How to Knit a Sphere

Published by Ruth Haydock on

How to Knit a sphere 2 Ruth Haydock

I make spheres A LOT and they transformed my knitting, so in this post I will share with you how to knit a sphere using a pattern that I have written up just for you. 

When I first started knitting, straight needles were the only type of needles I had ever heard of and I couldn’t imagine being able to make anything other than flat pieces of knitted fabric which would only become a 3 dimensional object if I could sew all the pieces up. But then I first discovered double pointed needles when making toys from Hansi Singh’s book Amigurumi knits and I felt like I just come across something magical, as it was actually possible to easily create all sorts of shapes with knitting! 

Soon after the discovery of double pointed needles I made my first sphere, it was a cricket ball that I made as a gift for my partner and from then on, knitted spheres have featured a lot in my designs, like my Knitted Solar System and Knitted Globe patterns

Knit Your First Sphere

The pattern below is created in a way that you can take up your needles to make a sphere even if you have never used double pointed needles before. I show you it all step by step in the video and by the end of it you will think spheres are easy!  Soon you too you will have your own knitted ball in your hand and can go on to make your own knitted globe.  

What you need to get knitting 

Yarn

Approximately 5 grams of Double Knitting Yarn in any colour. 

Needles

Five double pointed 3mm circular needles

Using 3mm needles with Double Knitting Yarn gives a tight fabric that stops stuffing from coming through

Notions

Fibrefill Toy Stuffing

Sewing needle to sew in ends

Scissors

Finished size

5cm diameter

Tension

13 stitches and 18 rows to measure 5x5cm (2x2in) over stocking stitch using 3mm needles or size needed to obtain stated tension

Abbreviations 

KFB: Knit front and back of the stitch. 

PUL (Pick Up Left): Use your left needle to pick up the left side of stitch that is one stitch below the stitch on the needle. Slip this stitch onto your left needle.

PUR (Pick Up Right): Use your right needle to pick up the stitch that is directly below the needle, lift this stitch and slip it onto the left needle.

K2TOG: Knit two together.

Can I use circular needles? 

For a larger sphere you could easily use circular needles but as this sphere is small, it is easier to work over double pointed needles. You can use circular needles if you prefer but I find that the excess wire between the needles can get in the way sometimes. 

Knitted Sphere Pattern

Round 1: Cast on 8 stitches on to one needle. Split the stitches over 2 needles and hold in the round being careful not to twist the stitches. (8)

Round 2:  Holding it in the round, knitting from the last cast on stitch into the first cast on stitch, KFB into all stitches. (16)

Round 3: K16 (16) 

Now split the stitches over four needles. 

In round 4 you will be using a special increase method which is almost invisible and creates a really smooth surface on the sphere called Pick Up Increases, see my YouTube video created just for this technique.

Round 4: * K2, PUL-K1, PUR-K1, K2 * X4 (24)

At this stage I recommend sewing in the end from the cast on edge and closing the hole. Take the cast on thread and bring it through one side of all 8 cast on stitches and then pull to secure, like a little draw string bag. Then secure the end by working it discreetly into the back of the previous rows and cut the yarn.

Round 5: K24

Round 6: * K2, PUL-KI, K2, PUR-K1, K2 * X4 (32)

Round 7: K32

Round 8: * K2, PUL-KI, K4, PUR-K1, K2 * X4 (40)

* Round 9: K40 *  Repeat round 9, five more times. 

Now you will be decreasing every other round.

Round 15: * K1, K2TOG, K4, K2TOG, K1 * X4 (32)

Round 16: K32

Round 17: * K1, K2TOG, K2, K2TOG, K1 * X4 (24)

Round 18: K24

Round 19: * K1, K2TOG, K2TOG, K1 * X4 (16)

Round 20: K16

Stuff your sphere! I like to stuff mine really firmly, as this evens out the surface of it.

Round 21: * K2TOG * X8 (8)

You may want to stuff in some final bits of stuffing before you close the top and secure the end. 

Round 22: Cut the yarn leaving a 3 inch thread and attach a sewing needle to the end of the yarn, then draw it through all the stitches on the needles, stitch by stitch until you have threaded through all stitches and you can pull the top of the globe shut like a drawstring.

Now your sphere is completed! 

This knitted sphere is a great size for making juggling balls or baubles for a Christmas tree.

Want to save the step by step images to look at later then you are ready to knit another sphere? No problem! Pin the image below to one of your Pinterest boards 🙂 

Please do share your finished spheres with me by adding them to your Ravelry projects, share photos on Facebook or tag me in your photos on Instagram. I love to see your photos and can’t wait to see what you make with this pattern!

If you loved making this sphere then you will be keen to take your sphere making to the next level by making one of knitted globes or my Knitted Solar System, check them all out in my pattern store.

Happy Knitting!