With winter fast approaching the days are much shorter and there is less opportunity (or desire!) to be outside. It’s the time of year when life slows down a bit, and that leaves more time for crafting. I’ve never thought of myself as an artist, but about 7 years ago I learned to knit and liked it so much that I’ve continued dabbling in fibre crafts ever since. There’s something really satisfying about making useful items and knitting while watching a movie means less temptation to snack instead!
I have been knitting and crocheting for a few years now but this past month I added a new crafting technique to my repertoire: needle felting. I’d been interested in it for some time after seeing some of the beautiful creations people can make, but never really got around to trying it until our Learning Centre held a felting class. Now the class was for wet felting (hand-felting wool using soap and water) but one of the families brought their needle felting materials as a few people had suggested that they would prefer that over wet-felting. And so the kids and I learned to needle felt.
Son is too young to do it himself, though he took a few stabs with the felting needle just to try it out. But he is a fan because of the ability to sculpt wool – particularly after he saw another boy’s Minecraft characters that his mother had made for him by needle felting. So for my first project Son helped me make him a Creeper (of course I can’t find it now to take a photo, but will update this post when I do). Now he’s requesting I make a Shadow the Hedgehog doll (he already has Sonic and Tails so I can use them as models). I love the idea of making something special to him, and also of him playing with natural fibres rather than plasticky junk.
Daughter and I both enjoyed needle felting very much. I went out and bought a whole bunch of roving, needles, and a multi-tool and I’ve been practising every now and then. It’s especially nice to do it with Daughter. The Learning Centre has rented a table at a local Christmas Craft Fair and the kids are making crafts to sell, so Daughter and I have been working on some items for that. Here are some of the items I’ve made so far:
While Daughter and I were felting yesterday I explained what roving is (fleece that has been washed and combed out) and how it can be spun into yarn. She suggested that we should get our own sheep so we could make our own roving and yarn. I think it’s a lovely idea and I’m going to look into it further. We could also raise angora rabbits or goats for the same purpose. I would just have one or two of these animals as it would just be for our own use and as a hobby, but it sure would be fun to see the process going from animal to yarn (with roving for felting). Sheep are also great lawnmowers, apparently, and since one of my pet peeves is using lawnmowers (seems ridiculous to burn fossil fuels for aesthetic purposes, but I can’t deny how much better the place looks when the grass is mowed) it would be a doubly-useful animal to have around. And how marvellous to be able to make items from yarn we’ve “raised” ourselves! I’ve always wanted to learn how to spin and dye my own yarn so this would be a good excuse to do so.