- Old sock or stocking cut off at the ankle
- Large handful of dryer lint
- About 30 yards soft yarn (scraps from knitting projects are OK)
- 1 large spool of thread
- Darning needle
- Craft thread or perle cotton
- Assorted beads (optional)
Start out by stuffing the sock with dryer lint. Pack it tightly. Wrap it with yarn, molding it into a ball shape by rolling it around in the palms of your hands. When you are done with that, wrap with entire spool of thread around the ball to cover the yarn layer. Don't wrap it too tightly because you will want to be able to stitch through the thread and yarn layers. This step takes a long time so take a break if you need to. Stop wrapping now and then to roll the ball around in your palms and push down any bumps.
When you have about 24-inches of the thread left to be wrapped around the ball, thread the end onto the needle. POke the needle randomly in and out of the ball to secure the end of the thread. When you reach the end of the thread, cut thread even with surface of ball.
Now you can draw your self portrait (or other design) on paper. You will want to use straight lines because these are easier to stitch than curves. Use different colors of thread to copy your drawing onto the ball by stitching out your drawn design. As a finishing touch, you can stitch beads onto your ball if you like.
Barbara Suess, author of Japanese Temari, A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft, has a degree in Landscape Design from Colorado State University. She is a member of the Japan Temari Association, the Embroiderers' Guild of America, National Academy of Needlearts, National Embroidery Teachers' Association and her local quilt guild. You can find out more about Barbara here