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
- Wonderfully thick yarn called Udon in color 05
Hello there again!
Leila Wice of Deboko Design was kind enough to send a load of photos from the Artfibers Yarntasting event my way. I’m posting a few more here. I’m also including most of the photos in a gallery below so you can see more of the swatches people made.
Looking through the photos, I remember that it was just so much fun! Thinking back upon the whole event, I enjoyed the whole bit. It was great to see so many knitters intensely enjoying what they were doing as the diligently knitted away through as many samples as possible. If you are interested in hosting your own yarn tasting you can find out about it on their website & contact Artfibers directly.
- It’s nice to knit in the warmth of the sun
- It’s always good to have your kit ready
- Smart knitter Rachel tagged all her swatches with Avery labels
- It’s so pretty it hurts to look at it all
- Working with limited amounts allows you to try all the yarns
I like the corner for the husbands… .
I actually went to Yarnia recently and made some very lovely bamboo/wool blend yarn that I’m using right now in raglan sweater for myself. As soon as I take some photos I’ll post it up here. I love the fact that Yarnia has some very beautiful heathered alpacas and wool threads to include in the mix. You could spend hours in there just playing with combinations. I like matching analagous colors like families of greens with very different fibers like alpaca and silk or hemp and silk. What joy! I’m in fiber heaven when I’m in there.
Because I knit somewhat tightly, I’ve had to adjust my tension (loosening it) so that I’m not tugging to much on the yarn and causing some the strands to bunch up, but I love how the fabrics knit up.
Some people might complain about splittiness with this type of yarn, but I have to say… “Just rub some dirt in it” (i.e. sometimes you just gotta deal). If you want multistranded goodness you’re just going to have to compensate for the split factor. The overall effect of the colors and blending of fibers is well worth it to me. My bamboo/wool blend has a lovely spring to it. The boucle thread I chose for the combo has also added some grip to the fiber that prevents the bunching.
We’re cleaning up a lot of things right now… I cleaned up the guest bedroom and my office as we’ve errected a temporary food prep area in the guest room while Eric tears the kitchen apart. I had the opportunity to assemble my stash… or at least most of it.
Sometimes I think I’ve been hoarding this yarn over the past several years because I somehow think that it’s there for hard times… or when our situation may change and I should be spending yarn… ooops, Freudian slip.. money on things other than yarn.
In these tubs I have about ’70 gallons’ of yarn. I refuse to participate in the Stash busting contests because… I LOVE MY STASH. It’s my collection and it’s a part of me.
70 gallons of pure fiber joy
Tearing out the stuff
Filed under Knit, Knitting, Yarn