Shimmering Starling, Opalescent Roving

Want to add an opalescent, shimmering look to your needle felted (or wet felted) projects using only wool? If you’ve ever wanted to capture the metallic appearance of a peacock, a swallow, a starling, or perhaps a fish using wool, then I have a selection of wool roving colors I think you’ll love working with!

While most of the wool roving in my shop has a variegated or heathered appearance, each color is usually made up of other similar colors in nearby hues or color families. For example, Pink Grapefruit is a color which overall appears coral pink, but is actually made up of pink, orange, peach, and yellow fibers.

The quality about the opalescent or metallic colors that makes them special is that from a distance they contain enough of one hue to appear as the color they are named as; but upon closer inspection, they are actually made up of a virtual rainbow of fibers from very different color families. For now, I’m going to focus on the two of these colors that I used to make this starling portrait. But I’ll provide links to the other ones as well so you can check them out for yourself!

For this starling, I used Licorice Snap wool roving over the entire head, and then I layered Blue Goldstone wool roving over the front portion of the head where the face is. I then applied the starry dots and dashes in Warm White and Celadon green.

Wool Roving for Needle Felting in Blue Goldstone, Dark Blue, Midnight Blue, Wet Felting, Spinning, Chunky Yarn, Fiber Art Supply, DIY

Here is the Blue Goldstone roving alone. As you can see, it has an overall appearance of a midnight blue, but is actually made up of many different colors including several shades of blue, a couple of greens, yellow, and purple. This opalescent midnight blue would also look lovely as part of felted celestial or night sky piece…

And here is Licorice Snap, a beautiful rainbow black. This roving has black as its main component, and then contains a range of hues similar to the Blue Goldstone. It’s a really lovely alternative to a black or charcoal when you want a bit of shimmer or extra depth in your felted surface.

As promised, here are the other opalescent colors I offer: Moonstone, Autumn Jasper, River Stone, and Brown Opal. The Moonstone is another favorite of mine, but I’ll share more about that another time!

Happy crafting, friends!

 

The Perfect Color for your Needle Felted Fox

“What color of wool would you recommend for making needle felted foxes?”

Customers often come to me with questions such as this one, and I love helping them find the perfect wool roving and batting colors to fit their unique felting projects! One of the reasons I’ve selected the wool roving and batting I sell in my shop is because these preparations of wool have beautiful variegated colors that give the appearance of having blended two or more colors together when it is really just one color! This gives the finished felted surface a wonderfully rich depth.

Since the wool I offer in my shop is the very same wool I use in my own needle felting practice, I’ve sampled nearly every roving and batting. And even when I don’t have the exact color match on hand, I love taking the opportunity to blend some colors to get the perfect tone. My formal training is in painting, so this love of experimenting and layering with color is something I have taken with me and continue to use and share with my customers.

But sometimes, I do have just the right color on hand. For example, when I get the question about the perfect color for a fox (which, of course, happens all the time, because who doesn’t love foxes?), I always recommend the color you see in the photos above, Amber wool batting. This is one of my favorite colors, and has a beautiful autumnal warmth with its harmony of yellow, orange, rust, and brown.

 

My Needle Felting Process

I often get questions about how my needle felted animals are built. Are they made from just a single piece of wool? Do I put many pieces together? Is there wire or support inside them? How do I add the flowers on their surfaces?

So, I decided to share some progress photos and steps of a recent project that I did, a needle felted black swan with flannel flowers. Below is how all of my projects begin; I start out with some wool roving or batting, felting needles in a variety of sizes, and a foam pad for support.

My needle felted sculptures are made out of solid wool. I don’t use wire or any other supports inside my sculptures unless a customer requests that they be posable. I build up different parts of the animal body in separate pieces. Below you can see the bulk of this swan’s body. The head and neck were made separately and then attached. You can also see a couple of pieces of a wing waiting to be attached.

In this photo, I have already added the beak and eyes to the head with small bits of orang and peach colored wool, and I am now attaching one of the completed wings to the body. Pieces are attached by placing one piece of wool over another, and making repeated jabs with the felting needle. There are tiny barbs on the needles that catch on the wool fibers and cause them to interlock so that these two pieces of wool are now stuck together.

Flowers and other felted details are attached in the same manner, just with smaller bits of wool.

And here is the completed needle felted black swan with her flowers. She is 100% wool; and while she is very lightweight, she is fairly firm to the touch. It’s important to me that my needle felted soft sculptures hold up over time, so I work very hard to tuck in stray fibers and create a smooth, uniform surface with my fine felting needle towards the end of the felting process.

Thank you for stopping by!