Felted Hamster!

I finished my needle-felted hamster! I’ll probably work through some small details but it’s basically finished:

I’ve had a lot of hamsters over the years, since I’m allergic to cats and my mom is allergic to dogs. So, I know my hamsters. I’m frequently disappointed that there aren’t many cute stuffed animal hamsters out there, so I figured I’d make one myself. Luckily the “no pets” policy at my dorm doesn’t extend to felted ones!

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Felting Fun!

The felting continues. Because I’m the best sister in the world (and because I had leftover felt from Fibers 1) I made my sister this adorable felted Totoro for Christmas:

      

If you don’t know what a totoro is, then I feel really sorry for you and your laughably inferior childhood. Hayao Miyazaki’s film My Neighbor Totoro is basically the cutest movie ever made. A staple of many childhood film viewings.

 

Despite the cuteness, the movie is really about the relationship between two sisters, about the same age difference as my sister and I, who are struggling to deal with their mother’s illness and hospitalization. It’s a coming of age story, but with cuteness.

A totoro is actually a great project to start with, as the form is pretty simple and round. And all that you need to make one is a needle-felter and some soft felt, also sometimes called wool roving. You can buy bags of it at Joann’s or pretty much any craft store.

This is the needle-felter that I use- it’s not the best (the needles are really brittle). But what differentiates a needle felter from say, a cheap plastic tube with plain ol needles stuck in, is the fact that its needles are serrated. So, the little grooves in the needle grab at the wool fibers to felt them together into whatever shape you want 9and in turn makes the form more dense.) Basically, the needle felting process is just stabbing a ball of roving over and over again to gradually build up form.

Currently, I’m starting to make a hamster, specifically a roborovski dwarf hamster. If you’re a connoisseur of cute like me, you’ll know that roborovski dwarf hamsters are just about the cutest thing in existence. I’ve already hammered out a basic shape to start with:

     

Wish me luck! I’ll be sure to post the finished product!

And Now for Something Completely Different… With Felt!

Last semester I took a Fibers 1 class, and I’m so happy that I did. It was there that I learned how to felt, and boy is it fun- and versatile! You can make pretty much anything out of the stuff. And what did I choose to make? Why, a Warrior Princess breastplate, as seen in the always awesomely campy Xena: Warrior Princess.

Making something that is supposed to be strong, smooth, and durable out of felt was an interesting exercise. It kind of reminded me of Meret Oppenheim’s Breakfast In Fur, in that sense; something unexpected made soft. I’m sure I could say something really deep about making armor out of fuzzy felt, but nah. I was just excited to make something really fun for my final project. Needle felting the “metal” pattern was especially fun.

The assignment was to create something that could cover a body part as part of an alter ego. As a kid, I saw an episode of Xena Warrior Princess and thought Lucy Lawless was just about the most bad-ass person I’d ever seen. And she was a girl! like me! And she actually looked like she could kick some ass. She wasn’t some waif that we had to be convinced was dangerous by heavy doses of suspension of disbelief (I’m looking at you, River Tam.)

So, naturally, I chose Xena as my alter ego, because well, in reality I’m more on the waify side. But I’m a busty, bad-ass warrior woman inside! I’m sure if I was really nerdy, I could totally LARP in this. But LARPing has always seemed to me to be a level of nerd that I’m just not willing to go. You have to be pretty damn secure in your nerdiness to shout LIGHTNING BOLT BLIGHTING BOLT in earnest.

Oh well, I guess I have a Halloween costume! I’ll leave you with Xena’s iconic warcry: