Thursday, September 11, 2008

Needle felting is the shizz!!!

I've admired the look of needle felted bits and bobs for a while, but being a pure textile-phobe, I really didn't think it was "for me".

But in true "you have to face your fear to conquer it" style, I signed up for a fabric circle journal this week (eeeeeeeeeeeeeekk!!!) - and so I duly trotted off to Hobbycraft to buy quilting wadding and material and needles and cotton and all that alien stuff :)

While I was looking at said alien stuff, I caught sight of needle felting equipment, and I thought, "I am fearless, you don't scare me" and popped it in my basket.

And you know what? It's FAB! And not difficult at ALL!

Admittedly, my very first experiment was random, and rubbish. See circular blob:

But at that point I was really just experimenting with the mechanics of the felting needle and how the wool sticks together, etc.

The next thing I made was the heart on the canvas up there ^. It was really just another experiment - and if I made another I would use more wool, as it's rather flat - but I was pleased enough with it to want to do something with it. So I plopped it on a quick canvas with some grungeboard wings.

(standard disclaimer goes here - the flash has nobbled the colours - they go together better IRL honestly - the lines on the wings don't show up that much really - blah blah)

Then tonight I thought I would be really brave and try something 3D. The reason bravery is required is that this involves a much higher likelihood of stabbing yourself in the finger. and I did indeed do so. 4 times. ouch. ouch. ouch. ouch.

But it was worth it - because I made a little bead and I really like it.

It took a while, though, so at this rate I'll have a whole necklace by Christmas. 2010. :)

All you have to do is form some fairly rough wool woving (I used Corriedale) into a loose ball shape roughly twice the size of the required bead. And then poke it all over with a barbed felting needle until it shrinks and firms up. You can leave it at that or add more roving to make patterns, as I did with this one. (The dark green was the base bead - the light green and orange are Merino roving felted onto the surface)

I'm looking forward to making more felted pieces to use in my fabric journal.

A girl can't have too many hobbies, eh? :)


Kim Mailhot said...

Hi Sarah !

I did a little felting stuff with a friend last winter and really enjoyed it.I haven't done much with it since as I have enough hobbies going right now but it was a lot of fun.
Aren't the colors of the wool incredible ? You should try some of the hot water, dish soap and lots of rubbing technqiues for your beads. You can finish them off with the needle to make them nice and tight after they have been shrunken (felted, really!) or to add some details. Enjoy and I can't wait to see what else you come up with !

PS : Thank you so very much for your comment on my "stuckness" yesterday. Reading it really did make me feel hopeful, and also very understood. That means so much, you know ? Really, thanks !

Anonymous said...

Fo shizzle!! Your bead is awesome!

LME said...

Love the bead and the heart :)

Hazel said...

Aw, I wanna try now!!! I really love the heart, it looks great, even with the flash from the camera. You'll have everyone doing this soon, these are inspiring!

Trish said...

Hi! thanks for stopping by-I enjoyed your comment:) Love your needle felting! especially the heart-I haven't tried the felting, or really wanted to, but I know better than to say i won't ever want to...seems to me I end up wanting to try everything!! I look forward to coming by again and browsing some more, but right now I am going to go to bed(well, going to read and then go to bed:)it was nice "meeting" you(do you say that even when you don't meet in person?(I am getting tired so I will end this before I start rambling! I look forward to chatting with you again!

Julie Corfield said...

Cool bead Sarah! I am desperate to get started with felting as I bought a few bits and bobs back at the beginning of summer - you have convinced me to go dig it all out :D Juliex

Unknown said...

This is great and once you realize that with the fabric, just like the felting there are no rules, you will have a blast...I love felting, it is needle therapy, all that stabbing! hahah....Melinda

GlitteryKatie said...

Gorgeous- stop it you evil wench!! Mwahahaha!!!

forcryeye said...

Is there any craft you are not good at? I do want to try this!

Anonymous said...


DO you know if you can needle felt onto canvas?