Five Little Birdies Sitting in a Row

Or how I learnt to like needle felting……

I always associated needle felting with the more twee end of feltmaking. But Rosie showed me how useful it could be. We started by making flat disks which can easily become brooches or buttons and then the next night we tried the three dimensional approach and made these blue tits. OK so they could verge on twee but actually I think they are quite sweet….

Mine is second from the end…the one that is leaning slightly.

After that we all spent our time adding bits of needle felt to our wet felting for texture and fine detail. It gets quite addictive!

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Let’s Hear it for Natural Dyes

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Having spent last week learning how to pick dye plants and make natural dye colours I am now a fan. 

The colours have a natural subtlety which meant I was more concerned with putting them side by side to show off the contrasts, and less with working with the carders to blend them together so they didn’t look too ‘flat’. 

We used a combination of plants from the surrounding area eg. bracken, tree lichen (of which there was lots as the air was so clear) and broom, bought in natural dyes such as Madder (my favourite), Logwood and Indigo and everyday household ingredients – who knew that onion skins could turn white silk threads into something that looked more like gold…

There is something wonderfully primeval about washing fleeces in the open air, mordanting wood (to help the dye take) over a log fire and then dying it with something you have picked yourself.  By doing a first, second and sometimes even third dye plus adding part of some colours to the indigo pot we ended up with over thirty shades and colours.

So thanks again to Rosie and the team at Wild Rose Escapes.  I shall be back….