Friday, May 13, 2005

Well, something worked in the felting dept...


Needle felting trial run

Okay, I’m here to attest to the fact that needle felting is about the biggest time wasting, utterly useless thing in the world you can possibly do with wool. It’s also a whole lot of fun and I’ll be doing it again, now that I’ve made it through the kindergarten-level project unscathed (and unstabbed).

It’s dead simple. I could teach Himself to do it. The pictures starting from the upper left hand corner pretty much outline the process. Required tools are some roving or just plain fluff. I used both Briggs & Little 5 strand country roving and some very loose roving. Both had been dyed with Kool-Aid some time last week. You need the felting needles and a dense foam core as a work surface.

Step one, next photo moving clockwise, more or lay the wool in the general shape you want.

Step two: stab it 1.78 zillion times with the needles, starting from the coarsest needle to the finest.

Step three: stab on little decorative thingies and you have a large felted coaster that thrilled a 9 year old to death. It's the felted version of the popsicle stick picture frame you made at crafts class in summer camp but I had a sense of "this has potential".

Total time was about 2 hours, in front of the television. I know the instructions say to pay attention to what you’re doing but does any one really think I’m going to sit and watch myself stab a little pile of wool into submission. Even so, I did not manage to nick myself with the felting needles, which was a bit of a disappointment. My battle cry has always been “No project is complete until there is blood on it.” which is how I ended up with Oneida’s name on it (in wool, not blood, just to clarify). I just kept doing things to it, waiting for the divine sign it was done. Finally, the school bus came, the kid was home so I quit with that signifier.

I’m going to work on making buttons, I think. I have some uses for groovy buttons and felted ones would more or less keep with the theme. It would also be useful as an embellishment technique for other items. The really cool thing about it is it uses the tiniest scraps of fluff. The kit cost me $13.95 Canadian, and included 4 felting needles, the block and some instructions. It wasn’t a bad investment. I’ve spent more on tools that were way less useful.

In any event, I have to do some non-knitting things today, like get some bloody groceries. We’re down to that state of “whole cupboard full of nothing to eat”, no rice, no sugar, no salt, out of crackers, no beans, no lentils, no pasta, no potatoes. I’ve got a freezer full of meat and a pick up truck load of condiments. Time to go get something to go with it.

Talk at you’se all laters; thanks for reading.

3 Comments:

At 2:37 AM, May 14, 2005, Blogger Liz said...

wow! love that felting project.currently dyeing more fluff for ya! thatis I may have spilled some dye onto some merino while once again dyeing my right hand purple. oh by the way we need to photograph the process next time. get your night shifts under your belt and we shall do cocktails and roving.
there is a beautiful needle felted project on exhibit for the next two weeks at the NBCC grad show.
cheers! keep up the felting you may be on to something

 
At 2:53 AM, May 14, 2005, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Go to bed woman!!!!!

 
At 5:04 AM, May 15, 2005, Blogger Dudleyspinner's Tie Dye Rovings said...

Kate,
I just got a felting needle holder that holds 6 needles, now were getting somewhere! I did a hat, its kinda cool. Sometime soon I will blog it. My MIL died yesterday, so there is all that crappola to deal with, funny how my moms death 20 years ago seems like it was yesterday. Grief is one of those things that you just never are done with. Deb
Deb

 

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