Needles, Wool, Mistakes, Advice and the One Tip - Léla Wilson from The Green Boat

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

The first time I saw someone felting with a needle was not long after my son was born. I attended a mother and baby group at a local school and every week along with meeting fellow mums we were introduced to some form of craft. It was at one of these sessions that I was introduced to Needle Felting, where we got the chance to work on a small picture. Up until this time I had never seen or heard of this craft, I was amazed by it’s diversity and fascinated as to what could be made. That was 14 years ago, and I am still hooked.

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

I do not have any one favourite artist. I am however a member of The International Feltmakers Association, there are so many inspiring people in this association to whom I admire and look up to. 

I am also drawn to Steiner arts and crafts as my schooling started at Aberdeen's Waldorf school – Steiner education focuses very much around the seasons and the natural world and a lot of my work takes inspiration from this.

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

I find trying to make realistic things the trickiest, it takes a lot of practice, patience and time. It took me a while to learn that learning to felt is ongoing. The hobby for me is now very much the experimenting, the ongoing learning and the process of making something.

4. What are your favourite needles to use?

I recently treated myself to some spiral needles, they are lovely to use and speed things up considerably. For my kits and workshops I find a 38 star is a good general purpose needle which works well for pretty much everything.

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

The New Zealand wool from The Felt Box is my all time favourite. I have also been testing out the DHG range with positive results.

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

I don't think there is ever bad advice as everyone has their own way of working. Take whatever advice you fancy and have some fun. Experimenting with ideas and techniques is how we progress to finding our own style.

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

RUSHING: take your time and enjoy the learning process.

BRAKING NEEDLES: take your time and fine tune your technique.

PRICKING FINGERS: take your time and keep an eye on your work.

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

I am a great advocate of using your local library. There are so many fantastic books out there, most of my learning has come from reading. My local library has many books on the subject and can order in others if needed.

About the artist:  

Léla is the creator of The Green Boat.

Along with designing a number of needle felting kits which she sells online and locally, she runs regular workshops in and around Aberdeen and more recently online too.  Léla enjoys sharing her passion with others and has met so many wonderful people along the way.
To find her creations, you may click the links below:

Etsy Shop:

Facebook: @thegreenboat

Instagram: @thegreenboat_abdn