This is my first attempt at wet felting. It went alright, but might need a bit more work. For some reason it made my skin peel from my hands, so either I’m sensitive to something, or it’s the best exfoliation treatment around. I could only make a small piece, as it’s a bit expensive for me to buy wool at the moment, but I wanted to trial it. I don’t think doing this is large quantities would be fun, as it takes a lot of physical work, which I’m not able to do in excess.
I coloured in my picture today, and was pretty happy with it, so was my partner, so he wanted it as a profile picture. I scanned it in, and the colours were off as well as the shading went all blobby. I probably set the DPI too high on the scan, but it is annoying. I’m contemplating redrawing it on the tablet, for his avatar.
I didn’t do too much else, apart from a bit more loom knitting, although my list of things to do is starting to grow again.
I have spent the past two days, on and off, trying to cover this cat in red wool. I made the base in filling as normal, but for some reason it’s taking forever to cover. It might be that the shape is more complex than a ball that I’m used to, or something, but it’s getting really frustrating. I work on it until I get bored, then I game until I get bored, or when my wrist starts hurting, then switch back or to another activity. Hopefully I get through it soon, otherwise I’ll give up. I am working on little wool cat charms of my cats when I get annoyed at the red cat.
Even though I have so much that I should be doing, I have a pile of projects on rotation. I really need to prioritise and organise them. I’ll put that on my list of things to do.
Nearly time for me to dive head first into Christmas card making mode. There’s some lovely inspiration this year, and I think I’m leaning towards more watercoloured cards, so that I can make them more personalised. Sometimes I stalk the peoples Facebook pages for ideas on what they like, for inspiration and a personal touch, but now that sounds creepy.
As for felting, if you don’t know, the little green guy in the picture is the mascot for Android- the rival to Apple iPhones. We are strong Android fans in this house, and my partner loves it. He even has a group on Facebook where all his friends talk about updates and technical things. This is why when I saw the green wool that I received in my package, that matched the mascot, I knew I had to make him a mini Android. I began with a polyester filling core, so I didn’t use too much of the colour. I think felting is a lot about will power. If you will something to be a certain shape, then go into auto mode while you stab, you end up with that shape. Or something like that. Once I had the base shape, which was a cylinder with one domed end, covered in a gradient from lime green to apple green, then added tiny dots for eyes, and a dark line to separate the body pieced, I had to figure out what to do with the limbs. In the logo, Android’s arms are floating next to his body, and his legs are tiny sticks poking out from below his body. I wanted to make him look a little cuter, and have large feet. This worked out great for the design, as it’s much more efficient having tucked in limbs than bits sticking out, vulnerable to damage. I made the arms by wrapping wool around the felting needle, then pulling it off, holding the wool firmly, and stabbing carefully at each end until it was a stable shape. I added it to the body before it was too firm to be manipulated.
The antenna are pieces of wire, glued into the head with glossy accents by ranger (any strong glue will do.) I then wrapped the wire until it was covered with wool, and added a dot of glossy accents to the end of the wires so they weren’t as sharp and dangerous.
Lastly, I folded a piece of wire around the keyring chain, and twisted it into a tight eyepin shape, and glued it into the figures head.
It’s cute working in such a small scale, but tricky and more likely to stab yourself. My next project has to be a bit larger to give my fingers a rest.
It’s awfully addictive though, I’m trying to stab wool between scenes in the game I’m playing in an attempt to multitask.
Post box checking day!
It’s like shopping without money, or presents from my past self. Today I received some merino wool that I got off ebay. Each packet is about 3 grams, so maybe 2cm by 3cm bags, and there’s 36 colours. I got a small amount of a lot of colours, as I like making small projects, I can use filling as the core, meaning I need less wool, and I wanted to see what colours I’d use. There are so many beautiful colours though, I think I’ll use them all.
The first thing that I want to make is little figures of my own cats. I haven’t decided whether to make them realistic, or cartoonish. I wonder if I could make them small enough to be on a necklace. Luckily wool is lightweight. I’ve been looking to Pinterest for inspiration, and there are so many great creations to get inspiration from. I’ll have to create a few different things.
Better get my guard gloves on.
Caught red pawed.
I put the little hat in the wash. Looks like it wasn’t wooly enough, and didn’t change a whole lot. Not long after I put the hat on a ball to dry, my lovely, inquisitive, stealy, annoying cat stole it. It was kinda cute, as he picked it up in his mouth as I followed him with the camera for proof. Once I retrieved it and put it back on my table out of harms way, it didn’t take long for him to return to the scene of the crime for another attempt at thievery. Apparently, tiny wet hats are a cats best friend.
Bows and bitty beanies.
One of my recent internet browsing sessions brought me to an image of a lovely set of bows, basic and made of felt. What made these bows different to other bows was the mini buckle on each of the centre strips. The ones in the picture were round and silver, but I knew I had some square, gold buckles that needed to be put to use, so I tried it out. I was playing around, and came up with a nice red, white and gold theme. The tulle I used is more an orange-red than the felt, and probably brings down the elegance factor. But, hey, how elegant can you get using felt? I imagine a lovely off white, large soft satin bow would be lovely. I’ll have to dig my way down to my material box, and see what I have. I’ve been dying to get out my wonderful sewing machine lately. I know I have some pajama pants waiting to be made, among plenty of other things.
As for the little beanie, it’s made of merino wool, as far as I can remember. I keep all my yarn labels, along with a length of every wool I buy. Only problem is looking through all the labels which have found themselves in plenty of different boxes. So, I’m hoping it’s a high enough percentage of wool, as I made it as a small test to try out machine felting. The hat was actually a simple pattern for a micro-preemie baby. If I got the ply right, and my tension, then there are babies heads out there that small, and that’s so tiny.
Here’s the pattern for the hat. It can also be found on Ravelry.
Only slightly less creepy looking, and semi-undergarmented.
I worked on a few things today, after waking up by watching some YouTube videos. I found a girl’s channel, named Chezlin, that does different kinds of arts and crafts, a lot like me. She had a video on needle felted cat toys. Watch it here, and check out her other videos. There’s links to her blog and other sites in the description on the video.
In the cat toy video, one of the toys had bells in it. I thought it was a good idea, but with all the padding, it might soundproof them. So, I made a ball for my own cats, making a rattle, using two bottle caps and a soda tab. Put the tab in the middle of the two caps, and tape it all up securely. You can use other things to do this, such as a coin, rice or some beads. You could replace the bottle caps with little toy eggs from vending machines, or little paint containers or film canisters. Anything that has room for the inner object to move, and make noise when they hit together, but small enough to be a nice light ball when covered in wool. The sound will be muffled slightly, but remember if your cat wants to play at two in the morning, you might not want it to be too loud. Cats have super hearing anyway, so a subtle sound is fine.
Once you have your rattle taped up, just wrap in wool, and felt with a needle, avoiding poking straight into the rattle. Since my rattle was coin shaped, I had to build up more on the flat sides, to make the shape more ball like. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s good if it can roll. I didn’t compact it a great deal, but it rolls nicely, and bounces quite well.
It was one project they stole that they were allowed.
Not looking any less creepy, but slightly like Patrick Stuart.
So, a few things that I didn’t count on with the yarn fluff that I chose for the skin. Firstly, the colour is dulled down a lot, and has only a touch of the original colour. Secondly, its rather transparent, so it need a few layers to cover the previous colours on the face and bring up the intensity of the colour a little. Being a softer material also doesn’t help the shaping of the lips and eyelids. Lucky the head is rather smallish, allowing for a few layers worth of room to play with. It seems to smooth out over regular stuffing nicely, though. Most of her skin will be covered in armour, so I’ll use a grey to cover most of her, which, unlike the skin, won’t matter if it’s too light and not getting enough vitamin D.
Now I just need to buy some grey, as I recently used it all on another project… Along with most of my wool, for a blanket… That needs more wool to finish it.
Aaaand I’ve spent next pay in my head, already.
So, I think I have the needle felted ball mastered by now. I’ve attempted to branch out into stars and bowls, but my repertoire is still limited. I made the star using a cookie cutter, placed on my sponge, and filled with wool. Then, stabbing, and flipping regularly, so it doesn’t get stuck to the sponge. When it was sturdy enough, I took it out of the cookie cutter, and reshaped it into a star, rounding the edges as I went.
The bowl doesn’t seem to be progressing well. If you remember a while ago, I told you that I had a ball of stuffing that failed… Yeh, this is what it’s turned into. The ball failed so hard that it’s now a container. I tried to harden it, so it was at least sturdy, but the stuffing doesn’t seem to thicken like the wool does, at least, not without hundreds of hours of pushing fibres in, then pushing them out again. I decided to add some wool as a layer to help things along. It certainly thickened the bowl, making it sturdy, but it has shrunk, and become a little deformed. Not to mention, all the fibres from the outside are being pushed inwards, so if I push them back, I’ll get white bits all through the nice colours. I’ve been trying to push the innards down, but its all a mess. I keep working at it, hoping it’ll all work itself out, as I think of more ways to fix it. I think making a wool one from scratch might be useful. Either beginning like a clay coil pot, and working in snakes around a base, or perhaps finding a ball shape to use as a mould. Then again, I could look up a tutorial and stop trying things without prior knowledge. I guess that’s why I spend so much time on things, I forget to write down results, or don’t research fully, then I begin at the beginning. Both learning from others, and beginning from scratch are great ways to learn. One, adding my creativity to known techniques, the other, discovering my own solution to a problem.
I hope that makes sense.