Introduction: Julekuler - Knitted Christmas Balls

In this instructable I want to show you how to design and create Julekuler - knitted Christmas balls.
Julekuler were invented and promoted by Arne & Carlos, two swedish/norwegian clothing designers. For an in depth explanation on how to create those christmas balls, you should definitely check out their book 55 christmas balls to knit (UK) which contains a lot of beautiful patterns and detailed instructions on how to make them.

In the first step I will show you what materials you will need, then how to create your pattern and in the remaining steps I will briefly describe how to knit your Christmas ball.

This will not be an instructable about knitting in general, so you should get yourself familiar with some basic knitting techniques:

Step 1: Materials

To create your pattern you will need
  • Internet access with a modern web-browser (chrome, firefox, safari, IE8 and newer)
  • a printer
For knitting you will need
  • knitting wool in the desired colors
  • a set of 5 double pointed needles in size 1 or 2 (2,5mm in metric)
  • cotton wool to stuff the Christmas ball

Step 2: Design Your Pattern

On you can find a program to design your patterns, view them in a 3d preview and export them as an image.
On the page you will find an instructional video, which explains the usage fairly well.
I decided to create an instructable robot Christmas ball:-)

After you have decided for your colors, and drawn your pattern, you can save it as an image and print it to keep track of your rows while knitting.

An image file of the pattern is attached below and here's the link to my instructables robot Christmas ball

Step 3: Start Knitting

Basic stitching pattern:
Following the printed out pattern you have to stitch in round, first increasing on every other row, then knitting the central part and then decreasing on every other row.
  1. You need to cast on 12 stitches on one of the needles, and then distribute on 4 needles.
  2. With the first row close the loop and knit to rows.
  3. increase 1 stitch per needle in the next round (4 stitches per needle) and knit another row.
  4. Then increase by 1 stitch at the beginning and end of every needle (summing up to an increase of 8 stitches per round) every other row until you have 16 stitches per needle.
  5. Knit 13 rounds with 16 stitches.
  6. from then on decrease by 1 at the beginning and end of every needle on every other round (summing up to a decrease of 8 stitches per round).
  7. Repeat until you have only 4 stitcher per needle left.
  8. Before finishing up it's best to iron your Christmas ball with a lot of steam, so all your stitches will be more even
  9. Fill the ball fairly tigtht with cotton wool.
  10. decrease by one stitch on every needle, knit another round (3 stitches per needle) and pull the thread through all the stitches to close the ball.
For an in depth explanation please check out Arne & Carlos book about knitting Christmas balls (UK)

Changing colors:
To knit in multiple colors, you've to guide multiple threads in your left hand (that's one way of doing it, see the intro for some youtube video links on how to knit with multiple colors), letting down the colors you are not currently knitting. Take care that you don't pull the loose threads to tight (you will have problems when filling the ball with cotton wool) or let them too loose (you will have big stitches and holes in your ball), it's a little bit of practice

Make a coord:
There're several ways of making a coord, I personally prefer the technique shown in this instrutcable, but you can basically use any technique for making a coord (e.g. crocheting or using a "knitting pipe")

Here's a timelapse video of the knitting process:

Step 4: Decorate Your Room

Hang or put them wherever you please... and make more of them :-)
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