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Natural Kids: Needle-Felting

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Needle-felting is the fine art of jabbing wool repeatedly to make tapestries or figures. I taught myself to needle-felt. I did not order a book or go to a class. I simply ordered some wool and needles and started poking it to see what I could come up with. I did not know if I would be good at it or not. I just wanted to try it and see. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed it and the creations just came to me. 

Here we have a Calla Lily mom with her tiny bud baby...I did this thinking it would never sell, it was just "too unique"...but it did sell and everyone loved it. I enjoy trying to come up with something different. I look through endless books about animals, just to see what animal looks like fun and that I might enjoy making. I sit and let my imagination soar to see what figures come to my mind...what would we find in a make-believe world?

My children have picked up wool and needles and have come up with some pretty original ideas themselves. They have even sold a few of the things they have made. I am very proud of  them because they work hard on things and they have such a passion for it. I never want their passion for creating with their hands to fade. I try to always encourage them.

There are several people online who have needle-felting kits. Green Mountain Wee Woolies often sells kits. Our very own, Orit Dotan, has wool available, as do many others on Etsy. Children enjoy feeling the soft wool slide through their fingers. The wool calms them. I have seen it time and again...a child comforted by wool...they whisper, they are gentle. 

I encourage you to begin this wonderful craft yourself and see where it takes you. Or to help your children discover it for the first time. It is a magical feeling to hold something so precious as wool, something that animals grow and we take freely...and to turn around and create something of beauty that others can enjoy. The process of getting the wool cleaned, combed, dyed and then creating with it is lengthy and labor-intensive. It is really amazing! I have a great respect for the animals who provide for us.

Here is a needle-felted tapestry of a fairy sleeping. This now hangs in a little girls room half-way across the country. That makes my heart sing. I love knowing my creations are being enjoyed by others, but especially children. 

~Ode to the Sheep~


Blogger shelleycaskey said...

great post, jenn! and i love your calla lily mama and baby! beautiful! - shelley

April 12, 2008 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger woolies said...

great post!!! and ditto to shelley!

April 12, 2008 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger TheSingingBird said...

I second woolies ditto :) Thanks for updating this Jenn and for the photos of your beautiful work :)

April 13, 2008 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Cary said...

very nice! thanks for sharing! i learned to needle felt from a friend who was doing it. i figured i was so hard and she just handed me her project and said "here, you do it!". It really is a wonderful for all ages- even my little one always asks to help with it, and she is so careful. it's beautiful to watch. so is your work!

April 13, 2008 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger germandolls said...

great blog entry. sounds like myself when I started felting after Christmas. My husband gave me this cool set and I am a total addict now...So simple a technique. Just watch those fingers. ouch!
love the calla baby!

April 14, 2008 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger FairiesNest said...

Lovely post! I keep telling myself I'm going to try this craft one day...maybe now is the time! :)

April 17, 2008 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger maymomvt (or Sarah) said...

I love your Calla Lily. You've inspired me. I love to needlefelt.

April 23, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Teaching Handwork said...

I love your blog....its going on my list...hope you don't mind

April 27, 2008 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

teaching handwork, I absolutely love your blog! Thanks for finding me and leading me to you!! :) I am constantly teaching my children handwork. I only wish there was a Waldorf school nearby so I could send my children there. I love all of the inspiration at your blog...thank you for sharing it with the world!

you can see my other blog at:

April 28, 2008 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger scarletti said...

This is a great post. very inspiring and thoughtful. thank you.

April 30, 2008 at 1:42 PM  

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