Saturday, 28 February 2015

Felting day

Ever since seeing some needle felted animals and having a go myself I have been in love with needle felting.  I like wet felting too but it's hard on my hands with the water and soap combination.  Needle felting is all done dry, you can wet felt it afterwards for a smoother finish but I rather like the slightly fuzzy nature.

Once a month Lovefibre runs a felting workshop at An Talla, it's usually the last saturday of the month and is a great thing to go to.  You can go with an idea or to learn, all skill levels are welcome and encouraged.

Back in October I think, I went to one and had a play with needle felting.

I managed a sort of guinea pig:
 photo Guinea_zpsjnnwafz9.jpg

and a very hungry caterpillar:
 photo VHC_zpsvsgzl8xq.jpg

The latter turned out a little soft and is more delicate than I'd like but I learned a lot and was hooked.

Then life got in the way and for two months I was too busy one way or another to do anything much.  Two weeks ago I finally had enough time to sit down and rest and decided to treat myself to a kit.  I'd um'd and ah'd over it for a while but decided to spend the princely sum of £18 including postage for a kit including various coloured wool, needles, a booklet with six projects, a block of foam to work on and finger protectors (most important!).  It all came in a very good box for keeping the kit and a work in progress inside.

Down came my spinning wool collection to expand my colour choices and out came a fleece I washed two summers ago that had turned out to have a weakness that made it unsuitable for spinning but ideal for filling out a shape and saving the "good" wool for colouring the outside.

I started off simple, a basic ball shape with colouring and maybe another shape felted on.

 photo Robin_zps0bbarxbt.jpg

 photo RobinSide_zps0n4n3yez.jpg

Pair of chicks:
 photo Chicks_zpsplkjcgjl.jpg

Then I got a little more creative, sheep:
 photo SheepFront_zps8mfuvbin.jpg

I played with adding shaping to the ball to define features:
 photo SHeepFeet_zpsoruiqhaa.jpg

 photo SheepBum_zpspzbdnks7.jpg

I put the kit aside for a while to catch up with some deadlines and friends and then on Monday I spent the day making two more things.

A rose:
 photo Rose_zpsao4hjn0k.jpg

 photo RoseTop_zps3fq3l08i.jpg

and something that at one point considered being a dog...

First you make a rough frame out of pipe cleaners and cover it in "poor" wool to get a basic shape going:
 photo NoIdea_zps95zl75dx.jpg

Once that basic shape is formed but not firm, you add your "skin" of coloured wool:
 photo ColouringIn_zpsh7e5rnht.jpg

I like to start with limbs so the ends at the body will be hidden and firmly felted into the body as that is covered and shaped.

Did you guess what it was?

 photo EleFront_zpsonq0oioo.jpg

 photo ElephantSide2_zps0otacps1.jpg

 photo Elebum_zpsqphfse5s.jpg

I had a photo of an elephant up once the basic shape was done so I could get the ears and the head shaped better. 

Between the two cuties I had bought and the many experiments I've done, my table is looking a bit crowded:
 photo GettingCrowded_zpszcispu2y.jpg

Then today came, another felting workshop and my chance to try some other ideas.

The elephant was presented to Lovefibre and she was very happy with it.  Here it is watching her work:
 photo EleWOwner_zpslfjhigvj.jpg

Once everything was out we all got started with our ideas.

First was a ball with a spiral of colour and a flower.  The ball went fine, the spiral went fine:
 photo FeltBall_zpsetc8zist.jpg

Petal one went fine, petal two changed the whole thing to a bee on a ball:
 photo BeeBall_zpsknvjya8u.jpg

Next was a different sheep, I made the head and four legs then took a rest for lunch.  After lunch I made a ball from fleece and added a black layer then felted on the legs...
 photo BlackSheepBum_zpsysrljhq7.jpg

And face:
 photo BlackSheepFace_zpsdaiz4ovr.jpg

This is the first of many sheep, the end result will be shown once I get there.  Right now I am on self imposed hand rest to avoid irritating a grumpy thumb.

But I did do one more felt today.  I made a smaller frame than the elephant and was aiming for a weasel, possibly a ferret.  I got the basic shape but then it went otterish.  With the wool colour I used, I just knew which otter it had to become.  A famous one who has his own book!

So I found his profile picture and one of him sideways on, waiting for Santa and got busy.  An hour and a bit later...

 photo Otter1_zpsdtoxd50x.jpg

 photo SideOtter_zpsj1rrea0m.jpg

I think he's rather cute!
 photo HelloOtter_zpso4bjcbwr.jpg

So that's my fortnight in crafty terms.

I am well on the road to recovery from my surgery in January and now that I can lift medium-weight things without injury I managed to find and hoover the living room floor!  We had friends over for a post-gallbladder-removal celebration meal and had a great afternoon, much laughter and happiness.

Jo went off on a teacher related thing at the start of the week so I had Gromitty over for a day and a night.  We watched far too much anime, made and ate pizza, and watched really jump-scary youtube videos right before bed.  We had to watch something funny just to allow the adrenaline to drop enough to get out the door!

I can watch horror, even the Japanese type that leave a lot of us quaking, but watching something where the tension builds and then the nasty thing pops up leaves me a little jumpy myself.

We had a powercut in the middle of this post, so I apologise if it doesn't parse as easily as normal, not only was my train of thought derailed by the loss of power it was then sent down a sidetrack when I lit our oil lamp and didn't get the flame under control well enough and the glass chimney exploded.  All bits found, including the bit that slightly melted the carpet, and all is well.  Must order more wick, just installed the last bit when the lamp stuttered out from wick not meeting oil (oops).

I shall go do that now.


1 comment:

  1. I tried out needle felting last year, too, and was enjoying it when I got sidetracked. I find the stabby-stabby is great at getting out some aggression, but unfortunately I was trying to work it while watching Game of Thrones, stopped watching my fingers, and poked myself more than once.