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Sparkling spangles!

For this week’s KnitBits holiday greeting, I whipped up some festive holiday orbs! These yarn balls are so evocative, they simultaneously remind me of evergreens, presents, snowballs, ornaments…all things sparkly and bright! They were very easy to make, if you made Morty or don’t own a ballwinder, you can totally handle these holiday spheres. 



Start with a round object (Norah notes that crumpled up newspaper is a greener alternative to Styrofoam balls) and wrap as you normally would to form a yarn ball, turning every few wraps to ensure a nice round shape. Turn in small increments for a neat ball or turn at sharp angles for the randomized look featured here. 

I used a selection of Berroco Yarns: Ultra Alpaca, Pure Merino, Palace, Peruvia and Peruvia Quick, Inca Gold and Lumina. I started each ball with two shades of green. The next layer is the ornament layer–I chose jewel tones and bright primaries inspired by the traditional nose magnifying glass orbs. I finished each yarn ball with a few turns of shiny gold Lumina. Tuck each end into the layers so the yarn stays put. 


That’s it! To create a treescape stick a knitting needle through a shoebox and spear three yarn balls onto the needle, shish kabob style. Create mini spheres and thread them onto a strong plied yarn (like Ultra Alpaca) to create a colorful garland for your real tree. Attach a paper clip to hang them from the tree or simply display them in a glass vase or shallow bowl. Instant pretty! 


56 Comments Post a comment
  1. What fun they are — wish I’d seen these earlier!

    December 23, 2008
  2. Mary Overman #

    These are absolutely wonderful! Thank you!

    December 24, 2008
  3. Liked the balls and they definately would be colorful arranged in a white or colored glass bowl. Also liked the miniture sweaters you’ve sent befoe and have made several of them to hang on a garland that I put up at Christmas as well as minature socks I make from the self striping sock yarn. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you all. Caroline

    December 24, 2008
  4. Barbara #


    December 24, 2008
  5. margery #

    they are beautiful. Good job Cirilia!

    December 24, 2008
  6. JoanneAlburger #

    What a fun twist on something we all have done as kids.
    This makes all the yarn just pop!!!!

    December 24, 2008
  7. Carole #

    These will use up my left overs nicely – thank you!! I will make them now for my yarn shops next year. Great possibilities!

    December 24, 2008
  8. JC #

    Beautiful. I may try this last minute decoration, thank you!!

    December 24, 2008
  9. niki #

    Absolutely stunning!

    December 24, 2008
  10. Karen Poore #

    Pretty cool!

    Merry Christmas to all and remember the reason for the season!

    December 24, 2008
  11. Happy Christmas!!!

    And all the Very Best in 2009!!!

    Patsy from Canada (Freezing up here!!!)

    December 24, 2008
  12. Dorothy Avery #

    They are beautiful. I’ll use next year for decoration … I’m always adding something new every year. Thanks and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    December 24, 2008
  13. Jean Gu #

    What a nice simple thing to do with yarn! They are festive and beautiful. I will add this to my list of things to do for next year.

    December 24, 2008
  14. I think this warrants a trip to the LYS to buy cashmere yarn and have it wound into balls. I am sure some of the cute push pins would decorate it some. Wonderful idea…wish this would have come 3 weeks ago, my tree would be covered with these!


    December 24, 2008
  15. Monica Lewallen #

    How very precious! What a wonderful idea! I think this would be just perfect for an all year round display, just change your colors for each season. You could keep it in tree shape or display the balls separated but placed together in a decorative bowl. Thanks for the great ideas.

    Oh yes, Morty is absolutely ingenious! I will be using the paper clip idea many times in the future. Once again, thank you so very much for all of the “great” ideas.

    December 24, 2008
  16. Rita #

    I love this idea. I saw a wreath made with a collection of these yarn balls (made in different shades of green).

    December 24, 2008
  17. Jane #

    What a great idea! I even have time to whip up some of these on Christmas Eve Day!

    December 24, 2008
  18. lynda #

    giggle! they’re called TEMARI and the craft is at least a thousand years old and of Japanese origin.

    December 24, 2008
    • Oh Lynda, I wouldn’t dare call my creations temari. I lack the Zen focus for that particular craft!

      December 24, 2008
  19. Perry #

    I love that you can substitute newspaper for the styrofoam balls for a more ecological display. And the variety of yarns and ribbon trims make them extra-special. Thanks!

    December 24, 2008
  20. M #

    Wow, you can hang your stash on your tree!:-)

    December 24, 2008
  21. Pam Anderson #

    Where can I find the mini sock pattern?

    December 24, 2008
    • Hi Pam, can you be more specific? I’m not sure which pattern you’re referring to =/

      December 24, 2008
  22. Barbara - De #

    They are absolutely beautiful. Too bad I didn’t know about them sooner, BUT definitely on my “to do” list for next year. Merry Christmas to all and a blessed New Year.

    December 24, 2008
  23. What a simple yet effective idea. Even the children can do it.

    December 24, 2008
  24. JoAnne Barlow #

    Berroco KnitBits® #272 – Peace on Earth from Berroco
    Happy Holidays, this was the best cover (12-24-08 emails) for a Christmas one could imagine. It appears as little earth pictures. Bless you!

    December 24, 2008
  25. Manu #

    Tanti auguri di Buon Natale e Felice 2009 dall’Italia a tutto il mondo.

    December 24, 2008
  26. Diane #

    What a wonderful idea! I made a wreath of yarn balls several years ago and it’s hanging on the front door right now. Everyone asks where I got it from. When I tell them, only true yarnholics grimmace wondering why I “wasted” my good yarns in such a useless way. So, now I’m thinking about which needles I won’t be using for awhile. The trees are gorgeous!!

    December 24, 2008
  27. Jan #

    Fun and special greetings from Mexico.

    December 24, 2008
  28. Barbara Johnson #

    What a fantastic idea…. and yes count me in for this as next year’s “go to gift” for those many many people I give a little something to…. this year it was 10 prs of crochet slippers to all at my local Library….. I dipped into the tons of “scraps” and made the funkiest crochet slippers you ever saw…. They LOVED them!!!! I have to say that Berroco is my favorite site for style and color…. have to admit I cannot always afford “the good stuff”, but as a person that makes up her own patterns.. this place makes my heart sing every time….Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year….. bj

    December 24, 2008
  29. Noreen #

    will save this idea for next year, as I am spending the holiday in 70 degree sunny California with my son and family

    Happy holiday to all in the freezing North east.

    December 24, 2008
  30. Here is the miniature sweater pattern – so many to choose from!

    December 24, 2008
  31. Ruth Niedzielak #

    Wonderful idea!. The perfect gift for my friends at our ‘Knot Just Knitters” group.

    December 24, 2008
  32. Lori #

    what a wonderful idea.!! I hope I can get a couple done for Christmas presents. Thanks

    December 24, 2008
  33. Beth-Michele #

    What a grand idea and I can start on gifts for next year now. bgw

    December 24, 2008
  34. joanne f. blank #

    beautiful idea!will use next year.

    December 24, 2008
  35. brenda h #

    A lovely idea. Thanks for the beautiful picture.

    December 24, 2008
  36. Heather in SF #

    My family received something like this as a gift from a visitor from China back in the early 70’s, a visiting scientist on a exchange program, we still have them and they are beautiful. Thanks for these instructions, now we can add to our collection.

    December 24, 2008
  37. NICE!!! I’m gonna do it a little differently though…I’m gonna wrap some pre-existing balls like that….put them in a basket along with a few yarn ‘butterflys’ and send them to my daughter. 20 years of ‘mom, whats the fasination?’ and someone did the imposible…got her hooked on crochet! I’m a knitter and she never took an interest, but she is now a crocheter without a lot of yarn in her stash. I was going to send her a select few yarns from my stash and presentation was becoming a problem…and right on time, is this pattern. Thanks so much.

    December 24, 2008
  38. Georgia W. #

    WOW what a cool idea I just love it and to think I was just putting them in bowles …I just love the tree idea using knitting needles….Thanks for the great idea…happy Holidays to all

    December 24, 2008
  39. Elaine Lim #

    What a beautiful present to open on Christmas morning. Thank you so much.

    December 25, 2008
  40. How pretty! Think I’ll have a ‘knit tree’ next year!

    December 25, 2008
  41. wonderful idea!!!!i like all the green things at christmas time!!!buon natale!!

    December 25, 2008
  42. Jo #

    I will definitely make some of these next year as gifts. They are jus beautiful.

    December 25, 2008
  43. Wendy Humphreys Tebbutt #

    What a fabulous idea! I’m looking at these on December 26th – and will definitely use this idea for future Christmases. Normally we go away for Christmas through New Year’s, so don’t put up a tree at home – we simply enjoy the trees of our relatives and friends. Well, we were snowed in this year! I’d have made these for us if I’d opened my email sooner. In any case, I’ll make them for us each year – as they’ll give us that touch of the season easily and with great colour and texture. Many thanks.

    Sunshine Coast, BC

    December 26, 2008
  44. Louise O'Donnell #

    What fun!! I make temari balls and have for about 11 years now and these are very similar to some of the Japanese patterns. Great fun to do.
    ( I have done Level 1 – Honka and Level 2 – Koutouka Japanese Temari Master program) so I am very familar with threads, yarns and round!😎
    This is just fun!!! Will consider making them for next year’s Christmas sale.
    Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing.
    Chilliwack, B.C.

    December 27, 2008
  45. This are way fun! A wonderful way to use up little bits of yarn…since I am thinking tiny….there is always next year. Thanks.

    December 28, 2008
  46. Joan De Wolfe #

    What a great pleasure it was when I opened your e-mail of Christmas greetings to me and the visual beauty of the Christmas balls. I belong to other yarn sites and you were the only ones to extend the greeting to me. Will keep and try this next year. What Joy and again Thank You! Joan Bonita Springs, Fl

    December 28, 2008
  47. love the orbs! i have put in my request with one of my clietns for one of the starbucks wreaths if they are just going to be thrown away…your orbs reminded me of them!

    December 29, 2008
  48. Annie #

    F a n t a s t i c

    December 30, 2008
  49. Sandy #

    These are so great. I got a coffee at Starbucks and there was a wreath made of green yarn balls… so cool.

    January 1, 2009
  50. Luanne #

    I would appreciate Christmas ideas coming all year if you can.Quiet time in the winter, after Christmas and before outside work starts up, is a perfect time to putter away!!

    January 19, 2009
  51. Trish #

    Great to display at our knitting groups Christmas gathering.

    November 20, 2009
  52. Trish #2 #

    These orbs are a great idea. I shall try some this year. Good way to use up oddments too. I shall also try some of the mini items… hmm! Maybe have a mini tree too.

    November 23, 2009
  53. Fantastico!!

    December 14, 2012

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