Thursday, November 19, 2009

Felted Ornament Update

I'm still on my felting kick. I've finished the needle felted snowflake by adding some beads. I had these little glass ones that screamed "Icicle" to me and I just love this frosty sort of blue against the cream wool. My beading skills are lacking (OK nonexistent) but I'm happy with the results.

I've been dying to try this tutorial from Painted Threads Projects for felted ornament balls, which I recently saw on CraftyPod. This past weekend I tried making some with my mother in law. I had a great time making them with her and hoped to be able to give her a really nice finished one for her tree but I think I need a little more practice on the technique. I didn't get the lovely wispy blended colors that I loved the instant I saw the tutorial- they came out more blotchy than I had hoped.

I tried adding some beads to these too... and ehh, it's alright. I think I'm going to try stitching on some embroidery floss patterns like the ones shown in the tutorial. I'd love for them to look anything like the ones shown- but I'm about as good at stitching as I am at beading. So if there are any embroidery lovers out there we can work out a deal- I'll felt if you stitch and we'll split the whole batch. : )

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make a felted cat toy in about 10 minutes!

My cats love my yarn, and wool, and needles, and really anything having to do with fiber. So they especially love when I make them something with wool they are actually allowed to play with. And clearly I'm on a felting kick this week- snowmen and snowflakes yesterday and I have to tell you there will be at least one more felted project in the works this week. So yesterday while picking up a pile of cat toys some of became my latest victims wool smothering.

To make the cat toy you'll need one of those plastic balls with a bell inside, some cat nip (this is optional, I used it but the wool alone is certainly enough to drive my cats crazy), a small handful of wool, and an old bit of a nylon.

Step one is laying out your wool- I like to put it down in different directions so it's sort if a woven stack.

Place your jingle ball in the center and add some catnip to the inside of the ball.

Next wrap the entire thing into a ball- being careful to cover all of the plastic.

Once you have it covered it goes into the stocking.

Now it's ready to wet felt.

Put a little dab of dish washing soap on the nylon and pass the ball under very hot faucet water for a second. You really only need a tiny bit of soap I usually put a dot on and then wipe half of that dot off. And you don't want the ball soaked just wet.

Now roll this ball around in your hands for about 10 minutes. I roll it pretty fast you so the friction of the nylon against the wool can do it's job and felt the wool. Just roll at your own pace until it's felted.

If the ball starts to feel to dry or not soapy enough add more water and another dab of soap.

When your finished the very last thing to do is roll the nylon ball in a bit of paper towel to help get the excess water out. (Only do this if your like me and have the cheap coarse paper towels in the house- if you have the nice fluffy soft ones use a tea towel instead or you'll get bits of white paper in your nylon and on your felt ball.)

Once your done this is what you end up with.

And if I could get a non blurry picture of my cats playing with it I'd show you how much they love it... this is the best I could do. (The cat toy is between Jinx's front paws).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Felted Snowflakes and Snowmen

Yesterday my mom and I took a holiday needle felting workshop. We both really enjoyed learning the needle felting process and in no time at all came away with some really cute holiday ornaments.

Here is my snowflake

it still needs some beads sewn into it to get that glittery snow-look I was going for.

The entire class also made snowmen or women. They were all so adorable and just like real snowpeople the variations were endless. I'm definitely on a snowman craze now- it felt (no pun intended) like my head was swirling with snowman ideas. Mom loved making them too so of course we ended up with a pile of wool and a mental list of people who absolutely need a felt snowman for the holidays.

This guy still needs some stick arms- which will have to wait until it stops raining.

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