And I don't mind telling you, I was pretty pleased with myself when I saw the above result. With no real know-how of even what I had doing, I had replicated pretty well something I had seen on a web page.
So, my WIP today, is item 3 on yesterday's To-Do list - Chrismas baubles which I hope to aim at the (new) parent market.
When 1 yr old went down for her sleep, and 3 yr old had exhausted himself sufficiently in the back garden, I whipped out my felting stuff for a quick half hour.
Here, are some pre-rolled balls of wool/yarn (slightly varying sizes but all much of a muchness. Thank goodness for friendly mothers with excessive wool/yarn collections.) and my merino wool roving in the three colours that I want my baubles. Now, this isn't the traditional way to make felted balls - a video for that by Sara of Sara's Texture Crafts can be found here, and does not use the labour saving device, the washing machine. The advantage of starting with a rolled wool/yarn ball is that, if the wool is superwash or acrylic, the bauble will not shring hugely so you have a pretty good idea of the size of your finished bauble. And it's cheaper as you can get wool/yarn at a pound shop/dollar store and you're not using all of your pretty wool fibre where no one can see it.
The next step is to lay out some wool roving/wool top/batt (whatever you have to hand, but remember that batt is "loftier" - has more air, so will shring differently and could leave bald spots.)
The roving is laid out in two or more layers (depending on how finely you lay it out) at right angles to each other. I laid the first layer across, and the second layer down, and then checked for thin areas. Place a wool/yarn ball in the middle of the laid out roving.
Wrap the ball in the moving as much as possible. I try not to just put it all over the top at this stage because that could leave side of the ball that has 3 or 4 layers of coverage, and a side with half that. Your covered ball will look like this:
Here's what the balls look like before and after coverage - they look quite bulky with a loose wool fibre coat on. When I've wrapped the ball in the fibre, I roll them around for 30 seconds - 1 minute like I'm rolling a meatball to help the fibres stay together for the next stage.
I actually have one pair of tights that I use solely for white balls, otherwise they end up white and any other colour that they pick up from previous use.
Anyway, now it's time to to carefully ease the fibre covered wool/yarn ball into the toe of the tights/stocking/pantyhose.
Once this is done with minimum disruption to the fibre (hence the meatball roll earlier), it's time to tie a knot in the stocking leg with either a piece of wool/yarn or a knot in the nylon. I prefer to use a piece of wool/yarn because knots are pretty bulky.
Keep rolling and filling until you've got as many as you need, run out of roving, or run out of room in your tights.
I've got 6 white balls, three baby pink and three baby blue all ready for a bath.
The next bit is easy. Chances are, you'll need to do a wash soon, so stick them in your washing machine.
They'll look lovely once I have embellished and finished them. But, for now, they can go back on the to-do list as work in progress. :o)