4.27.2008

felted beads

Sample of felted beads, roving, wool yarn, and the felting needle.

The felting bug has bitten me!! I have to admit that I have always had a weakness when it comes to fibers -- wool, silk, cotton, rayon, ... I love all of them!!! (Except 1970's itchy, sweaty polyester!)

Lately there has been a lot of buzz among beaders about felted beads. Of course, I had to get my hands into it just a little bit, to see what all of the fuss is about.

Confession time - I haven't been doing beading as much, because I was off making a felted frog. -- But I'm sure I can bead him somehow!! Keep your eyes on the look out for him. I did settle down and actually make some beads.

I found that in addition to using wool roving, which is made for felting, you can get great results using wool yarns as well. For making a bead, I found the yarn a bit easier to handle.

I also didn't make pre-made holes. I tend to use a size 12 john james needle and FIreline (4lb or 6lb). Really all I have to do is stitch right thru.

Materials to make a bead:

wool, a work surface (squashy foam or a sponge), felting needle, band aids (for just in case!)

Process:

I rolled a bit of the wool yarn between my fingers to create a pea sized wad. I then started punching it with the needle. Rotate the wad of wool very frequently to keep the round shape. Otherwise you will get a flat one.

Once the wad of wool has begun to feel firm, add more of the yarn to it, by rolling the yarn around the bit that is felted. Poke it lots more with the needle - again, be sure to turn and rote the wool lots to keep a round shape.

Keep this up until you get a bead the size you want. Most of mine were pea sized and dime sized.

Be careful not to poke your finger - It really hurts!!!!!

This lady bug is a bit smaller than a dime, so you can get some great detail! The line down her back was created by making extra needle jabs down the line to make it firmer and create definition.

1 comment:

Ronit Florence said...

very cool - love the ladybug!!!

Ronit

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