Thursday, 26 January 2012


Our cat does not play with cat toys.  Instead, he steals balls from the boys' rooms, plays with them, and leaves them all over the house.  So N thought maybe Hobbes (the cat) needed something of his own to play with.
Wool felt balls in various stages of completion.

A few years ago, a kind farmer friend I know let me have a whole huge sheep fleece.  I spent an entire summer washing, and picking and cutting the pieces I could salvage so that I could try my hand at dying the wool with plants growing in our yard.  Now, this fleece isn't good enough for spinning (something I have tried a tiny little bit, but plan on doing some more this year) but it is fantastic for stuffing things, and I thought we would try some felting with it.
Carding...this took two nights due to attention span issues :)
This picture was not, in fact, posed.  The cat kept following us wherever we moved the fleece to.  And laying down on it, beside it, eating name it.  That big cheese box in the back...that's what I keep my fleece in.    
What?  People don't keep their fleece in a cheese box?  :)
We both did a bit of the needle felting to get the fleece into a rough ball shape, and not so loose.  This is our first real attempt at felting so we were kind of testing things out as we went along.
We moved on to wet felting.  The tutorials on the internet said to alternate hot water and cold water and use plenty of dish soap. So that's what we tried...note: this plus a nine year old makes a mess...a happy mass, but a mess none the less.
Make sure you get plenty of lather going...
...put your hands in this very essential formation...
..and blow very gently.
This is a very important step in the wet felting process.  It must be, considering the amount of time that was spent on this step alone.

Which is why, only two balls are felted, and a few are partially felted, and at least one..not at all felted.
Good thing we have time on our hands.

I just turned around and the cat has made off with all but the largest unfelted ball.  Hmmm.  He has been playing with the two finished ones for a few weeks.  They are a big hit.

Join along with Linda at Natural Suburbia for Creative Friday, and 
Andrea of Wisdom Begins in Wonder for Fiber Arts Friday.

Today I am thankful for:  our lovely town library...I got quite the haul this week, and projects lined up.  


  1. Yep, blowing bubbles is most deffinately an important step:) I love the plant dyed colours

  2. Aha! Now I know why my felting is always off...I don't spend enough time blowing bubbles. LOVE IT!

  3. What a fun family project!! Sometime, you should try one of these:
    (There are plenty of 'bubble opportunities' in a felt soap project!!) :)

  4. Love this. So great that you got the kids involved. I'll add bubbles to my next felting project.

  5. Love the cheese box! So much prettier than ol' plastic.

    I have tons of photos of our previous cat and fleece. He adored the stuff! Hopefully your Hobbes will love the felt balls. Looks like a fantastic kid project.

  6. How fun! I like to needle felt, but haven't tried wet felting yet. I should make a big wool ball for my lab puppy, she love wool, any needle felt project has to be kept out of her reach, I found this out after she was able to reach two little wool dolls I had made off of a lower shelf and had quite a fun time tearing them to bits. She would love a nice sturdy felted wool ball. Love all of the pictures, what fun family time!!