Thursday, January 12, 2012

Felted Clutch Ball

Last fall, during all the fiber exploration and experimentation I was doing I got interested in felting too. I wanted to make a clutch toy for my grandson from a pattern I saw in a book. But the pattern was vague and incomplete. I followed it the best I could using trial and error, lots of error. 

Working with little bits of different colored yarn I knit a shape that looked like this. 
Since I didn't have six different remnants of colored yarn, I bought natural wool and Kool-aid dyed small hanks. I wanted blue for the sixth side but after trying six stores in town I settled for repeating a color. I guess blue raspberry Kool-aid isn't that popular.

I got it most of the way knitted, using the recommended 40 stitches but it was turning out really big, even for something that was going to be felted. So I decided to do a pattern search on Ravelry. There weren't a lot of people that had made it, but their notes were very helpful. One said it didn't shrink that much and was the size of a basketball. She was using hers as a back rest. That's not what I'd envisioned! I wanted a small, child-sized ball. So I frogged what I had and reduced the number of stitches by half - 20.

Once it was knit, I sewed it together into a cube, stuff it with wool and a jingle bell and sew it closed. I placed it in a zippered pillow case and washed it in hot, hot water, using the heavy agitation cycle. The pillow case catches the fiber that sheds and helps save your washing machine from clogs and burn out.

It was still bigger than I wanted. I decided to make it again and reduce the number of stitches to 10. In the meantime I'd found some blue Kool-aid and had my sixth color.

Ta-da, I love it!

And according to the pictures Christmas morning, so does Evan.


Lindah said...

So cute!
Well, the ball is nice, too. :-)
Actually, the ball is very nice. A bowl of them would be nice on a coffee table or whatever.

Fabricfaire said...

Just adorable and a bowl of balls would make Evan happy Gma!!!