It happens. After regular and sustained use, the balls will begin to show signs of age. They are less firm. The color fades. The sight of them does not bring a smile in the drab darkness. The balls needed an intervention.

They used to look like this:

Just before their intervention no red color remained. The pale yellow yarn was even paler. Winter white and pale is about all the color left in the top row of balls. But after my intervention, they look like this:

I have learned that it is easier to create swathes of color if you needle-felt a sheet of wool roving to the ball. That is how I made the grass and sky, the swirls, and the flower. My bluebird leaves a bit to be desired, but it is an improvement I think. My first attempts were just wool yarn, wrapped firmly and double felted in the washer and dryer. The color of the yarn created the color you saw. But I wanted more. I lusted after the fancier balls I saw online. I even ordered a set from Buddha Bunz to share just so I could see how it was done. Not knowing at that point that sheets of roving even existed hampered that research project.

Back in the day when I used to split wood for our fireplace, I would practically splinter the wood to toothpicks. The feeling of power as the axe thwunked through the log, or the mallet cleanly struck the wedge was a giddy rush for me, who in real life is a wimpy wanna-be in the muscle department. I get the same rush of power when punching the needle or needle tool into the balls. I channel Miss Piggy and go ‘Hyah!’ or ‘die alien spawn!’ …hmmm… that was probably over-share…

As a long-standing member of the Center for the Easily Amused, this would not be the first (or last) time I used foot powder to brush my teeth.