Crochet redux: Piecing together the soccer ball

In honor of the Euro 2012 semi-finals, I have decided to revisit my post “Piecing together the soccer ball” which was first published on June 23, 2010, to commemorate the 2010 World Cup.

Since that time I have added this page about how to make the hexagons and pentagons for the soccer ball along with this page which shows how I joined the pieces. I have also made this video that shows how to crochet the pentagons needed for the soccer ball.

Now to the original post:

I finally got my soccer ball pieced together today.

After getting my son to computer camp with zero minutes to spare, I went to visit my mom. Once there, I carted my enormous bag of yarn and soccer ball parts into her living room and spread them out on the floor.

Having joined the twenty hexagons of the soccer-ball-to-be into four panels, I found myself at an impasse. Surfing the internet for some guidance as to what to do next, I found this image of an unfolded soccer ball:

Image of an unfolded soccer ball

Using the image above as a guide, I laid out three of the panels/planes I had assembled and disassembled the fourth panel/plane so that I could place the hexagons and pentagons as they were in the image I had found.

crochet hexagon motifs and crochet pentagon motifs to make a crochet soccer ball
Soccer ball pieces

Then I began to join them.

I put my first efforts into joining hexagons where the lines were straight and uncomplicated. When I ran out of those, every join I made seemed to bring the pieces curving in on each other. I paused long enough to pin the edges together while I still knew what went where.

In A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Lysander notes “The course of true love never did run smooth,” and the assembly of my soccer ball seemed to run the same course as true love.

After I pinned the edges together, I went back and (with right sides together) used a single crochet stitch through both loops of both stitches to join the seams. Things were going swimmingly until I got to one particularly problematic hexagon.

What made this hexagon so problematic, was that it was, in fact, a pentagon. Just two days earlier I had removed this same pentagon from the same panel, made a hexagon to replace it, and then promptly put the pentagon back right where it had come from.

Two steps forward and two steps back.

I had to remove the pentagon yet again, but this time I put it in my purse so that I would not inadvertently replace it with itself yet again. With one hexagon to redo and join to the ball, and four pentagons awaiting joining to the soccer ball which had now begun to take shape, it was time for me to pick my son up from computer camp.

After a quick dinner, I stuffed the ball as best I could. Clearly, my soccer ball, polyester fiberfill stuffing skills could use some work, but I did get the ball finished, and as you will see, it makes the perfect centerpiece for all of your 2010 World Cup celebrations.

crochet soccer ball made from crochet hexagon and crochet pentagon motifs
Crocheted soccer ball

Soccer ball as centerpiece

One more view of the crocheted soccer ball
One more view of the crocheted soccer ball

Update: Since this post was originally written, I have completed a pattern so that you can make your own crochet soccer ball:

Related: Free crochet soccer ball pattern

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