Two or three years ago I broke down and purchased a set of needle felting needles. I had observed people needle felting at fiber fairs and thought I ought to at least try it. Well, I didn't try it then. I was concerned that I would leave the sharp needles lying around where my children's little fingers or faces or feet would find them.
Fast forward to a week or two ago and I found myself preparing to do a demonstration on ... needle felting. I got out my needles, made a foam pad to work on, and started stabbing. --That's all needle felting really is--stabbing the fiber with the barbed needle to make it felt together. And I discovered that it was fun, and somewhat therapeutic (very reminiscent of coloring with crayons--simple & soothing).
So, here's a sampling of what I've been making:
I rolled the fiber for each flower petal around a pencil before I laid it on the denim and started stabbing it with the needle. The yellow yarn was added around the petals after the red was on and the fine wisps of yarn were needle felted into the center last.
I've had trouble achieving the level of detail in my felted pieces as I can cut in my paper, though. My Christmas tree cut out had three "triangles" to make it look like layers of branches. My felted tree is just a single bumpy triangle! Apparently it takes more stabbing in the corners to get the finer details to show up.
My next project is three dimensional felt. I tried two ways of making felted balls. The ball on the right was made from fibers wrapped into a small ball and then needle felted. As the ball felted, more layers of fibers were added and more needle felting done to make it a somewhat solid ball. The ball on the left was made from just wrapping the wool fibers into a tight ball and sticking it into a nylon stocking. Both balls were then wet felted in the sink and then dried in the drier. The needle felted ball is more dense than the one that was just wound and not felted. I'll see how they behave as I add more needle felted designs to them.
Monday, October 29, 2012
In the mean time, the kids have discovered the stack of cardboard boxes and have been having a blast making forts and castles!
My first skein of yarn from the Russian spindle is finished--not only am I finished spinning the fiber (alpaca in this case), but I've washed and dried the skein of yarn. It is beautiful--soft and drapey--and I can't wait to spin some more!
Friday, October 12, 2012
The box was a prize that I won from the 2012 Handwoven Garment Challenge. I wove the fabric and my husband sewed a vest that won the "tailored garment" category. And winning came with a prize thanks to Mountain Meadow Wool.
And the yarns and fibers are gorgeous! The yarns have all been taken out of their bags and petted. The merino roving has been squished and a tiny bit spun. Now I have to figure out what to make with all this wonderful fiber goodness!
Thank you to Handwoven Magazine for hosting the contest and for all their help getting things ready for print. And thank you to Mountain Meadow Wool for contributing such luscious yarns for a prize!