Monday, September 06, 2004

Call me your "Enabler".

These bears are great fun to do and I am happy to be anyone's "enabler". Go ahead....blame me for your new purchases. Your husband probably doesn't know where I live anyway, so I should be safe.

Michelle asked...
"How many bears do you think you're able to make with one beginner kit? Did you buy extra wool?"

Michelle, the kit comes with 6 strands of wool roving and each strand is more than enough to make one bear. I estimate that I have about a 1/3 of each strand left after making a bear. Than means with a little creative remixing I could probably make a few two-color bears as well......perhaps like a panda?

I didn't buy any additional wool. I bought the complete "Beginner's Pack" for Kristy (includes the booklet) and then the "Felting Pack" for myself. The booklet is good to have because there are a lot of hints and techniques explained. If a person took a class on how to make the bears I don't think they would need the book though. One book between Kristy and I was enough.

There are a few things you will need that are NOT included in the kit though. You will need waxed dental floss, a long sewing needle (commonly called "doll sculpture needles") and the 3 mm eyes. I bought both 4 mm and 3 mm eyes locally, but they are rather hard to find! The 4 mm eyes are a bit big, but do give that innocent "big eyed baby" look to the bears.

We used Sculpy clay to form handles for the felting needles (form the ball around the needle then bake at 250 F for 30 minutes, leaving in the oven overnight) and were glad that we did. I think 4 to 6 hours of punching with a needle would be hard on the fingers and hands without a little something more to hang onto.

Have fun!


Amie said...

I think those bears are the cutest thing I've seen in a LOOONNNNG time... Wow. (I mustn't give in I do not need another hobby I mustn't give in I do not need another hobby...)

Is the starting point like regular felting - knit something and go? So that you could design your own items fairly easily?

(I mustn't give in I do not need another hobby I mustn't give in I do not need another hobby...)

Marlene said...

Nooooooo Amie. There is NO knitting involved. You start with a piece of wool roving and just stab at it with a special barbed needle. This makes the fibers felt together. The shaping is done by stabbing more in the areas you want to compress. It is FAR easier to "design as you go" than a knitted item would be. Because of the nature of the craft small items would be easiest, but I do believe ANYthing would be possible. It is simple to add more felt to areas that need it or to cut away areas that are too prominent.

YES, you DO need another hobby. Come know you wanna.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the info. I'll get the beginner kit...don't know where I'll get those type of eyes though. I'll have to shop around...though I suppose I could order some to tide me over. Do you see how this is going to spiral out of control. LOL