Here is the back story for this teeny-tiny project. We have lived here for four years. The ancient oak trees on the property have not yielded a single acorn in all that time. This morning I spotted what I thought was a large wooden bead. But it was not a large wooden bead. It was one of these:
Look at them, will ya! They are whoppers. And so, I decided to make the wet-felted pincushion I've always had in the back of my mind.
The pithy directions, ala Elizabeth Zimmerman are: make an acorn-sized bead out of wool fleece and glue on an acorn cap. The step-by-step tutorial follows:
Materials: Suitably colored wool fleece, water, liquid soap, tacky glue, large acorn cap
Equipment: Bowl, access to a sink
Take a fluff of suitably-colored wool fleece. It measures about 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1 inch.
Roll the fleece into a loose ball.
Dip this ball into warm water to which you have added a few drops of soap. Now comes the only tricky part of the process. Gently toss the sodden fleece from hand to hand. If you are too vigorous at this stage, you will not get a nice smooth bead, you will get a felt brain.
After a minute or two of the gentle tossing, you will notice that a "skin" forms. You can start rolling the ball between your palms, in the manner of rolling cookie dough. The woolen bead is fairly malliable at this stage of the game, use enough pressure to compress the wool into an acorn size and shape. Take this shape to the sink and rinse for a minute with alternating hot and cold water. This process is called fulling. You should feel the bead get slightly harder as you do this..
Put a squirt of tacky glue in an acorn cap and place the cap onto the woolen bead.
Can you spot the the imposter?
I think it makes a dandy little pincushion: