When Crafts Attack!

When one thinks of crafting, one generally associates it with hush-voiced grandmas sitting around a quilting table or knitting up something cozy while rocking in a chair. There might be a unicorn or a double rainbow in this visualization because, you know, crafts are sweet like that.


This week, I learned all about attack crafts when my recent project drew blood.

Yes...you heard me... it drew real red, stain-y blood. Bast*rd.

Here's the photographic evidence:

It's blurry but you can clearly see the damage. And, if you look carefully, I think you can even see the offending craft tool sitting on the table.

You thought that we were just a couple of namby-pamby crafters writing this blog. Now you see us for the death-defying warriors that we are.

How could this horrible tragedy happen, you ask?  Thank you for asking!...

Once upon a time, I wrote a blog post about about FiberTrends Felted Clogs - my favorite pattern to knit because it's so easy and satisfying. I was in the process of making a pair for a friend's birthday when I decided that I wanted to, somehow, personalize these slippers because, you know, homemade isn't personal enough.

Beginner's Guide to Needle FeltingOne craft technique that I've been dying to try is called "needle felting." I've seen incredible work done with this technique and, while I hold no illusion that I'll ever be THAT good, I do like to try new things. So, off I went to the local hobby shop to buy some inexpensive roving (wool that's been dyed but not spun) and felting needles.

For the uninitiated,
  • Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be made into any shape or size. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Needle_felting
  • Needle felting is the interlocking and compacting of wool fibers by using pointed, barbed felting needles either by hand or machines.
Needle felting is often used to create 3-D crafts, like toys and decorative items. It can also be used to add decoration to other things - like, say, felted slippers.

So, I finished the slippers. (see how plain they are...)

Boring and in need of decoration
Then I set out my new tools.

New and dangerous equipment
For drawing my design on the slippers. This worked better in theory.

I'd like you to take note of how POINTY these needles are. And, what you can't see without a magnifying glass, is that the pointy ends of these suckers are BARBED.

If you remember from my tutorial above, the way this works is that you POKE THE NEEDLE in and out of the roving, over and over again, until it binds the wool fibers together.

Are you getting a picture of the danger involved in this activity?

I decided to go with the simplest design I could think of since this was new to me and I was using dangerous equipment. Tiny red hearts on the heels of the clogs would add a bit of color and a sweet sentiment to my friend's gift.

Poke, poke, poke, STAB! Ouch! #$^%@#&^%!!

Poke, poke, poke, STAB! Ouch! #$^%@#&^%!!

In case you missed it before.
Eventually, I finished my first needle felting attempt and, frankly, I'm pretty proud of myself. I think the hearts are cute and they actually appear to be done correctly. Of course, my thumb may never recover...

All I can tell you is that my friend better appreciate the suffering that went into making these things.

- Alex, Craft Martyr

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