Wander the Web 40

Had a fun idea for a new pattern. After copious notes, sketches, and knitting, all I have to show for it is frogged yarn. Time to cast on again. 

Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain. 

Pejac’s Canvases and Street Art

Adorable felted mushrooms

Love peeking into an artist’s studio

How to Kick Monkey Butt - Focuses on drawing but is good advice no matter what your medium. 


Sound Blogging Advice

Take A Stab At Needle Felting

One of the local yarn shops is closing down and having quite the clearance sale. Looking through was little was left, I found some felting needles. My first stab at the craft was over a year ago. That first project was a heart and it even looked like a heart, but not the cute puffy heart, like these, that I imagined. The disappointment of not being immediately good at needle felting has faded and I’m ready to try again. 

I have wool and enough needles to last me though several projects. The only thing I don’t have to a foam mat to work on so I don’t destroy my fingers or the kitchen table. While I gather up the rest of my supplies, I can’t help thinking of what I want to make. The only wool I’m willing to sacrifice to the learning process is a combination of blue, yellow, and green. Besides from felted balls, fish seemed like the only thing that would look good with that mottled combination. My mind went blank after fish. To the internet! 

After much searching through the halls of the internet, I’m still not sure what else to make with that wool but I do have plenty of ideas for other projects. Tutorials were easy to find and the best ones were usually videos. They made it easy to see just how to wrap the wool and where to stab it to make the right shapes. They showed how and where to join different pieces to make larger pieces. Watching the tutorials and seeing people actually make something got rid of a lot of the mystery of needle felting. 

The following videos are three of my favorites because of how informative and just plain cute the finished pieces are. 

A nice overview of how to make different shapes and how to combine them to make sculptural pieces.

Simple tutorial for making a cute little felted mushroom. Seems like a good beginner project.

Another simple project that combines a sphere and some logs to make a cute little bunny.

Needles and Wool

Normally, whenever needles and wool come up in the same sentence, knitting is the first thing that comes to mind. I carry around knitting in my purse. There is an untold number of slightly finished project sitting around my house. Don’t even get me started about yarn. It’s safe to say that I have knitting on the brain. So, at 2013’s first fiber guild meeting, I was presently surprised to learn about a different crafty combination of needles and wool - needle felting. 

To needle felt, you really only need 3 things: a foam pad, wool roving, and a needle. It’s that simple but you can’t use just any needle. The necessary needle definitely isn’t a knitting needle or sewing needle but a thin piece of metal with barbs and a sharp point at one end. Once you have a small ball of roving and the foam pad to work on, just start stabbing. It’s vicious. It’s cathartic. It’s occasionally a bloody experience if you spear one of your fingers.  When the original ball is compacted, add more fiber, keep stabbing, and slowly sculpt the wool to it’s final shape. Then you can add color, embellishments, and numerous details.


I got to experiment with needle felting by making a heart shaped pincushion. Other guild members made hearts that looked sculpted and delicate. My heart looks like one of those chalky, valentine candies that I eat every year because they are inescapable. I’m tempted to add some sort of abbreviated and completely inappropriate message. 

Repeatedly stabbing a defenseless ball of wool was pretty fun. Plus, I only pricked my fingers a few times and didn’t draw any blood. It was really interesting to watch wool transform from something soft and fluffy to compact and solid. The finished heart is still soft and definitely wooly but very different from the cushy yarn I’m used to working with. FYI, sculpting wool is definitely harder than it looks. The felting process is easy but requires patience, an eye for detail, and practice. It’s not that different from knitting after all.

When I left the meeting, I knew I had fun but wasn’t sure if I wanted to try needle felting again. The heart’s been on on my desk and I keep coming up with all these things I could make. Cool, geeky things. Plus, I’ve got lots of roving leftover from finished skeins of handspun. Looks like I’ll be getting some felting needles soon.