On the occasion of my 50th birthday in December, when family asked what I would like, I requested a German “Wonder Ball” my grandmother had given me at age 11. I purchased enough yarn to make a sweater jacket for myself during 2017 and handed over two balls of yarn to family members. I had no idea they could possibly or would possibly fit 50 gifts inside!
In researching the origin of the German Wonder Ball (wunderknolle?) I ran across this rather amusing fragment from Good Housekeeping magazine from 1903. Apparently it provides a source of amusement to healthy 21st century mid-lifers as well.
The wonder ball, much in use in Germany, is good as a means to both interest and amuse a child. It is made by winding a hank of worsted into a ball, stopping every now and then to wind in some little present. The nicest or most expensive gift should be placed in the center, while tiny boxes of pure chocolates may be only partially concealed near the surface. The recipient of the gift should knit until the little presents fall out. The wonder ball might very well prove a source of entertainment to an invalid.
Well, this week I finally got around to starting that sweater alongside my other projects, because while I am a master at delayed gratification, I could not continue hoping that somehow I would not be 50 if I put this off. Age happens.
I’ve been working on a video of gratitude featuring all the items pouring out of the Wonder Ball for my family, but since today’s WordPress prompt is yarn, how could I resist posting a bit of the progress so far? Each night as I’ve devoted time to this, I have been so overwhelmed with love pouring out of the wonder ball that I actually had to put it down from time to time and pause. I’ve never quite experienced a collective gift like this before and am so happy I requested it. I highly recommend it as a form of mindful appreciation to gift anyone who crafts with yarn.
End goal, Laurel Cardigan, free pattern linked to image:
Starting Wonder Ball (yarn KnitPicks Preciosa Worsted):
All that remains of the ball is in this image where I have started the second sleeve. I don’t want the wonder to end!
Patterns in Process for my five-projects-at-once while working seven days a week double life:
- Third Turtle Journey Shawl for my uncle’s family, in worsted rather than fingering weight to make one larger overall.
- Kimono shoulder blanket.
- Miss Grace shawl, because I ran into a local knitter wearing one she made and just had to ask.
- A unisex hat pattern for a You & Me challenge thanks to a wonderful Australian couple’s podcast, Fruity Knitting, where you knit something for yourself and someone you care about that has a connecting theme, style or yarn. I chose my dad since it dawned on me I have never made anything for him even though I care about him immensely, and he asked for a hat that goes over the ears. I might give a go at converting this Japanese arrow pattern I love and design the hats myself.
If I could make a living with yarn, walking, traveling. Ah, heaven. For now, I binge learn everything I can about what yarn artists are doing around the world. So much I do not know. Should you want me to knit something for you special order, contact me here. Knitting every day keeps me happy. : )