Saturday, March 14, 2009

On the cheap - handmade love

The penny pinching continues, but that doesn't mean that there aren't still things I want to do, buy etc. My neighbor is having a baby soon and I've been collecting things here and there for her shower. She requested gently used items! How great is that?! I found some sweet gently used things, but wanted to make her something special. I had a couple of ideas but settled on some soft crochet balls for the baby. I made these without anything inside, but when you make them you can add things inside, like a shaker egg, or a bell. Anything that won't come out or open up while inside. (An Easter egg with pebbles? - seal the egg shut!)



I started with this pattern from Martha Stewart online, but I'm not sure if anyone actually crocheted (is that a word?) up this pattern before they published it. It makes more like a football than a round ball. I had to do some re-writing, but it's a great place to start for the general idea. I used a worsted weight yarn (Red Heart 'soft yarn' - Cheap, washable, oh so nice!) with an F size crochet hook.

Here's my modifications to Martha's pattern: (This is for the yarn and hook size listed above)
Follow her pattern through 'Round 11'. Then...
Round 12 and 13: 1 sc in each st to end of round. Finish off.

Make 2 and stitch halves together except for one inch. Stuff the ball until it is firm - when you squish it and holds its shape.

Add something that rattles or jingles for fun! You can also use wool and felt this ball in your washing machine after you've stuffed it, using a little less stuffing, then dry on low. (Can you imagine a dryer full of these bouncing around? It makes me smile to think of it.) I got 2 of the three done and feverishly hooked and hooked trying to finish the third, but didn't. The girls at the shower thought I was crocheting a yarmulke! It does resemble one before it's stitched to its other half.

PS. Hide these from the cat!

And finally...the baby bear gives her grin of approval for these soft fun balls. Hasn't she gotten big!?

4 comments:

Carol McCullough said...

Wow! She has gotten big! Those balls are darling!

Kendra & Tobin Kirk said...

thanks for the balls! We put them up before Angus saw them. He was more interested in the rubber ducky-he has some wierd fascination with rubber ducks. The balls will be great when we start teaching Wyatt how to "catch" and "throw" since they can't hurt him. Plus handmade gifts are ALWAYS awesome!

Jaime said...

I love the balls and especially the brown and green one! GREAT baby gift! Whether your pinching pennies or not, handmade gifts are always a hit! I love them. :-)

The Musician said...

Ball How-To
Once you've made a ball, you can fill it with fiberfill to make a squishy baby toy, or try filling one with catnip for your favorite feline. Our stuffed ball is made from two half-spheres sewn together. The main pattern here is for a solid-colored ball, but we've included instructions for the striped and color-band balls, plus different sizes. The finished full-size ball measures 13 inches in circumference.

Materials:
50 grams of red fingering-weight wool yarn for solid-colored ball
(for striped, add natural-colored or white yarn)
One crochet hook U.S. size D3 (3.25 mm)
Polyester fiberfill
One yarn needle

Gauge: 21 stitches by 24 rows equals 3 square inches

To begin: ch 2, then join stitches with a sl st. This is the foundation ring.

Round 1: 6 sc into second ch from hook.

Round 2: 2 sc in each of 6 sts of previous round. Mark end of round with scrap piece of yarn in contrasting color; move yarn to the end of each subsequent round as you finish it.

Round 3: *1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 4: *1 sc in each of next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 5: *1 sc in each of next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 6: *1 sc in each of next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 7: *1 sc in each of next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round. *1 sc in each of next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 8: *1 sc in each of next 6 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 9: *1 sc in each of next 7 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 10: *1 sc in each of next 8 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 11: *1 sc in each of next 9 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 12: *1 sc in each of next 10 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 13: *1 sc in each of next 11 sts, 2 sc in next st*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Round 14 to 21:1 sc in each st to end of round. Finish off.

To make the other half: Repeat.

To join halves: Thread yarn needle with generous length of yarn. With right sides facing, sew halves together; leave 1-inch opening. Turn ball right side out. Stuff ball through opening until firm but not too hard. Thread needle with yarn; sew closed with whipstitch. Secure with a knot; weave in ends.

Striped ball: Work rounds 1 to 3 in natural or white, then rounds 4 to 6 in red. Alternate colors every 3 rows. Repeat for other half. Use same color sequence for both halves.

Color-band ball: Work rounds 1 to 18 in natural or white. At the beginning of round 19, join red or contrasting yarn. Work rounds 19 to 21. Finish off. Repeat for other half.

Different sizes: To make a smaller ball, skip rounds 10 to 13, and omit rounds 19 to 21. For a larger ball, use full pattern with a larger hook and heavier yarn.
From Martha Stewart Baby

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