WHat a cool thread! I've never heard of the yarn first idea. I'll have to try that. I usually make mine entirely of roving, (I'm another with a HUGE stash!) or put wool sweater scraps in the middle for bulk. I haven't needle felted it first, either. I've just tried to we felt the whole thing and it works, but can take some time. I have decorated the already felted ball with a needle and that comes out nice. I saw some kits someone had once, with cat ball toys for the center and styrophome balls for the center. The tennis ball seems like it would give it a good weight.
Mom to three and owner of
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Happy, healthy and handmade.