PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Polyhedral Balls crochet pattern

Not only fun to roll, stack, throw, and catch, these Polyhedral (‘many-faced’) Balls are very special: they are crocheted versions of the five Platonic solids; the only five geometric solid shapes possible where every face is identical and the same number of faces meet at each vertex (corner). Fun and educational!

Polyhedral Balls crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Not ready to make it yet? Add it to your Ravelry queue!

Or, buy the Polyhedral Balls crochet pattern right now and download it instantly from the PlanetJune shop :)

I carefully designed the component shapes so that (within the limits of 1 round of crochet) the finished balls are all the same size. And my construction and edging methods mean that they don’t turn into spheres when you stuff them – the sides stay relatively flat without any hidden reinforcements, which not only makes them simpler to crochet together, but with no rigid plastic inside the balls, these are totally child-safe toys, made from only yarn and stuffing.

As well as being great as toys for kids to play with, they make good stress toys for adults! Plus I’ve discovered an excellent concentration/relaxation game: try balancing them all, one on top of the other – it is possible (provided the tetrahedron is always on the top), but surprisingly difficult to get all 5 to balance. You’ll see I managed it for my cover pictures – there’s no photo trickery there :)

Polyhedral Balls crochet pattern by PlanetJune
The 5 Platonic solids, L-R: Cube (6 sides), Octahedron (8 sides), Icosahedron (20 sides), Dodecahedron (12 sides), Tetrahedron (4 sides)

If you’re not tempted yet by the fun or math-geeky aspects of these balls, here’s one more fact that might persuade you: these are no-sew patterns. 100% crocheted, you only need a yarn needle to weave in a few ends and you’re finished! And most of the ends are cunningly hidden on the inside, so even the end-weaving is very minimal too.

This pattern includes:

  • Crochet instructions for the 5 component shapes
  • A step-by-step photo tutorial for how to crochet the special edging
  • Right- and left-handed step-by-step assembly diagrams, if you’d like to assemble your balls in the same order I did (leaving the minimum number of ends to weave in)
  • Tips for speedier assembly and less yarn ends
  • A special technique to improve the look of the finished corners

This is also a modular pattern: although it includes all the detailed instructions you need to be able to recreate these balls perfectly – 16 pages total – if you’d like to save on paper and ink, you can choose to print only the pages with the pieces you need: a) the crochet patterns, b) the general assembly photo tutorial and tips, c) the right-handed assembly order diagrams and/or d) the left-handed assembly order diagrams. If all you want to do is print the crochet patterns for the 5 component shapes, that’s all included on one page! I’m doing my bit for the environment :)

Polyhedral Balls crochet pattern by PlanetJune


Gamers take note!
Now, I don’t know how much of a geek/RPG audience I have, but there’s an obvious application to these balls that is just missing one little piece: with this set, we have a d4, d6, d8, d12, and d20… We’re just missing a d10 to have a complete set of gaming dice! The construction and ridged edging of these balls mean that, as well as being a cute decorative set, they can actually even be used like real dice: they’ll always land on one face. (To actually use one as a die it’s best to throw it up in the air, spinning, and let it land – as it’s large but lightweight, unless you have a large area to roll it across, you’ll get a more random result if you throw it in the air first.)

The only problem is that a d10 is not a platonic solid – its shape is a little more complicated, as each of the 10 sides are slightly truncated kite shapes. I can do it, of course, but it would take a little more time, and trial and error, to figure out a) the right shape for a d10, and b) the right size so that the finished ball would match the rest of the set. So, the question is, would there be a demand for a 10-sided dice ball to complete this set?

If so, I’ll design an add-on to this pattern that would include:

  • A truncated pentagonal trapezohedron (better known as a d10 to gamers) ball
  • Instructions for how to properly label the sides of all 6 balls to turn them into a set of functional gaming dice (embroidered numbers would look great for this, or fabric painted numbers would be a far easier option if you’re not confident in your embroidery skills!)

So please do let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in buying the add-on pattern. I mentioned it on Facebook yesterday and I’ve already had a small positive response, so I need to know if there are more interested gamers/geeks (or people with gamers in the family – what better Christmas present than a set of giant crocheted gaming dice?!) before I design the d10. I’d do it with my commissions process, but of course I’m not going to charge anyone $6 for an add-on pattern!


Polyhedral Balls crochet pattern by PlanetJune

But, for now, if you’d like to, you can pick up the Polyhedral Balls pattern in my shop :)

Hope you like it!

22 Comments »

  1. Lynn said

    I love it! In fact I already bought it as this would be great for a Christmas gift for all my dice-rolling, rpg friends. I would definitely be interested in buying the add-on pattern for the d10.

  2. Hi June!
    Oh your pattern is so fabulous!
    I just bought and printed mine!
    I cannot wait to make these for archie to play with!

  3. Silverleaf said

    YES I’d love a d10 pattern to go with these! The first thing I thought when I was this on Facebook was, “Awesome, I could totally make polyhedral dice…”

    I actually run a roleplaying club which meets every week and between us we have hundreds if not thousands of dice. I have a fair few weird ones like Fudge dice (d6 which have two blank sides, two sides labelled + and two labelled -), 12 with zodiac signs on and the obligatory verb/body part glow-in-the-dark dice. ;) And a set carved from amethyst which are beautiful if not terribly practical.

  4. Carol said

    Gaming dice were my first thought when I saw this pattern. I’d totally love a full set and numbering instructions. :)

  5. Alley said

    WANT!!! I’m an unemployed crocheting gamer, so it does make me a little sad that I will have to buy these patterns. I would LOVE to see a D10 make it on here as well. I’d be making a full set of all 7 (d10, d20, d12, d4, d8, d6 and d% [has the 10’s numbers on it]) for my boyfriend, and many of our gaming friends.

  6. Etha said

    This is frikking awesome!! Love it :)
    It must have been fun to figure these out, I’d get the pattern just to get that special feel of accomplishment!
    Balls are always good, no matter what kind.

  7. Jessie said

    My first thought when I saw these was “DICE!!!!!” I’d love a d10 pattern to go with the rest! Have passed along the link to my crafty gamer friends too :) Thanks for all your beautiful patterns – they inspire me to get out my hooks!

  8. Marion the Geek said

    Yes, please for the d10! As soon as I saw this post I was thinking a dice set for my husband was in order. These are fantastic. I made him a scarf as an engagement gift, but he and I have been trying to figure out something else I could make for him at some point that he would actually use. I drag the poor man around yarn stores, I think he deserves a present. When I told him I could possibly crochet him a set of dice he could actually use as dice he grinned and said “That would be Awesome!”

    A million thanks. An awesome pattern, and a dilemma solved!

  9. Janagurumi said

    I saw the dieces some days ago on Facebook.
    They are a great gift for my cousin who gets twins in july. =)

    Can´t wait to crochet them this afternoon !!

    Best wishes,
    Jana from Germany

  10. Gemma said

    I’ll add another “Yes please” for a d10 pattern. But even without the d10, this has answered a “what to get prospective parents?” dilemma of mine. :)

  11. Becky said

    I love these they are absolutely amazing. I would also be interested in the d10 :D

  12. Ellen said

    I showed these to a friend of mine yesterday and now he wants me to teach him how to crochet! (He’s a tabletop gamer and a math/science geek, so…)

  13. Monica said

    These are AWESOME!!! I can think of several ideas for using them already!!! A set for my kids and me, and a fun set for my sister who loves geometric shapes!!! So exciting!!! Thanks June!!!

  14. […] Polyhedral Balls Crochet Pattern. @planetjune has put together some fun geekcraftery with this math-loving crochet pattern set now available for sale in her online shop … I have to say that another article from June that I thought was great this week was her guide to the amigurumi invisible increase. […]

  15. Simone said

    Definite “Go!” for the D10! How awesome is that??!?? :D

    Yay – I’m in gamer heaven! ;)

  16. PersianPenName said

    Oh, heck yes would I like to get a D10! I would make so many dice!

  17. Wendy said

    Have you seen the crocheted “skeletons” by Miyuki Kawamura here: http://www.toroidalsnark.net/mkexh2005/mkexh2005-Pages/Image5.html ?
    Interesting, right?
    Congrats on good patterns!

  18. pam said

    Ooooooh! Don’t do this to me!

    Sigh! Too late. Another must have pattern.

    I am loving these balls! Think what a cool garland they would make! – Smaller scale I think. Make a pattern!!! :-)

  19. Txell said

    Hi!

    I’m from Barcelona and I want to buy your pattern for do the polyhedral balls. I have no dolars here! I have euros!

    Please, can I buy your pattern and pay you in euros?
    Or if you want something else, you can tell me and I send you by mail in a box.

    Please, please, i really like your work!

    • June said

      Not a problem, Txell: provided you have a PayPal account or a credit card, you can pay for orders from my shop in any currency; PayPal or your credit card provider will convert the currency to euros for you. Please see http://www.planetjune.com/blog/faq/#currency

  20. mel said

    I’m planning on downloading this pattern and would love to have the d10 to complete the set. I have a large gaming group who would love these!

    • June said

      No problem, Mel – I’ve already completed the d10 pattern! You’ll find the Gaming Dice expansion pack available as an optional add-on when you add the Polyhedral Balls pattern to your shopping cart :)

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank
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