Knitting Christmas Balls
with Arne and Carlos
Knitting Christmas ball ornaments have been cult for a couple of years now. Arne and Carlos are ‘knitting institutions’ in Scandinavia, they even have their own group on Ravelry. So this year it was time for me to join the flock and create some Julekugler for my Christmas home decoration.
Since I used a slightly thicker yarn, the Christmas balls got too big. I also dislike having something easily inflammable on the Christmas tree like wool ornaments – especially if you have real candles in the tree and not the electrical ones. So I decided to felt the balls and use them as decorations in my windows or placed on drawers. I simply got smitten with this bug and will give some away as holiday gifts.
Yarn Lettlopi from Istex. 100 % Icelandic wool, 50 g 100 m. This yarn is thicker, than the yarn recommended in the book. I used colors in white #51, gray #58 , black #59 and red #1409. It is spun from the rare breed Icelandic sheep indigenious to the country, that has adapted to the Icelandic cold climate. The yarn has a slightly coarse nature. For the black Christmas ball I also added silver glimmer thread for the crown.
For filling Nepal Wool carded wool was used. I used the main color as filling color, since the instruction says, that a different color might shine through. Thank God, the colors didn’t bleed when felting…
Knitting Needles 5 x 3 mm (double pointed)
Pattern From the book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Colorful Festive Ornaments, Tree Decorations, Centerpieces, Wreaths, Window Dressings by Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison.
The instructions a very easy to follow: Every julekugle comes with a knitting chart – couldn’t be any easier.
A couple of images of the felted ornaments
Photo Tutorial for the Felting Technique
Knit a Christmas ball. Then stuff it with wool roving – preferably the same color as the main color.
Sew bottom and top together – a crochet string for hanging is optional.
Fill a large plastic bowl with hot water from the tap.
Dip the ball into the water, so it gets soaked thoroughly.
Put a lot of soap on some rubber gloves. (You could do this without the gloves, if the hot water doesn’t bother you.)
Smoosh the soap onto the surface and into the ball. Do this in a vigorous way to promote the felting proces without altering the round shape. Move the ball around a lot while doing this and make sure to mold a nice round shape. Now fill the bowl with cold water and repeat the proces. If the ball hasn’t felted sufficiently take another turn with hot water.
Carefully let the water disappear from the bottom and place the christmasball on a towel to dry for 2 days. Form the ball a couple of times with your hands during the drying proces, so the shape gets perfectly round.
There are many pretty patterns in the book, here are my choices: