Introduction: Easy Knit Swirl Ball

This is a fast and easy-to-knit little (2 1/4" sphere) project that makes a big impact. Even my friends who are beginner knitters have had great success with this pattern. All you do is first knit a flat piece of 3-colored garter stitch. You will only use the knit stitch, a M1 increase (instructions provided) and a ssk decrease - no purling!

After you have knit the flat piece you will thenl seam one side and gather together the other two. Stuff with a styrofoam ball or polyester fiber fill and you have a ball with swirling colors! Hang as a Christmas ornament, or add to other balls in a decorative collection.

Step 1: Gather Together Your Materials

  • You will need small amounts of 3 different colors of fingering or sock weight yarn - only a few yards of each color needed. The sample was knit with Lion Brand "bonbons" (96% acrylic, 4% metallic polyester) 6pk of assorted colors – in the celebrate colorway.
  • US size 1 (2.25mm) needles
  • A 2 1/4" Styrofoam ball is best for an ornament, or use Polyester fiber fill or unspun wool roving,
  • Small length of ribbon or cording for ornament hanger and bow.

  • Tapestry needle and scissors

Step 2: Knit a Parallelogram

Gauge is not important


1. This piece is knit back and forth in rows.

2. M1 = Make 1 by lifting the strand between the stitches on the row below and knitting into the back of it so it will twist closed.

3. Carry unused colors loosely up the side, do not cut. When picking up the next color hold the yarn for the two resting colors in front of your work and pick up the next working color from the back. Check your tension on these carried colors by stretching the edge and aiming for the same flexibility as the opposite edge.

4. ssk = slip, slip, knit decrease.


Color A: loosely Cast On 26 sts

Row 1: k1, ssk, k22, m1, k1

Row 2: knit

Row 3: Color B, k1, ssk, k22, m1, k1

Row 4: same as Row 2

Row 5: Color C, k1, ssk, k22, m1, k1

Row 6: same as Row 2

Repeat these 6 rows 9 more times.

Bind off with Color C. Break yarn leaving a 12" tail for seaming.

You should have a parallelogram similar to the photo.This shape results from the continuous increasing and decreasing.

Step 3: Sew Seams

Now you will add some seams and gather together a couple of edges to form a sphere as follows:

Bring cast-on and bound-off edges together. Thread yarn tail onto a tapestry needle and using the mattress stitch method, seam together. Both the cast-on and the bind-off rows will fold to the inside/wrong side so that color pattern is uninterrupted.

Weave in all yarn tails to the inside. Thread tapestry needle with yarn and pick up about 20 sts around the edge that has the carried strands. Pull yarn tightly to gather together. Do not cut yarn. Turn ornament inside out. Bring threaded needle to the inside and pick up about 5 sts around edge and gather tightly. Weave in yarn end closing any remaining gaps.

Stuff ornament about ¾ full with fiberfill or wool roving or insert Styrofoam ball into remaining opening. If using soft filling material, press and stretch to make a round ball.

Thread tapestry needle with yarn and repeat as above to gather edge but leave a small finger-sized hole for additional stuffing. Stuff and shape until a good shape is achieved. Gather together and secure yarn tail.

For hanging as a Christmas tree ornament, sew a length of cording or ribbon to the top and if desired, add a pretty bow.

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