O.K. enough with winter and freezing rain! Let’s THINK spring and hurry it along with a simple needle felting project ~ CARROTS!
Make a few to fill a bowl, decorate a feather tree, add to your bunny decor or ‘thread’ into a sweet little garland or door hanger!
Make a few or as many as you like. FYI – these are about 2 to 2.25-inches long excluding the green tops and about 1/2-inch wide at the top!
All you need is orange wool roving or batt for the carrots, and a little green for the carrot tops: green wool yarn, green wool snippets, green mohair or other crimpy wool staples…whatever is available around the house. You’ll need a felting needle too (and rigid foam to protect your work surface).
Don’t have ‘orange’ roving? Grab a packet of orange Kool-Aid and let the kids help with dyeing! (Refer to my post on dyeing with Kool-Aid.)
Kool-Aid DYEING Refresher:
This is a fun project that doesn’t require any special equipment. You’ll need a few ounces wool roving or batt, 2-4 packages (0.14-ounce) unsweetened Kool-Aid powder for every 2-ounces of wool. More Kool-Aid makes a darker final color. Orange or a combo of cherry and lemonade will give you ‘orange’. You really don’t need white vinegar…cuz citric acid’s already in the packet to set the dye. YUM!
Fill a bowl/bucket with cold water; place the wool roving or batt (I used a batt for this project) in the bucket of water and let it sit for approx 30 minutes to soak. HINT: You never add dry wool stuff to the dye pot without pre-soaking…soaking allows the fiber (to swell) to better ‘accept’ the dye. Don’t stir/agitate or you’ll felt your wool! Stir the Kool-Aid and more cold water in an enamel pot (I like to use white enamel cuz you can easily see when the color is absorbed – water turns near clear…woo hoo! Magic!). Add enough water to easily cover the wool. NOTE: Since Kool-Aid is edible (YUM!), you can use your everyday cookware. OTHERWISE, always use OTHER cookware put aside especially for dyeing and soapmaking…not for cooking family meals!
Place the pre-soaked wool into the dye pot and bring the mixture to a slow simmer for about 15-30 minutes, until the water is clear. Sometimes it will turn a bit milky-looking. Clear water means the wool has absorbed all the dye/color.
Let the wool sit in the pot until it cools to room temp. Add cool, fresh water to a large bowl then add the ‘cooled’ room-temp dyed wool to the bowl – you don’t want to shock the fiber – to gently rinse. Drain and gently squeeze out the excess water. I’ll use the spin cycle on the washer for a few minutes. Handle gently, don’t agitate. Allow to hang/air-dry.
Woo Hoo! Now you have plenty of ‘carrot-making’ material!!!
Pull a swatch of wool, and roll tightly into a cylinder shape and begin to poke it with your felting needle…shaping larger at the top, down the length to a tapered end, tip of the carrot ~~ you determine the size and density…just add more wool!
No sewing required…using the felting needle, carefully poke the green yarn into the top of the carrot a few times to secure it to the carrot – CAREFULLY – this is where you can poke yourself! Ouch! Use a pencil or popsicle stick or something to hold the carrot still… if you need to… so you don’t poke your fingers.
And there you have it! Thread a piece of twine, linen or decorative thread thru the top of the carrot if you want to make a primitive ornie. Or, string them into a garland to grace a corner of the mantle.