Friday, September 19, 2014

Needle Felting 101: Halloween Witch

I took two needle felting classes at Fiber College with felter-extraordinaire, Kathleen Gerdes (who just happens to live in the same town as me, though we had never met). The first class taught us how to felt in 3-D to make figures. We each made a pretty scary looking Halloween witch.


I've never done needle felting before and was so excited to see all that you can do once you learn some basic techniques. I love these pumpkins (and wormy apple!) that Kathleen made. They would be a great way to use up little bits of leftover wool batting.


Kathleen taught both of the felting classes at Fiber College; she also teaches needle felting at Port Fiber on Cove St. in Portland (right behind the U-Haul building on Marginal Way).
 

Not many materials are required for needle felting. You need some wool batting . . .
 
in whatever colors you want to use for your project.

You also need a foam felting pad and a few needles and you're good to go . . . at least for a beginner like me.

The actual felting was easy and all that pounding was a great stress-reliever!

The witch was basically done by shaping the wool in our hands and then needle felting (punching) it. You even bind the pieces together (e.g. head to body) by repeatedly punching the wool where you want them to join. You add additional colors the same way.
 

 I can do this!!!
Here's my finished witch . . . wart and all.
 
 
One caution: felting needles are very sharp, as most of us "newbies" found out the hard way.
 
I saw a cute idea for storing the needles safely on Pinterest so made a final stop at the dollar store and . . . voila!
photo courtesy of Pinterest at this link
In less than three hours, here is the Fiber College group with our finished witches.
 

This is my kind of project . . . fast and fun. I've already been to Port Fiber to ogle the wool and buy needles. I also bought two books chock full of felting projects.
 
Thanks, Kathleen . . . I can't wait to get started!
 

 
p.s. Here are links to two posts and photos of Fiber College from two fellow FC bloggers...hope you enjoy them. Nan's post is linked here and Gale's here. It's interesting to read different takes on the same event. Loved Gale's description of Fiber College as "quirkily wonderful" . . .perfect!

This post is felted to:
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple

2 comments:

  1. First, how cute is that witch!

    Second, love the idea for storing needles - what is inside the salt shaker?

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  2. There were different suggestions for what to put inside the salt shaker but my favorite was to use a bit of the wool batting...it's handy and the natural lanolin in the batting allegedly makes the needles last longer and go through the wool more easily (at least that's what the Pinterest poster said!). ~Cheryl

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