Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing the fine ladies of San Francisco Craft Mafia for SFist. They let me sit it in on one of their meetings and then I asked them some questions and hopefully I'll be writing something that conveys how fantastic they all are and how giddy Craft Mafia's make me. Jamie, who runs Mary Jane's Attic, gave me a needle felting kit to take home. The rainbow colored wool all neatly lined up made me feel like a 10 year old girl, isn't it just lovely? I was so excited I forgot to take a decent picture before I opened it. I've been wanting to try needle felting for a while and this is a great starter kit.
Within the first five minutes of needle felting I knew it was something I would be doing again. You know the peace that knitting brings? That calm repetitive motion that lulls your brain into a quiet place? Well needle felting is like primal therapy for your hands. You begin by putting the wool on a foam service (provided in the kit) once the layering is thick enough you take the felting needles and poke the wool, repeatedly, in no particular order or pattern. You do this for a long time until the wool is flat and resembles something very different than the soft fluffy form it started as. If I was feeling any anger or frustration I took it all out on that poor little ball of yellow wool. But look, it sort of turned into something pretty.
After I had my yellow wool felted into a square I cut out petals and stabbed them all together and then felted in a circle of blue and then a tiny dot of red.
I worked on this for a couple of hours, listening to the radio and then watching a movie. Umm, I do not think that anyone should ever needle felt and watch a movie at the same time. As noted earlier, needle felting is very unlike knitting and I'm not quite sure what kind of pro I thought I was that I could put in The Departed, and continue needle felting while I watched Jack Nicholson covered in blood. All of the things I had read about needle felting prior to starting warned of the needles, "they are sharp", "watch your fingers"... well they are sharp and I wasn't watching my fingers and one of those long fine needles went straight through the side of my finger. That hurt. And now I can't really feel my index finger as I type this, mostly because I wrapped it so tight in a band-aid. A minor injury really, and once it was all cleaned up I went right back to stabbing that felt again. Needle felting is so very therapeutic, maybe it will make me drink less, instead of wanting to unwind with a glass of wine after work, I think I'll be much better served getting out that little foam pad and stabbing away at it, letting go all the days annoyances. I see an entire menagerie of little felted animals in my future.
You can buy this great starter kit on Jamie's site here.
And I stole the name of this post from Jon Carling's myspace page. He just opened up an Etsy shop full of his fantastically detailed drawings. Get there here.