Felting is like magic. Don't get me wrong. I love the whole process of taking fiber through spinning and all the way to cloth, be it knitted or woven. But sometimes, I need instant gratification, and felting is it, as long as you're not attempting a room-sized rug. You can take little bits of fiber and, in a very short time, you can have something nice to wear or play with or just admire. I remember when needle-felting was first taught at at a local fiber conference years ago. Several of us bought needles, and that evening, we passed around a needle and a few little wads of fiber as we drank wine and chatted. Everyone added whatever she felt like adding, and somehow we ended up with a darling little pig. (I would show you a picture if my cat hadn't eaten it several months later. Bad kitty!)
Lately, it seems felting is everywhere, be it needle-felting, nuno-felting, wet-felting. I see felted embellishments, critters, purses and scarves, handmade soaps encased in felted "loofahs" . . . you name it. So I was delighted recently to watch Sharon Costello's latest video, Fabulous Felted Jewelry. Talk about instant gratification! Sharon shows how to make great-looking jewelry with felted beads, how to embellish your beads or use other objects to give them interesting shapes, and even how to make a coordinating felted cord to string them on. Imagine having a matching necklace to coordinate with your handspun, handknitted, or handwoven jacket or cardigan. Or you could use up all those pretty little fiber samples from fiber festivals, the ones that I never know what to do with but find too pretty to throw away, and turn them into something fabulous. Or you could have a little felting party with friends or with your favorite kids.
For my daughter's birthday this year, I gave her a "felter's paintbox" from a local fiber vendor. It was one of those plastic containers that they use to ship fancy apples, but instead of an apple, each round compartment was filled with a ball of roving in a different bright color. She has a fabulous color sense, and was thrilled to get some new craft supplies. Now I need to send her a copy of Sharon's video, then sit back and see what beautiful things she creates. Maybe she'll even make a necklace for me! If you see me looking fabulous in felt, you'll know why.