Monday, 23 December 2013

Tutorial: Needle Felted Christmas Pudding

We're having a bit of an enforced Christmas break here at Always Autumn. It's been ridiculously stormy. While that's not very good news for blog entries but it is a good news for crafting. Because I can't go outside.

I've been making these little Christmas pudding ornaments for people in my knitting group, my spinning group and family. They are really cute. You can thank Stephen for this tutorial. He's so in love with these puddings that he wanted me to share them with everyone I can while keeping one back for our own tree of course.

I've included the step where I blended two browns together to get a cool Christmas puddingy effect. If you don't want to blend feel free to leave them out.

Skill Level: you'll need to know how to needle felt, you might want to know how to blend.
Time Taken: Two episodes of Futurama, with commentary

  • those colours of fibre for felting. I used a mix of corridale and merino although I generally don't like using merino. What can I say, I was seduced by colour. 
  • Needle felting needle
  • Foam pad or similar
  • Scissors 
  • Gold lurex thread
  • A darning needle
  • Hand carders if you'd like to blend


    Okay blenders: let's take our browns out and mix them together. 

    You want about 1 part light brown to 3 parts dark brown

    You don't need to mix it thoroughly. I used about three passes to lightly blend the colour. 

     Pull your lovely blend off 

    If you're not blending you want to join us here: Take a small handful of fibre and shape it into a ball. Stab it into shape with your needle, making a nice tight ball. 

    To neaten up your ball take little bit more of your fibre and spread it out as thinly as possible, stop when you start getting holes. 

    Take this 'skin' and wrap your ball with it. Needle felt it into place, if you've got a fine needle you'll want to use it here. Hopefully that will have given your ball an nice finish.

    Next we're going to put our icing on. Take a bit of your white and make it into a circle about 3cm across or the size of a 2p which ever is easier for you to visualise. Start from the centre and felt it into place. 

    To get the runs in the icing simply pull on part of your circle, drag it down (or up) and felt into place. Once you are happy with the shape go round and give everything one last good felt. Check your ball, if it's got a little misshapen then give it a quick stab in the problem areas.  

    Once you are happy with the shape go round and give everything one last good felt. Check your ball, if it's got a little misshapen then give it a quick stab in the problem areas.  

    Next we want to make our sultanas. This always takes less fibre then I think it will so I pinch off a tiny amount of fibre and start rolling it around my fingers to make a tight ball. You can always add more if you took too little 

    I make about five and distribute them randomly around the pudding. Again you may need to make a couple of stabs to get your pudding looking ball shaped again.

    To top off the pudding we'll need some holly. I've found the easiest way to get a nice definition in those spiky leaves is to make a rectangle of fibre the size of your finger tip and tightly felt it.

    Then take your scissors and make some snips along the top edge. The bottom edge will be used to attach it so you don't need to bother snipping that. 

    Hold it in place and felt that bottom edge down.

    Our holly berries are made just like our sultanas but in red and you only need two. 

    Felt those in place with a little lighter touch so that the stick off the top of your pudding rather than blend into it. You can see that all that felting has once again made my pudding a bit lumpy. Take your needle to it again until it's perfectly round. Ish.

    To hang our ornament we're going to take our lurex and cut about 15cm off. Give the bottom a really big knot 

    Pass it through your pudding from bottom to top. 

    Bring it back down, a couple of millimetres away from were it came out. 

    Give it another lovely big knot.

    Take a little bit more of your main colour and cover the knots. Give it one last go over to check that everything is nice, neat and sturdily attached. Then... Hang!

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