At Bear Creek Felting, we’re all about building community. To that end, we value connection, communication, and transparency. We want to make sure you feel like you’re a part of our community and that you understand the mission and manner of our community. 

Helping you all get to know BCF, our team, our mission, and our heart is important. We want to be a place people can turn to for guidance, advice, help, and connection on their needle-felting journey. That’s why, this week, I want to take the time to answer a couple of your questions. 

First up, Hello…newby here! I am wondering how I can tell when I have felted enough. I notice that sometimes I can see holes from the needle in the wool…if I continue to felt will that lessen?

Here’s what I do; I felt until it is solid and no wispy hairs are sticking out. I know it may feel lke it will never get there, but it will. The more you poke the smoother it will get. When you felt this much, you’re helping your project hold it’s shape and ensuring that it won’t become fuzzy when handled. As you felt more, all those little holes will disappear. Another thing you can do is use a smaller-sized needle for finishing. 

Also, you know how I love Romney wool. Our Romney wool is humanely grown and processed right here at Bear Creek Felting using regenerative farming practices. One of the reasons I love, and therefore grow, Romney wool is that it’s the only wool I have found that achieves that nice, smooth, solid project. Making sure you’re using Romney wool is a great way to get that solid finish you want.

The second question is, Do felting needles have a life to them like other needles, and how often should you replace them? Is it based on hours of felting or number of projects or (?).

My first felting needles were given to me by a friend and I used them for almost a year. I was hooked on needle felting by that point, so I once they broke, I had to purchase needles on my own. Using new needles for the first time after a year made felting fun again! I hadn’t even realized how much the needles had worn out until I used the new ones.

When a needle is worn out it doesn’t grab the wool as easily. You have to start stabbing the needle so many more times to get it to do it’s job. This gets so frustrating, especially when it seems like you’re not getting anywhere on your project. 

To combat this, I actually change my needle after about 5 hours of use. In my experience, I get the most benefit out of the needle during those 5 hours. If I felt for an afternoon, I change my needle the next time I sit down to work on my project. 

Hope that helps! I love helping you guys with your needle-felting questions, so feel free to send them my way. And, if you’re looking for a new felting project, check out our Llama felting kit or the American Bison project. If you’re going to be in the Nome area March 11th, consider joining us for a starter sewing class. We’ll be learning beginning sewing skills from Lindsay Ostlie and making an upcycled tote bag. Hope to see you there!