Felt Beads Page 2
Cast on 3st
kfb every st (6sts)
kfb every st (12sts)
*k1, kfb to end of row (=18sts)
*k1, k2tog to end of row (=12sts)
*k2tog x 6 (=6sts)
*k2tog x 3 (=3sts)
Cut wool leaving a 25cm tail.
Thread the tail through the remaining 3sts on the needle.
Using the cast off yarn tail, pull it to gather the last 3 stitches tightly and then use the same tail to make running stitches around the remaining 3 edges of the bead.
Pull the tail gently to begin to gather the knitting into a bead shape. Make sure the bead is right side (smooth side) out.
Use the cast on tail to stuff the middle of the bead.
Tuck the cast on tail inside the bead. Cut a 45cm / 18” length of matching felting yarn and use this to stuff the bead.
Tuck the cast on tail inside the bead. Cut a 90cm / 35” length of matching felting yarn and use this to stuff the bead.
Next pull the running stitches tightly to gather the knitting into a softly plump bead shape.
Finally sew the bead closed with a few stitched through the gathers.
Trim off any remaining yarn.
Place the felt beads inside net washing bag (use a safety pin to keep the zip shut!) or use an old pillow case held shut with an elastic band.
Make sure there is enough room for the beads to move around inside the washing bag
Place the washing bag and beads in your washing machine. An ordinary front loading machine will be fine.
You may add 2 or 3 tennis balls to increase the felting action.
Wash once using a 40°C cotton wash cycle, use ¼ your normal amount of laundry detergent and a full spin cycle.
Do not use fabric conditioner!
After washing them, you may need to roll the beads in your hands a little to ensure they are nice and round.
To dry, spread out the beads on a clean dry surface and leave to dry naturally.
Arrange the beads in a design which pleases you. Using a sharp needle and a length of thin elastic, thread your beads. Tie the ends of elastic together and thread the ends back into the beads next to the knot to hide the ends.
If you wish to use strong cotton and a clasp, make 2 small stitches in each bead as you thread them to hold them in place.
C 2013 Claire Fairall