Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Needle Felting Experiment 1


So, I thought it was time I got to my first experiences with needle felting. I admit, I am kind of bummed with how things turned out, but I know that eventually my work will get to a level I like. While I do like what I’ve created, I didn’t like that they didn’t turn out how the picture on the kits said they should. I have always had a problem following patterns to create something the way someone else says it should look. So I think from now on my felting adventures will be more from my creative eye and less from somebody else’s. I may still get a kit every now and again, but I want to try seeing what I can come up with on my own. Once again, I blame Maqaroon for giving me the needle felting bug. I really love her channel and videos. She inspires me in my future goals in where I’d like to take my hobbies.


So after getting bit with the needle felting bug I jumped onto Amazon and found some kits for relatively cheap to play with. The first kit I picked out was Dimensions Needlecraft Feltworks Complete Beginner Kit. This kit has everything to get you started needle crafting. Well, almost everything. I say this because, when I opened the kit to make it, I tried using the needle that they include in the kit and found it almost impossible to use. I stabbed at the wool lightly, hard, and somewhere in between but it wouldn’t felt together. I then took a needle from a needle felting supply kit I bought from a Chinese seller on Amazon, and it worked instantly. So if you do buy a kit, you may want to have some other trustworthy needles to actually put it together with or risk sitting there a long time stabbing at the wool hoping it will felt, see the needles below I got from the kit. They are very small and don’t have a lot of “barbs” on the end.


Once I got the right needle, the felting part went relatively smooth. I read the directions, put on my needle felting thimbles, and started. After a few minutes of stabbing, I got into the flow of things. However, being new at needle felting, I wasn’t sure how much pressure to put on the needle and how to angle it, even after reading the instructions, still found myself having to stab at weird angles to get the look I was going for. So I wasn’t too shocked when about a forth of the way through I felt a snap, heard a metallic click, and noticed my needle was no longer pointy. I looked at my project and noticed the blunt end of the needle poking out from the wool. I carefully pulled it out, replaced the needle, and took it much gentler with the stabbing. So from what I understand, when you needle felt, go directly up and down so you go strictly in and out. This means no stabbing from funky angles, at least not when you are a beginner. And don’t be to aggressive with your needles or they will snap. You can see my blunted needle and the underside of my work below. That pointy bit on the right part of the picture is the other half of my needle.


Once I thought I was done, I simply pulled the project up from the mat. Do this carefully and slow. I don’t know why the whole process of pulling the wool out from the foam mat gave me shivers. To me it was the equivalent of finding a plant growing from the rug, it was just unnatural to me. LOL! So I tried to pull up as quickly and as slowly as I could go. LOL! I took a quick video of me pulling up to show you what I mean.

As you can see, I like to watch, or rather listen, to things while I craft. That day I was catching up some on the Shaytards. I am still behind on videos with them. I need to have another crafty day and soon. Also, you could see that after I pulled the project up there were a lot of gaps I didn’t see while working on it. All I did was put it back on the mat and work on it some more. What you didn’t get to see was when I started working on the center of the flower I started putting the black in the wrong place, placed it where the white dots are instead of the surrounding area, and had to pull them out, pull the fibers free as best as I could, and then put them where they were suppose to go. Needle felting can be very forgiving on your mistakes.


So, what do you do with your appliqué after you are done? Well you can either cut close around it and attach it things like clothing or bags, you can frame it, or you can get another felt item like a little purse or bag and needle felt it onto that. The possibilities are endless, just use your crafty imagination. What am I going to do with mine? I think I may frame it to remind me of my first attempt at needle felting.



So what do I think about needle felting? I like it. I want to try it some more, try different felting fibers, try different needles, try different mats, and just see what I prefer to create with. As with any new craft I start, I went the cheap route in case I didn’t like the craft. I got a cheap supplies set that ended up working way better than the stuff that came with the kits; take a look at the first picture above, I got 5 kits to make, and I got some thimbles/ finger guards to get me started; take a look at the second picture above. Can I just say I LOVE the thimbles I bought. They are silicone and have saved my fingers many times already. I got some leather ones in the cheap supply set I bought, but they are a tight fit for me and I’d rather be comfortable, and part of me believes they won’t protect me as well as the silicone ones will. However I will give them a try again, after I get better at needle felting, and will report back to you on how well they are. Also, the mat that I got in the cheap set, although it worked better than the mats I got in some of the sets I got, it is still super cheap and after a few uses it becomes useless. So I want to invest in a better mat that will last me longer than the “packaging foam” mat I got in the kit. Seriously, if you are in a bind for a mat, the one I have is just like the foam you’d find in boxes that hold electronics. So if you have some laying around, BAM!, there you go, instant mat.

And that’s about it for my first try at needle felting. I enjoyed the motion of felting and no sooner I finished this I decided to jump into my next project right away, a felted bunny. Now that was a whole new adventure. Felting flat and felting round, though very similar, takes forming a new tactic on doing. You’ll see that blog post really soon. :-) And on that note, I will talk to you lovelies later. Until next time. Take care. Bye for now. :-)

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