10 Stripe Baby Ball – Free Pattern

Blue2

[Edited May 2013: The link to this pattern is on the sidebar of the blog, to the right of this post. You may need to scroll the sidebar to the bottom to see it. Click the photo in the sidebar for the full pattern. Or try this direct link: https://m.box.com/view_shared/amdux4kf51]

This pattern is old, even older than me. I’ve heard it described as a 19th century American pattern and if you google “knitted baby ball”, this is basically what you’ll find.

There are some substantial differences between the original pattern and the one now available as a free download from this blog. The traditional pattern was intended to be knitted in a pure wool yarn and felted, the felting gave plenty of opportunity to hide the seam, the holes made by the short row shaping and to make the ball rounder by reshaping it when wet. My version is best knitted in a modern machine washable yarn. If you follow the simple instructions below, you can close the holes and the seam is hidden.

Here’s some hints and tips to help you get a nice round ball:

Gauge

When knitting toys I always use needles that are at least a mm size smaller than that recommended for the yarn. This is because garter stitch is quite stretchy and if you knit it too loosely the stuffing will show through the fabric! You don’t have to get the gauge exactly right but at least knit up some garter stitch using smaller than usual needles, until you get a fabric that you can only see pinpricks of light through.

How to Close the Holes

The balls are made using a technique called Short Row Shaping. This involves turning the knitting around before you’ve knitted to the end of the row, so making the knitted fabric 3 dimensional. However, when you turn the knitting, you leave a small hole. There’s a special blog post on how to close the holes and get a smoother finish on your fabric, just here

Sewing

When sewing through the side loops to close the top and bottom of the ball, go round twice, it will help you to pull the hole closed.

When sewing up the back seam, there is no set way to knit the top and bottom of garter stitch fabric, at least not one I can find. So here’s what I use.  The basic method involves weaving the yarn in and out so that it goes directly over the existing stitches in the knitting. Here’s a diagram:

sewing together
The important thing to remember when using this method is not to pull the yarn tight as this will just make a nasty mess. It’s a delicately balanced operation, but simple with practice.

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15 Comments

Filed under Natty Knits Patterns Hints and Tips

15 responses to “10 Stripe Baby Ball – Free Pattern

  1. Debra

    I would like to download your striped baby ball pattern but can’t find your link to it. Could you make this clear?

    • Debby

      Me too. I can’t find it either!

      • nattyknitter

        Hi Debby, I know that WordPress does not work well on an ipad, I assume it doesn’t work well with other hand held devices either. This is why I’ve added a direct link to the downloadable PDF in the first paragraph of the blog entry.

  2. Linda

    Where is the free pattern?

  3. Miss Magnolia

    So cute, but I couldn’t find a pattern on this page. Did I miss it? How do you start?

  4. Mary Lynch

    Where is the pattern???

  5. Joanne Firestenberg

    Hi, I cannot get the pattern, only extra directions. Can you please help me?

  6. nattyknitter

    The pattern is in the right hand sidebar, scroll down and you’ll find it at the bottom of the list. Sorry this was so confusing.

  7. Yvonne

    OK ladies I found the pattern. Look at the section under the picture of the ball and there is a link there. Good luck.

  8. ruth kelly

    I have been making this ball for many years–red,white and blue–primary colors so child can learn colors names. etc. have included them in mission boxes. enjoy ruth kelly

  9. Miss Magnolia

    Thank you nattyknitter I found the link above. Now I’m ready to knit some balls.

  10. Karen Kleike

    one of the most fun pattern I have found—balls are a universal toy—I am a photographer and make them for my families—they love them—thanks–Karen Klenke

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