Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Pattern


Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball  Baby Grab Toy

Let me introduce you to my Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball.  I can hype it up and tell you that your kids will have endless hours of fun playing with this puzzle ball, but the truth is that I have a lot more fun with this puzzle ball than my kids do (although they love it).

The minute someone walks into my house I practically force it on them!  And what fun it is watching people try to assemble it.  Of course it only takes them a little while to figure it out, because it IS pretty simple.  But doesn’t it look cute?  And as a ball it kicks some serious crochet ass!

The chunky design means that it is super easy for little hands to grab hold of.  And the million colour possibilities make it a treat for little eyes and inquisitive minds.

Now before we go any further.  If you are at all concerned about the apparent amount of sewing involved, let me put your mind at ease.     All the segments are crocheted together at the end and the tails of yarn are enclosed INSIDE the ball – if you follow my advice, leaving you with 3 tiny tails of yarn to sew away.  That’s right, ladies!  3 itty bitty bouts of sewing.  I think that’s pretty awesome!

How does the Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball work?

Crochet Amish Puzzle BallThe ball comes apart into three separate “rings/segments” (each containing four wedges) which then have to be re-assembled to form the ball.

Be warned that this is one of those mind-numbing projects.

You will need to make 12 of the same thing.  So I would advise resigning this particular project to evening tv time (if you indulge) and car trips.

(Update 3/3/13:  It takes me about 3 lazy hours to make a Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball from scratch, but I have made a few!!)

Thank you, Tannie Esther, for sending me the link to the fabric Amish puzzle ball and starting me on this journey!

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Pattern

Dedri Uys ©2011.  All Rights Reserved.

This pattern is not currently available as a PDF.  I am in the process of updating my older pattern PDF’s.

Translations are available in Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, German, Polish, and Russian.  The links can be found below the pattern.

Add This Pattern to your Ravelry Queue>>

Size

  • If you prefer to use double knit yarn and a 4 mm hook, the ball will be roughly 13 cm in diameter. That is about 5”.
  • If you use worsted weight yarn and a 4 mm hook, the ball will be about 15 cm in diameter. That is about 6”.

Materials

Update:  I have recently started working with worsted weight yarn and much prefer the denser structure obtained when using worsted weight yarn.  The ball below is made with the materials listed below, but I suggest you use worsted weight yarn instead of double knit!  If you do use worsted weight, you will need about 220 meters.

  • 4 mm Crochet hook (US G/6  UK 8)
  • Double knit yarn (light worsted weight/#3) in contrasting colours –  about 120 m for the wedges, 45 m for the lids and 30 m for crocheting the lids to the wedges.
  • OR Worsted weight yarn (Aran/#4) in contrasting colours – about 140 m for the wedges, 55 m for the lids and 35 m for crocheting the lids to the wedges
  • A yarn needle for working away your tails of yarn
  • About twice as much stuffing as you think you will need

Abbreviations

US Terminology used

{You can see a US/UK comparison chart for hooks and terminology here.}

Ch Chain
Sl st Slip stitch
Sc Single crochet
Sc inc Single crochet increase
St/st’s Stitch/stitches
() Repeat all instructions between parentheses the amount of times specified.

Additional Notes

The initial ch st’s in each row/round are NOT counted as stitches.

Instructions

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Wedges

Wedges

(Make 12)

These wedges are worked in rows and joined with a seam.  If you would rather make seamless (spiral) wedges, see the instructions for the Star Ball.

  1. Ch 2.  Make 3 sc’s in the second ch from the hook.  Ch 1 and turn. (3)
  2. Sc inc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (6)
  3. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next st) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (9)
  4. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 2 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (12)
  5. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 3 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (15)
  6. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 4 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (18)
  7. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 5 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (21)
  8. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 6 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (24)
  9. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 7 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1 and turn.  (27)
  10. (Sc inc in the next st, sc in the next 8 st’s) 3 times.  Ch 1. Do not turn.  (30)

Fold the half-circle in half so that the end containing the hook is closest to you (Photo 2).  Insert your hook into the first row down the side of the resulting wedge (through both layers – see Photo 3)  and make a sc (through both layers)  Make 8 more sc’s, working into each row down the side and through both layers.  Remember to put your initial tail of yarn INSIDE the wedge before closing it completely.  When you get to the end, ch 1 and bind off (Photo 4).

To eliminate the final tail of yarn, insert your hook into one of the stitches at the pointy end of the wedge (from the inside of the wedge to the outside – see Photo 5) and pull the final tail of yarn through to the inside of the wedge (Photo 6).

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball

If you want to, you  can turn the resulting wedge inside-out so that you don’t end up with a seam.  I personally prefer (and recommend) the seam as it helps the Puzzle Ball to interlock better when assembled.

Chain of “lids”

(Make 3)

1. Ch 2.  Sc inc in the second ch from the hook.  Ch 1 and turn.  (2)

2. Sc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (2)

3. Sc inc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (4)

4. Sc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (4)

5. Sc inc in the first st.  Sc in the next 2 st’s.  Sc inc in the last st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (6)

6-9. Sc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (6)

10. Sc2tog, sc in the next 2 st’s, sc2tog.  Ch 1 and turn.  (4)

11. Sc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (4)

12. Sc2tog twice.  Ch 1 and turn.  (2)

13. Sc in each st.  Ch 1 and turn.  (2)

14. Sc2tog.  Do not bind off.

Repeat rows 1 – 14 THREE more times.  This will give you a chain of 4 “lids”.  On the very last “lid” of the chain, ch 1 and bind off.

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball

Hint:  If you are going to use the “lid” colour (so the same colour) to attach the wedges to the lids, don’t bind off.  Just continue with the assembly instructions below.  It just saves having to work away another tail of yarn.

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Simple Segment

Assembling the segments

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball

Use the yarn you used for the wedges or a third, different colour.  If you are using a new colour, start with a slip knot already on your hook.

You will be attaching 4 wedges to each chain of lids, working up the chain of lids on one side and down the other side, stuffing as you go.  You will be working into each st of the wedge opening and each row of the chain of lids.  See the section below if you are unsure about the placement of the stitches in the rows of the lids.

So, place your first wedge behind the first lid on the right (with the sc seam of the wedge to your right – see Photo 1) and insert your crochet hook through the first st of the chain of “lids” and the first st of the opening of one of the wedges (Photo 2).  If you have turned your wedge inside out, or you have worked it in a spiral, start on any st around the top of the wedge.  Make a sc through both layers.  Make 14 more sc’s, working into each row of the lid and each stitch of the wedge (so both layers).

Join the next wedge to its lid in the same way (Photo 3) and continue until you have attached one side of each of the 4 wedges and lids.

Now you will be “closing” the wedges.  Insert your hook into the same (last) st of the fourth lid and the next st of the fourth wedge and make a sc.  Continue working through both layers as before, making 15 sc’s along the other side of each wedge and lid (Photo 5), and stuffing as you go (see A Word About Stuffing below).

When you reach the last st, of the first wedge, join to the first st with a sl st and bind off.  Use the tail to join the tips of the first and last wedges together (Photo 6).

Alternatively you can sl st them together before binding off, which is what I prefer.  To do that, simply sl st in st’s 16 and 15 of the st’s around the top of the 4th wedge (in that order), so the stitches at the pointy end, and then sl st in the first and second st’s of the first wedge.  Bind off and work away your tails.

You have now completed one segment.  Repeat for the remaining 2 segments.

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball

Having trouble lining up the lids and the wedges?

Although the lids only have 14 rows, there are 15 “holes” along the side of the lid.  This is because the chain st you work the sc inc into in the first row also forms a hole.  So, in essence, you are working into that ch st and then into each of the 14 rows.  I have included a numbered photo below to help explain this.  It is numbered starting from the sc2tog of row 14 ( on the right), where you will start attaching the lid to its wedge, through to the initial ch st of row 1 (on the left), and then back again around the bottom of the lid.  I hope this eliminates a few questions.

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Wedge Lid

Original Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball PatternA word about Stuffing

This ball EATS stuffing! And I have noticed that people tend to think they have overstuffed the ball because the wedges are quite fat and the segments super snug…But the ball will stretch over time and to get the best results you want to stuff it nice and full! If you use too little stuffing the segments won’t sit together as well and the ball is more likely to become lifeless after a lot of playing.   Just don’t stuff it so much that it becomes “holey”.

Building your Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball

When your segments are all nicely stuffed and neatly finished off, use them to build your puzzle ball!

Now, because this is a puzzle, I am not going to explain how you assemble the ball.  But I have included a photo of how the first 2 segments should interlock and a photo of what the ball should look like once assembled.

All you have to do is figure out where the third segment goes.  If you really get stuck, Google it :)

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball

Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Video Tutorial

by Elizzza from www.knitaholics.com

This video tutorial should answer any questions you may have.  Please note that Elizzza turns her wedges inside out before attaching them to the lids.  I prefer not to turn them inside out.  Keeping the seam on the outside makes it easier to attach the wedges to the lids AND it helps the wedges interlock slightly better when the ball is assembled.

FREE Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball PatternTranslations for the Amish Puzzle Ball Pattern

  • Spanish (translated, with permission, by Ana from Hasta el Monyo)
  • Swedish (translated, with permission, by Sofia from Fittforcefive)
  • Danish (translated, with permission, by Marianne Topping from Tulle Momsemor)
  • Dutch (translated, with permission, by Magda Wellens from Aurorashandwerkwereldje)
  • Italian (translated, with permission, by Elisa Aliforni)
  • Russian (translated, with permission, by Natalia from Toy-Fabric )
  • German (translated, with permission, by Maja Heidingsfelder)
  • Polish (translated, with permission, by Aga Ta)

Related Free Crochet Patterns

Related Book

Amamani Puzzle Balls

FAQ’s

Q:  Can you work the wedges in a spiral instead of in rows and thus avoid the seam?

A:  Yes, you can.  But again, the seam helps the wedges interlock slightly better when the ball is assembled.  You can find a pattern for seamless wedges HERE.

Q:  How much should I stuff the wedges/ball?

A:  You need to stuff it enough so that the wedges bulge slightly, but not so much that the stitches stretch and become “holey”.  It doesn’t matter if your 3 segments seem quite snug.  In fact, you want them to be quite snug.  After a while the segments will relax and if you haven’t stuffed your ball enough, it will become limp and lifeless.

Q:  Help!  My lids are too small for my wedges!

All yarns are NOT created equal.  So if you are going to use scrap yarn for your ball, or even if you use 2 different types of yarn, there is going to be a variation in your gauge.  When using different types of yarn (even if they appear to be the same thickness), make sure that the yarn you use for your lids is as thick (or thicker – within reason) than the yarn you use for the wedges.  The wedges are more forgiving than the lids.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me and I will try my best to answer them to your satisfaction.

Remember to subscribe to my newsletter if you would like to be kept in the loop. You can also like my Facebook page or follow me on Bloglovin or Google+.

Happy Hooking!

Dedri

Comments

  1. Anju says

    I just completed my 1st Amish ball and am so pleased. Thank you for sharing the pattern. I was so excited till the whole thing came together. Wish I could share the pics.
    thank you.

    • says

      You could post pics on the Fecbook page or use a hosting site like photobucket and choose the [img][/img] tags to post a reply here :)

  2. Mickey says

    I am planning on making your puzzle ball for my grandson who will be born in the next few weeks and another for his cousin who is now 3days old! If I use light worsted and a smaller hook will it be as dense as with worsted just smaller? Is that too small?

  3. margaret says

    Just completed 2 Amish puzzle balls, they are amazing. I am not a very experienced crochet person but your instructions were very easy to follow. Thank you

  4. stephanie says

    Hi there, is there anywhere that there are the full instructions in the UK terminology? I tried to send my mum your pattern for her to make a ball for my unborn son… and for me to learn how to crochet… however it seems the only way would be for me to look up every term to change and write it all out myself?! She said she was very confused attempting it in the UK terminology that she knows… any help with this would be good.. were realy looking foward to make them!
    Thanks..

    • Dedri Uys says

      Hi, I write all my patterns in US terminology, I’m afraid. Transcribing it won’t be hard at all as the puzzle ball only uses variations of 1 stitch: Sc, which would be dc in UK terms. So the whole ball is made with UK dc’s, Uk chains, Uk sl st’s, and then increases and decreases as normal.

      I hope that helps.

      Dedri

  5. jenny says

    Found this via Pinterest and have it a try. I’m so pleased with how it turned out since this was my first 3D project. The instructions were great and the tips very helpful. Can’t wait to try another project!

  6. TaffyDeb says

    I found your wonderful puzzle ball via Pinterest- it sat on my board for a long time, and I made it today! Excellent directions, splendid toy! I can’t wait to do more! I have loads of color ideas to explore! Thank you!

  7. Sofia says

    Hey!! Amazing project! Just finished my first ball for my godson’s birthday today! It turned out beautiful! This is the best present ever, I know he and his mom will enjoy it so much!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I learnt crochet by watching tutorials online and I am so thankful to people like you who share these amazing patterns and make it so easy for us beginners! Big thanks and all of my love from Uruguay (South America)!

    • Dedri Uys says

      I don’t think I’ve ever had a comment from Uruguay! I am pleased that you like it and thank you so much for letting me know :)

  8. Diana says

    Hi Dedri, it was so much fun to make this Puzzle Ball! I used different size yarn and hook, because I could not wait to get started. It turned out so cute. Thanks again for the pattern! Love it :)

  9. says

    I absolutely love this! It was so easy to make. It will make awesome Christmas gifts. BTW….it doesn’t use any more stuffing than the usual amigurumi things that I make.

  10. Carol Derbis says

    Dedri,
    In one of these Amamani patterns I saw your suggestion for “stuffing bombs” to prevent the stuffing from poking through…INGENIOUS!
    Now that I’m looking for it, I cannot find that page – and want to share it on one of my (many) Facebook group pages…but won’t do it til I can direct them to the right place…
    Can you help?
    I know how to do it, but some of these ladies are beginners, so don’t want to turn them off – esp. since this is such a simple solution!
    Bless you for all you do and all you share with so many! You are so very talented and have given away so many beautiful patterns and tutorials…amazing! Wish I could meet you one day to thank you in person…
    Instead, I wish you God’s Blessings for you and your family….you share so freely with so many and have helped many of us increase our own crochet ability!

  11. Ana says

    You are a genius! My grandchildren love these balls. One of my them, a 3-year old boy, looked at me while I assembled the ball and then he said: well, that’s it, now let’s play, and he began to play football! and my 4-year grand-daughter, used the rings on her wrists, jajaja. Thank you very much for teaching us how to do this, you’re very nice.
    Ana

    • Dedri Uys says

      Ana, I am so pleased that you like them. And even more so because your grandchildren like them. Classic about your grand-daughter putting them on as bangles. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Dedri

  12. Anna says

    Thank you for this beautiful pattern. I’ve just finished my first Amish Puzzle Ball and it looks FANTASTIC. Thank you again!

    • Dedri Uys says

      Thank you for letting me know, Anna. I am always pleased when someone is happy with one of my designs. So glad you like it x

  13. Suzanne says

    This ball is a perfect Christmas for my niece! Even my boyfriend (who normally gets a kind of glassy look when I go on about crocheting) thought it was really cool, and wanted to solve it. :)

  14. marie rose muller aguila says

    Desearía obtener los hermosos modelos puzzle en español
    me gusta tejer a crochet y los modelos son muy originales desde ya muchas gracias

    • Dedri Uys says

      3.75 would work better. It’ll give you a nice tight ball. 5 mm would be ok if you are using bulky/chunky yarn.

  15. says

    Hi Dedri
    I just love this puzzle Ball.
    I created Sage – The Crochet Pig Puzzle for a gift to a pig lover.
    Check it out on my site.
    Jan

    • Dedri Uys says

      Sage is gorgeous, Jan. I am working on a pig, but the fish and the lion will need testing next and then the cow and my mystery puzzle…and then, maybe, Pammy Pig.

  16. Michelle says

    Yours is not an original. The original came from an Annies Attic magazine which is OOP but the copyrights are still intact and valid. Just thought you’d like to know.

  17. Brinja says

    I love this pattern and I would like to sell some of those puzzle-balls that I made, in a kind of garage-sale or to my midwife. Of course just if you give your permission to that. Would it be okay for you?

  18. Monica says

    Thanks for sharing this pattern! I’ve made the fabric version before, and my ferrets love to play with them. Watching them this morning I was thinking of trying a crochet version and then went searching to see if anyone else had. I’ll have to see if I can get a picture of them with one when I finish mine :)

    Love that watermelon one by the way!! Such an adorable idea, got me thinking of doing a whole “fruit bowl” of them now :D

    • Dedri Uys says

      A “fruit bowl” sounds like tons of fun. I also have a pattern for a pumpkin segment ball listed here somewhere. It’s more basic, but I have made tons of other “fruit” from that pattern. I’ve just not gotten around to posting about them. I would love to see the ferrets in action. x

  19. Victoria says

    Thank you for sharing your pattern! My 6-month old daughter loves the Amish Puzzle Ball. It was easy and fast to make. :-)

      • Dedri Uys says

        Thank you, Dana. I’m over it now. It was just a huge disappointment when it first happened. I felt like never designing something again, which was just plain silly considering the joy designing brings me!

        x dedri

  20. Marnie says

    What a fun pattern! I just made two of these.. in Halloween colors, of course.. for our youngest granddaughters, ages 6 & 10 months. They will each be tucked into their separate family’s Halloween boxes. I’ve decided to send them un-assembled as a challenge for their older siblings to solve. I know the older kids will get a kick out of figuring out the puzzle for their baby sisters. Hey.. Halloween is about ‘tricks’ as well as treats, right? :) Anyway, thank you so much for generously sharing this pattern. They turned out so cute!

  21. Gail says

    I love the ball!!!! I however can’t open it to get the pattern….bummer! I would love to make one for my grandson. Is there some way I can still get it?? Thanks for sharing!!

  22. says

    Thank you for sharing the pattern on this amazing ball. I have seen them only in fabric and made one in fabric. I have thought about converting it to crochet, but haven’t gotten further than to think about it. You can see my crochet ball made from your pattern on my website. On my website I have made a link to your pattern so you get the credit for it :)

    • admin says

      Thank you for both your comment and the link :) I get such a kick out of it when people make something from one of my patterns. Take care x

      • Kathy says

        I am having the same problem…I cannot open the website it comes up blank…I really really wanna try this. I have many grandchildren that would love this… Thanks so much

        • Dedri Uys says

          Kathy, I hope you have been able to open it. I could open the pdf every time I tried it. Please let me know if your problem persists x

  23. Enggist says

    bonjour, je suis française et je suis trés interessée par ma découverte de vos magnifiques puzzles vous recherchez des personnes pour faire tester le dinosaure je veux bien etre votre testeuse
    comment faut il faire?
    cordialement
    claudine Enggist

  24. Dedri Uys says

    Hi Claudine. This pattern was tested 2 years ago and is now available to buy as part of a book. Thank you for the offer, though :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you have made the Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball before, you will be familiar with how the wedges should be attached to the wedge lids.  If you have never made one of these, I will try my best to explain it to you in simple terms.  But if you get confused, or need a bit more clarity, have a look at my Crochet Amish Puzzle Ball Instructions. […]

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