Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sweater Weather! Top Ten Fave Needle Felted Sweaters

It's officially Sweater Weather in my neck of the woods and I'm all about it. So much so that this weekend, while I was procrastinating lesson planning, I decided to do a little wardrobe planning instead because #priorities. After rooting thru Mount Sweater (seriously, if you follow me here, you've seen my stories...I have a sweater-hoarding problem, y'all!) I decided I had so many sweaters, I thought I'd go with a theme...and settled on animals. Here's this week's line up:
Boom! Side note: I have enough animals sweaters to last me two weeks, maybe even three. Did I mention Mount Sweater? 

Whilst rooting thru my jumpers, I noticed that a fair amount of them had been created by yours truly. And that's when I thought a blog post of my Top Ten Fave Needle Felted Sweaters was in order (conveniently, I've needle felted EXACTLY 10 sweaters...countless dresses...but 10 sweaters. Exactly.) So here you go. If you are looking for a super fun craft that allows you to take out your frustrations while stabbing something repeatedly AND NOT GET ARRESTED, have I got a craft for you! 
My Very First Needle Felted Sweater! If we are gonna talk needle felting, let's start at the beginning, shall we? I started needle felting in January of 2013 (seems like yesterday!) after a visit to Anthropologie. I'd spotted a BEAUTIFUL sweater that I was determined to buy until I spotted the $98 price tag. Say whut now?! I remember examining the sweater carefully and thinking, "I think this is felt...I think this is needle felted!" That evening, I went home and watched several YouTube videos on needle felting. After stumbling upon a video where a sweet British woman exclaimed, "You can needle felt on ANYTHING!" I decided to get the supplies and give it a go on this thrifted and moth-ridden purple sweater. here's the my preferred needle felting supplies:
This Clover brand needle felting tool can be found on many websites. I like it because it holds three needles, making the job a little easier and it fits comfortably in your hand. Just a side note: when buying replacement needles, purchase the Clover brand ones. They are designed specifically for this tool.
The needle felting tools usually run about $12. If you aren't sure if this is the craft for you but still wanna give it a shot, you might consider inventing in a pack of needle felting needles. They are barbed and razor sharp so if you poke yourself, there will be blood. No sharing needles, okay? Not a craft for the little kiddos, okay? You can purchase a pack of these for half the cost of the needle tool. Why do I need so many, you ask? Well, as a newbie, breaking needles is not uncommon. 
When needle felting, you gotta have a cushion underneath otherwise your needles will break. My cushion of choice is this one, also created by Clover. However, a foam cushion, like that used to reupholster furniture would work as well.

Now, let's talk roving. I'd like to recommend purchasing from a local provider. How do you find that? See if your community has a Fibers Guild. Mine doesn't have much of one...but where my mom in law lives, Birmingham, they do. Reaching out to them will put you in contact with someone who just might produce their own wool. Or you could contact my two favorite ladies: Sue Bunch at Back to Back Fiber and Natasha at Ester's Place. They are GREAT!

Now, back to the sweaters!
Crazy Cat Lady Sweater! After seeing a cat sweater on ModCloth, I decided to make a portrait of my cat on my sweater. So here is Asha! This method of needle felting, I call Paint By Numbers. If you follow the link, you'll see just how easy it was to needle felt. Now, easy does not equal FAST...needle felting is time consuming, FYI.
 Crayola Crayon Sweater! I'm still waiting for my endorsement from these guys. I mean, how much more love do I have to show, I stabbed your logo on my sweater?! If you want an easy sweater, try this one on for size! Flat shapes of color and LOTS of stabbing. 
 Pencil and Line Sweater! Want a fast project? Here you go! By the way, the best place to find sweaters to stab is the thrift store! The sweaters DO NOT have to be wool...remember, you can needle felt ANYTHING. Here's a closer look. 
When it comes to yarn, you can needle felt any kind of yarn, it does not have to be wool! I used yarn on both the zig-zags and the looped lines. Word to the wise: when needle felting yarn, DO NOT CUT IT! It "shrinks" as you felt, meaning it will "felt" and get smaller in size. So only cut it when your project is complete to ensure you've used enough yarn.
 Put a Bird On It Sweater! Remember back in 2013 when we put birds on EVERYTHING? So much so Portlandia did a hilarious skit about it. Well, I'm guilty! I love stabbing birds (ahem) onto stuff...including this sweater. Sadly, I rarely wear this sweater! Whenever I put designs on the back, I always remember that I can only wear them when my long hair is up...otherwise, they go unseen!
 Foxy Stoll Sweater! Here's another short-ish project stabbed upon a thrift store sweater. I'm telling you, once you get in to this craft, you'll either be raiding your own closet or that of the thrift store. The best part is, if you mess up, who cares?! You're only out a coupla bucks!
 Owl-y Sweater! Not even gonna lie, so much of my sweater-inspiration comes from Anthro! I see that cute sweater, get all excited and then I see that price tag...but DIY motivator there ever was. This owl was a direct Anthro-inspo.
 Floral Felted Sweater! As was this one! I love this sweater and practically live in it during the winter months at home. That being said, it took FOREVER to make because of all the small flowers and fruit. But I think it's one of my faves. 
 Van Gogh Sunflowers Sweater! Did you know that you can needle felt fabric?! That's right...if you find yourself without wool roving then hit the thrift store and purchase some 100% wool sweaters. Wash them, dry them and you'll have felted fabric. With that you can cut out shapes and the felted fabric will not unravel. Felted wool is what I used for the flowers and leaves of this sweater and the one below. Just place the felted wool on the sweater and stab as you would wool roving. 
 Calligraphy and Flower Sweater! This sweater involved needle felting wool roving, needle felting felted sweaters and WET felting! I don't talk too much about wet felting on this blog as it's not my most favorite thing ever but...I did it for the yellow centers of the flowers. This whimsical sweater was a blast to make. 
I have shared A LOT of felting and fibers videos on my YouTube channel, so if you are interested in learning more, you might wanna subscribe here. Thanks, y'all! 

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5 comments:

  1. Visited a alpaca farm this summer and came home with some roving....your sweaters are puttin' a fire under my bum!! Gonna get to it asap!

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  2. Amazing sweaters! You have inspired me to try doing one this weekend. When washing these later on, any tips?

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  3. I love Esther's Place! The best part is meeting the local shepherds and learning about their wool :) If you ever drop in for a visit, please let me know! I'm not too far away and would love to create with you!

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  4. Anonymous1/12/2018

    Can you use a non wool sweater to felt the piece onto? I'm allergic to wool

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