I'm going to start off by saying this was my very first time doing any needle felting with raw wool. I have known for quite some time that I wanted to give it a whirl so I got myself some Fairy Tale Wool a while back and it has been living in my fun craft closet for a few months, inside of the very bag it arrived in. It isn't much and it is something I order from one of my toy companies, so I figured if I ordered it, it would motivate me to get on the ball learn a new craft. Well I just emptied it this morning to shoot a photo of the pretty colors and I still haven't used it. But, what I did do is start and finish a few basic felting projects with some other wool I scored on a little day trip we took. We were on our way to Syme's Hot Springs - where Shane and I got married years ago and we stopped at our favorite little sandwich stop and they had some dusty kits with everything you needed to felt (a fish and a turtle) inside a locked cabinet. I'm not exactly clear as to why they were locked in a cabinet, maybe they never wanted anyone to purchase them, but I got curious enough to request a key. I'm not going to lie, the kits weren't probably worth what we paid for them, but it got me started.
Since felting needles are really easy to break, I don't recommend what they put in the kit as a "must have" for your own raw felting projects. The kits came with a metal cookie cutter in the shape of a turtle and a fish so I rolled with the fish first (maybe it was actually a dolphin). I'm pretty sure it would be incredibly simple to bust your needle on a metal cookie cutter. After I used this metal cookie cutter as a mold I decided I wouldn't do that again, so I didn't end up using the turtle, just made my own. Oh and another little mysterious critter. I guess it is a turtle too, sort of. The other thing that came with the kit was a foam pad, it wasn't anything special, literally just a piece of soft foam. You felt onto this foam and it actually gets kind of 'stuck' to the foam so I peeled it away every once in a while. Mind you, I'm no expert - this is just how I did it.
When felting you use a barbed needle with sharp points all up and down the sides, like hooks. You just press the needle into the felt, up and down, over and over again. It felts the wool together so you can put different colors on top of your main piece - or add design. I have a good friend that is actually, what I consider, an amazing felting artist so these pieces don't compare to her but they were just for my kids, and they loved them regardless of my skill. Oh and it was a really quick project, it only took about 1/2 hour to make all three critters, for a first timer, not to shabby.
Next step is to figure out what treasures we will make with this bunch of colorful wool!
Happy Needle Felting! Happy Crafting!