How to Make Felted Balls
In our Discussion Forum, Lucy described how she uses leftover wool to make felt balls, cat toys and pin cushions.
Our guild sells most of the usual hand wovens and knitted goods but it is rather sad to see the little children’s faces when they cannot find anything that is within their budgets . So I have been making felt balls,any time I am finishing an item I use all the snippets ,bits of less than lovely fleece and so on to make the cores,add a final wrapping of realy nice wool,(I often do this on a tray while watching T.V) when they hold together fairly well I tie them into a sock and throw them into the washer , with coloured things in case the colours run. I sell the plain small ones for a dollar, the bigger ones , fancy ones or those with bells inside are more expencive, up to $5. If I make the inside colourfull and cut it in half now it is a pin cushion and I get $3 for them , Since they are made out of stuff that might be waste otherwise,I can sell them for a tiny price the kids like them, and I notice that quite a few go home with the grown-ups too!
I wet felt them. I generally have several on hand in various stages of construction sitting in a dish by the sink and when I happen to be hanging around the sink I soap and run hot water over them I get them to the soft felt stage at this time.
In the evening I will sit with a tray on my lap and roll a couple around…..(a good thriller helps to give a good squeez during the exciting parts) Getting the outside just right takes a little fiddling but it is still not rocket science, I don’t want to make a big deal of it , it’s sort of relaxing after I have spant a tough day at the loom to do something so forgiving.
I wash them in the washer in hot water and detergent with the rest of the family wash and dry them in the dryer, be sure to take them out of the sock before you put them in the dryer as they are hard to get loose from the sock sometimes. Put them back in the sock to dry or they may shed or pick up unwanted stuff in the dryer. If they are hard felted dogs can’t wreck them and if you put a little catnip inside cats adore them.
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