I got into a big felt frenzy shortly before Thanksgiving and went out and bought a ridiculous amount of sweaters to felt in the washing machine. That’s an activity which is very satisfying all on its own. You throw a big honkin’ woolly mess of a sweater into the machine and out comes a thick, felty sweater perfect for a toddler whose knuckles drag the ground. Everyone needs dozens of those, right?
So my first few projects will include some small feltiness, and sometime during the year I will I will work up to some large feltiness.
The project I’m going to start with is a birthday present for a friend. It’s one I did before I started documenting makies on a massive scale, so what I have is just a couple of pictures. I didn’t follow any specific pattern on this. I was inspired by a French press cozy I saw in Felt Frenzy (Heather Brack and Shannon Okey, Interweave Press), the first book I got on felting, and a picture I saw of a knitted cup cozy in an ad. I didn’t even know cup cozies were a Thing then, but I instantly thought they should be. I was about 90% finished and close to the date of the party when it occurred to me that a top-to-bottom design worked for a French press because, y’know, people weren’t going to be putting their lips on it. I cut it down a little, but it also dropped a bit when the cup (which was part of the gift) was picked up. Sort of a plus, I guess, but sort of not. When I gave it I felt the urge to preface it with a big disclaimer.
Here it is: Cup cozy with matching coaster. Alpaca beige felt and merino wool aqua. Needle felted flowers
A day or two after the party I got a lovely email from one of the women who’d been at the party but wasn’t the recipient of the present, saying how beautiful the colors were and how she loved the hand of the fabrics and how each hand stitch had such love in it. What a wonderful thing to have someone see in your work, and to be reminded of. We see our uneven stitches or other little faults because we want to produce good work and we want our gifts to be perfect. It’s a gift to have someone see and remind us of the beauty that doesn’t show on the surface. And looking at the picture right now, it is a sweet little thing.
And the person I gave it to wrote me a note and said she has been using it and enjoying it.