As you guys all know, I’ve been going to town on some Christmas Balls. (I think my last count stood above 20, but I could be wrong. There’s so many it’s getting hard to keep track of them all these days.)
Knitting these bad boys is fun and (fairly) easy, though some of the colorwork is a little bit challenging to knit up without making the balls pucker too much. The finishing isn’t too bad, either, just a little bit of a pain when you have to repeat it so many times. You stuff the balls, weave in all the ends, close up the top and the bottom, and add a loop to hang the balls from. Easy, right?
Well, closing up the top of the balls is easy enough- you just pass your tail through the remaining active loops and pull, just like the top of a hat.
But the bottom is a different matter- one that took me a couple tries to figure out how to do neatly.
Because you cast on at the bottom of the ball, you have a big old hole down there, waiting for you. And, there’s no obvious way to get rid of that hole, since you can’t just pull a string and have it disappear (believe me, I tried).
Here’s what I’ve been doing, and I think it works pretty well.
So, you see the long-tail cast-on edge? There are little slanted “stitches” all the way around the edge. I use a yarn needle to carefully pass my needle through those stitches, counter-clockwise, starting right next to the spot where my tail yarn comes out of the ball.And I keep going…Until I get all the way around the hole.Then, I pull the tail snug,And voila! A lovely finished ball bottom that looks just as good as the top! You could use this technique on top-down hats, fingers-to-cuffs mittens, or really any time you need to close up an opening created by a long-tail cast on.
Now, all I’ve got to do is repeat this on the rest of my Christmas Balls. Oof.
Do you have any favorite techniques you’ve been using lately?