Since starting my new position at thewoolshop.ie I have seen crafts that I never heard of before let alone attempt to try, but because I work there I suppose its only fair I try something 'the chef must taste his own food' so to speak. Anyway I was interested in felting as its something I never heard of until I asked my sister who is always doing something crafty. First I was warned the needles are so deadly you would more or less have blood stained wool, rather than have something to be proud of, then I was told how much time it takes to do it, I was never one not to try out something new so I said lets give it a go.
I started by asking questions at thewoolshop.ie like the basics of needle felt, again I was told you will be stabbed repeatedly starting out with the needles, as if twice wasn't enough to be told I kept going on to try it out. I have heard of people making crazy realistic things like dogs and cats from felt that look completely real, obviously lets not get too over ambitious, so I started with a kit from thewoolshop.ie, this one to be exact........
In this pack you will find one needle, a piece of foam to give you the initial shape, some wool, and some decorations. At first I thought this is going to be easy, I had all I needed or had I? In the kit they only supply enough for one side of the animal in my case a sheep, and one eye! One sad eye!
Lucky for me thewoolshop.ie had some left over felting wool in lots of colours so that wasn't a big deal, I could complete both sides easily, as for the decorations and the eyes I raided a craft box at my sisters house. Got all I need now, lets try it out. You get one needle so remember this, they snap so easily if you punch the wool at the wrong angle,.. lesson learned! Keep the needle in a straight smooth motion and you will have no problems.... or so I thought! The first punch with the needle went straight into my thumb. It's like been tested for blood sugars over and over. I have a new respect for diabetics now (lol.) After multiple wounds I got the hang of it, slow and steady is key. I took to it easily enough and I soon started to like it as I started covering more ground. The kit is great for beginners like me but its super basic. Don't expect anything amazing out of the kit but as a general starting point its pretty good I think.
On completion of the felting it was time to customize the sheep, I decided to give it to my Sister as a present so I made it very much for a girl, I gave it a new coloured ribbon and some gems which I hot glued on. Presto! All done...not bad at all, great gift for anybody, especially after putting blood, sweat and tears into it, literally.
The final word on this is, definitely try it, if you hate it then no problem but you never know, you may find something you really enjoy.
Felting kits can be found here
Wool and supplies for felting can be found here