I start with this wool "roving". I tear off a couple of sheerish bits, cross them and roll them into a loose ball. Then I poke it several times with a felting needle (a needle with small barbs on it), and magically, it turns the loose bit of wool into a light ball.Now that I have some acorn caps to work with ... and more on the way ... I'm making some felted acorns to fit in the caps. This is called needle felting.
Next, I wet each ball, add a miniscule drop of dish soap (to counter the natural oils in the wool) and roll and roll and roll ... and roll and roll and roll ... the wool ball in my hands until it's a small, hard, little ball of wool. I rinse the soap out and set it aside to dry. This is called wet felting.
After the balls are dry, I'll be able to hot glue them into the acorn caps and then I'll have a bunch of little wool acorns in pretty colours. What for, you might wonder? Just because. Just because I think they're pretty and they warm my soul. I think they'd look nice in a wooden bowl. Or a little pottery one that Hannah made in high school. Or scattered on a tablerunner in the fall with some autumn leaves. Or piled into a narrow clear glass vase. Trust me. I'll think of something to do with them that pleases me.
The hairy acorn caps that Kevin and I gathered are quite pale and dry looking after washing and baking them, so I used a little bit of wood stain on them and they look much darker and richer. I had some walnut stain and it didn't take long to doctor them up a bit with an old toothbrush. I can't wait for my little felt balls to dry so I can start fitting them into their caps! You just know I'm going to show you.