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
Wrap yarn around 4 fingers on your hand about 12 – 15 times.
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.
Add some textural interest by including some non-feltable yarn, like crochet cotton. Then gently form a ball or ‘yarn dumpling’ with your hands.
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.
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.
Now start another one – whilst the first dries.
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.
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