Super simple felt balls

Today was a gorgeous sunny day.  The kind of day that just makes you want to throw a big blanket down on the grass and take a nap.  The kind of day that inspired Ella to say, “Let’s do a special craft today.  Let’s make felt balls!”

Felt balls are awesome!  They are great for throwing practice (soft – nothing gets broken!) or for open ended play. (They’re round bales of hay! No wait, they’re freshly baked rolls!)  And they are the kind of craft that is great to make outdoors on a warm sunny day.

So here’s how to do it:

1. Get yourself a nice wad of carded, clean wool.

2. Loosely form the wool into a ball.  It will shrink down, so make a bigger ball than you’d like of your finished product.

3.  Fill a bowl with the hottest soapy water that you can stand to put your hand into and roll that wool into a soapy round messy ball!

See that ball forming!  Keep rolling!

4. Now, get another bowl of very cold water.  Squeeze out the hot water and soap and immerse your ball into the cold.  Keep forming it into a ball as you go.  Alternating between the hot and cold will make your wool ball shrink and tighten.

Look!  Easy enough for an 18 month to try!

5.  Keep alternating back and forth between your hot and cold until your ball is tightly bound together.  Let dry in the sun or inside for a few days until it is completely dry.  Sometimes I like to affix loose parts of the ball with a felting needle.

Voila!

Now go throw that ball around!

Fun with sharp needles

With all of the seeds to sow, beds to prep, potatoes to plant, and snow to play in, there has been a shortage of crafting here at the homestead.  But I love that my involvement in the Tuesday Craft On over at Frontier Dreams keeps me motivated to create and share. I found time to have a craft date with a dear friend, who was kind enough to introduce me to the super fun art of needle felting!

I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to repeatedly jab a sharp needle into a clump of wool and somehow come away with this…

A sheep!  A real, honest to goodness fuzzy wooly sheep.  (And in the background, my friend’s super adorable creation).  I’m so hooked. Fun, quick crafts are where I’m at these days.

What are you creating these days?

Fetching

Joining Nicole from Frontier Dreams for her Tuesday Keep Calm Craft On…

FETCHING.  An oh-so-lovely pattern from Knitty.  I am so thrilled with how these mitts turned out, but let me tell you, I was sweating the entire time I was knitting the second glove.  Even though I knew the pattern called for 1-2 skeins, I felt quite confident I could knit them with one since I made them smaller.  I was able to finish the second glove, but only with inches of yarn remaining.  A close call!

So here we have Fetching… in a delightful red, just perfect for Valentine’s Day.  (Ravelry notes here).

Cast off, cast on

Once again joining Nicole at Frontier Dreams for her Tuesday Keep Calm Craft On.  This week, I’m on a fingerless glove-roll, and I’m LOVING it!  After working on sweaters for the last year or so, it is SO satisfying to cast on a project and be done with it a few days later.  Instant gratification!

Last week, I finished some fingerless mitts for my husband.  They came out really nicely, but were slightly too big.  Felting to the rescue!  We tossed them in the wash and then in the dryer, and now they are just about right.  The felting did make the cable pattern a little less pronounced, but on the other hand, they feel very sturdy, which is a very good thing for my very hands-on husband.

With that project complete, I decided that it was time for me to have a pair of fingerless mitts of my very own.  Two years ago I started the gorgeous Fetching pattern, but frogged the whole thing after I realized it was way too big for my small hands.  This time, I’m working with a smaller needle and eliminating a few stitches.  They are GORGEOUS!  I’m using Debbie Bliss Aran Cashmerino, and it is so yummy.  I think I’m in love.

What are you knitting right now?

 

Crafting On!

I’m joining Nicole at Frontier Dreams for her Tuesday Keep Calm Craft On.  It’s so inspiring to see all of the works in progress – knitted, sewn, felted.  Makes me want to craft the day away!

Right now I’m working on a pair of cabled fingerless gloves for my husband.  The pattern is Cable Handwarmers by Caffie Knits (Ravelry details here).  I am using a handspun Romney wool for the cuffs and trim, and some Bartlett Yarns two-ply for the rest.  They are very sturdy, a bit itchy for my personal tastes, but I think once they are washed and worn, they should be delightful.

What kinds of crafty goodness are you working on?