Over the last few days i've been working on these fun little ornaments, which are really easy, and sort of addictive. Come the end of Christmas, i'm not sure what i'll replace them with for tiny, portable projects.
I made a few at first that looked ok, but I couldn't get them stuffed in a way that I found satisfying....and then I decided to try it with a 2.5" Styrofoam ball. Voila, perfect roundness. I'm sure it would work with a standard 2.5" blank or coloured Christmas ball as well.
Most of mine were done in worsted or sport weight yarn, on size 7 needles.
Cast on 8 stitches, and either work as Icord, or divide on 4 needles. (Two stitches per needle). Be sure to leave a slightly longer than usual cast on tail-we'll use this later.
Join in the round and work in stockinette stitch for about 5 inches. This will be the "hook" for your ornament.
(you can skip the whole icord part, cast on 8 and begin the ornament. You will however need to either crochet a hook later, or tie a piece of yarn to the top to act as a hook.)
Now begin the ornament. If you worked the first stitches as Icord, now divide the stitches onto four needles. Place a marker to mark the beginning of your round.
Round 1: kfb all the way around. (you should now have 4 stitches on each needle.)
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: On each needle, kfb, knit to last stitch, kfb.
Round 4: Knit
Repeat round 3 and 4 until you have 12 stitches on each needle, ending on a round 3. (having just done your last increases.) Your increase rounds should leave you with 6 stitches, then 8, then 10, then 12.
Knit for 6 rounds
Round 1: *SSK, knit to last two stitches, K2tog*all the way around
Round 2: Knit
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you have 6 stitches on each needle. Now it's time to pop the styrofoam ball in there. Depending on your tension, it might be a bit tight at this point. That's good though, because it's a lot easier to knit around it from this point on if the knitting holds it in and you don't have to try to hold it in as you knit.
If you put the ball in and it's too loose, wait until the next decrease round and see if it stays put a bit better.
Continue decrease rounds 1 and 2 until you have 4 stitches on each needle.
Last round: SSK and K2tog on each needle. You should now have 2 stitches on each needle.
If you decided to skip the styrofoam ball, now would be the time to put in some batting to form your ball.
Break yarn, thread it onto a tapestry needle and draw through the remaining stitches and secure.
Now thread your cast on tail onto a tapestry needle, bend your top icord in half and secure the top end to the bottom end (top of the ornament).
For this I tied a few hidden knots, and then ran the needle down the side of the ornament to the base and did one final knot down there.
Voila. Christmasy fun!