Introduction: Singlade Balls From Yarn Scraps

I've recently learned that this craft is called singlade bollar. I learned it from my Swedish grandmother who made them as toy balls when she was little around 1900. They’re made of wool, traditionally scraps left over from other projects. She told me this was her only way to get balls when she was growing up. It taught kids the basic blanket (loop) stitch which is also used in other yarn craft.


Wool yarn scraps too short to knit

tapestry needle and scissors

Step 1: Making the Inner Core

Start with a handful of yarn scraps and start winding yarn around them snugly until you have a ball shape. This usually involves squeezing and reshaping as you go to get a nice round shape. Knitters end up with a lot of short scraps that are too small to use for other projects, and this is a great way to use them up.
Alternately you could wind the ball from scratch with single strands of yarn until you have a nice tight ball. It should have a slight bounce when you’re done. The tighter the winding the better the bounce. Use a tapestry needle to anchor the end of the winding by stabbing it through the ball a couple of times.

Step 2: Dividing Into Triangles

Next, thread the needle with a contrasting colored piece that’s a few feet long. Stab through the ball once to anchor the yarn. Then divide the ball in half by wrapping the yarn around the ball once, and stab back in where you started and anchor with a back stitch. You now have two hemispheres.

Then do another wrap at 90 degrees to the first one. This gives you 4 sections like an orange. Now stab in and pop out in the middle of one of the four longitudinal lines and make a wrap that crosses all four lines to make an equator. Now you have eight triangular sections. This is the traditional way to divide the ball.

Step 3: Designing Your Color Pattern

Here are examples of Singlade balls with solid triangles, two and three shades per triangle. Note the light to dark triangles placed next to the reverse dark to light shading adds contrast between the triangles

Select the color of yarn you want for the perimeter of the first triangle section. I like to plan out all the triangles before starting, whether I want solid colors or multi-colored triangles. It’s also important to think about the color values to get the contrast between the triangles, one going from light to dark sitting next to a triangle that goes dark to light.

Step 4: Making the First Row

With a yarn you selected, insert needle through the ball coming up in a corner of a triangle. A simple pull through the ball is all you need to secure the yarn.

Now using a blanket stitch, bring the needle over and under the guide yarn, the needle goes over the yarn to make a loop.

Continue working from the left across the guide yarn to the right corner. Notice how the needle comes out in the middle of the loop.

Step 5: Turning the Corner

To turn the corner, simply turn the ball and start stitching on the next side.

Continue until all three sides are done.

Step 6: Stitching More Rows

Start second row by using the loop from the first time around the triangle. Continue going around in this color until you have your desired width. At the corner simply pull the yarn through the ball and cut the tail off.

Step 7: Changing Colors

Thread needle with new color, insert needle through the ball coming up in the corner where you left off.

Step 8: Helpful Tip

When the fabric starts to bunch, skip a stitch to keep it flat against the ball.

Step 9: ​Finishing Up

Finish by pushing needle through the center of the triangle and pulling needle out in another triangle. Continue to fill triangles until the ball is complete. Congratulations! Here are some more from my collection.

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