I first ‘discovered’ needle felting through Instagram and Pinterest. I saw some photos of some really lifelike little woollen animals and found myself wondering how they had been made. Felt was mentioned in the description which confused me as I knew felt to be a type of material.
Soon after I saw a stall of needle felting at a local craft market and a couple of months after that, a lady came to my older two girls’ guide group and did a needle felt activity with them.
I turned the resulting gingerbread men over and over in my hands as I asked my daughters how they were made.
‘You get some wool and poke it with a needle’, I was told. I didn’t understand how it could work but I liked the shape and the feel of the ornaments and thought I’d like a have a go ‘sometime’.
I don’t consider myself a very creative person, although I do sometimes feel an urge to make things. A couple of years I had a brief flirtation with crochet, but it took too long for my liking ( DH calls me instant gratification woman) and I found it difficult to read the patterns.
When I was doing a wishlist on Amazon for my birthday in July, I found a Heidifeathers felting kit and impulsively popped it on my list. I had never mentioned that I wanted one to another living soul before, so it got ignored and I forgot all about it.
But then it was still there when I revisited my wishlist for Christmas, and this time Santa took pity on me and I was given one on December the 25th.
By Boxing Day, I had it open and with the help of the little booklet included, I had soon made my first model; a little robin ( below right). It wasn’t very good but once I’d finished, I had the general idea and had learnt not to poke small models too enthusiastically when you are holding them with your bare fingers.
Next came a little penguin ( above left), which wasn’t much better, but then I decided I didn’t really like following patterns so started to try and recreate things from Pinterest and photos.
Like most things in life, practice makes – well not perfect, but hopefully you can see I have improved a little.
There are a lot of very helpful How-To videos on YouTube, as well as some very friendly Facebook groups devoted to Needle Felting.
This is a really satisfying and easy craft where you don’t need a lot of kit to get started, so if you’ve ever fancied trying your hand at a form of sculpture you should give it a go. Making something recognisable doesn’t take long and isn’t hard.
The main problem is it is a bit addictive and my wool stash has now outgrown the original box the kit came in. And what do you do with the finished products?
The kids tend to claim their favourites and I give away as many as I can. I still have a bunch left over though, but it’s okay- I have a plan.
My aim now is to make a few things every week and try to sell them at our school’s summer fair.
With any luck I might make enough to buy some more wool and needles and start all over again.
Do you have a favourite?