Needles, Wool, Mistakes, Advice and the One Tip - Daria Lvovsky from Art of Felting

1. What are your favourite needles to use?

Usually I work with 38 star. It’s my favorite and most useful needle. For thinner fibers like silk, bamboo or viscose, I pick the 40. Whenever I need to make a smooth surface I also prefer to use 40. The 36, I use to achieve the effect of fur, and at the beginning of the work on a replica, when the general shape is formed. The reverse needles I use, when I want to reach an effect of color combination, when I wish that a lower layer of fur would be seen.

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

It’s hard to say, because many times the type of the replica requires certain type of fibers. To make the basic skeleton, though, I prefer to deal with Carded "Maori" wool because it felts and shapes well. To make realistic furry animals I love working with alpaca, silk and bamboo fibers and milk protein fibers. Though not felted easily they give a sort of shine, which could be hardly reached without those. Besides, thanks to the special quality of these fibers, the replica stays for long having kept it’s natural look without getting any pellets.

3. What common mistakes do people make when they start out? What is the one thing a beginner could learn today that would  make a difference to their work?

The main mistake I guess, a beginner may do, is to compare his/her works to those of others.  I was lucky to start when there were not many masters around, I learned, tried to find ways, and after so many years, in hindsight, I realize how naive my initial works were, but all they had to be done and I respect the birth of every one of them. I mean, that it might be depressing to watch a replica by a master and having thought, “I will have never do this.” That’s right, and there is no need. Because you will do something absolutely different and not less worthy for it would be your work which reflects your thoughts, feelings and your whole soul.  One more thing is not to save money on the materials you work with for quality is important. And the worthiest advice, I guess would be to not obey blindly to any advice, but follow your own inner guide, which is your soul.