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I Never Share Needles September 6, 2012

Posted by J. in Genius, Other People's Genius, Sticks and String.
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I don’t have to. I have my own!

For months, I’ve been BEGGING my lovely Knittah/herbalist/shaman/holy woman/healer/librarian friend Loraine to teach me needle felting. She felts many wee, cute things.

OH EM GEE! Loraine made PUNKINS!

A couple (maybe three? I dunno…) of weeks ago, she finally brought her needle-felting equipment in to Knit Club to show me how to do it. Actually, she slammed it down on the table and said, “Here. This should shut you up.”

Heh.

She created a monster. I MUST FELT ALL THE THINGS.

I promptly ran to Center Harbor up to Patternworks and used my birthday gift certificate from Sistah to get myself some needle felting supplies. Twenty or so bucks later I had kit with a foam pad and four needles and a handful of wool roving. Really, that’s all you need.

Holy crap, is this fun.

So I thought I’d show you how Poops makes things. In this case, I wanted to show you my new toy, so I grabbed a plain sweater out of my Etsy bin and decided to throw a felted embellishment on it.

*sings* The best time to wear a blue sweater, is all the tiiiiime…

Here’s my tools.

Needles and foam. I put them on a piece of white felt so you can see.

First, there’s a thick, gray piece of foam and three needles. The red one is for deep felting and rough work, the green one is medium and is an all-purpose needle, and the blue one is finest and meant for finish work. I find it also works best on finer rovings.

They are dangerous. You don’t want to be needle felting while watching TV. It’s like cutting things with a sharp knife or running a saw: stop what you’re doing and THEN look up.

Plus, BARBS.

The sharp, barbed tips cause the fibers in the wool to cling together. They tangle, if you will and lock on to each other. But you need the fibers. You can felt any kind of wool. I have felted actual sheets of felt, knit wool, crocheted wool, but by far the most versatile thing is wool roving, or unspun yarn, if you will.

Because what I need is more craft supplies, she says sarcastically.

I decided to make a mushroom on the little blue sweater and chose some colors I thought would look good together.

Mmm…’shroomy.

I started with the green mushroom cap and began shaping it right on the sweater. All you do, I swear to God, is take your needle and jab at the wool. After a few jabs, it begins to stick. You can add layer and make shapes this way just by turning and shaping and poking. If you don’t believe me, look on YouTube. Search for “needle felting” and watch these sharp little needles in action. It’s amazing.

I decided to add a fourth color for the underside of the cap, a slightly darker yellow/gold/orangy-sunflower shade.  For depth. It was an artistic choice.

If you look closely, you can see where I built up the green cap with layers of roving, while leaving the underside of the cap in a flat, single layer of felt. I used the needle to shape the bottom of the cap so it has a bit of a lip. It gives it depth. Nice touch, Poops. Thanks.

I used the lighter yellow to start building up the stem. I did several layers to give it a rounded look. Like a stem. You know how stems do.

I used the point of the needle to “turn the corner” at the bottom of the stem. Sort of a folding action of sorts.

Another flash of brilliant inspiration. A wee bit of the darker gold at the bottom of the stem to add to the illusion of depth.  Cool, huh?

Using wee bits of red to make spots on the cap. I find twisting the roving slightly makes it easier to handle when I’m using such small bits. Then it’s more pokepokepokepokepokejabjabjabjabjab…

…until it looks like a mushroom!

Then I go upstairs and find Sugar Bear to model the sweater for me, put her in the light box and take all new pictures of the sweetly embellished blue sweater and list it on Etsy.

Click the link to see the listing for a new teddy bear sweater, available right now on Etsy.

Ta da! Thank you, thank you very much. I’ll be here all week.  *bows*

Also, just a reminder that you have until Monday to enter my contest and help me find stuff to write about.  Don’t wait until the last minute! Or wait, it really doesn’t matter. But I have a bunch of really awesome–let’s call it “stuff”, shall we?–to give out as Major Awards.

Seriously. If you don’t give me a topic, I”m going to have to keep blogging about crafts.

You’ve been warned.

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Comments»

1. WIP Wednesday: The Never-Ending Sweater « askpoopsplease - September 12, 2012

[…] I could make her a dead pony hat, I said yes. Honestly, it was hard to send it. I knew when I was needle-felting the bullet holes that I had nailed […]


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