needle felted humpback whales

29 Jun

Humpback whales are magnificent creatures. So beautiful and graceful. My friend at work asked me to make her a humpback whale, so I made a pod! I made these by just looking at different humpback whale pictures on the internet.
This is what the whale core looks like. Working with a core allows you to keep a similar shape and size when trying to make identical items. I kept calling them whale larva!

This a great over view picture of my materials used and a before and after shot. I blended different color wools with a hand carder to get the color that I wanted. I used a bright blue, black and gray for the bulk of the whale. The pleated area was just white and gray.

This is a before and after tail shot. It’s amazing to see how much it shrinks in size.

You can really see all the different colors in the “whale fur” in this picture. I love the little bumps on the mouth!  These whales can be used as plastic free children’s toys or even artfully mounted as a statue!

needle felted work by ray cannon

24 Jun



I found this while stumbling on stumbleupon. They are fantastic! Unfortunately, I can’t find out any more information on Ray Cannon or picture’s of his work. But click the pictures to link up to the websites that I found. If anyone out there as any more info on this guy let me know! His detail is great and I just love his modern “subjects”. Very cool indeed.

marlene’s felting madness

21 Jun

This site is awesome! It has items for needle felting, but delivers more for wet felting. First reason I love this site is because it has a wet felting tool kit. When I wanted to start wet felting I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to get a rolling mat, mesh and a rolling bar. I wanted to use a solar pool cover piece, but didn’t want to have to buy the whole thing! Marlene’s saved the day!

It comes in two different sizes, so all your project sizes are covered. Marlene’s also carries an excellent assortment of wool colors. I spent my fair my share of money at her booth at the maryland sheep and wool festival this year. Unfortunately some of the color choices on the site do not have a picture linked up to them.  You can order nuno felting fabric from the site as well as silk throwers waste for embellishments.

The site also has a free needle and wet feting tutorial. The needle felting one is for a lady bug and the wet felting one is for a little pouch. There is also a link to some of her own creations. I just love this one! It’s called “Signs of Life Series: Confusion, Dilemma & Narrow-Mindedness”. Excellent representation.

Marlene’s felting madness is a great resource for supplies and inspiration. And make sure you look at her checklist to see if you’ve come down with a case felting madness.

wet felting first attempt

17 Jun

This is my first attempt in wet felting. It’s meant to be a cobweb scarf, although I think I fulled it more than I was supposed too. I left holes in the scarf so I had different places to pull the other end through. That allowed me to play with different ways of wearing it. I bought the roving for this at the maryland sheep and wool festival, but I don’t remember what the color combo was called.

Wet felting is definitely a different beast compared to needle felting. With needle felting I can work on it a little here and there, put in just 5 minutes a day if I want too. When you start a wet felting project you have to commit time into doing it and you should’t rush it. I enjoyed creating this scarf and hope that that I can become as talented as some of the other wet felt textile artists out there!

the felted ewe

12 Jun

In keeping with the beginnings of my felting hobby, the first website I bought supplies from was the felted ewe, a needle felting focused website. Cleverly titled and full of everything the needle felter needs. It’s a complete website with supplies, kits, wool felt and books. It’s very safe to order from and the shipping is swift.

I love the roving colors and to quote the site, “Beginners find all of our fibers the easiest for them to work with & advanced needle felters can’t get enough of them!”. I have to concur; they felt lovely. One of my other favorites from this site is the wooden single needle holder.

I know it’s so simple but it really helps with grip and you can color code them for all your needle sizes. Which is easier to do then trying to paint the ends of all your needles! The needle selection from this site is stellar. 6 different types of needle sizes so you have have a full spread for each part of your felting endeavor.

In my anatomical heart post I mentioned that I bought the pumpkin felting kit from this site, linked here. Pumpkins are super super easy and are the perfect starting project. You can crank them out and get instant gratification. Here’s my little pumpkin patch!

And here is a blue bird that I made for my boyfriend’s mother using the blue bicycle color roving and some of the left over pumpkin orange that I had.

felting needles 101

9 Jun

The felting needle, so small, yet so powerful. When I first started felting I had no idea what needles I should be buying and what size I should be using. Gauge 36,38,40,42? Then pick triangle or star!? I read books and watched videos, but everyone seemed to have their favorites. I now know I love 38 star. I feel it’s the most versatile  and it works best for me.

The felting needle is very thin and very sharp. The needle breaks very easily. If you start bending in the slightest it will snap off. This happens easier with the smaller gauges. You can buy needle holders for you needles to help with grip or if you need to use more than one at a time.

Also, If you felt like me and you like to hold your project, you will poke yourself. I am better at it now with minimal finger pokes, but when I started, my thumb and index finger were covered with stabs marks. You can buy finger protectors from a felting site or a quilters thimble from your local sewing store.

The follwoing excerpt is from wizpick.com. It explains the anatomy of the felting needle. Wizpick has many many different needles to choose from. Unfourtunely, you can’t buy them from their website, you have to find a retailer. It is great to look at the diversity of all the needles though.

Felting Needle Characteristics

Felting needles are made from carbon steel and are either 3 or 3 ½ inches long. The L-shaped hook fits into industrial equipment or in our case is the end we hold; the sharp point at the other end facilitates penetration. The “working zone” (about one third of the needle) is typically triangular in cross section, having three edges with a series of barbs cut into one or more of these edges. These barbs catch and move the fibers as the needle is repeatedly jabbed into a fiber mass. The number, spacing, depth and angle of the barbs (and the needle gauge) dictate how the needle works, and hence what it is best used for.

Barb number:

The total number of barbs per needle influences the speed of the felting process; fewer barbs allow for more precision.

Star needles have a high number of barbs, but are designed to penetrate firm felt easily, working fast and resulting in more tensile strength

Working edge:

Most felting needles are triangular with three working edges, except Star needles which are a new innovation with four edges.

You will find that needles with only one or two working edges will penetrate denser felt more easily. A needle on which the barbs are situated on one edge in a row right behind each other will move fiber reliably and can also be used sideways, parallel to the surface of the felting project

Barb spacing and form:

Needles on which the barbs are spiraled evenly up the working blade will accomplish an even needling effect over more depth. To produce a smooth felted surface the barbs should be situated close to the tip of the needle.

Deeper barbs and more barb angle will transport more fiber but also be more aggressive.

Gauge:

The gauge (diameter) of the working zone for wool needles ranges from 32 (coarse) to 42 (super fine). In general, start your project with a coarser needle and work to a finer needle for finishing. Choose thicker needles to felt coarse fibers and finer needles when working with finer fibers. Wizpick offers a range of 16 different needles. Even Merino wools will easily embrace sculptural detail. Silk can be needle felted although it is quite a challenge to retain the attractive properties of the silk, especially the luster.

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