When my daughter wanted a lamb for her birthday, the child within me couldn’t quite contain her excitement! Naturally, we couldn’t buy just one, so home we came with 4…and our OG flock was born! Gah they were adorable! I was quickly introduced to needle felting, and realized I was actually rather talented at it. I enlisted the whole clan!…we would all sit around one huge couch cushion, felting away, until the boys got bored and lost too many needles in the cushion! (No bottoms were poked in the making of their creations!) And Libby finally lost interest when I started getting better than her… Heck, after being a stay at home mom of 4, I welcomed this new hobby with open arms!
Our first harvest of wool resulted in hours of mistakes, stabbed fingers and JOY. I was faced with all the problems every single beginner has (and believe me, there are a few more than I’d like to admit!). Yet in the end, something happened that would forever change the trajectory of my family’s life… I sold one! That sale ignited a fire within me that still burns to this day, a passion I didn’t even know existed!
One sale, turned into 5….5 turned into a new dishwasher! That soon turned into family vacations, and suddenly into finding myself in a construction hat, standing in Nome Schoolhouse with Chris! It’s been one wild adventure, all started by Libby’s birthday wish and flock of Romney Sheep.
You never know what’s around the corner until you unlock the possibility and say YES. So if you’ve never picked up a felting needle or you’ve given up before you’ve really started…here are My Top 5 Tips for Needle Felting Beginners.
- Use the Right Wool.
I see so many kits being sold with Merino wool, and whilst great for comfy slippers, this isn’t the best for those adorable figures you’re about to have lining your mantle. Romney Wool is your savior. Gone of the days of floppy figures…A simple switch of wool can turn any frustrated beginner into a felting pro!
- Running before you can walk.
Needle Felting is renowned to be a timely, and at moments, frustrating hobby….yet one with huge amounts of gratification! Starting off with smaller projects and kits will help you test the waters of the craft, before jumping in head first! Kits are the perfect way to follow a step by step process, we even throw in some ready made accessories too! You’re welcome.
- Breaking needle… a lot.
You’re going to snap needles, however if you’re spending your whole craft budget on new needles, there’s probably a very simple fix that you can swiftly adapt. One issue I see regularly is the angle at which you’re pulling out your needle… if it’s not straight, you’re weakening your needle on every felt. Also make sure you’re not mimicking hulk and pressing down with too much force!
- Using the right sized needle.
You can’t cut a steak with a blunt knife, so felting with the wrong size needle also isn’t the easiest! Your size of needle will differ depending on your choice of wool. However, if you take my advice and stick to Romney Wool, my favorite sizes for a tight, firm felt, are 36 & 38.
- Not felting firmly enough.
Anyone who has attended my classes will know I love my work to be felted firmly. Many beginners come to me complaining about their work being floppy or fuzzy…aside from using the wrong kind of wool, you may also be celebrating your finish line a little prematurely! Ensure you are felting until your piece is smooth and you will be onto a winner!
After those 5 common mistakes have been corrected, you will be well on your way to putting that “beginner” title to bed and moving onto bigger projects! I hope to see you in class one day at Nome Schoolhouse and hear that you once progressed from our beginner to course kits, all after a swap of wool!
If you have a little one at home who is posturing you for a lamb….My advice? Buy the sheep, Learn how to felt together and enjoy every second of it unfold!