one ball before other projects (and life in general) got in the way. One day I’ll make more, and then I’ll let you know how they work!  Meanwhile, I thought I would share with you a general recipe for making crocheted balls.

This is a great starting point for buttons, dolls heads, ornaments, toys, and more! Depending on the yarn you use and your gauge, you can make lots of different sizes. Really large balls may look a little misshapen (more like a capsule than a ball). I wouldn’t recommend making anything more than about 6-8 inches in diameter using these instructions.  I made my ball about 4 inches in diameter, and stuffed it with leftover yarn scraps. I also felted my ball by hand and then ran it through the dryer a couple of times, which makes it soft and fuzzy.


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Simple Crocheted Balls

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Materials:

  • Any yarn or thread desired. If you want to felt it, be sure to use a felting wool (NOT superwash!). Yardage will vary depending on gauge – I used about 75 yds of a bulky yarn for a 4″ ball.
  • Appropriate size crochet hook for your yarn. I used size I/9 (5.5 mm)
  • A locking stitch marker (or safety pins, or scrap yarn) to mark beginning of rounds
  • Yarn or tapestry needle

Difficulty:

Beginner – just single crochet (with increases and decreases), worked in the round.

Size:

Size will vary based on materials used. Mine came out to about 3 inches diameter after felting. I do not recommend using this pattern for balls larger than 8 or 9 inches.

Gauge:

Gauge is not important, but pay careful attention to the notes for each section.

Abbreviations used:

  • ch = chain
  • sc = single crochet

Notes:

  • This pattern is worked in continuous rounds. Do not join or turn unless specifically indicated.
  • Use a stitch marker, safety pin, or loop of yarn to mark the first stitch of each round.

Recommended Resources:

Bottom:

NOTE: These instructions include extra rounds for lighter weight yarns or larger balls. Measure your piece periodically, and stop when you reach your desired diameter at the end of a round. If felting, remember it will shrink a bit. Make a note of the last round you completed, and then skip ahead to the “Middle” section. 

Rnd 1: In magic loop, work 6sc.
OR
Ch 6, join with sl st to form a ring. Ch 1, 6 sc in ring.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 sc)

Rnd 3: (2 sc in next st, sc in next st) 6 times. (18 sc)

Rnd 4: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts) 6 times. (24 sts)

Rnd 5: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 sts) 6 times. (30 sts)

Rnd 6: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts) 6 times. (36 sts)

Rnd 7: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 5 sts) 6 times. (42 sts)

Rnd 8: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 6 sts) 6 times. (48 sts)

Rnd 9: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 7 sts) 6 times. (54 sts)

Rnd 10: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 8 sts) 6 times. (60 sts)

Rnd 11: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 9 sts) 6 times. (66 sts)

Rnd 12: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 10 sts) 6 times. (72 sts)

Rnd 13: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 11 sts) 6 times. (78 sts)

Rnd 14: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 12 sts) 6 times. (84 sts)

Rnd 15: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 13 sts) 6 times. (90 sts)

Middle:

NOTE: On the table below, look up the number of rows you completed in the beginning section to see how many rounds to work in this section. For example, I worked through Rnd 6 in the beginning section, so for the middle section I worked the middle rnd a total of 9 times.

Middle rnd: Sc in each st around.

If you stopped after: Work middle rnd a total of: Then start bottom at:
Rnd 2 3 times Rnd 14
Rnd 3 5 times Rnd 13
Rnd 4 6 times Rnd 12
Rnd 5 8 times Rnd 11
Rnd 6 9 times Rnd 10
Rnd 7 11 times Rnd 9
Rnd 8 12 times Rnd 8
Rnd 9 14 times Rnd 7
Rnd 10 15 times Rnd 6
Rnd 11 17 times Rnd 5
Rnd 12 18 times Rnd 4
Rnd 13 20 times Rnd 3
Rnd 14 21 times Rnd 2
Rnd 15 23 times Rnd 1

Bottom:

NOTES:

  • On the table above, look up the number of rows you completed in the beginning section to see what round to start on this section. For example, I worked through Rnd 6 in the beginning section, so for this section I would start on rnd 10.
  • Start stuffing your ball as you go, before it gets too tight. 

Rnd 1: (Sc in next 13 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (84 sts)

Rnd 2: (Sc in next 12 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (78 sts)

Rnd 3: (Sc in next 11 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (72 sts)

Rnd 4: (Sc in next 10 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (66 sts)

Rnd 5: (Sc in next 9 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (60 sts)

Rnd 6: (Sc in next 8 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (54 sts)

Rnd 7: (Sc in next 7 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (48 sts)

Rnd 8: (Sc in next 6 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (42 sts)

Rnd 9: (Sc in next 5 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (36 sts)

Rnd 10: (Sc in next 4 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (30 sts)

Rnd 11: (Sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (24 sts)

Rnd 12: (Sc in next 2 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (18 sts)

Rnd 13: (Sc in next st, sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (12 sts)

Rnd 14: (sc2tog over next 2 sts) 6 times (6 sts), sl st in first st. Fasten off.

Finish stuffing if necessary, then sew top and bottom closed with tails. Weave tails in a little and then tuck the ends right into the ball.

Felting (optional):

NOTE: If you’re not sure about the colorfastness of your materials, felt by hand first and make sure no color bleeds out.  

To felt by hand: Place ball(s) in hot water with a little bit of soap. Rub vigorously until desired texture is achieved (depending on your yarn, this may take a while).

To felt by machine: First place ball(s) inside something to keep fuzz from getting out. If felting multiple balls at once, try using a stocking and tying the stocking shut above and below each ball (use a non-felting yarn to tie stocking shut). Once secure, run through a hot cycle, preferably with other clothes, and then run through the dryer. May take a couple of cycles to felt completely.


I hope you enjoy the pattern!

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