Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Felting 101

Better late than never. :) My camera died so I had to wait to recharge it to upload the pics.
According to this site,

"Felting is an age-old craft. Perhaps developed in the Middle East, perhaps the Far East, it is a process that has evolved with local traditions wherever it was used. And it is still used today, by kids in kindergarten to nomads on the great plains of Asia living in felt yurts.The technique is basic, requires very little experience or tools, and "mistakes" may well lead to interesting results."


I used this kit to try out felting. It is made by Dimensions Crafts.
I like that the kit came with everything in it. All I had to do was provide the time and scissors. It was super easy,too!!! I have always wanted to try felting but was too scared to just dive in. I also did not want to make a huge initial investment since I was not sure if felting and I would mesh into a wonderful crafty relationship.
This is what came in the kit:
~Blue felt with a pre-printed pattern on it.**
Roving. Pulls apart easily.
~Rose and Cranberry colored roving (roving is unspun wool).
~2 Felting Needles (have purple handles)
~Foam block (the type that comes in packing material, just styrofoam or an old mousepad would do).
~Black wool yarn
~2 Embroidery needles
~Sequins/thread (I chose not to use those on my ladybug).
All that for MSRP of $8!
**Felting does not always involve felt or a pattern--most often you free form something using roving. In one book it said merino wool works best. You can buy in bulk on etsy. :)
Now if you don't want to use a kit, you can find felting supplies very inexpensively at Hobby Lobby right next to the embroidery thread.
You will be *shocked* at how easy this was!
Styrofoam block
1.I place my pattern on top of the styrofoam block.
2. Pull a tiny bit of roving of the roving pile. A pinch will do it.
Place it on top of your foam block.
3. Grab your giant needle. (Watch your fingers!!)
4. Put the needle on top of the roving. Pull it needle up and down through the roving/pattern/styrofoam block.
5. Keep jabbing the wool into the foam block. Try to get the jabs as close as possible. This is a great stress reliever by the way! Make sure you move the needle straight up and down and not at an angle (that would make it break).
6. Move the styrofoam block as you work and also add bits of roving to fill in your pattern as you work. If it is too thick in one area, just keep jabbing it until desired. You can always add more wool if needed.
7. After doing the outline and filling in my ladybug, I cut around her but left about 4 inches of felt around her--just so it wouldn't be so bulky when doing my stitches.
8. I just did very simple stitches with black wool thread (or embroidery thread) to outline my ladybug and to make her polka dots/head.
Ma ladybug.
9. I opted out of adding the sequins because I liked her just the way she was.
I cut her out closer to the body. Cute! Now I have a felted applique to stick anywhere---on a tote bag, backpack, jeans, as a crafty brooch,etc.

Want to make felted balls? Do the same technique only using wool and a small styrofoam ball. I have seen necklaces made of them. Here's a different technique on making felted balls by Martha Stewart!
You can also dye your wool with koolaid, food coloring,etc to get custom colors. Have you seen neon food coloring? How cool would that be??
Check out Silje's hand dyed yarn lesson here!

And I wanna recommend a felting book I am reading...

Sweet Needle Felts

Happy Earth Day!!!
We are going to start our garden today in honor of Earth Day. :)
My mom started hers the other day:
We found a pleasant little treasure,too, hiding in the dirt.
It is a ceramic Indian. I am not sure if it is a toy or a decorative item (probably decorative).
The house I grew up in and my family still lives in was built in 1948. The original owners would burn their trash. As a child, when I was making mud volcanoes and hunting "Lion Ants" I would often find saucers or teacups, chipped, worn and dirty.
Yesterday we went to the "cherry bakery"--Atomic Cherry Cupcake Bakery here in Oklahoma City.
We rarely go there just because I could eat the whole menu--seriously.
A blurry picture of my little cookie monster snagging a cookie!
Baked goods are my frenemy!
Oh, and I have to show you a sundae Harrison made all by himself Saturday.

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