How to Make a Needle-Felted Cat
Elke Amenda-Spirakis shares her process for making batts and then needle-felting this wooly cat.
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Elke Amenda-Spirakis of Burnsville, N.C., grew up knitting and crocheting, but only got involved with felting after an unforgettable encounter with a llama. She was a businesswoman working in the cosmetics industry in New York. After visiting a county fair, she came across her first llama she became so fascinated with them that she started visiting llama farms to learn more. After deciding they were ready for a lifestyle change she and her husband spent three years looking for the perfect farm in the Carolinas before settling on a 1930s farmhouse that they turned into a llama farm.
Materials and Tools:
clean carded fiber
needle felting needles
1. Feed washed wool into a drum carder to process the wool into batts. Remove the batt from the carder.
2. Roll a batt into a tube shape a little longer than the finished cat. Roll it firmly since the finished item is made of solid wool.
3. Place the rolled batt onto a foam pad. Press the needles through the rolled fiber making the fibers lock up with each other using three needle-felting needles held in a wooden handle. Manipulate the needles in the fiber to form the rough shape of the felted cat parts (head, neck, body) and the fiber will begin to firm up.
4. Add quantities of fiber to create the cat's legs, paws, ears and tail. Wrap a pipe cleaner with fiber for the tail and felt it into place. Needle-felt a bit of white wool at the end of the tail. Also add white wool to the tips of the paws, the chin, the chest, whiskers and nose of the cat.
5. Create the cat's face last using a single needle. Add little bits of fiber if necessary for checks or chin then use tiny amounts of colored fiber for the cat's eyes, once again needle felt into the face with a single needle. Use white fiber as a base for the eyes and then add the colored fiber. The green of the eye will pop out a little more.
6. Create bows around the cat's neck for a small collar with scraps of dyed felt or handspun yarn.
Web site: wellspringfarm.com