If you believe social media feeds, everyone else’s projects are perfect! Perfect colors, perfect shapes, even perfect lighting. But seriously, how often do your projects go precisely according to plan? I know my projects sometimes finish a bit differently than I imagined. The question becomes, how do you adapt? How do you modify your project when something doesn’t go as planned? Can you go with the flow?
So what types of things can occur when needle felting your animals?
Run Out of Wool
Sometimes no matter how well we think we’ve estimated, we run out of a color we really need. We make our animal bigger than we planned, or just used more material than we expected. It happens!
The good news is that animals are seldom uniform in their coloring, so adding wool, even when it’s not an exact match, can work out quite well. Also, depending on the animal, you may be able to add another “spot” to cover your shortage. I have been known to make a spot on a cow bigger than planned or add a fun second color to a dragon. Let your imagination solve your shortage!
If you are making an animal with legs but you know you may run out, you can actually go without in many cases. Without legs? What?! Yes! If you look at many of my beginner kits, they are darling without the complexity of wire-covered legs. Hey, if you’re short on wool, it may be an option – be creative!
To avoid wool shortages, check out this primer I created for estimated wool. Of course, over time, you will have a collection of wool colors leftover from projects so that you will have lots of options!
Past Your Skillset
We grow as artists when we push ourselves to do new things. In needle felting, this means trying new techniques or working on more complex projects. Sometimes we grasp new skills quickly, and other times there is a bit more trial and error.
I’ve definitely changed the position of legs midstream or had to pause to get help in my early days, but that’s how we improve. The good news is, there are lots of resources available to help you level-up.
Our EweTube Channel has lots of videos to support your developing skills. Our Facebook community is a generous group of needle felters who are happy to lend a hand. Whenever you get into a jam, pause and know there is support out there for you.
If you are ready to be guided on your journey, consider joining our Bear Creek Needle Felting Academy, where you will receive personal instruction and planned lessons developed to broaden your skillset and increase your confidence level.
Flaws in Our Technique
Over time, we all develop a few bad habits – we are human, after all! For instance, if you are breaking needles, you might be applying sideways pressure instead of going straight in and out. If this habit continues, you will run out of needles before you finish your animal. Invest the time in learning correct techniques and spare yourself future angst. In the meantime, ensure you have enough needles before you start your project.
You could also be going too deep with your needles, which not only uses up more wool but more of your energy as well. Short, quick stabs are more effective and efficient and will save you time and wool. Take good care of your needles, and they will save you from frustrating mistakes!
News! I am traveling this May! Come see me in Minnesota and Massachusetts. Keep an eye on my calendar for details and registration links! Meanwhile, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!