Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Needle Felt Doll Part 2

I haven't progressed very far with my doll as I went off gallivanting for a long weekend with my hubby for his birthday. We went to the beautiful county of Warwickshire and amongst other things visited Warwick Castle. Well worth the visit if you get the opportunity! The birds of prey displays are worth the entrance fee alone. Then with Easter, there was egg decorating to do and new Spring lambs to visit.
I did decide on her hair colour though and she's now a redhead! I had originally intended to sew the hair on but decided it was best to needle felt it also. As I used a 100% wool DK which is quite fuzzy it attached really well. I started at the sides and worked a little at a time each side to make it even.
This also made it possible for her to have her hair down.
After a cut to even it all up, the next question was fringe or no fringe? I went with a fringe.
I then plaited it into the two French braids I had originally intended and I'm really happy with the outcome. I just used some pink thread to secure the bottom of the plaits.
Her face, however, took a couple of attempts! She now has blue eyes and a plummy pink lips, also done with the felting needle.
The first attempt was a little on the scary side to say the least. I wanted her to have eyelashes, this along with all black eyes gave her quite a sinister look- not what I was going for so they were hastily removed.
The next most important item was underwear!
She now sports of pair of rather colourful, paisley knickers. This is where I have to confess, I'm a do-it-by-eye-kinda-gal. Fingers are just as good a tool as a ruler for measuring, right? ;-)
Knickers are also great as they are very forgiving in terms of hiding non-precision measuring. I roughly drew a "pattern" on some white fabric. Unlike normal knickers (i.e. for real people) hers need to be larger at the front rather than back as she has a flat bottom but a rather pot belly. Once I was sure they would slip on, I used the white fabric to cut the same out of the paisley fabric and added the elastic at the top and each leg hole. Overall I'm happy that they're a nice fit.
Hopefully she'll have an outfit by next time, until then craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest x

Monday, 7 April 2014

Needle Felted Doll Part 1

As much as I enjoy a bit of "wet" felting I definitely prefer needle felting. I think it's a very satisfying craft and love seeing the item slowly transform from raw roving into the desired shape. It really is like sculpting with wool and the repeated stabbing action is very therapeutic! It's not so much fun when you jab the needle in your finger though (I may have done so once or twice in the past). I'm always impressed by how, with some patience and a firm hand, the piece starts to shrink and compact into a defined shape.
I've tried using a handle which holds a number of needles but don't find it as easy to work with as the single needle.
I mostly use the technique to make small accessories such as flowers and leaves. The first thing I ever made was this little tortoise.
I decided I wanted to make a doll as I want to make mini outfits. I thought needle felting would make an interesting base for the doll. I used about 45g of roving in total and made the head, followed by the body and then each limb before felting them together.

This is the result...
I still have some refining to do and to go over with a finer needle or two.
I now have to decide on her hair. I'm going to use wool to give her a couple of French plaits but I can't choose between making her a brunette (slightly bias as it's my hair colour and everyone knows brunettes have the most fun?) or a lovely redhead?
I'll let you know which I decide, and by then she will have a face too, in a future post.
Keep crafting in earnest, Craftin' Ernest xx