Third Time’s the Charm

  • 4 min read

Behind the scenes - designing needle felt reindeer

Creative projects have a mind of their own.

Designing can be like trying to walk north without a compass or sunlight to guide you.

As a crafter, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than when a design starts turning out right. There’s magic in the process. An idea goes from a theoretical, intangible thought into something physical and real. And, if all goes well, it’ll be pretty and practical to boot.

Design is a messy process. Yes, experienced designers have a better idea of what materials to use and how different techniques will turn out. It’s still just an educated guess. And if you’re a bit crazy overambitious like I am, you might even decide to learn new techniques while designing. All at the same time. Cue tears.

Behind the scenes - designing needle felt reindeer

My latest design challenge was to make nine reindeer. I needed something smallish, characterful, and easy to repeat for all nine of them.

In all my uneducated enthusiasm I was quick to wrap up nine bodies from wool yarn. Wham, bam, done. I knew from previous needle felting adventures that a yarn base was a cheaper filler than roving wool. Then, after sleeping on it, I realised I had no easy way to add sturdy legs. Or a neck. Bummer.

I might as well have worn a big paper bag saying “YOU SUCK AT MAKING” over my head, because that’s what it felt like. It took a lot of Oreos and coffee to get over myself and get on with it.