Today I made some felted balls, or beads, depending on what you are going to do with them I suppose. As part of my course, we are required to fundraise for the graduation show. My group is going to put on some workshops and today I made some samples for demonstration - and to see if I could remember how to do it.
I used the book complete feltmaking by Gillian Harris.
The process is fairly simple:
You tease out some wool roving, loosely form it into a ball and then gently spray it with soapy (or baby shampoo in my case) water.
You then roll it around on a bamboo mat, or similar, until it hard and the size you want.
I then made a rope of felt by pulling some roving into a long piece, putting it through the soapy water and gently pulling it repeatedly through my hands until it started to get hard. Then I laid it out on the bamboo mat and rolled it more, into a better tubular shape.
As I wanted to use this felt rope as the necklace, I made the ends a little thinner than the rest so that I could pull it through the felt balls with a needle. It would be too thick where it folds over the eye of the needle otherwise.
First I used an awl to make a hole through the ball, then I made the hole bigger with a knitting needle, this allowed me to get the sewing needle through the ball.