Friday, July 29, 2011

Fiber Crafted Felt Balls

Washed Wool
        My daughter Sophia learned how to wash wool when she was 2 at a Fall Farm program at the Phillies Bridge Farm.  As simple as it is to wash wool it really was a great way to get her involved in the fiber process.
A couple of years back we ended up attending a homeschooling workshop on sheep shearing and fiber arts.  They had many different small fiber workshops for the children to experience.  The table that we spent the most time at was the Felt Ball making table and this is where we learned this awesome craft.  I found that people make felt balls in different ways but the method that we're going to show you is effective and simple for children to learn quickly.  The younger children should start out with a smaller amount of wool so they can form their ball quicker.  

You're going to start out by thoroughly washing your wool.  After your wool is all cleaned up rinse it with hot water and a little dab of hand or dish soap, something mild.
Gently pull your wool into small and thin strips and cross them over one another.
pick up your pile and start to form your ball adding hot water as you roll between your palms.
Once you really feel your ball forming add cold water in small amounts as you roll.
Roll, roll, roll, roll!
This could take a while :)
To make a larger ball lay out more strips.
Start pulling tiny strips from your wool and cross hatch them.
This is what we started with for Gaias ball (age2) Her ball will be about an inch in diameter. 
Put your wool in the palm of your hand and gently start to form a ball.
Roll, roll, roll between your palms firmly until you form your ball....this could take a while.
Our finished could have used a little more rolling, but it's pretty good for a 2 year old!

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