Anyway, the seller labeled my wool as Finnish Landrace. I looked it up and found this is a old breed from Finnish, it has a silky outside coat and it felts well. An Etsy seller of Finnsheep wool yarn actually listed this breed as endangered in Finland, the babies are born black with a grey face and a purple tongue. Awwww.
I hunted around on YouTube to find the first thing to do when learning how to needle felt, amazingly enough it's comprised of just a few shapes, sculpturing is your imagination.
The first and start of a lot of characters is a ball. Simple enough but I must say, it's very hard to gauge the finished size. The more you poke the felt the tighter/smaller it gets. I thought a jointed teddy would be easy to do. Ha! I had a good belly start.
The second shape is a flange, it's a ball needle felted on one end whilst the other end is left loosely to be felted on another part.
Such as a teddy face...Wa-laaa. When creating a fold you felt in a straight line, when doing a fold with a finished edge...you fold the line and felt on the folded line. Did that make sense? Any way, I straight felted the teddy's neck and eased up for a nose.
Now the ears are probably what I could of done differently, yes differently. It wasn't easy to felt a small ball while holding it on top of the bears head. I found myself constantly picking the bear up and felting down the top of the head....very close to my fingers. This might take some getting used to, next project will be a bit l-a-r-g-e-r.
But I plodded on, the whole thing took about 1 hour and 1/2. I'm sure it can be done quicker but being a beginner, I feel pretty good about that time. I realized that the arms were going to be a slight problem, and they were. The arms were to tiny for me to feel comfortable so I anchored them with a darning needle. The block below the felting is a tight Styrofoam and it works well for punching.
Needle felting is created when the fibers of the wool are mixed and pulled, the more you poke the firmer the article becomes. My wool had already been process and carded so most of the fibers are one way, it's advisable to pull pieces when felting and not cut. If you can't pull the wool apart, your hands are placed to close together trying to tear the same fibers.
I must say, as I was felting the idea of just mixing fibers by pulling and poking went against everything I know and love about wool, seemed bizarre to me a few times....works though.
YouTube explained the difference in the needles, some are work needles, some are hole makers, and some are multi tooled by having many needles in one punch. Also, the barbs are different, you can have a needle with a "T" shaped barb or maybe a "STAR" shaped. What the Internet indicated is that the star shaped, #38 is best.
I also learned you can felt in wool, silk, etc. yarns or threads. Isn't the heart so cute! Using my invisible thread I jointed my bear together, it ended up being 3 and 1/2'' tall, quite a small teddy bear.
Okay, so maybe it's a wee mouse. C&G Design
Words and photos by Dawn,
Words and photos by Dawn,