Wooly balls

5 May
Here is a great tutorial from dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.com  for making wool balls.  Laugh and chuckle because I am immature.  I recruited my best friend to help make these so we can string them for a necklace.  She turned to me at one point and said “my fingers hurt.”  The line from Happy Gilmore went through my head, ” oh yeah, well now your back is going to hurt because you’re on yard duty.”  No need to dole out chores, Megan finished the wool balls and my yard is still full of weeds.  Here are our beads…





·         Mustard yellow wool roving (found in yarn/craft stores)
·         One bowl of hot, hot, hot as you can stand water
·         One bowl of cold, cold, cold as you can bear water
·         Cloth covered stem wire (from the floral section of craft stores – I used 20 gauge)
The whole process for one ball should only take a couple minutes.  First, tear off a piece of your wool roving, like you would tear off a piece of cotton candy.  You want ragged ends.  Remember that your wool ball will shrink a bit during the felting process.  Try starting with the same approximate amount of wool I use in the photo below to create a ball the same size as mine.  Real “Woollyheads” are about an inch in diameter.
 Next, place a small drop of soap (I have used both hand soap and dish soap successfully) in your dry hands and also rub a tiny bit onto the piece of wool roving.
 Then, roughly shape the wool into a ball before dipping it gently in the hot water – you want it a tad wet, not completely drenched.
 Very, very gently roll the wool roving between your palms – like you would a clay ball.  At this stage, don’t squish the wool any harder than you would a baby chick.  Then dunk the roughly shaped ball into the cold water (this time you can soak it) and keep rolling. Then dunk the ball into the hot again, then the cold, rolling between dunks.  The change in temperature helps “shock” the wool fibres and is part of the felting process.  Plus, you want to rinse out the soap.
As your ball becomes firmer (and thus smaller), you can apply more pressure.  Your ball is finished when it is firmer to the touch and feels “dense”. 
 Leave the felted wool ball(s) to dry, for 24 to 48 hours. 

3 Responses to “Wooly balls”

  1. This Sydney Life May 6, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    I’m not laughing. 🙂 Rather, I’m thinking – brilliant! Lovely, quirky post!

  2. Megan Pikula May 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    I’ll finish your yard work today after the pruning in my fingers subsides. Then more wooly balls for everyone!!

  3. DIY in Design May 7, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I always wondered how to make those little wooly balls. Thanks for sharing!


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