There are countless options for using these Hot Air Balloons as versatile gifts (baby mobile, joggling balls), and it is up to your imagination to choose the content of the basket. Put a special message in the basket for the recipient, or a small treat, or a passenger, or a special gift (could some jewelry piece be a good idea?) - anything your imagination can come up with! You can show the person how to free the ball from strings, or you can leave it as a riddle to solve…
Can you guess why these crocheted Amigurumi Hot Air Balloons are arranged as baby mobile?!
The reason is – three weeks ago my son – Little Dragon, our first child was born.
The birth and the first few weeks of our Little Dragon were the reasons for my quietness here on the blog. We were facing special circumstances with his birth and then learning to live together as a family. Our son was a breech baby and entered the world with his bottom first, giving us quite some challenges to overcome, and making me to seriously stretch my comfort zone when aiming for a natural breech birth for my first child. It certainly was a great experience that I will be able to use as a resource for future, and I am enormously grateful that all went well.
In fact, I live in a Dragon cave – not only my baby is a Dragon, so is his father. Luckily, I had learnt to fire walk before these two fire spitting dragons entered my life – it certainly is a useful skill now…
Continue reading to explore more….
Little Dragon needed some nice baby mobile. So, I crocheted some Dragon Eggs. (I named them Dragon Eggs because during pregnancy I felt like being such Dragon Egg – my Little Dragon was in in the breech position with his head up (when for the birth he should have turned with the head down). No matter what I, my husband, midwife or doctors did, this little baby remained in his breech position, and nobody could do anything. He was safe in my belly as in Dragon´s Egg.)
Anyway, back to crochet. When dragon eggs were made – Big Dragon Papa used them for joggling (a skill I simply adore to see him performing) and asked me if it would be possible to keep the crocheted balls as balls, instead of turning them into Hot Air Balloons.
Loving both of my Dragons equally strong and having limited time – I had to find a creative way how dragon eggs could be used both ways – as joggling balls and also as hot air balloons for baby mobile. So, I created balloon strings for baskets that could be easily put on (for baby mobile of hot air balloons) or taken off (when having colorful crochet balls for joggling or playing).
Now everybody is happy with the result – Little Dragon has his mobile, Big Dragon can easily access crocheted balls for joggling, and I have a new tutorial, as well as some more time that I can devote to new creations (when having a small baby at home, there is a need for self made toys, so in the nearest future you can expect to see more tutorials of making own toys).
STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL OF HOW TO MAKE CROCHET JOGGLING BALLS AND HOT AIR BALLOON BABY MOBILE:
Materials used: for balls and baskets: 100% cotton (suitable for 2.5-3.5 mm crochet hook) in joyful colors. I used Schachenmayr SMC Catania cotton yarn, and 2.5 mm crochet hook. For polka dots and strings that hold the basket on the balls: 100% cotton, lighter weight than material for balls, 1.5 mm crochet hook.
Abbreviation: ch= chain stitch, sl st= slip stitch, sc= single crochet, dc= double crochet, tr= treble crochet, sc2tog= single crochet next two stitches together to decrease the amount of stitches, st= stitch.
STEP 1: Crochet the balls. Here is the pattern for the ball (it is worked in continuos rounds, NOT joined rounds):
R0: ch 2.
R1: 6 sc in the second ch from hook, (6 sts).
R2: 2 sc in each sc st, (12 sts).
R3: *sc 1, 2 sc in the next st* repeat ** 6 times, (18 sts).
R4: *sc 2, 2 sc in the 3rd st* repeat ** 6 times, (24 sts).
R5: *sc 5, 2 sc in the 6th st* repeat ** 4 times, (28 sts).
R6: *sc 6, 2 sc in the 7th st* repeat ** 4 times, (32 sts).
R7: sc 2, *2 sc in the next st, then sc 4* repeat ** 6 times, (38 sts).
R8: *sc 8, 2 sc in the 9th st* repeat ** 4 times, sc 2, (42 sts).
R9: *sc 13, 2 sc in the 14th st* repeat ** 3 times, (45 sts).
R10: sc 3, *2 sc in the next st, sc 14* repeat ** 2 times, 2sc in the next st, sc 11, (48 sts).
R11: *sc 23, 2 sc in the 24th st* repeat ** 2 times, (50 sts).
R12: sc 10, 2 sc in the next st, then sc 24, 2sc in the next st, then sc 14, (52 sts).
R13: sc 52 (52 sts).
R14: sc 52 (52 sts).
R15: *sc 24, sc2tog* repeat ** 2 times, (50 sts).
R16: sc 10, sc2tog, then sc 23, sc2tog, sc 13 (48 sts).
R17: *sc 14, sc2tog* repeat ** 3 times, (45 sts).
R18: sc 7, *sc2tog, then sc 13* repeat ** 2 times, sc2tog, then sc 6 (42 sts).
R19: *sc 8, sc2tog* repeat ** 4 times, sc 2, (38 sts).
R20: sc 2, *sc 4, sc2tog* repeat ** 6 times, (32 sts).
R21: *sc 6, sc2tog* repeat ** 4 times, (28 sts).
R22: sc 3, *sc2tog, sc 5* repeat ** 3 times, sc2tog, sc 2, (24 sts).
R23: *sc 2, sc2tog* repeat ** 6 times, (18 sts). Fill the ball with stuffing.
R24: *sc 1, sc2tog* repeat ** 6 times, (12 sts).
R25: sc2tog 6 times, (6 sts). Fasten off and pull the yarn through each of remaining 6 stitches to close the opening. Weave in the end of yarn.
STEP 2: Crochet polka dots, pin and sew them on the ball (pictures2&3).
Each ball has 12 crocheted polka dots that are sewn on the ball . You might want to change the amount of dots or their size. For the balls in the picture 1 I used slightly thinner yarn and smaller crochet hook, so that sewn on polka dots would not change the nice shape of the ball.
Pattern for polka dots:
R0: ch 2.
R1: 8 sc in the second ch from hook, (8 sts).
R2: 2 sc in each sc st, (16 sts), sl st to join the last st to the first st of this round. Fasten off, leave the end of yarn to be long enough to sew the dot on the ball (picture 2).
STEP 3: Crochet basket for hot air balloon. (pictures 4-13).
Each basket has colors that match the colors of balloon it is attached to (picture 4).
Depending on how you want to use the Hot Air Balloon with its basket- you can make higher or bigger baskets (to put a special message in the basket, or maybe a toy, or a treat, or…).
CROCHET PATTERN FOR SMALL BASKET:
Row 0: ch 8.
Row 1: sc 6, starting from the 3rd ch from hook.
Row 2-5: ch 1, sc 6 (picture 5).
Round 6 (picture 6): ch 1, sc 5, 3 sc in the 6th st, then continue crocheting around the square, sc 3 in the 2nd edge, 3 sc in the st on the corner, sc 4 in the 3rd edge, 3 sc in the next corner, sc 3 in the 4th , 2 sc in corner, sl st in the 1st sc st of this round, (now there should be 26 sts around the square).
Round 7: (continue crocheting around the square) ch 1, sc 1 in the same st, sc 9, 2 sc in the 10th st, sc 12, 2sc in the next st, sc 3, sl st in the 1st sc st of this round (now there should be 28 sts around the square, or 7 sts per edge).
Round 8-11 (picture 7): ch 1, sc 28 (starting from the same st), sl st in the 1st st of this round (28 sts).
Round 12: change the color of yarn (picture 8). Ch 1, *sc 1, sc 1 in the st 1 row below, sc 1 in the st 2 rows below, sc 1 in the st 3 rows below, sc 1 in the st 2 rows below, sc 1 in the st 1 row below, sc 1*, repeat ** for each edge of square. When full round is crocheted, sl st to join to the 1st st of this round, (28 sts).
Round 13: Now you need to crochet backward (picture 8), ch 1, *then sc 3 backward, then ch 3, skip the st that is over long st that was done 3 rows below, so that you can create a handle for the basket (picture 9), then sc 3 continuing to crochet backward*, repeat ** 4 times. When the round is completed- sl st to the beginning of the row. Fasten off and weave in the ends of the yarn.
FOR THE BOTTOM OF BASKET: change the color of yarn and crochet sc around the bottom of basket, working 3 sc in each corner (pictures 10-12). Fasten off and weave in both ends of yarn.
Your basket (picture 13) is completed!
Step 4: Crochet the strings that will hold the Hot Air Balloon ball in the air, so that it can be hung somewhere.
STRING TO HANG THE BALL (picture 14): use the finest yarn you have and 1 mm hook – the finer the yarn, the better the balloon will look.
Loop 1 (middle loop of picture 14): ch 60, sl st in the 1st ch to form round.
Loop 2 (the “petals” around the middle loop in picture 14): ch 3 (equal to 1 tr), ch 55, tr 1 in the 15th ch of Loop 1.
Loop 3&4 (the “petals” around the middle loop in picture 14): ch 55, tr 1 in the 30th ch of Loop 1 (for Loop 4 – in the 45th ch of Loop 1).
Loop 5 (the last “petal” around the middle loop in picture 14): ch 55, sl st in the 3rd ch of Loop 2. Fasten off, weave in ends of yarn.
Put the string around the ball, so that 4 petals are joined at the top of the ball, and pull the yarn through all 4 loops of petals (picture 15&16).
Step 5: Crochet the strings that will attach the basket to the Hot Air Balloon (pictures 17-19).
STRING TO HANG THE BASKET ON THE BALLOON (picture 17): use the finest yarn you have and 1 mm hook – the finer the yarn, the better the balloon will look.
Loop 1 (middle loop of picture 17): ch 28, sl st in the 1st ch to form round.
Loop 2 (the “petals” around the middle loop in picture 17): ch 3 (equal to 1 tr), ch 60, sl st in the 30 ch from the hook, ch 30, tr 1 in the 7th ch of Loop 1.
Loop 3&4 (the “petals” around the middle loop in picture 17): ch 60, sl st in the 30 ch from the hook, ch 30, tr 1 in the 14th ch of Loop 1. (For Loop 4 – in the 21st ch of Loop 1).
Loop 5 (the last “petal” around the middle loop in picture 17): ch 60, sl st in the 30 ch from the hook, ch 30, sl st in the 3rd ch of Loop 2. Fasten off, weave in ends of yarn.
Put this string on the balloon in such a way that the yarn of previous string (that is holding the balloon in the air (picture 15)) is pulled through the middle loop (loop 1) of this basket string, so that all 4 petals hang down (picture 18).
Step 6: Attach (sew by hand) the handles of the basket to all 4 loops of basket strings (picture 19).
Now you can fill the basket with appropriate content. And remember to show the recipient of the Hot Air Balloon how easy it is to take out the crochet ball from the strings.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this tutorial!