World Cup Soccer Ball Knitting Pattern

Sunday, June 11th, 2006
Tags: , ,

Knitted Soccer Ball

Get the PDF!

This pattern is great for people who have little time to do anything. It’s knit in pieces, with each panel (a pentagon or hexagon) created individually. Just pick up a few stitches, knit a panel, and put it away. It’s all very laid-back, and great for people with short attention spans. It is the “Garfield the Cat” of knitting patterns.

In total, you’ll have to make 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. Don’t worry, though, each one takes about ten minutes, tops! It uses up less than a ball of yarn for each colour so it’s a perfect stash-buster, and if you knit it in your national colours, it’s patriotic, too!


Slightly smaller than a regulation soccer ball


The pentagons are usually black and the hexagons white. I did the opposite because I am a culture jammer. (Just kidding.) You can pretty much do whatever you want. I’ll be putting together different colour schemes for each country in the World Cup tonight, so keep your computer tuned to this blog for my posting of each colour scheme.


2 or 3 balls of worsted weight yarn, depending on your colour scheme. Allow one ball for each colour you use. If you plan to play with the soccer ball, make it a washable yarn; probably acrylic.
5mm double-pointed needles
place markers
tapestry needle
stuffing or inflatable beach ball


28 stitches and 36 rows to 4 inches.

Pattern Notes:

The complexity of this pattern is in keeping track of where to put the pentagons and hexagons. It’s really easy if you just remember that making a soccer ball is like making lots of little daisies. Some daisies will share petals (the hexagons), but you’ll never see two pentagons side-by-side.

I found it easier to pick up stitches and add panels straight onto the ball than to make them all individually and seam them together. If you just want to stitch it all together, more power to ya; it’s easier to block that way, but remember that you’ll be blocking 32 individual pieces.

The following diagram is a rough guide to constructing your ball. The coloured lines mean the edges are meant to connect.

Soccer Ball Construction Diagram

Continue as above, keeping to the rule that every pentagon is loosely encircled by five other pentagons.

To make a Pentagon:

Cast on 25 stitches using a Twisted German cast on, a long tail cast on (or any other stiff cast on) and join in the round.

Row 1: * K3, K2tog, place marker, repeat from * until end of row.
Rows 2 – 4: * Knit until 2 stitches before marker, K2tog, pm, repeat from * until end of row.

Feed yarn through remaining stitches (there should be 5 of them) and tie off.

To make a Hexagon:

Cast on 30 stitches and join in the round.

The instructions for the hexagon are exactly the same as for the pentagon, except you’ll be doing everything 6 times per row instead of 5 times per row.

Row 1: * K3, K2tog, place marker, repeat from * until end of row.
Rows 2 – 4: * Knit until 2 stitches before marker, K2tog, pm, repeat from * until end of row.

To bind off, feed your yarn through the remaining stitches (there should be 6 of them this time) and tie off.

Picking up stitches:

If you don’t want to knit, block and sew together 32 panels (like me), you can pick up stitches from previous panels and build onto them. I usually made a ring of 5 hexagons and then picked up 25 stitches from the ring in the middle to complete the “daisy.” All you have to keep in mind is that there are 5 stitches to a side, so if you’re adding a hexagon to the side of another, cast on 25 stitches and then pick up 5 stitches to make 30 stitches in total. If you’re adding a hexagon onto two side-by-side hexagons, cast on 20 stitches and then pick up 5 stitches from each hexagon. If you’re adding a hexagon between two hexagons, it gets a bit complicated; cast on 15 stitches, pick up 5 from the first hexagon (carrying the tail along behind the work), cast on 5 more stitches, and then pick up a final 5 stitches to make 30 in total.


When you’re one or two panels away from finishing, the stuffing / blocking begins. If you’re going to stuff your ball, shove a few rags into it and stretch it to however large you want it. Dampen it and let it dry. If you want to actually play soccer with it, you can put in a small inflatable beach ball or some sort of expensive soccer ball bladder, but I have no idea about those.

So you have access to the nipple (hee hee) of the beach ball, knit the last panel (a pentagon in this case) like so:

Pick up or cast on 25 stitches.

Row 1: * K3, K2tog, place marker, repeat from * until end of row.
Rows 2 – 3: * Knit until 2 stitches before marker, K2tog, pm, repeat from * until end of row.

Cast off tightly. The nipple will just poke out. If you want, you can slip the nipple cover under and through the cast-off edge to hold it in place. Inflate the ball, dampen it and let dry.

Your soccer ball is done! Great job!

For more info: here’s a cool page where you can find out more about soccer ball construction, in case I did a horrible job of explaining it all.

Related Posts:

25 Comments to “World Cup Soccer Ball Knitting Pattern”

  1. Amazing!! Thanks for sharing the pattern.

    Comment by
    June 12, 2006 @ 2:44 am
  2. That’s so cute! And it could probably work as a hat too. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by joy
    June 12, 2006 @ 9:36 am
  3. You’re both welcome :)

    Comment by Eve
    June 13, 2006 @ 4:11 pm
  4. [...] My knitted soccer ball was posted on the MAKE: blog! This is fairly exciting. To those who are visiting via MAKE: welcome! Take a look around while I rustle up some tea. I wasn’t expecting company! I’m not sure if I have crackers in the pantry, but I’ll go check. Do you like cheese? This house is a mess! [...]

    Pingback by Needle Exchange » I got made
    June 13, 2006 @ 4:52 pm
  5. This is so incredibly cool! Don’t know that I”m going to quite follow the pattern, but the whole “knitting a sphere along the lines of a soccer ball” has so much potential to me. I’m thinking juggling balls. Lots of them *glint in eye*

    And don’t worry about the mess, I’m used to one ;-).

    Comment by Christine
    June 14, 2006 @ 8:31 am
  6. A World cup ball hasn’t looked like a traditional ball in 30 years..

    Comment by Wolfwood
    June 14, 2006 @ 9:48 am
  7. Yeah, I know, but I liked the look of the traditional soccer ball. Besides, current balls don’t work as well and as far as I know, the 32-panel design has some of the best aerodynamics!

    The ball is more in the spirit of the world cup, it’s not meant to look like the ones they’re playing with now.

    Comment by Eve
    June 14, 2006 @ 5:04 pm
  8. [...] For those who are following the “Mondial,” here is a pattern for a Knitted Soccer Ball (Football for) [...]

    Pingback by Jerusalem Knitting & Craft :: World Cup Soccer Ball Knitting Pattern :: June :: 2006
    June 15, 2006 @ 6:41 am
  9. [...] I’ve made the World Cup Soccer Ball pattern into a pdf. Get it here! The PDF also contains various colour schemes for each of the countries partaking, as well as Canada. [...]

    Pingback by Needle Exchange » World Cup Soccer Ball PDF
    June 16, 2006 @ 5:30 pm
  10. Very cool!

    Comment by Jessica
    June 17, 2006 @ 9:03 am
  11. I came over from Thanks for sharing the cute pattern!

    Comment by lorinda
    June 18, 2006 @ 12:11 am
  12. Great idea! Found this through
    Thanks for sharing. :D

    Comment by glittrgirl
    June 18, 2006 @ 3:44 am
  13. oh man… i love that ball.

    i came by via

    Comment by maryse
    June 19, 2006 @ 9:38 am
  14. Me again… the juggling balls are taking a long time. If I EVER try to scale down a pattern by using crochet cotton to knit it again I hope someone will have the courtesy to hide my fine knitting needles. I’m only just getting to adding the second pentagon, and I was checking your pattern as it didn’t match what I thought it ought to be. I just noticed though that it doesnt match what you yourself knit – every hexagon should have three pentagons attached to it (every other side). Your pattern shows them having only two pentagons attached, i.e. the five encircling pentagons are at each side of a pentagon as opposed to the vertices.

    Comment by Christine
    June 24, 2006 @ 4:22 pm
  15. Please send me the corrected directions (or tell me where it’s posted) for the knitted soccer ball. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Comment by Sari Golos
    July 26, 2006 @ 6:36 pm
  16. [...] Someone emailed me a little while ago saying there was a mistake in one of the diagrams for my Soccer Ball knitting pattern. I finally fixed that about a week ago, so you can take a look at the updated version here, or grab the pdf here. The only difference is the construction diagram. [...]

    Pingback by Needle Exchange » Soccer Ball Pattern Update
    August 2, 2006 @ 1:59 pm
  17. I am in shock. Last Christmas I had the idea of knitting a soccer ball tea cozy for a tea and soccer obsessed friend. I spent many hours trying to sort out how to knit a pentagon and hexagon and then moved abroad for a year and left the project behind, only to pick it up again (upon my return home) last week. And then I found this, and I don’t have so sit here freaking out over it all! Thanks! (In order to do the tea cozy, I will be laeving out a few of the panels for the spout, handle, bottom, etc.).

    Comment by Rita
    November 10, 2006 @ 5:45 pm
  18. hi eve!

    i am parisian, i just got the knit.1 magazine from my mailbox and your soccer ball :roll: caught my attention, went to their links section, you weren’t in it, so i googled you because it says in the magazine “eve at needle exchange” and WOW, here’s your pattern!
    merci beaucoup, had i know about this i’d have knit chris one, but it’s laright, i barely have time to knit him one for his birthday in march. he’s a “football” fan (this is what we call it in france) since he was a kid.

    Comment by Zaz
    February 15, 2007 @ 2:33 pm
  19. [...] knit.1 readers! Here is the Soccer Ball pattern she’s talking about. And for the record, you don’t have to seam it all together like [...]

    Pingback by Needle Exchange » I’m in knit.1!
    February 17, 2007 @ 12:30 pm
  20. Hi Eve

    I need the make of the ball that gives the required gauge 28 stitches and 36 rows to 4 inches.


    Comment by Sheila
    February 17, 2007 @ 2:25 pm
  21. I’m not sure what it is… just some random acrylic yarn I had in my stash. Sport weight is usually fairly easy to find, I think. Mine was a bit small, so if you knit with worsted weight it should be perfect!

    Comment by Eve
    February 17, 2007 @ 2:51 pm
  22. thanks, it was very help full.

    Comment by Somano
    December 10, 2007 @ 6:27 pm
  23. Amazing pattern! I’m totally going to make this for my soccer- obssessed brother! :smile:

    Comment by Abbey
    January 12, 2009 @ 9:04 pm
  24. [...] My Photos More Photos The Revs Soccer Ball (Before) March 18, 2009, 5:20 am Filed under: Knitting | Tags: felting, Knitting, revolution When you search Google for “soccer knitting patterns” you usually get those mom-blogs talking about knitting during their kid’s soccer games. However, I found one awesome pattern for a soccer ball from the Needle Exchange. [...]

    Pingback by The Revs Soccer Ball (Before) « The Crafty Soccer Fan
    March 18, 2009 @ 12:20 am
  25. Am now sure i have football mania !!! You say each pentagon is surrounded by 5 other pentagons but in picture each pentagoni s surrounded by 5 hexagons unless i just am completely round the bend not understanding the stitching up at all .Is a pink line stitched to another pink line ?and a green line stitched to another green line but that would leave a black or dark grey shape on top of a pale grey shape -perhaps i had better cut paper shapes out and try to sellotape them together correctly – or perhaps just not try it at all .but nice to see that somebody must understand how to do the project :vomit:

    Comment by Maureen
    July 30, 2009 @ 9:01 am

Comments RSSGet a Gravatar

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.