Christmas Ball FAQs

Here’s a compendium of info and links for all of the Christmas balls I’ve designed over the years:

These are my five, free Christmas Ball knitting patterns, below…

my-christmas-ball-patterns

…and here is my Christmas Eve Collection, which is available for purchase through Ravelry:

pup_ginger_rudolf_300

All of the yarns used for these balls are available through my Kidsknits.com online yarn shop.

I definitely want to be helpful and answer your questions about any of my patterns.  But, as you know, it’s a very busy time of the year, especially for those of us who celebrate Christmas.  Double that, for those of us in the knitting business.  So, before emailing or calling with questions about these patterns, please read through the following information.  I think it addresses the vast majority of questions that might pop up.  After you’ve read it, if you still have questions, as always, feel free to post your questions here, email me at: mas AT kidsknits DOT com, or call my Kidsknits online yarn shop’s US toll-free number at 1-877-631-3031.

Today, I received this customer email, below, which included the two most frequent questions I get about the Christmas Balls’ construction:

I am confused about how to read your pattern- please can you help me since I absolutely love your Christmas ball patterns and want to make some!
I am unclear about why I need to “cast on 12 stitches” first (among my double pointed needles) when the first row in the chart has only two stitches which, when repeated four times, makes eight stitches- not twelve!  
Also, why do your directions say to “work rows 1 through 34” when there are 39 rows given on the chart?

 

Later this morning, after I sent her my reply, I’m happy to report that this is what she wrote back to me:

Thank you so much for your reply and for your clear explanation! Yes, it all makes sense now. The needles will fly today. 🙂

So I thought you might like to read that reply of mine:

Nice to hear from you!  I’m glad you like my Christmas Balls.
I can answer your second question quickly:  If you knit the entire chart, rows 1 through 39, all in one stretch, you won’t have access to the inside of the ball – it will be closed on both ends.  If you pause at row 34 (or thereabouts) you’ll be able to turn your ball inside out and neatly weave any loose ends in on the inside, where they won’t show.  If you read just a couple of lines further in the pattern, I think you’ll see it takes you through those steps.
Now, for your first question:  Take another look at the chart…the whole chart.  Don’t miss that shy, little column of stitches on the far right!  That counts as #1, and then you have the two stitches that are right next to each other, making stitches #2 & #3.  With four repeats of those three stitches, you’ll get your 12 starting stitches.
It is possible to build the chart so that all three starting stitches are contiguous; but, that’s not the best idea.  Once you get over not noticing that shy column on the right, in the end, there are several benefits to doing it my way: The motifs are centered between the increases and decreases; all increases and decreases occur on either side of shy Column #1, so Column #1 becomes a helpful guideline as you knit along – if your shaping is done correctly, it will be one straight line from the bottom of the ball, up to the top, just as it is on the chart; in the end, having the increases and decreases centered around Column #1 and having Column #1 as a straight line makes for a more balanced, aesthetic result.
Here’s an old blog post of mine in which I further explain the Christmas ball shaping: https://twostrands.com/2014/12/02/on-flat-charts-for-round-shapes/
I hope that helps and that you have a wonderful Christmas.
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If you’re still not 100% certain about the shaping, you should definitely click through on the flat-charts-for-round-shapes link, above.  That old article of mine is quite helpful for some folks!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here are links for each of my Christmas ball patterns and the yarns they use:
christmas-balls-collection

The Christmas Balls patterns use Heilo, Falk and Gullfasan yarns.

christmas_ball_star_of_bethlehem_400
The Star of Bethlehem pattern uses Heilo (or Falk ) and Gullfasan yarns.
twostrands_christmas_ball_400
 The Two Strands Christmas Ball uses Freestyle yarn.
pup_ginger_rudolf_800
Everything in the Christmas Eve Collection uses Falk yarn.
My online yarn shop, Kidsknits.com
My PDFs on Ravelry
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About twostrands

Knitting designer, retailer and instructor specializing in Fair Isle and Nordic design. Website = kidsknits.com Blog = twostrands.com.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Fair Isle Knitting, Free Knitting Patterns, Norwegian Knitting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Christmas Ball FAQs

  1. Absolutely gorgeous patterns. They will go on my bucket list for some day knitting. I am not good at colourwork yet. 🙂 And these are super gorgeous.

    • twostrands says:

      Thanks for the sweet comment. But, you know, there’s only one way to become good at any particular type of knitting – give it a try! You don’t have to show anyone your first effort. Heck, my first effort at colorwork ended up in the garbage! But, I’m sure glad I gave it a try. The great thing about a little project like this is that it only takes a tiny amount of yarn, so you can feel free to experiment without guilt. (My first, garbage-bound, stranded project was a toddler’s sweater. Christmas Balls make for a much saner experiment!)

      • Thanks for the wonderful advise. I always love and appreciate advise and encouragement. I have done mittens, socks and a few hats in colourwork. 🙂 But I think I still needs lots of practice before making something as delicate and dainty as Christmas balls in colour. 🙂 Its easier to practice with the thicker yarns.
        Have a great weekend and happy crafting. xx

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