Free Patterns, Geekery

Inspiration and a Personalized Sphere


*swings open saloon door and saunters in with crochet hooks*

Just kidding. I’ve actually been here all along, I’ve just been working busily away at teaching and really not finding as much time as I’ve wanted to crochet.

You know how you go through these spells where you don’t crochet in a long time and then, all of the sudden, you’re hit over the back of the head with INSPIRATION and you’re like, “Must. Crochet. Now”, and you can’t make it home fast enough? Well, I had one of those moments a few weeks ago.

Our wonderful librarian at school was giving us a talk about all kinds of different mathematics cross-overs in different subject areas. (I’m a math geek, so I loved it.) At the very end of the talk, she mentioned some more unique mathematics books, one of which was all about hyperbolic crochet, which I had read a little about before. The book she mentioned was, Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes by Daina Taimina, and she just happened to have her own copy with her.

I took the book home and pored over it. (I’m now asking Mark to buy me my own copy for my birthday.) It was really interesting and delved quite deeply into the mathematics side of things! One of the things that inspired me the most was that Daina had included a guide so that her readers could calculate their own hyperbolic plane, with the constant curvature of their choosing.

Light bulb! I immediately thought: this is what I need for my sphere pattern! I need to make an algorithm so that people can calculate their own, individualized, sphere.

So I took to google docs and whipped up a form (and google script) that will automatically email out a pdf pattern for the size of sphere that you specify.

Here’s what the final pdf document looks like on the front page:


Here’s what the inside looks like for one particular example:

Automatic Sphere Pattern Page 2

On the google form, you need to estimate how wide one of your single crochet stitches is (this will depend on the hook and yarn that you choose). As a reference, I use a 3.75mm hook and medium yarn, and my stitches (un-stretched) are about 0.5 cm wide.

After that, you need to specify the radius of your sphere (in cm) and your email address, so that the pdf will be automatically emailed to you. Your final sphere size will probably be a little larger than the radius you specify because the stitches will stretch when you stuff it.

Here is the google form! Note: I know it doesn’t look like it, but this window scrolls down so that you can input your information.

One final note, which I discovered while making my first few ideal sphere patterns, is that the bottoms tend to be a little pointy. This is why the last row in the pattern is unfinished by a few stitches. The loose end of yarn should be woven through every stitch in the opening and then pulled tightly to close. I find that this helps alleviate the pointiness. If yours is still a little pointy, take out a couple more stitches in your last row, then close it up again.

P.S. Please let me know if you run into any problems. I’m curious about what bugs might turn up that I haven’t found already.

P.P.S. If you’re interested in playing with google scripts yourself to generate forms, I highly recommend this tutorial, which was written by a teacher named TJ Houston. It helped me immensely!

30 thoughts on “Inspiration and a Personalized Sphere”

  1. Great to see you back with some crochet. I am currently in the middle of a crochet break, so I understand your comments completely. Thank you for this information, I am looking forward to giving it a try.

  2. This will help you to know if you’re going to desire to stay simply with creative writing and allow you to to discover if you have to research other forms of poetry for example Urdu poetry. These workshops are of varied kinds or maybe more appropriately we could say comes in different forms, by way of example, writing retreat, writer’s conference and normal writing workshops.

  3. Love your blog! I’m afraid I’m hopeless where it comes to counting stitches etc, but just understanding the concept of how the circle grows (and shrinks) in a sphere helps. I actually find it kinda amazing that the math we learned at school is so practical :insert embarrassed smilie here:

  4. I loved your ideal sphere forms!! I feel almost guilty using it it’s so interesting and cool. I like maths too. I am going to make a collection of balls that are not squashed or pointy or have a lump or an area that always needs a little poke lol – Thank you very much.

  5. Thank you so much for that post,you made it much easier it’s like a caculator, i suggest if you can make a similar form for making a perfect flat circle for Rugs it was a challenge for me how to keep my rugs flat and good looking circle ,and your posts reminds me of that ,if only i didn’t forgot my maths ،thanks ⭐️I love your blog

    1. Thank you! I’m actually thinking of making another one for a torus. Actually, if you’re looking for a good approximation of a flat circle, the old rule-of-thumb, increase by 6 each row, actually produces surprisingly good circles!


      1. Thanks Emily,that’s interesting good luck,also thanks for the advice but increasing by 6 turns the circle to a hexagon! ,well i have been searching found good article about using the number “pi” in crochet &knitting when doing big circles ,ovals & hearts , i am looking forward for your new posts & patterns😊

  6. Thank you so much! I just finished the 30 row sphere and it came out perfect but I was hoping to make a larger one so I’m really excited to try this out!

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  8. Hi! I want to thank you, because you are kind of making my life easier with your ideal spheres!
    I’m trying to make a sphere which radius is 15 cm. It’s taking a lot of time and concentration, but it do worth it!!
    I’m still a little bit scared because it has 117 rounds and I’m in the number 30 xD and is HUUUGE and flat, for now
    Again, thank you thank you THANK YOU!!
    If I finish this one, I’ll love to send you an image haha
    Do you have a Instagram account?
    Have a beautiful day ^^

    1. Hi Rosi, I would love to see your finished sphere!! And I’m so glad that it’s been helpful to you. I don’t have instagram, but if you share the link wherever you post it, I’d love to check it out!


  9. I got curious about the math going on here. I got an extremely close approximation of the patterns by rounding the slope of a secant line, but the slope decreases consistently where the pattern doesn’t always. Also tried using the slope of a tangent line, it resulted in a couple less increases in the first hemisphere in a 30 round sphere. But the secant was closest to yours, except there you have 5 inc. in round 4 and 3 in round 12, where I got 6 in round 4 and 2 in round 12. I’d be really interested to know if I’m on the right track, as I usually have crochet stuff and a calculator but not always a steady internet connection. Though I suspect the equation using the slope of the tangent line will be easy enough to remember.

  10. Also, made the 12 round in blaze orange 550 cord with a size N hook and no stuffing as a dog toy for my border collie mix. She wanted to play with the yarn spheres but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t last long. She absolutely loves it! Squashed nearly flat it flies like a Frisbee but she has no trouble picking it up off the ground and she can play tug with it. It’s now her favorite toy and the best reaction I’ve ever had to giving a crocheted gift!

  11. Thank you for this super information. I was wondering how long it takes to receive the email pattern? I believe I entered the correct information. It would be helpful to have the circumference of the circles on your Sphere Pattern PDF in your gauge! Thank you for your excellent patterns!

    1. You’re welcome! It should get emailed to you within a few minutes. If not, you may want to try it once more and/or check your spam folder. (I usually get an email when one of them fails to send and I haven’t got one of those in a while.)

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