These felted and fiberfill stuffed knitted balls have dozens of uses: baby and toddler toys, a base for stuffed animals, dryer balls, Christmas and decorations for other events. Let your imagination run wild as to colour combinations and uses.
Pictured above are one ball made of Chunky weight felting yarn and 3 balls made of worsted weight. Dimensions and materials are given for the Chunky ball first (with worsted weight materials and dimensions in bold & brackets.)
Size: varies depending on yarn used and amount of felting.
Chunky ball approx. 12” around. (Worsted ball approx. 9” around.)
Materials: A total of approx 100-200m of Chunky weight pure wool. (50-100m of a worsted weight pure wool.)
Polyester fiberfill, or clean sheep fleece.
Pair of 8mm needles (6mm needles.)
Sturdy sewing thread and needle.
Colour changes: No colour indications are given in the knitting pattern. The following will help you plan the colour scheme of your balls.
- The blue/green ball alternates colours for each of the 10 sections of the ball. Do not cut the yarn after each section but just pick up the next colour when needed gently stranding it across the row ends of the previous section.
-The red ball is made of one colour with an added thread of silver metallic yarn in alternating sections.
-The “basketball” uses the brown colour throughout except for the 1st and 12th rows of each section. Do not cut the yarn after each colour use but just pick up the next colour when needed, gently stranding it across the row ends of the previous section.
-The multi-coloured ball uses mini skeins of rug/felting yarn (available at WOOL-TYME Kingston): 2-3 chunky skeins 3m each (or 1-2 skeins - worsted weight 5m each) for each colour.
Directions: The balls pictured here have a slightly flattened form (like a pumpkin) To achieve this look, follow the first set of numbers. For a more rounded sphere, follow the 2nd set of numbers in brackets.
Cast on 21 (27) sts.
Row 1: knit
Short Row 2: K14 (20)sts and turn the work, leaving 7 stitches unworked.
Short Row 3: SL1, K6 (K12). Turn the work, leaving 7 stitches unworked.
Short Row 4: SL 1, K8 (K14). Turn.
Short Row 5: SL1, K10 (K16). Turn.
Short Row 6: SL1, K12 (K18). Turn.
Short Row 7: SL1, K14 (K20). Turn.
Short Row 8: SL 1, K16 (K22). Turn.
Short Row 9: SL 1, K18 (K24). Turn.
Short Row 10: SL1, K19 (K25). Turn
Short Row 11: SL 1, K20 (K26). Turn.
Row 12: Knit.
Repeat these 12 rows for a total of 10 sections, changing colours as desired.
Cast off loosely and sew the cast on edge to the cast off edge. (If you prefer to use a provisional cast on, Do not cast off and these 2 rows can be grafted together using the Kitchener stitch.) Use the yarn and needle to gather the side rows around one end of the ball and draw up tightly. Secure VERY WELL so that it doesn’t come apart during the felting process. Leave the other end open for stuffing.
Felting and finishing: Put each ball into its own washing bag (a pillow case or lingerie bag) and secure the ends well. Wash in a top loading machine using the hot wash/cold rinse setting with the lowest water level and maximum agitation. (I add a kettle of boiling water to the tub as it’s filling). When the cycle is finished, check for size. You want the stitches to be almost completely invisible and part of the fabric. If your ball has not felted enough, repeat the process.
Air dry and stuff firmly with fiberfill or fleece. Using the heavy duty thread, draw up the stitches from around the stuffing hole and close, securing firmly.
Copyright, WOOL-TYME Kingston, Anne Woodall, 2009