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281  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Re: A wee needlefelted mole on: June 08, 2012 04:57:53 AM
CUTE!!!! Makes me think of Wind in the Willows!! =^..^=
282  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Re: Recycled wool bike seat cover on: June 08, 2012 04:55:51 AM
Nice!!! And you made a matching water bottle kaddy!! Very stylish!!
283  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Re: Mr. Panda and the (not-felted) giants on: June 06, 2012 01:48:52 PM
He's so CUTE!!!! =^..^=

The way to attach a top hat is to add just a bit of fiber where the brim meets the crown and needle there - not at the edge of the brim. I bet you could flatten out the brim by needling where the crown (upright part of the hat) and brim meet. It's a great hat as it is and matches his bowtie!!!

Glad that I was of some help too!!  Cheesy
284  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Re: Chibi A_Dori_Ball on: June 06, 2012 01:43:52 PM
Thanks!!!  Cheesy  Cheesy

The background is purchased felt and the mound upon which they stand is a wet felted pouch that I made. There is also a dollar store "moss rock". =^..^=
285  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Review of REVERSE/INVERTED Barbed Felting Needles on: May 31, 2012 01:17:21 PM
Thanks!!  Cheesy

I enjoyed putting this information together. Needle felting as a craft/art is still relatively young. The needles that we use are designed for industrial non-woven fabric production and not specifically for our craft/art form. So it's interesting when I come upon a new type of needle and can see what it may have to offer the artist.
286  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Newbie asking a question on reducing "loose fuzz" on: May 31, 2012 12:57:08 PM
I use multiple needle tools (that I've made) all the time. Depends on the tool. A lot of the multiple needle tools currently on the market are primarily (if not exclusively) meant for flat felting. Those aren't always useful for sculptural needle felting. A good tool should have more than one purpose, should allow you to change the needles should one break and should be comfortable in the hands/fingers.

I also use single needles - depends on the task at hand.

I just went googling:
If the tutorial you're talking about is the wooden dowel/screw/needles in a circle type tool - I personally don't find those very useful for sculptural needle felting.

They would work alright on very large projects, but for sculpting fine details and for finishing a piece they wouldn't be of great help.
287  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Newbie asking a question on reducing "loose fuzz" on: May 31, 2012 11:11:32 AM
I don't know why they do not tell people to do this - I may have the opportunity to find out!

The brush mat seems primarily marketed with the idea of needling a flat design on some other flat fabric/sweater etc. but I know that they also sell accessories for it for creating three dimensional roses (I have their rose mold). It's such a simple solution and makes a world of difference!!
288  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Newbie asking a question on reducing "loose fuzz" on: May 31, 2012 10:44:32 AM
Yingying -

Cover you Clover Brush mat with some flannel!! - The bristles will grab fibers if you don't! The flannel makes all the difference!! You will need to replace the flannel from time to time and it is a good habit to just lift the flannel up off the bristles after doing a lot of needling to prevent the flannel from getting stuck in the bristles. I like to use a neutral grey flannel. It makes seeing my colors so much easier.

The reason that the brush mat is better is it doesn't "give" when you poke your fiber with a needle. You're not getting the bounce that you get when you work on a foam pad. It's easier on the hands and wrists. It makes all the needling more effective!

I started out on foam pads when I was first learning to needle felt. I found the clover brush mat something like 6-8 months after I started and I won't ever felt on a foam pad again. I've been using the same brush mat for 5 years now and I had to replace the pad I used when I started several times within those 6-8 months.
289  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Using core batting on: May 31, 2012 10:30:11 AM
There are several woolen mills in Michigan and I'm pretty sure they would ship to Canada.

The batting I get is so easy to tear apart - I just love the stuff! I know there is a lot of batting out there for quilting that have had special treatments to prevent the fibers shifting around over time - that's great for quilts, terrible for felting!!

How to tell when a needle is dull? - I have not discovered a surefire method for detecting this. I tend to use my needles for a long time so anytime I do finally decide to swap them out, the new ones always felt so much better! lol!! I have tried coming up with touch tests (feeling the barbs with my finger tips) and that hasn't helped. I have tried listening for changes in the sound - but there are sound changes that happen as the firmness increases so that hasn't proved really helpful. Probably the best method is to keep track of the amount of time a needle has been used. After X amount of time, change the needle. I've never been able to keep track since I'm switching between needles and between tools.
290  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Newbie asking a question on reducing "loose fuzz" on: May 31, 2012 10:17:11 AM
If I could see it in person, I could probably tell! lol!! Merino is very fine and has very long strands - 6" is common.

Were you winding long fibers around your pipe cleaner armature??

Long and fine fibers are harder to felt. You can get great detail with fibers such as Merino but you need to shorten the length and card it (wire dog brushes work great for this). Winding fiber neatly around an armature can present a nice finished appearance, but to really felt it well that parallel alignment needs to be broken and the fibers need to needled together. That can be done with just a lot of needling. The needles do break the fibers and force them together, but it is a lot of work.

If you have some of the fiber left and have a couple of wire dog brushes around - try this:
cut the fiber into 1- 1.5" lengths and then card it with the wire dog brushes. You'll end up with a mess of fiber (messy fiber is half way to felted fiber). Felt that into some shape and then try sculpting it with your needles - you should find that it is a lot easier.

You start felting details while the piece is larger than you want the finished piece to be!

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