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vkallum Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
Essex, England
Posts: 334
Website

Morning all

My daughter loves little bears and loves making things too - she's made a couple of minis but she thought she'd have a go at needlefeting (she's only 11 - a bit ambitious I know!).  We've bought a kit with a book - the only problem is I've never tried it before and haven' actually seen any needlefelted bears before so I don't know how they feel.  So I thought it was time to ask the experts.

We've been poking at the wool for what seems like hours ............. bear_wacko (no pricked fingers so far!).  It's gone into a ball shape and is firming up but it still feels squishy on the inside if you know what I mean.  It doesn't seem to be getting any firmer now - have we done something wrong or do we just keep at it?  Maybe it just takes more patience that the two of us have!

Any tips for beginners would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Vicky

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

Hi! Vicky, even though I needle felt, It is one area where I find I'm not qualified enough to give advice. I'm still learning myself. So I'm just posting to say HELLO. You havent been ignored. Some one real clever will pop by soon. bear_flower   Matilda bear_wacko

vkallum Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
Essex, England
Posts: 334
Website

Hi Matilda

Thanks  :)- I thought needlefelting can't be too difficult - HOW WRONG COULD I BE :mad:!

Vicky

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

It's not difficult vicky, Just time consuming. bear_grin
The firmness apparently has something to do with the wool that is being felted and maybe the needle being used.
When I started I used only roving. (which is carded and combed) I havent had any problems so far. with firmness that is. Just keep at it. Mind the fingers. bear_grin The best thing is if it doesnt work the first time It can always be changed. And later when you gather more skill, you can go back to past projects and fix 'em up bear_grin  I'm one of the addicted mob, so there is no getting any sense out of me. bear_wacko bear_wacko

Matilda

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Until the real pros wake up and log on I'll try to help

a.  You are right-it isn't difficult-
b.   It is  very time consuming
c.  Congrats on no poked fingers


Now here is what I do know:

1.  It is time concuming, but no more so than other bearing processes
it just seems so because you are doing the same thing over and over

2.  Most of us like to felt to very stiff - you may find that it gets more difficult the firmer you get your piece, it may be time to change to another needle.

cruise through the posts on here, Neysa and Judi have some posts where they talk about differnt needle sizes and shapes and what to do with them-  I'll try to find them for you too.

Try to think of needle felting this way:

it's a block of marble and you are a sculpter-therefore whatever you create is your art.

I am delighted that your daughter wants to try it!  I am betting with her imagination she can come up with some fantastic felties.....and they will make great little gifts for her to give friends,
also there are :

hats

jewelry

hair bands

purses

and a million other things



Lastly:

cruise over to Neysa's web site-  she has some really interesting books full of ideas-I am hoping to pick up a couple as soon as I get the account back up

http://www.mielkesfarm.com/flt_ndls.htm#needles

This web site has simple patterns and forms if your daughter wants to
make hats

I remember they also have patterns for things like hats and purses too

I think the only limitation is our imaginations and patience

Congrats on intering into a new and exciting needle art form

I can hardly wait to see your pictures!

Dilu

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Try this web site for starters:  they have a page of needles and a discription of what they do


http://www.maplesplendor.ca/worldsets.htm



bear_tongue

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Hi Vicky,  Wonderful to hear your daughter is taking an interest in this art form.

You can get the felt very firm with lots of time invested.  Also, if youstart with a larger needle with the barbs going higher up, called "T" needles, then you will felt the fibers deeper into your project.  Then once the needle becomes more difficult to insert, you can change to a finer needle. 

Another thing I have found...just by doing... is that when I want something to felt down a little faster and harder, I roll it in my hands inbetween needling.  Compact it, if you will.  And, when I apply pressure to an area with my fingers while inserting the needle, it seems to force the fibers together nice and firmly.  This really works nicely for me. :rose:

bear_wub bear_wub bear_wub  Can't wait to see what your daughter ends up with. bear_thumb

vkallum Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
Essex, England
Posts: 334
Website

Hi Matilda, Dilu and Judy

Thanks for all the tips and pointers  :rose:- we have the little book that comes with the kit but it's never the same as getting some good advice!  I think my little one was under the impression that it would be super quick and she have instant gratification.

Dilu there will be no stopping her once she's realised that it's not just bears that we can make - we'll have a look at those links in a minute - thank you.  She has a terrific imagination so the results should be really interesting - don't hold your breath for piccies though ......... we could be some time! :whistle:

Thanks again.

Vicky

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645
Judi wrote:

Another thing I have found...just by doing... is that when I want something to felt down a little faster and harder, I roll it in my hands inbetween needling.  Compact it, if you will.  And, when I apply pressure to an area with my fingers while inserting the needle, it seems to force the fibers together nice and firmly.  This really works nicely for me.

I do this too.... bear_original

Dilu Posts: 8,574

DSC00784-2.JPGWow Judi-  thank you for posting that-  I didn't want to say anything in case it was totally against protocal.  I also spray various limbs with water to assist with the posing-

After shaping and finishing i sprayed her slightly damp and then smoothed down the fuzz and turned her limbs the way I wanted and let her dry-  This was the begining of summer, (where did it go?!)


Because our house is so small I dump a lot of my stuff into a baskit and forget about it-

I pulled her out and aside for her rightful indignation she looks exactly the same as she did when she dried.

I don't know if this is 'legal' or not, but it worked for me

bear_tongue

matilda Matilda Huggington-beare
WA
Posts: 5,551

bear_grin bear_grin :lol:LEGAL bear_grin bear_grin bear_grin
                                                     DILU
No wet felting allowed.!!!! bear_grin bear_grin :lol:I put a little drop of dishliquid with water and damp my fingers and run slightly over the pile to settle any whispy bits down. bear_wacko

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

great way to tame those wild hairs! bear_whistle

purelyneysa Purely Neysa
Indiana, PA
Posts: 105
Website

Pins.jpgVicky, welcome!

Star needles felt faster - they have 4 sides with barbs. The lower the needle number the better to start with. Low numbers first (barbs are higher on the needle - for needling deep) Higher numbers for finishing and making your critter look smooth (higher number needles the barbs are closer to the point  for shallow needling). Higher number needles such as the 40 T (T meaning 3 sides of barbs - higher number smaller holes)

Wet felting is aloud. This is what I do when I am teaching classes and making a pin (it will work to for heads, bodies...  I take an egg sized peace of wool roll it around in my hands to heat it up (heat, friction, moisture - wet felting -  causes the wool's natural "barbs" to open and lock together) so does working it your hands; then I place the wool egg in a piece of panty hose, pull the hose tight around the wool and knot it, I then add more "eggs". I put these in with my clothes to be washed &  dried - put in the dryer too (sometimes up to 4 times). I find this cuts out about 20 minutes from my classes felting time. Getting them started faster.

Felting doesn't have to be rock hard, but I feel the firmer your project the longer it will last.

Neysa

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Wonderful works girls.

vkallum Humble-Crumble Collectors Bears
Essex, England
Posts: 334
Website

Hi Neysa

Thanks for all the tips - I must admit I was a bit confused about the different types of needles - it's much clearer now.  Washing the wool in a piece of stocking sounds good - with children anything that would shorten the process has to be a plus!

Thanks again.

I'll let you all know how we get on!

Vicky

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Again, Great photos everyone.! bear_wub

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Hey Neysa

what a great idea!  Pins!  WOW!!!!

Youres are adorable- I would wear those anywhere

You and JUDI inspire us

Dilu

gingerbear vermont
Posts: 72

loved looking at all these creations.  i guess now i'll need to try making a pin!   great idea!!!

ginnie bear_rolleyes

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