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You may have seen me last week at the Silk Mill stabbing wool on a sponge with a needle. No, I’m not crazy. I was doing needle felting!
Needle felting is one method of felting wool fibers (the other method being wet felting) where a special needle with notches along it matts together the strands of wool to make a strong sculpture. The piece is worked on a sponge to allow the needle to pass through the felt and to protect the work surface.
The idea for this little project came about when one of our members, Morgan, mentioned that he had a small holding near Wirksworth (just outside the Peak District) on which he rears Ryeland sheep, an old English breed, and therefore has access to plenty of wool which he was happy to let me have some of. He has also kindly supplied me with photographs of his sheep on the field and being sheared:
I’d recently had my first go at needle felting with a kit from Jenny Barnett (facebook.com/jennybarnettfelt) and so I used the instructions again to make this hare from the raw wool:
The hare is made piece by piece, creating various ‘sausage’ shapes and then felting them together. The eyes, nose and whiskers were stitched on just before the head was attached to the body.
If anyone would like to have a go at needle felting, let me know through the Google Groups email and we can arrange at suitable date.
Thank you again to Morgan for supplying Derby Makers with local unprocessed wool!