Monday, 21 January 2013

Needle-felted Koala

Having made the needle felted wombat, I got stuck on Australian fauna for a while and created this cuddly character.  An easy two-colour model, he's lovely as a stress ball or just a furry friend.

You Will Need: grey felting wool, large hunk; white felting wool, smaller hunk.  Sorry I can't be more specific on gram weights, but my hand in the photo should give a good sense of scale.  One felting mat and felting needle; black embroidery or darning thread, large-eyed needle.
If like me you're working on your lap, a bit of rough fabric is a useful way to keep your clothes clean of fluff.

First make an ovoid body, not too highly felted just yet.

Second, create the head - roll half as much wool into another ovoid, and pinch the ends into the realistic koala shape seen here - with two lobed ears.  Heavily felt in between the ears to define their shape. 

Felt a fine wisp over the body and head, joining them together firmly at the neck join.

Add his white tummy :)

Roll a long wisp together to make a leg.  After an initial felting, rub legs and arms between your hands to round them out, before felting some more.

Heavily felt at one end to make feet.

Attach the legs pointing straight up...

...adding the knees when they're attached to the body.  Just fold the leg over and stick the pin straight through his kneecap.

Front legs are very similar...

...but for the added white wool on the inside.  Join them on sticking straight out ready for a hug :)

Add two tiny tufts of white wool, folded in half and felted on the fold, to his ears.
Embroider the nose in long stitches from top to bottom, pulled very lightly taut.  Add two French Knot stitches on top of each other for each eye (for this stitch, see these instructions.) Pass the thread through the back of his head and snip off to finish.  Voila!

If you like you can now give him a little bath, warm water and lots of soap rinsed and squeezed out of him with a towel, and then a little final felting of any rough edges.

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