Sunday, 18 August 2013

An afternoon of needle felting

Ok, ok,  I know what you're thinking! Josiekitten, what on earth are you doing taking up a new craft when you don't manage to get everything completed with the crafts that you're doing already?! Have you made another cushion? Nope! Have you sewn another needle case? Nope! Have you practised spinning more silk? Nope! And how about all those WIP's that you've put into hibernation just so that they're not staring you in the face every time you go into Ravelry?! Guilty as charged!! (I am blushing here, I can tell you!)
Well, I have always fancied having a go at needle felting, and when I discovered The MakePlace right on my doorstep, offering an amazing selection of classes, it was too good an opportunity to miss! There were eight of us in the class which lasted for 2 and a half hours. We started off with a piece of woollen felted fabric and oddments of knitting yarn, and used a felting needle to attach pieces of wool. You work on a thick block of sponge so that you don't stab yourself as the felting needles are very sharp!!

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After that, we made our own square or rectangle of felt using some roving. You tease off a shortish length (you don't want to cut it as you want the longer fibres) and make a layer going from east to west on your foam mat. Repeat but this time make the fibres go from north to south. Do the same a third time, with the fibres going from east to west. Then it's basically using the felting needle to fix the fibres together, turning it over quite often so it doesn't stick to the foam, and folding the wispy ends in.

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Before long, it starts to change in texture and you can see your piece of felt forming before your very eyes!

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Once you have your felted background, you can add more roving to the surface to embellish it. I decided to make a heart and two raised circles. I can see this being a simple way to make an eye catching brooch.

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Using the felting needle around the edge of the heart made it stand out a little more from the surface. Here's how it ended up, not bad for a first effort!!
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Then, we used biscuit cutters to make a felt shape. You layer the fibres at right angles to each other as before, and then use the felting needle to start fixing the fibres inside the biscuit cutter. I kept with my heart theme and made a felted heart.........

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......which I then decorated with a spiral of deeper pink fibre. I can see this having lots of possibilities at school, working with small groups of children to make Christmas decorations.
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Lastly, we were shown how to make felted balls and more three dimensional objects. I made a couple of balls and a heart (surprise!!) The heart still needs  bit of work to get it into the right shape, but it's getting there!

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So all in all, a fantastic and enjoyable afternoon. I think it's a fun way to quite quickly create some beautiful and individual gifts for friends. I have my felting needle at the ready!!

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Claire said...

Needle felting is heaps of fun. Did you manage to snap any of the needles? That is very easy to do when working with thicker pieces. Just remember to keep the needle at a 90 degree angle to your work.

busybusybeejay said...

That is really creepy.I bought a peg loom ages ago and got it out to have a go this afternoon.I googled instructions and went on to a website-Sara's Texture Crafts-and ended up looking at needle felting kits!!I thought that looks fun and I might give it a go.You have convinced me.Your results are great.

snoopydog said...

Wow! That looks like really good fun. Love the little things you made. Just looked up the place! x

quantumtea said...

I've made needlefelted balls for the cats, put them in a bag with some catnip for a few days, and they became favourite toys.

SapphireBlue said...

That's gorgeous! I've never done needle felting before. Everything looks wonderful.

Lynne said...

I haven't come across needle felting before, but I can see why you like it. All your items are great! I'd love a go at this.

Anonymous said...

i for one am completely behind you picking up a new craft!
and what gorgeous work you did! fantastic!!