Needle Felting

24 May

I recently took up needle-felting. I wasn’t familiar with the craft until I saw an episode of “Man Shops Globe” on the Sundance Channel. The show documented the adventures of Keith Johnson, head buyer for Anthropologie (I love Anthropologie). Keith has the best job in the world: to travel the world for unusual and unique items to bring back to the States to sell in Anthropologie stores. Keith has exquisite taste, and selects items from each country he visits that perfectly convey the Anthropologie “look.” I particularly enjoyed the episode in which Keith travels to Scotland. Scotland may not sound as exotic as other places he’s traveled to, such as Thailand or India, but I love Scotland. I have friends there and have visited the country twice. So it was with particular interest that I watched as Keith scoured the cities, the highlands, and the lowlands for uniquely Scottish wares.

One of Keith’s stops was a quaint country mansion where artist Domenica More-Gordon lives with her family. Domenica crafts the most delightful felt dogs. They are very small, no more than a few inches in height, but what they lack in size they more than make up for in character. Her compact canines have the most adorable, expressive faces. Each one is different. Some are spotted. Some are furry. Some are even dressed in people clothing. But all of them are sure to make their way into your heart. When Keith told Domenica he was looking for items to auction off for a dog’s charity, Domeinca gave two of her felted dogs to Keith as a donation to the cause. Domenica rocks!

Domenica’s dogs were available online at The Workshop in Edinburgh, but it’s no surprise that they have all sold out. If you’re crafty, however, you can purchase one of Domenica’s dog kits. But these are limited too, so act quickly if you want one. I was inspired by Domenica to make my own needle-felted dog. I purchased needles, wool, and a couple of books to help get me started.

Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques by Marie-Noelle Horvath and Richard Boutin

Fleece Dog: A Little Bit of Magic Created with Raw Wool and a Special Needle by SINCO.

My first subject was my own dog, Spike. Here is the end result:

Needle-felted Spike.

The real Spike doesn’t quite know what to make of his needle-felted counterpart.

I know my needle-felted dog isn’t anywhere near as good as the ones Domenica makes, but I think it’s not bad for a first attempt. If you’re not the crafty type but still want some of Domenica’s dogs, The Workshop also sells the most charming cards that feature her dogs. She even makes Christmas cards. These images are taken from some of her cards:

All images of Domenica More-Gordon’s dogs are courtesty of The Workshop, Edinburgh.


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