Do you see what I did there?

Well if you don't, maybe you haven't come across needle felting before ... :)

It's a craft technique that involves shaping wool roving into, well, shapes. And then stabbing it again and again with a small barbed needle until the wool sticks (felts) together to become a solid mass in whatever shape you desire. There are many different colours of wool available, and different needles (fine or coarse) allow you to control the amount of detail.

Needle felting is most commonly used to create small animal sculptures and other three dimensional objects. It can also be used to felt two dimensional designs onto other materials. I'd show you a few examples from Flickr, but they would outshine my own poor efforts so much that I think I'll save it for a separate blog post ;)

Here's my first attempt - in which I discover that flowers are not necessarily suited to needle felting. They look awfully fuzzy *lol*. I was also making an attempt to move outside my colour comfort zone, so these colours are quite different to my usual choices. I've tried some shading here, using four different colours in the flower itself as well as another colour to stripe the leaves. The leaves are made from a purchased felt sheet, but I think it makes a nice contrast here.

Needle felted flower

For my second effort, I decided to go back to basics and concentrate on making some simple shapes. So I created this colourful little egg basket. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and think it will make a nice brooch or Christmas tree ornament.

Daily Image 2011 - 2 September

I'm not convinced that needle felting is the "next big thing" for me in terms of craft techniques. It's trickier than it looks, and I've found myself very frustrated on more than one occasion. I think maybe it's because I like neatness in my craft, and I've struggled to create the firm texture and surface on my early attempts that I'd like. It could just be that more practice is required. Or maybe I need to learn from another person face-to-face rather than from YouTube!

Anyway, I still have a bunch of wool roving and ideas for what I'd like to make with it, so I'll persevere a bit longer and see how my efforts pay off over time :)