Monday, October 08, 2007

so what do i do with this stuff?

Yesterday on a rare visit to the LYS in my former hometown of Carrboro, I picked up the final ingredient for the Neuse River Waterdog.

lovely roving from three waters farm

Um... so what do I do with it?

The idea is this: the waterdog has these crazy external gills that flap out from its neck like little butterfly wings. I have already knitted and felted the body, but to get these weird free-form gills, I think I need to needle-felt them.

I picked up a great needle-felting tool at a craft swap this summer, but have yet to use the thing. At the other LYS, I was told I should use roving, which as you now know I finally got yesterday. The only solid advice I've received so far is not to hold the roving in my hand while jabbing it with needles. I think I can remember that. But now... I am stuck.

Do I wet it first and mush it into shape? Do I just lay it down and start poking at it with the needles? How do I make it go into the pretty lobed shape that I want for the gills?

I like these pretty lumps of brilliantly-dyed wool though. It's going to be hard to start bashing them into external gills - hopefully I'll have some left over to stare at and fondle afterwards.


  1. You just lay it down (dry) and start stabbing it with the needle. It will start to come together and then you'll have a better idea of how the whole needle felting thing works. To help shape it, you might try pulling off little pieces and sort of lay them out in the general way you want the gills to look, stab them awhile, then add more fiber as it starts to take shape. *I hope this makes sense*
    Also, it's really tempting, but try not to move the fiber around with the needle--it can break the needle. If you have something like a seam ripper or sharp pointy scissors that will let you move the fiber with precision, they'll help a lot. Good luck!
    (Other thought: if you crochet, you might be able to fashion some gills that way--I don't crochet, but thought it sounded feasible. Heh.)

  2. I agree - get a sponge or mat and lay it all down in the rough sort of shape you are looking for - well a blob and just start stabbing away - once it starts to flatten out make sure oyu remember to move it about or it will all stick to the sponge - turn it over, you can stab the edges to change the shape etc. Don't need to wet it !

    Just watch your fingers - nobody escapes unscathed from fun with the felting needle!

  3. i don't know
    crap about needle
    but it sounds
    can i have some
    i want to make

  4. Get yourself a carwash sponge, lay out wisps of the fiber and start poking them with the needle. Layer wisps on top to add substance, all the while continuing to poke. The more you poke at it the firmer the felt will be, and the more likely it will stand up, rather then wilt.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out!

  5. I wish I could provide some sort of insight - but i got NOTHING...


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