Friday, December 23, 2011

Balls!

Ever since I was in high school, I have always thought it would be a lovely thing to have a Christmas tree decorated entirely with handmade decorations.  And have I done anything towards that idea since?  No.  No I have not!

I have bought some lovely decorations (yay for half price sales post-Christmas!) and I have made decorations for others (gifts and swaps with knitting groups) but none for myself.

Until now!  I saw this book recently, on a blog maybe, or Ravelry, I can't recall now, and when it became available from an Australian seller, I bought it!
How could I not?  Look how cute Arne & Carlos are!  Love them!  And they have the cutest video on their website, check it out!

There are so many great patterns to choose from, all using the same basic ball shape.  Some are christmas related pictures, while there are also patterns as well.  Most are simple two colour designs but there is one or two with three colours, and some use glitter/lurex yarns.

Details
Pattern:  I've always loved rocking horses, so the choice for my first ball was (fairly) easy - #27, rocking horse.
Yarn:  MillaMia Naturally Soft merino, in 160 Fawn and 140 Scarlet (about 10g in total).  This is lovely yarn to knit with!

Sticks:  3mm KnitPicks Harmony dpns.  Most of the designs are split into quarters (making it easy to divide over 4 dpns).  I might consider using magic loop for the next one, see if that helps with my stranding.  Because it is a bit bubbly, although steam blocking (over my electric kettle!) helped.  As did stuffing the balls.
Modifications: I used Emily Ocker's cast on, to tighten up the cast on hole nicely, rather than doing this once the ball is finished, as the pattern suggests.  It is a bit fiddly casting on 12 stitches using this method, but I managed it.

I also, accidently, did the decreases differently, as I was working off the chart for the design, rather than the basic pattern, but it doesn't really matter.  I will try to do them as per the pattern next time to see what difference it makes in the look!

I also used the end of the yarn (once finished) to crochet the hanging loop, rather than doing it separately.
I know there's only one ball (Ball! just didn't sound as silly for the subject) but there will be more!  It might take a while to get a whole Christmas tree of decorations, but I will get there, eventually.

Have a great holiday!

22 comments:

Bells said...

this is fabulous. When I was looking for decoration patterns I saw this book around too. I'm getting it before next christmas (make a note!). Love love love the design. So cute. And your mods make excellent sense.

DrK said...

Oh so beautiful! I just love this book, the patterns are just so lovely. And this looks great in this beautiful yarn. Yay for knitted balls (hehe).

m1k1 said...

what is not to love about arne and carlos! knitting and dolls house and chickens. thank you for sharing them with us :-)

Gidgetknits said...

Oh, I do admire your balls! Ball... Yeah, I'm still giggling!

Michelle said...

Balls! Indeed! I've looked at this book and it's just so cute. Makes me want to take up knitting!

yogaknitdra.com said...

Rocking Horses rule! One ball at a time and before you know it you'll have a tree (or an eye) full!

mooncalf said...

I love it and it looks totally perfect to me!

hope you have a perfect holiday!

amy said...

Merry Christmas! I saw your project page on Ravelry and thought these looked cute there, too! We have a mix of handmade (both mine and the kids') and bought and I do like our hodgepodge look! It goes with the wonky tree the kids seem to fall in love with every year. :)

Donna Lee said...

We have a mixture as well. Wait until Connor starts school. You'd be amazed at what teachers come up with in arts and crafts!

I like the ball. It looks like a satisfying small project.

MadMad said...

I have been intrigued by the book as well... but at this point will wait till next year, I guess. I do have a couple of handmade ornaments, though (and you'll see that Connor will be helping a lot in this department over the years!) and agree it makes the tree special. I have gotten to the point that all the standard glass balls I first bought right out of college stay in their boxes - the tree is all special ornaments I've picked up over the years or been gifted or the kids made. I love opening the ornament box (es) each year and remembering how I came upon each. And the kids each get one in their stocking, and watching them open their own boxes and remember too is a lot of fun.

Mereknits said...

I love it, and I agree the book looks fantastic. Wait until you little one is in school than you will get loads and loads of ornaments that actually get more special with time.
Hugs to you and wishing you a wonderful Christmas,
Meredith

Roxie said...

Christmas balls and sexypuffs. You're a busy little knitter,my dear! Love the rocking horse.Bet those patterns would work wonderfully well in simple sweaters,too.

Lynne said...

Very unusual. Everyone could knit the same patterns and still have very different looking balls!

missfee said...

i just lov the concept of men with balls!!!

I love the rocking horse and what a great start to your handmade decorations collection. Just wait until school starts and Connor starts craft!!!

del said...

Oh, I have that same dream, to have a tree with all handmade ornaments. I better get started, too! Love your wee ball.

michele said...

that's impressive!

Leonie said...

Bauble? Or do baubles have to be shiny? Either way, nice ball :-)

Ann said...

Looks great. I also wanting a tree of handmade decorations but have not done any.

2paw said...

I love the rocking horse, it's gorgeous!! I think once you have made one, then you will be experienced and the next ones will be much easier!! I definitely think you need a treeful of decorations!!

Virginia said...

It is really cute! And I've been eyeing that book for a while.

Monica said...

it's beautiful!!

1funkyknitwit said...

Well, I need not say what I think of this book - you know I love it...ahhaaha YaY for balls and I'm luv'n yours .)