This star ball is made out of 20 triangulare-based pyramids joined together. Before they are sewed together and before they are stuffed they are more like cones than pyramids. If you use five different colors and make four pyramids in each color the colors can be equally distributed around the ball. But you can of course use as many or as few colors as you like.
The “pointyness” of the pyramids can be varied by making the decrease more often (makes a flatter pyramid) or less often (makes a taller pyramid). The size of the center of the ball can be alternated by choosing less or more chains to start with. Just make sure that the number of chains is a multiple of three. The ball in the pictures was made as a gift to a newborn and is quite small and made with a thin cotton yarn. The center of the ball is not filled with any stuffing and has a little bell inside that jingles when the baby shakes the ball.
Making a pyramid
Prior knowledge required: making chains, single crochet and invisible decrease.
The pyramids are made in the round starting at the bottom and by using the invisible decrease to avoid the otherwise, by decreasing, often occurring gaps. This star ball is made with single crochet in the back loops only and the decrease is also made in the back loops only.
Leave quite a long tail of yarn to use for sewing the pyramids together and for attaching the stuffing.
Chain 30. Join together with a single crochet in the first chain made.
1 single crochet in each of the remaining chains. (So no decrease in the first round.)
*2 single crochet together in back loop only (using the invisible decrease), 1 single crochet in back loop only in the next 8 single crochet. Repeat from * two more times.
*2 single crochet together in back loop only, 1 single crochet in back loop only in the next 7 single crochet. Repeat from * two more times.
Continue to decrease 3 stitches each round according to the pattern above until you have 6 stitches left.
*2 single crochet together in back loop only. Repeat from * one more time.
Cut yarn and use the end to sew the remaining stitches together to close the gap. Fasten the end on the inside of the pyramid.
Do 20 pyramids.
Sewing the pieces together
Sew the pyramids together using the tails of yarn you left to start with. This picture shows how the bases of the pyramids shall be attached to each other. So the actual spikes/pyramids that you have crocheted are not shown in the picture. Imagine they are standing out from each triangle. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia.)
Each side of the bottom (the bottom forms a triangle) of the pyramid is 10 chains long and is attached to a side of the bottom of another pyramid by putting the right sides together and sewing with one of the threads from the inside in the loops of the chains you started with. Do not cut the yarn. It will be used to attach the stuffing.
Each point of every base of the pyramids are attached to four more points of other bases. Each pyramid will be part of three different “rings” of five pyramids.
When five pyramids are completed in a ring it is time to close the gap in the middle. Take a new piece of yarn of the color you think will blend in the most into the other colors if it would show on the outside. From the inside of the ball; In each pyramid, put the needle through the last stitch to the centre of the two sides that meet the other pyramids in the “ring of five” (two stitches in every pyramid).
Pull tight so the gap disappears. Tie the ends together with one or several knots of your choice. I use one reef knot and then one overhand knot with both ends together as if they were one, steering the knot to the base so that it is as close tho the crochet piece as possible. Just make sure it is tight and that it won’t loosen. Also tie the ends you have saved from the beginning of the pyramids together to each other, two and two so the seam won’t loosen. Since the knots won’t show on the outside it is better to make a knot to many than a knot to few. Do not cut the yarn.
Sew and close the gaps on every completed ring of pyramids until there is a gap of one ring of pyramids (the gap doesn’t show in the picture but it is there under the piece to the right). Make the last ring separately (to the left in the picture).
If you fill the ball with regular stuffing it is very likely that the sides of the pyramids will be rounded and more have the shape of chubby cones than of pyramids. To make flatter sides and a more stable construction you can take an old sleeping mat and cut out 60 triangles of the same measurements as one “wall” of a pyramid. Then, with scissors, cut the corner of the two longer sides, along the sides. Put them together in pyramids three by three. (A nicer, but more expensive and heavier alternative to the plastic based material in the sleeping mat could be thick and dense sheets of felted wool but I haven’t tried it.)
Fill each of the pyramids you have crocheted with the cut out from the sleeping mat. Use the tails of yarn to make a web under the stuffing so it will stay in place and doesn’t slip out from the crocheted pyramid; use a needle and attach the yarn at some different places on the bottom of each pyramid so that the stitches won’t show on the outside. End at a place where there is another thread to tie the thread together with to fasten.
Filling this way leaves an unfilled space in each pyramid. As the pyramids in the pictures are so small that was not a problem in this case but if you are doing a larger one you might want to fill that gap as well (with a smaller pyramid of sleeping mat or with regular stuffing) or you will risk the triangles of sleeping mat to move around.
As you fill the pyramids it will get more and more tricky to reach inside to sew and that is why I left a whole ring of pyramids till the end, to keep a hole open as long as possible. If you want to put an item inside that makes noice by movement don’t forgett to put it in before you close the last gap. In case you do not use the cut outs from sleeping mat or any other more stable material as stuffing, remember to fill the entire ball before closing the last gap.
Of course the last two sides to sew together is the hardest. Take a new piece of yarn and make the stitches for tightening the last ring of pyramids before you sew the last two sides together. Leave all three ends on the outside (the one from sewing the sides together and the two of the thread used to tighten the last gap). When you have finished the last seam of sides; take the ends of the thread used to tighten the last gap, pull them tight and tie them together. Then take one of the threads from that knot and tie it together with the end from the thread used to sew the last sides together. Use the flat end of a thin crochet hook to push the knots and the remaining ends inside.
And there it is!