Needles, Wool, Mistakes, Advice and the One Tip - Akiko Miyamoto from Island Needle Felting


1. How did you discover needle felting, what inspired you to have a go and what was the first thing you made? 

I discovered needle felting at a craft market on Vancouver Island. I was inspired to try needle felting because I like doing hand-made crafts and I also like cute things (especially animals). The first thing I made was a chicken with 3 baby chicks. 

2. Do you have a favourite needle felting artists whose work you follow? 

Yes, my favorite needle felting artist who continually motivates me is Wakuneco (from Japan).

3. Which projects do you find the trickiest and what has been the hardest thing to learn?

Cat portraits are the trickiest project for me, and the most difficult skill to learn has been combining/blending different colors of wool to create the exact shade I need.

4. What are your favourite needles to use?

My favorite needles are #40 Triangular (for fine work), and #38 Star (for general work).

5. What is your favourite type of wool to work with?

My favourite type of wool is Alberta-produced Corriedale Premium Roving Wool for the core, and Extra-Fine Merino Wool for the more specific design work.

6. What is the worst piece of  advice you keep hearing for needle felters?

The worst piece of advice I hear being given to beginner needle felters is to use inexpensive wool. In my experience, higher-caliber wool (even for beginners) is one of the key factors determining the quality of the finished product

7. What common mistakes do people make when they start out?

The most common mistake made by beginner needle felters is using the same type of wool for both the core and the outer sections.

8. What is the one thing a beginner could learn today that would  make a difference to their work?

When I first started needle felting, I would estimate the sizes of the different components of the piece. However, I have learned that using a measuring scale is integral to having a realistic finished project.

About the artist:

The best place for people to connect with Akiko is either on Instagram (@islandneedlefelting) or Facebook