Christmas Balls – a free knitting pattern PDF

It’s Christmas at Kidsknits!  Oh, okay…it’s still August.  But, I’ve been busy making Christmas presents, and the first one is for…YOU!

Christmas ball free knitting pattern by Mary Ann Stephens

Around this time last year, the red and white Heilo was flying off the shelves, as fast as we could stock it.  So many knitters were having a blast, making the wonderful Arne & Carlos ornaments.  I got in on the fun, too.  But this year, I decided I would make my ornaments my way.

Free Christmas ornament knitting pattern by Mary Ann Stephens, copyright 2012

My Way = Color + Symmetry + Detail + Function

Color: The more, the merrier, baby!

Symmetry:  While I’ve kept the total # of stitches nearly the same as the Arne & Carlos balls (so that all of your Christmas balls can play nicely together), I’ve shifted the increases & decreases around so that the motifs are centered.  I’ve also used a different type of  increase, so that my stranded motifs are not visually disturbed by lower stitches.

Detail: Of course, my motifs are different, and I’ve added an extra bit of duplicate stitch embroidery in one, some nupps in another.  Those fussy bits are optional, but I think they’re fun…hope you do, too!

Holly Ball Christmas ornament, a free knitting pattern by Mary Ann Stephens at

Function: Whether knit, glass, crystal, wooden, sterling or gold, no ornament on Earth will ever mean as much to me as the glue-soaked, glitter-laden, cardboard wonders that my boys brought home to me from nursery school and kindergarten.  I’ve kept every one of them and they’re still the first ones I hang on my tree.  Thinking back to when my boys proudly toddled over to hang their Christmas creations, it occurred to me that little fingers sometimes have a hard time with skinny, crocheted loops; a shorter, chubbier hanger would be more kid-friendly.  I’ve made I-cord hangers for my new ornaments, but I’ve included the common crochet option, too, in case that’s your favorite.  Little kids will be able to hang the I-cord loop directly on the branches; some of us big kids might want to run a loop of dressy ribbon through the I-cord first.

Function…again:  Once the little ones have over-loved their Christmas balls, those poor babies are going to need a very good bath (the kids probably will, too! 😉 )  So, although I’m a die-hard wool junkie, I’ve filled my ornaments with – gasp – the ubiquitous poly stuffing that clogs the aisles in most any craft store.  For decorative keepsakes, you can’t beat wool, but for quick washing and drying (and less heartache, once Junior does his darnedest) the poly works just fine.

Anyway, I hope you’ll have fun making them your way and that you and your family have a splendid Christmas, full of all of your favorite things!

UPDATE: You can now find all of my free patterns, including Christmas Balls, on the “Free Patterns” page of my new online shop,

P.S. If you’re wondering why some of the chart rows have empty spaces in them, don’t miss my popular article, “On Flat Charts for Round Shapes”, freely available on the “Technique” page of 


About twostrands

Traditional knitting with a colorful twist. Website =
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26 Responses to Christmas Balls – a free knitting pattern PDF

  1. Jan Webber says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful patterns!

  2. Kathie David says:

    Thank you. Now I can get a start on some xmas gifts!!

  3. Susan Day says:

    Thanks so much for the Christmas Balls patterns. They have given me some great ideas for gifts this year.

  4. pooch2 says:

    Just lovely! The variations are fantastic. Thanks for sharing your pattern.


  5. Pat says:

    These are beautiful. They will be great Christmas presents.

  6. Joyce says:

    Thanks for sharing your lovely pattern. I have a tree just for handmade ornaments and this definitely fits the bill.

  7. Marie Jones says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this pattern. I too have the 55 Christmas balls book and decided to design my own pattern, after knitting a few from the book. However I have been struggling for ages on the increase stitches as they were pulling up the wrong coloured stitch and your amended pattern and increase stitches above work perfectly, I can’t tell you how happy I am right now, big smile on my face! :- )

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  15. Paul Meiners says:

    I’ve done two of these and am working on the 3rd. Christmas ornaments have been nice little gifts for our grandkids many years, and these will be extra special.

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  19. Clemmie says:

    Just came across these on Pinterest — they are so lovely! I am a beginning knitter (I can follow a pattern reasonably well, but I don’t know very many kinds of stitches yet) and have not yet felt brave enough to try knitting with two or more colors. Would you recommend these for a beginner or should I practice my knitting a bit more first? Thank you!

    • twostrands says:

      They’re not considered beginner patterns. But, there are more than a few knitters who found more inspiration, and ultimate progress, in diving into something they loved, despite the hurdles, rather than dabbling safely with the mundane. You’re really the only person who can tell us whether they’ll be fun, or frustrating, for you. I can tell you that my Two Strands Christmas Ball is easier than the others.

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  22. Mrs P Valfridsson says:

    I love your xmas bauble patterns but I cannot find how to download them. Please advise. Thank you.

    • twostrands says:

      As mentioned above, my free patterns are now on my website, You can follow the links above, or you can go here (same place) to the free patterns page on my website: Scroll down that page to see all of my free patterns available. Next to each photo, you’ll see the simple directions which are, essentially, “Click on the photo, save the pdf to your device.”

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