Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Apr 12, 2009

Felted Bat

Taking a little break from poetry to do something fiber-related as I promised...

On Tuesdays I spend time with my granddaughter Raven. This book, Wool Pets by Laurie Sharp,

just happened to arrive last Tuesday and Raven immediately wanted to do some needlefelting.

First, though we had to go down to the basement to dig out undyed wool in various natural colors: black, browns, grays and whites. She was both horrified and impressed at the unspun fiber I've managed to amass over the years since I began to spin - as with yarn, my roving stash has gone to SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy.)

We made cups of tea, took a moment to enjoy the first sips, then embarked on a good look through the book. There are some very compelling little critters to create in wool, along with well-illustrated directions. After looking at the book, before deciding what we'd like to do, we took a moment to look at (and ooh and ahh and admire) this fellow:

an as-yet-unnamed gift from the amazing mind & felting needles of Linda Sue, who is inspirational to me (there isn't even an adjective or superlative to adequately express just how inspirational) and has a quirky nature accompanied by a large, generous heart. She's special.

After we felt all humble and inadequate before the needlefelting virtuousity that went into the making of NoName Fellow, we felt ready to embark on a learning experience. Raven chose Bat to work on and I followed suit.

Digression: On Felting Needles

Awhile back, I took the time to try to understand the various gauges of felting needles, which seems to me to be: triangle needles in sizes 36 (coarse) 38 (medium) and 40 (fine). Then there is a star needle in size 38 (the star-shape of the needle means more barbs.) Maybe there are other sizes, but these are the needles in my stash and I think that I have sufficient variety and supply.

I then organized all the needles and labeled the containers, then turned to felting needle holders. In the picture above you can see I have the plastic Clover holders which hold 5 needles each and have a pretty nifty locking safety guard. However, I'm not sure what size needles are in them - Clover just labels them "Fine Weight Needle" and "Heavy Weight Needle" and, frankly, I can't tell which is which now, they don't seem to felt much differently.

By far, my favorite to work with are single needles that I put in the made-in-Germany wooden holders I get from Nova Natural. I also like the one that holds 4 needles.
I wrote needle sizes on the tops with a fine Sharpie, so that I know just which needle I'm using.

Raven moved right along on her Bat, and then, as Raven does, she went her own way - she chose to make rather spooky white wool eyes rather than the sewn-on beads in the instructions, and she also chose to add wisps of brown wool in the ears and to the underside of the wings.

I copied Raven with mine (actually, mine wasn't going so well and Raven wound up completing it for me!) and here is my bat along with Morty, the little paperclip Dio des los Muertos figure I made last fall. They do seem to make a good pair!

I know, I know. Bats and skeletal creatures are not exactly Eastery or spring-like, but I don't have much control over the creative flow much of the time, just go along for the ride.

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