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I got a sheep in the mail today!!

May 8, 2010

Ok, I didn’t really get a sheep, but I got my order of wool and I’m just sooooo excited I thought I’d share! I love sheep. I even love the word, it just sounds so cute. Sheep. Sheeeep. Heehee. Baaa……….

The sheep I got in the mail

Ok so, now that I’m done with that I want to tell you what I plan on doing with this sheeeeep. Right now, I’m making felted beads for my jewelry designs. I can’t tell you how simply delightful it is to turn little balls of fluff into little balls of hardened fluff. I love sheep. Sheep make me happy. Baaa…..

So if you’ve never wet felted before I will give you a tiny tutorial here on my own blog. Complete with pictures! Of me with a big ball of fluff! Here’s what you’ll need to make a ball:

  • bowl of hot soapy water
  • baking sheet (for setting aside finished balls)
  • your sheep (roving)
  • and an area you don’t mind getting a bit of water on (esp if you have kids!)

First you take a little bit of your sheep (about 1/2 inch thick of your roving) and make a ball shape, breaking the fibers a bit so it’s not just rolled. Dip this into your bowl of hot water and then start rolling between your hands. You will feel it start to get smaller. Keep the ball wet and add more roving in long thin sections. Roll fast. Add more to the ball and make sure it’s covering nicely. When it’s hard and nicely ball shaped and you like the size, you can poke a little hole in it with a toothpick or wire to make a bead. I trust you can figure that part out on your own. If you want the ball bigger then just keep adding more sheep to it in layers. One layer at a time, dip in water and roll vigorously. You can then dye the whole ball or bead, or have different colours of sheep (roving) to add to it to make a multi-coloured ball. I’m planning on dyeing some of my finished beads and some of the roving with kool-aid.

Beginning of ball

Hot soapy water for wet felting

I used a wire to poke a hole for a bead

After many layers this is the size I wanted for a ball for my son to play with

If you would like to dye your wool balls with kool-aid, here’s what you will need:

  • packets of kool-aid in whatever colours you want (the more packets the richer the colour)
  • pot of water
  • wooden spoon you don’t mind getting a bit freaky with colour (or a regular spoon)

Boil the water on the stove then turn off the heat. Empty the packets of kool-aid into the pot and stir. Place felted balls into the pot and stir a bit. Leave for 30 minutes and then stir again. When the water starts to get clear you will know the dye is taking. When the water is warm and you have the colour you want, take the balls out and roll/squeeze the water out. This method won’t work very well for just dyeing roving because as soon as you put wool in hot water it starts to felt, so make sure you use this method for your finished felted balls.

The pot of kool-aid for dyeing

Threw the ball in the pot and let it sit for almost 30 minutes

I stirred it every few minutes

Pretty bright blue colour

O loves it! Too bad the picture is blurry, he kept moving lol

"Ok mom I will stay still for this picture"

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