"Hmm," you're thinking. "What's up with the title? This doesn't seem so ugly".
And that's sweet of you. Yes, it's not so bad. In fact, I went ahead and made three of these balls from a pattern I found on Martha's website. You know, THE Martha, no need for a last name there, am I right? (Sadly the internal link on her website leading to the pattern is broken. So no link for you! You can search "crochet baby blanket and ball" to find it, and ignore the blanket part as I did if you like. Perhaps it'll work for you. The website that is. If not, here's a link to another, different pattern that should give similar results, though I can't speak for it, not having tried it out.) I even went ahead and put a jingly bell inside the ball above. To make it more attractive to Lila. Takes a lot to catch and hold that girl's attention, you know.
"Oh, this one's not so bad either," I can hear you say. But, what you don't know is:
AGGHHH! Those two are one!? Yes, one lumpy, dumpy, frumpy, frankensteinian mishmash trying to pass as a ball. And it's huge. In my defense: 1) I was trying to use up leftover yarns and had no idea the finished product would end up so big, requiring three different yarns to finish it 2) I have no idea what I'm doing 3) I didn't read through the instructions thoroughly before starting, or do a test swatch to check my sizing. Nope. Just plowed right on ahead with this one. Wasn't going to let some silly instructions get in my way. So I can't blame Martha for this. This was all me.
But behold! The child is not frightened by the ball. She plays with it, even. She likes the jingly sound. She doesn't care that it's not really round shaped. Children. So accepting.
Of course, now you are wondering, "where are the other two"? Well, I'm not one to let defeat stop me from trying again, as you already know from this post. I decided I wanted to make this ball right, and now that I knew I needed to size it down a good deal, and had actually finally read through the instructions, I felt ready. I mean c'mon. It's supposed to be a tennis-ball-sized baby ball. How hard can that really be?
So here's ball #2:
And you can see how much closer to the actual ball shape I managed to get. I'm choking on my own sarcasm. In my defense: 1) I have no idea what I'm doing.
Rereading the instructions, I realized I missed the all-important step of increasing the ball size by stitching two single crochets into each stitch from the initial round. Such a simple mistake. Well, I decided to again just plow ahead and finish the monstrosity I'd started. Again, I didn't have quite enough of either yarn to finish, so it ended up a stripey egg football mess. Oh well, I put a squeaker in it, and baby likes it.
Because I have an iron will, upon giving it some thought, I decided once again that I would see the completed, correctly crocheted ball if it killed me. It didn't kill me, but I did have to go grab a new skein of yarn, having run out of the ones I wanted to use up. So, here we have attempt #3:
Hey! We have a winner! It's a ball, folks, a recognizable round ball. This time, I sat quietly alone and closely followed the directions, unlike the first time when I was sitting in a coffee shop chatting with the other ladies of the knitting and crochet group, or the second time, when I was trying to watch Lila and crochet at the same time. On this ball I took my time, and had lots of experience to build from. I mean I'd already made every possible mistake, so this time I was golden. And this little ball received the disemboweled innards of a cat toy that the dogs tore apart. Which is why we don't keep cat toys in the house anymore. But it makes a lovely rattley sound thanks to those innards.
And here are the Three Stooges together. Lila has three new squishy squeaky jingly toys to play with.
I have to mention that the instructions suggest these would make a nice cat toy, as an alternative to the baby toy. Nuh-uh. As the dogs did not immediately try to shred them, they are in fact not cat toys. Proof? Look at Mr. Tom Tom. He has no interest. And I have to say that even the "normal" ball is too large for a cat. Just what type of cats is Martha keeping? Tigers?
Sweet sleepy baby. Just woke up, and mommy puts her to work. It's a sweatshop life being the daughter of a crafting mom. Endless photo shoots, hours spent trudging through the fabric store, clothing changes every time a new outfit is sewn.... But, every now and then, she gets a new toy out of the deal. Wuv you Lila.