Felted balls – cold water and soapless

Get ready ..

  • Yarn:  any that is feltable.  Highly recommend Cleckheaton’s ‘California’ 8ply
  • Tools:  scissors; screw top jar (or any jar/container with a fitted lid); cold tap water

Go!

20170804_164223[1]
Step 1 – wool winding
Wrap yarn around 4 fingers on your hand about 12 – 15 times. 

20170804_165050[1]
Step 2 – cutting and separating yarn into a mound
Cut yarn wraps off your hand, then in half again. You will have 24 – 30 little pieces of yarn.  Divide each strand roughly into thirds longways, making a messy pile. 

20170805_133523[1]
Step 3 – Adding texture and interest
Add some textural interest by including some non-feltable yarn, like crochet cotton.  Then gently form a ball or ‘yarn dumpling’ with your hands.

20170805_133959[1]
Step 4 – making sure the yarn dumpling is saturated
Fill the container 2/3 full with cold tap water and add dumpling.  Affix lid then gently swirl and tumble dumpling until it’s completely saturated – ie. no air bubbles in fibre.

20170805_134732[1]
Step 5 – starting to ball up
Once saturated, remove nearly all the water and gently swirl and tumble the ball so it starts to adhere to itself.

Remove the now semi-felted ball from the jar and gently roll it in your hands – as if it were dough. Gradually increase pressure until it is about 1/3 of its original dumpling size – approx 2 cm diameter.  That’s it!

NOTE: if you are too vigorous too soon with rolling and tumbling the ball – it will crack. If this happens it’s easier/faster to just start the whole process again, rather than trying to fix and ‘save’ the cracked ball.

20170805_140404[1]
Completed!
Now start another one – whilst the first dries. 

Uses

Balls can be embroidered, beaded, strung into necklaces or bracelets, infused with lavender oil and placed in the dryer with towels for fresh smelling laundry, string 3 together as a handbag decoration, large ones make great cat toys, key chain decoration, door handle decoration etc. etc.

Interestingly, if these felted balls are placed in the freezer whilst still wet – they take on the properties of wood in that they can be drilled, cut and sanded when frozen.

* * *

Advertisements