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Felted Wooly Balls!

August 18, 2011

I have the maturity of an 8th grader right about now…I am proud to say I made some fantastic wooly balls. Sorry, sorry, I still giggle every time I write or say “wooly balls,” but that’s exactly what they are–simple balls made of wool.

I used several combinations to get these balls just right. I rolled up raw wool into a ball shape and wet felted it with a little bit of lavender bar soap, squishing it in my hands just like I saw on youtube about Making a Felted Wool Ball, but quickly lost patience.

Next, I put them in some Target tights I keep around for wool projects, creating what looked like the beginning to a Wilma Flintstone necklace and continued felting by hand. I finally gave up that method and threw the whole 4-bead strand into the washer, left them in a few cycles, and then dried them for a few cycles. This method is outlined in one of my favorite felting books, Uniquely Felt by Christine White. 

I then decided that plain white wool balls were no fun, so I covered them with merino wool, Noro wool yarn, and other tidbits from my stash. I felted the base colors again with another load of laundry, and needle felted the decorative elements in after the colorful base layer felted enough. Needle felting helps get that surface yarn down into the wool really well. I used colorfast dyed wool in hot water cycles, but you can also make them on cold. They will felt slower than when using hot water, but the same end result, a wool ball, will still occur!

Wool balls can be great in the dryer used with regular laundry in lieu of fabric softener if one is trying to avoid chemicals. They absorb moisture, therefore helping your clothes dry much faster, which saves electricity. You can also make wool balls by winding wool yarn into a ball and using the same method as loose wool rolled up.

They can get a bit of static electricity…

These also make fantastic kids’ toys. I think it would be really cool to make a globe ball so you can have the whole world in your hands. They’d also be fun with other images needle felted on or a child’s initial. My toddler loves to throw wool balls, and I know these won’t knock out a 5 month-old when tossed in her general direction!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2011 12:43 pm

    They are amazing, like tiny planets.
    Are they heavy enough to juggle with? ….

  2. August 18, 2011 4:21 pm

    I think so! I can make them any size. They feel good in your hands. You should come feel my wooly balls. What am I, back in 8th grade??

  3. August 18, 2011 4:25 pm

    I can’t wait to give your balls a rub, feel them out. 8th grade!

  4. Christina permalink
    August 18, 2011 7:45 pm

    Those are some good looking balls…

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