Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I've never felted this way before... ;)

So, a new type of craft has reached out and grabbed hold of me - felting. Mainly needle-felting, but I've been known to dip a little fiber in some hot soapy water, too! Add that to the fact that I have friends who have a llama and alpaca farm, and I've been having a blast.

First, felted finger-puppets. Haven't finished those yet.

Next, needle-felted spheres (I try not to refer to them as "llama balls") to dangle from hoops as earrings. They sold really well at craft shows this fall!

Then, felted bath soap. Washcloth and soap all in one, hooray!

In the meantime, a much more adventurous friend of mine has been doing larger-scale projects: nuno felted scarves (Felting alpaca and merino wool onto a silk chiffon base), alpaca-fiber berets, as well as soaps and lovely little angels, and lord knows what else. Just seeing her work has been an unbelievable inspiration!

So, full of this inspiration, I was looking for my own direction to take it. I've always been fascinated with "small"... things in miniature. So, with a stack of how-to books by my side, I started playing with some black alpaca fiber and a felting needle.

Oh, and pipe cleaners.

Take a little black alpaca wool... (mmmm SOFT!)

Wrap it around the frame, needle-felt gently to keep it in place... bend the back legs into shape...

(whoops, skipped a step or two)....

Wind more fiber around the body, needle-felting it in place. Careful not to stab the pipe-cleaner wires too hard, since the felting needle is so thin. Once the body is taking shape, add some fiber for a neck and felt it into an oval cylinder.

Made a pear shape for the head, attached it to the neck,
and made needle-felted indentations for eyes and jawline.
(Uh oh... might have added TOO much of a neck.  It's not supposed to be a short-legged horse. )

Also added oval/teardrop shaped pads of fiber for the muscles in the shoulders, haunches and rear.

Shaped the neck a little more by needle-felting it down into the shoulders some. Added a little circle of fiber for a nose, made a couple of ears with gray centers, a tail, and some soft paws to needle-felt onto the ends of the feet. Sewed two black seed beads in place for his eyes.

 Can you tell what he's supposed to be, yet?

Just for fun, I needle-felted a scarf for him ...then wet-felted it because it didn't seem smooth enough. Needled around the edges again, and added a tiny green button and a buttonhole, so it can come off.

And here he is... "Jag", a black German Shepherd Dog.

The only thing I could possibly do with him was to send him to meet his namesake, who lives with a nuno-felting friend far away!

Merry Christmas, Jag. and Jag. and Jag.   ;-)

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