Saturday, 12 January 2013

Needle-felted Wombat

For my first more ambitious project making a 'real' animal, which was supposed to look like it did in real life, I chose a wombat.  They're called 'furry bricks' in their native Oz, because they are both solid and rectangular - a perfect Simple shape for an animal to be.  They're also endearing to my stepmother, so I knew the finished article would have a good home when he was done.

I purchased the wool from a company in Yorkshire called Wingham Wool (  It smells of sheep - lanolin.  Mmmmm.  Wombat still smells of sheep.

You Will Need: Large wisps dark brown wool, two black beads for eyes, sewing needle and black cotton thread, felting needle and block.

Step 1: select your wool.

Step 2: roll and felt it into an oval shape.

Step 3: add a ball at one end for the head.  To get the stripes on the body going the right way, add a wisp from head-end to tail-end.

Step 4: Heavily felt the join between the body and the head on one side, to make a neck sloping down.

Step 5: make the feet/legs (wombats are so stumpy!) Felt the middle of a large wisp to the body, and roll the ends up into feet.

Step 6: Felt the feet until sturdy rather than wispy.  Use the edge of the block to get purchase.

Step 7: Turning to the head, add two tiny wisps for ears - make a rough folded-over triangle on the block, then shape further as you add them to the head.

 Step 8: Make 'eye sockets' by heavily felting and pinching the sides of the head to give the illusion of bone structure under the fluff.

Step 9: Wet your wombat in warm water and smoosh soap all over him to a) alleviate the sheepy smell and b) set the felting.  Rinse out the soap and squeeze out most of the water, being careful not to get him misshapen when you're done.

Step 10: Sew on little black beads for eyes and make a little down-arrow of nostrils in an oval of backstitch for his nose.

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