Needle felted embellishments - Hilde?

Hi - I loved the frog and butterfly embellishments Hilde did on her clogs. A few questions for anyone who’s tried needle felting.

  1. Did you start with a kit? If so, where did you get it and what did it contain? If not, what basic supplies did you purchase?

  2. Do you have to use roving/batt, or can yarn also be needle felted?

  3. Did you freehand your designs or are there stencils or something that you use?

I’d appreciate any information anyone could provide. I’d love to add this to my arsenal of skills!

I haven’t tried this yet either, but here is a needle felting forum that might be helpful, too.

i started with a kit. it came with roving, needles, and a foam block. thats basicaly all you need. i don’t know if yarn can be needle felted.

:happydance: yay I’m so glad you asked!!

I did not start with a kit. I did take a class, though, and I got a chunk of foam and a needle there (I already had a needle set, though). If you want to get started, here’s what you need:
A piece of sturdy foam
Felting needles (get at least 2, in case one breaks, which they do!)
"something" to felt on to
A permanent marker to draw your design
bandaids (felting needles are SHARP)

You can free-hand your design (my butterfly is freehand) or download, print, cut out and trace your design. I did that with the frog. You can also use stencils, which are good for big block lettering.

You can felt yarn too, but it doesn’t cover as much area. You can also do needle felting on ANY fabric, o if you have a cute cotton tote bag, you can needle felt a sheep or rainbow or kitty or whatever on there no problem.

I recommend practicing on a small piece of felt first–not a felted knitted square, just craft felt that you can get at michaels or joanns. I guess you COULD practice on something you knit and felt but that’s a lot of work just for practice :slight_smile:

You’ll find that as yougo along withthe felting, the area the roving covers will shrink. It’s usually a good idea to start from the inside of a space and work outside. There’s also techniques for making sure that you have a nice edge on your needle-felted area: I like to lay the roving so it overlaps the line, and just work the needle right ON the line, then fold the excess over and needle felt that in as well. That also makes it look a little more “3-D” .

Caution: felting needles are SHARP. There’s little barbs on the shaft of the needle–this is what actually does the felting–and the points are tiny and super sharp too. The needles are also fragile because they are so thin and sometimes break if they get accidently bent–and flying tiny sharp things are dangerous!!!

You also have to make sure that when you’re doing the actual felting you pull the thing you’re felting off of the foam every once in a while—otherwise you’ll be stuck with a piece of foam on the back of your project!!! And just like regular felting, needle felting is forever–so it’s important to go slowly! You can always cover up a mistake, but you can’t take it out.

I might be teaching a class at KK’s LYS (maybe) for needle felting/embellishing clogs, and if so I’m going to make up some handouts with directions and stuff. I also plan on doing an online tuturial with pictures on how to do it, too, that Amy can use on KH (kind of like silver’s sock turorial). If I teah the class I’ll try to have that done for the class, otherwise it will be “whenever” I get it done :slight_smile:

Where would you get roving? And what IS it?

OMG - thanks so much for your very detailed reply, hilde! It sounds like a class or an in-person demo might be the best way to learn this…I’ve not seen any classes beyond the standard knitting fare offered at any of my LYS, but I will keep an eye out.

Koolbreeze - where did you get your kit?