Piecing together the soccer ball

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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14 thoughts on “Piecing together the soccer ball

    1. Thank you! It was a lot of fun to make. I am working on a dedicated page that can be referenced so everyone who wants their own outrageously bright soccer ball can have one. It would also allow people who would prefer a more serene palette to make one that better met their color desires. I am looking to get that completed by Saturday night.

  1. Lovely! I love african flowers and I love all the colors you chose! I wouldn’t have thought about making them into a ball,now you have got me thinking..

    1. I am going to have a dedicated African Flower soccer ball page up before I go to bed tomorrow night, so that anyone who wants to make one has the directions needed to do so.

  2. Wow, I didn’t think about how complicated it would be to assemble, with it fighting you the whole time it started to come together into a circle !
    If you single-crocheted the seams, right sides-together, how did you do the last couple of seams, after stuffing?

    1. I saved one pentagon for last and was able to single crochet one of the five sides as I had all of the other seams. Then I finished off and left a very long tail (a couple of feet because I figured it was going to be less aggravating to have more than enough than not quite enough), then I threaded it onto a yarn needle and went through both loops of both of each stitch being joined and did that twice before moving onto the next stitch. It seemed to create a good approximation of the single crochet join that I had used on the interior.

    1. Once you get going, it’s not so bad. It is an amazingly fun project, and my 12-year-old who has no interest in sports at all has taken the soccer ball to his room, so I need to make another one to have in my crochet-empire-headquarters/guest-room.

  3. Hi, I tried this ball too, and to my own surprise I succeeded in sewing everything together without any tutorial or pattern. All the time I was working on it I was sure I was going to come to a point where I would have to take some parts apart again. But lucky me, that was not necessary.
    A problem i did encounter was the wobblyness of the ball! I didn’t succeed in making the pentagons small enough, I guess. They are a tiny bit too big which makes the ball wobby-bobbly, such a shame. Besides, it turned out to become HUGE! I had to buy tons of fiberfill to stuff it firmly enough. šŸ˜€

    Therefore: many compliments for your wonderful example!

    1. If you ever make another, maybe it would help to go one hook size down for the pentagon.

      The fiberfill can be tricky. I did mine twice to make it better, and I am sure that it would be improved if I did it a third time. Mine also used a lot of the fiberfill.

  4. Love my african flower soccer ball.

    Bought a cheap pillow and stuffed it with the filling from that.

    Put bells inside and will play with it with my new grandson – our first.

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