Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Bells are one of my very favorite holiday motifs. I love the tinkle-plinkle of their happy sound and the gentle curve of their friendly shape. And I love that, whatever your culture or faith, bells harken people together with a suggestion of peace and goodwill.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

These Felted Bell Ornaments are such a simple way to celebrate the season, lending a handmade warmth and a soft touch. Hang some on your Christmas tree or on a pretty winter branch, string a bunch together in a beautiful garland, or give a few in a specially wrapped package to friends and family. Wherever their destination, these bells will strike just the right note!

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Just a beautiful assortment of Blue Sky yarns, a handful of Handbehg Felt Balls and some DMC Metallic Embroidery Floss, and you’re set! Happy holidays! -Whitney

Materials

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

  • Almost any pretty yarn that felts will do. Here’s what I used:
    • Blue Sky’s Sportweight Alpaca, 100% Baby Alpaca. This color is Natural White.
    • Blue Sky’s Suri Merino, 60% Baby Suri, 40% Merino. This color is Snow.
    • Blue Sky’s Brushed Suri, 67% Baby Suri, 22% Merino, 11% Bamboo. This color is Whipped Cream.
    • Blue Sky’s Techno, 68% Baby Alpaca, 10% Extra Fine Merino, 22% Silk. This color is Fame.
  • Handbehg Felt Balls. The size depends on your yarn and which bell size you knit. I used the 1 cm, 1.5 and 2 cm sizes (see below for specifics).
  • DMC Metallic Embroidery Floss. This color is Silver.
  • An Embroidery Needle.

Gauge

The precise gauge for this pattern isn’t crucial, but it is important that you use a needle two sizes larger than you normally would (or than the recommended size) in order to achieve a very loose knit.

Sizes + Details

Sizes given… Large Bell (Small Bell)

SPORTWEIGHT ALPACA

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

  • Needles: US #8 double pointed needles
  • Finished Sizes: 3 (2 1/4) inches high
  • Ball Sizes: 1.5 cm (1 cm)

SURI MERINO

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

  • Needles: US #10 double pointed needles
  • Finished Sizes: 3 1/4 (2 1/2) inches high
  • Ball Sizes: 1.5 cm (1 cm)

BRUSHED SURI

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

  • Needles: US #10 1/2 double pointed needles
  • Finished Sizes: 3 1/2 (2 3/4) inches high
  • Ball Sizes: 2 cm (1.5 cm)

TECHNO

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

  • Needles: US #11 needles
  • Finished Sizes: 3 3/4 (3) inches high
  • Ball Sizes: 2 cm (1.5 cm)

Pattern

Big Bell

Cast 32 stitches onto double pointed needles.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: Purl.

Knit 3 rounds.

Next Round: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)

Knit 12 rounds.

Next Round: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (20 stitches)

Knit 1 round.

Next Round: *K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (16 stitches)

Knit 1 round.

Next Round: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (12 stitches)

Next Round: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (8 stitches)

Next Round: *K2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (4 stitches)

Cut the yarn and sew it through the remaining stitches. Pull tight and bring the tail to the inside of the bell.

Weave in the ends.

Small Bell

Cast 24 stitches onto double pointed needles.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: Purl.

Knit 2 rounds.

Next Round: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (18 stitches)

Knit 8 rounds.

Next Round: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (15 stitches)

Knit 1 round.

Next Round: *K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (12 stitches)

Knit 1 round

Next Round: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (9 stitches)

Next Round: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (6 stitches)

Next Round: *K2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (3 stitches)

Cut the yarn and sew it through the remaining stitches. Pull tight and bring the tail to the inside of the bell.

Weave in the ends.

Felting

Put your bells inside a pillowcase and then into a washing machine (for this project, I’d say either a top-loading or front-loading machine is fine!). Throw in a pair of jeans (or some tennis balls) and some delicate wash detergent. Set the temperature to hot, the water level to high, and start the wash cycle. You want maximum agitation, so for the quickest results and if you can, keep the machine in the wash cycle.

If you’re using a top-loading machine, check your project frequently (for front-loaders, you’ll probably have to wait to the end of the cycle). When your bells are how you like them, take them out and squeeze out the excess water. Shape them in to pretty bell shapes and allow them to air dry (and dry and dry…).

Attaching the Felt Balls

Cut a piece of embroidery thread about 20 inches long and thread it onto an embroidery needle.

Push the needle through the center of the felt ball.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Pull about 5 or 6 inches of thread through the ball.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Put the needle back into the ball, right next to where it came out, and push it back through the center of the ball, coming out next to the original going-in point.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Pull the thread firm.

Push the needle back through the original starting point and push it out of the ball anyplace.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Pull the thread firm.

Trim the thread very close to the ball, and if necessary, use the blunt end of your needle to push the end of the thread into the ball so you can’t see it.

Now, thread the other end of the embroidery floss onto the needle.

Bring the needle up through the inside of the bell, and push it out though the top middle.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Pull the thread through until the ball is where you want it (I like it about 1/2 way out the bottom of the bell).

Push the needle back through the top of the bell, next to where you came out.

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Pull the needle until the loop is the size you want.

Turn the bell inside out and tie a square knot with the tail and the thread holding the ball. Make sure to monitor and adjust the loop length and the ball placement as you tie the knot.)

Felted Bell Ornaments | Purl Soho

Clip the tail, turn the bell right side out and you’re all done!