I may not be able to go some place warm right now but I can dream about it. I certainly can listen to music and songs that remind me of warm South American days on a beach right? Or I can make myself a hot water bottle cozy.
This is the episode where Rachel and I talk about felting. I think I’ve actually become convert to this technique.
Two Hot Water bottle Cozies in Cascade 220 and Elann Peruvian Highland Wool
Right, when the last thing I needed was another needle & fiber-craft. I took a two hour course on felting. I went in completely ignorant of how to shape wool fiber or roving into all sorts of forms, came out being able to put together cute little animals and creatures.
The ingredients needed for a successful felting are the following:
1.) Felting mat (usually made of a thick piece of foam or a wide flat brush with thick bristles).
2.) Wool roving or fiber (that is washed, combed and processed).
3.) Felting needle.
That’s it… no glue, no wires unless you’re creating an armature or skeleton to make your felted creation bendable and pose-able… though this sounds tricky & fiddly and perhaps a bit dangerous. Because essentially when you’re needle felting you’re taking the felting needle and jabbing it over and over again into the roving bits to shape them. For example in both the owl and the Totoro figures below, the body is simply just a rolled up wad of roving that has been poked and shaped into a body form. The ears on Totoro and the owls’ wings are smaller clumps of roving shaped into the appropriate form. I didn’t cut those pieces out. I basically poked and prodded at them until the wool took the shape I desired.
This is such a simple yet rewarding craft… even children (who are responsible and responsive to safety instructions) can master this skill within an hour or two. It’s a great introduction into fiber-craft. Looks like I may not have to knit or crochet everyone a present this year.
Want more ideas for felted cutestuff?
My 2nd Totoro - completed in less than 1 hour
Just for Giselle
Needle felting is another way of “cheating at color” instead of knitting color into items that you are felting. I found a great tutorial on the technique here and here:
Pretty felted flower (see image above): http://www.craftlog.org/craftlog/archives/001678.html
Some creative ideas in form from Bez White: http://blog.betzwhite.com/
Why method do you use when you knit? I just found out that I knit the “German” or “Continental” way from this great Podcast on Types of Needles and Knitting Methods:
MP3 = Knitpicks podcast #5
I agree with the podcaster that Continental doesn’t require as much movement. I don’t think I learned any other way, but I learned from looking at diagrams in Scandinavian knitting books many many years ago. More, I can completely relate to the idea of not being committed to finish a product on a schedule. I have been known to finish sewing a sweater that that I knit the pieces to two years after it was finished. One more thing, that was mentioned in this podcast was a rather good review of a felting book that I’m tempted to get: Felt it.
I looked up the world-champion speed knitter out of curiousity…. crazy.