Every year I sell a few felt ham ornaments on Etsy. This year there were only two, but that’s OK.
Kristen – the challenge commissioner! – pointed out that the whole idea behind this challenge was to have fun. Lately – at least since I’ve been out of school – giggling is my primary goal when I’m making something (this could be good, it could be bad, whatever). So here is the TEAM LINUS bobsleigh.
This is wool and wool blend felt, a little peltex in the runners and the bottom of the sled, a bit of polyester stuffing, and lots and lots of thread! I stitched everything by hand, and mostly tried to match thread colors and stuff, but not very hard. Almost everything was improvised – I sketched to start with, but I didn’t make any paper patterns. I did make a sample hamster out of acrylic felt, but it wasn’t really a pattern. Just more of a.. go at it with scissors method. I just wanted to make sure it would work first, before I cut into my more expensive and much nicer wool felt 🙂
The improvisational nature of the whole thing means that there are stitches EVERYWHERE. In my life I’ve always made little slapdash mockups before doing big projects, but I secretly love the little mockup way more than the large, polished project. While making this, I treated it like it was a mockup for a larger, nicer piece, but didn’t really intend to make that larger nicer piece. I wanted to keep it in the LA DI DAAHhhhahahah world.
I would have constructed the hamsters differently if I had done it over again. In this version, I sewed their bodies together in white felt before I even thought about how to make their markings. That was a mistake! I had to choose between some kind of stitchwork, or cutting patches of the color and trying to make them fit over the body. If I had sewed the markings and their faces on before construction, I think they might look a little bit nicer.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this, because it was fun! And little felt animals have been my true love since I was twelve years old!
I’ve begun working on my entry in the Schmancy Olympic Challenge!
Next, I added a little more structure to the bobsleigh, and I embroidered Linus’ face onto another bit of felt. I used sewing thread so I could make fine lines. Then I stitched the face onto the front of the sled, and sewed the sled parts together.
I’ve just ordered quite a bit of legit wool felt from Purl.. All the felt I have is either from my coveted stash from National Nonwovens, craptastic craft store acrylic, or of the felted-wool variety (where it was woven and then felted). The last type would be all right but I only have scraps in a few colors, and it’s a little floppier than I would like.
I have plenty of the acrylic type but it’s just.. of such quality that I know it’ll pill up and get nasty in a short period of time. I should know: I used it to make about a thousand tiny stuffed cats when I was in middle school.
Yesterday, I was hunting through various containers looking for some wool felt. In one container I found the shoe box of jears supplies! I made jears in 2008 because, well, it was funny.
The new – and final – season of Lost starts on Tuesday, so I decided to spend today making some jears. This is an old one I have up on etsy:
There are three types: plain, flashback wig, and flashforward beardwig. hee!
Recently I posted an image of some first-day parts of a felt piece I was making.. Well, here’s some more.
This is after attaching the head and legs: tapirs are pretty chubby, so I wrapped roving around and around the body to create bulk, and reinforce the joints. I used toothpicks when attaching the legs to give them a little extra strength to hold up the weight of the body.
Once the tapir was the right shape, I made its “skin” out of black and white wool. Then I added its eyes and ears, and did some extra stabby work on the face to give him that funny tapir smile, and nostrils!
I am happy to report the recipient was pleased 🙂
I am pretty guilty of blog/website neglect, so when someone on a board I read suggested a thirty day challenge for the month of September, I decided I would spend it making posts every day. (This, instead of something truly self-improving, such as “I’m going to exercise for thirty minutes every day!” which others have made their admirable goal! I know that I am lazy, so I shoot low..)
So now we’re past the three week mark, and I’ve managed to keep up, which is super cool. Doing this has also been an impetus to keep my makin’ stuff muscles flexed – although I had a few months’ worth of images squirreled away in my subdirectories, they would not be enough to fill the whole thirty days. I’ve always used this space as a show-off-pictures kind of deal, not a GLURGH LISTEN WHAT I DID TODAY deal, but I’m not sure how long that separation will last (I am also a LiveJournal neglector extraordinaire). So maybe I’ll just see how long I can keep this post streak going, even if it means getting a little wordy sometimes. (CAUTION: NOT A GREAT WRITER.)
Body, legs, and a pink brain!
Everything I needle felt is really tiny! Most of it is three inches or smaller – I really like making itty bitty things, and always have. I try to break out of the tiny mold every once in a while, though. Here is a chair I made in September 2006. It is 100% needle-felted wool, and about 3/4 the size of a real chair. Or maybe half size.
(In this picture it is standing because it is pinned to the wall. It was actually quite floppy!)