I thought we might start making some decorations for the tree this week, which could also double up as brooches, bracelets and even earrings. Now we haven't done any felting for ages, so I thought we could do a little bit more, but with option of a little bit of cheating if you are time-poor.
You will need the following kit:
White wool tops - or preformed small and medium sized felt balls
Black wool tops
Left over sock wool
Selection of embroidery threads
Needle - sewing and mattress
Soap and warm water
Firstly, you have to make two felt balls and to remind you how to make them take a look at the felt beads tutorial or you can buy ready prepared felt balls at most good craft stores. You will need to create one ball which is smaller than the other to create the head and a larger one to become the body
Next we are going to create the felt hat for your snowman. Lay out strands of your tops as follows - horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical -on top of the bubble wrap, which lies on top of your bamboo mat which has an old towel beneath it.
Using your soap and warm water spray on top of the tops, now fold over the bubble wrap and spray again on top of the bubble wrap and start to agitate on top of the tops.
After a minute, open it up and rotate it by 90' and agitate again (by this I mean rub it in small circles with your fingertips...) this is how you felt your tops together to make your felt hat.
Now roll up your felt piece in the bubble wrap, but continue to do this in your bamboo mat... roll the mat for about 40 rolls, then open it up flip it 90' and roll it again. The area of your felt will shrink by up to a third.
You now need to shock your felt - crude jokes will not work - do this with cold water to rinse out the soap.
Grab your marble, and fold the felt over it, using a length of yarn, capture the felt around the marble with a length of wool and let it rest until it dries to make the shape of your hat.
Using your cocktail sticks, cast on four stitches and knit in a garter stitch pattern on these four stitches until the scarf measures at least six inches in garter stitch and then cast off. I used a crochet hook to make fringing on the scarf.
Now, as the felt balls have dried, using your white cotton, start on the smaller ball and stab through to the larger ball with your mattress needle and back up to the smaller head ball and fasten your cotton off.
Free your black hat from the marble, using a contrasting shade of embroidery thread, stab through the top of the head and leave a loop of a few inches and come back down through the hat and knot it firmly. Glue onto the head.
Now for the face, you can embroider the eyes in black french knots to represent the coal, then orange for the carrot nose and a red line for the mouth. If you are not happy with your embroidery skills, steal your children's felt tips and pencil them on.
On each side of the body, using the black cotton doubled up, sew the arms and hands. Then the three buttons down the chest... or with your felt tips.
Finally, wrap your scarf around the snowman's neck to keep him warm whilst he is hanging on your tree.
Grateful thanks are due to Lyn for her technical advice, do take a look at her superb felting blog http://www.rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/
Right... you know what is coming, it is time to pop over to Wendy's Handmade Monday Blog
And later this week, how I met Nicky Epstein at Ally Pally :)