Needles, Wool, Mistakes, Advice and the One Tip - Sarah Richards - I Felt Fantastic

1. What are your favourite needles to use?

Definitely my 38 and 40 gauge triangle! They are such great "all-rounders!" When teaching workshops, I give my students a triangular 38 gauge, as it’s a fairly good all rounder for beginners. I personally use a mixture of triangular and star needles: a bigger gauge star for the core to speed things up, and a fine gauge triangular for the topcoat.

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

I love the single shade carded batts. The Felt Box have such a great range of colours; and it’s great to be able to buy the right quantities for workshops. I recommend your website to students as they can buy small quantities, or a wool pack; to get started at home.

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

I often have students come to me frustrated, who have tried to felt with a kit (usually a Christmas gift) or merino tops bought from the high street. They can’t understand why the felting process is so slow, and gives an unsatisfactory result. They feel that it’s something they’re doing wrong, but in reality they have been sold the wrong resources. Given the correct roving, they soon fall in love with felting.

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

A common mistake for beginners is getting the proportions right, especially when making figures or animals. It’s common to make a huge head and then realise your going to need a huge body to go with it! Take time to look at pictures of real life subjects to see how their bodies fit together. Try drawing a rough outline of the finished size and felt your body parts to match that.

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

I would say to beginners to take time working on your inner structure and get that right. Sometimes it is a little dull working on a core, or felting around a tricky armature. It is tempting to skimp and move onto the more enjoyable top coats and fine details, but a good structure is so important.

About the artist:

People can contact and see her works, and also find out about her workshops in Oxfordshire on Facebook: I Felt Fantastic page at Facebook IFeltFantastic