The three gifts of the Magi were gold, frankincense and myrrh. This trio of ornaments takes their inspiration from those gifts.
Cables create gold ropes, chains and coins, gold and pewter texture imitate traditional censers of the Middle East, and stranded color work represents the myrrh plant.
Each of these is quick to knit, and is complete when the knitting is finished. Make one set or more for your own tree, or as gifts for others!
1 skein each of Anzula Luxury Yarns Nebula (84% Merino, 16% Metallic) – (400 yards / 366 meters, 4.02 ounces / 114 grams per skein) in two colors, C1, C2. This amount of yarn would work for 9 balls.
Please keep in mind that a yarn with a metallic thread in it makes it look more festive.
10 yards each of two colors of fingering yarn, CC1, CC2
Model knit with Nebula in Toffee and Pewter and Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat in purple and green from a mini-skein pack.
US size 1.5 (2.5 mm) needles in preferred style for knitting in the round (or size to achieve gauge) for Frankincense and Myrrh
US size 2 (2.75 mm) needles in preferred style for knitting in the round (or size to achieve gauge) for Gold
3 – 2.5 inch (6.5 cm) diameter wooden or styrofoam balls from a craft store
thread of choice for hanging ornament
32 stitches and 40 rounds = 4 inches (10 cm) in chart pattern
approximately 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter, 8 inches (20.5 cm) in circumference
Please see our standard abbreviations.
M1L – Insert left needle from front to back under the strand of yarn that runs between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the left hand needle. Knit this newly made stitch through the back loop.
M1R – Insert left needle from back to front under the strand of yarn that runs between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the left hand needle. Knit this newly made stitch through the front loop.
Improved SSK – This is optional, but I prefer to use it rather than the standard SSK, as I find it a little more tidy. You may use a standard SSK if you prefer. Slip one stitch from left needle to right as if to knit, slip next stitch from left needle to right as if to purl. Insert left needle into front of two slipped stitches on right needle, and knit both together through back loops.
2 X 2 Left Cable – Slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold to front of work. Knit next 2 stitches from needle, then knit 2 stitches from cable needle.
2 X 2 Right Cable over Purl – Slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold to back of work. Knit next 2 stitches from needle, then purl 2 stitches from cable needle.
2 X 2 Left Cable over Purl – Slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold to front of work. Purl next 2 stitches from needle, then knit 2 stitches from cable needle.
1 X 1 Left Cable – Slip 1 stitch to cable needle and hold to front of work. Knit next stitch from needle, then knit 1 stitch from cable needle.
If you prefer to use wool or polyester fiberfill, simply stuff tightly after knitting, and before tightening up the hole at the top of each ornament. It is extremely important to weave in the internal ends as you go, especially on the pieces using more than one color, if you are using an ornament form to fill each ball. The cast-on tail and the yarn strand remaining from drawing through the final stitches can be used to close up the holes on the top and bottom at the end. I used 2.5 inch wood balls I found at the craft store, because I do not care for stuffing with fiber fill. If you use such a form, either wooden or styrofoam, you must insert the form in your knitting after the first set of decreases and knit around the form to enclose it in the knitting. Between weaving in the ends as I went and using the wood to fill the ornaments, all my blocking and most of my finishing was complete when I finished knitting each piece.
Use colors indicated by chart and needle size indicated by materials list for each ball.
CO 12 stitches, leaving about a 6 inch (15 cm) tail to close up hole after knitting. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.
Work chart panel four times, beginning with round 1 and working through round 44, inserting ball form after first set of decreases and knitting around it to enclose it. Cut yarn, leaving about a 6 inch (15 cm) tail to close up hole after knitting.
Close up holes on top and bottom of ornament using tails, and weave in final ends, clipping closely so they slip back to the inside of the ornament. Cut three 5 inch (13 cm) lengths of thread and sew through the top of each ornament, tying in a square knot to secure.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER: RANÉE MUELLER
Ranée is a homemaker living in rural Washington State with her larger than life family. She has been designing as Arabian Knits since 2004.
Knitting has been a part of her life for more than 30 years, and is now both her work and relaxation. Texture, including cables and lace, unexpected use of color, and intriguing construction are the hallmarks of her designs.
Her patterns can be found on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/designers/ranee-mueller.