Spring is the time to say “see ya later!” to all my winter clothes. I don’t actually have a special place to put them, but I do shuffle things around in the closet so really out-of-season things are hidden and spring/summer clothes are front and centre. I also take this time to make sure every last sweater is washed in Eucalan (the stuff I use for washing “dry clean only” woolens at home), plus I use a sweater shaver to remove any pills.
My Mom is doing the same seasonal song and dance so we thought it was high time we mended a hole ruining a perfectly lovely, if a little boring, cashmere sweater of hers. Inspired by my wooly round up of projects in the winter (particularly this tutorial), we thought a DIY needle felted wool patch/applique would be a perfect dose of whimsy – and the perfect hole-hider.
Instead of just a single heart to hide the hole, we needle felted on a row of hearts to hide the small hole but also give a basic sweater a little character that Jessica Day would surely approve of (if it were yellow or pink – but I couldn’t convince my Mom of the merits of more zing).
- Wool sweater
- Needle felting needle
- Foam block
- Wool roving (we chose black, but you can use any colour)
- Cookie cutter
We used a cookie cutter to help keep the shape, but you can also draw on a design and felt in the lines.
First we slid the sweater on to the foam block. Then we pulled off a small amount of wool roving and placed it in the shape of the cookie cutter. We bit off more than we could chew and felted a huge wad for the first heart. Multiple, thin layers workers better!
This is the best part of needle felting: stab, stab, stab. If you haven’t been tempted by my needle felted art, let me say again: nothing relieves stress like stabbing something woolly with a barbed needle! Just watch the fingers because these needles are terribly painful. But this is really all there is to it! Stabbing the felted wool repeatedly works the fibers into the wool sweater.
Once all three hearts were felted neatly, we used an iron on the “wool” setting and gently pressed the hearts to smooth them out (I’ve seen other people skip this step, I’ve seen others mist with water first). The finished sweater needs to be hand-washed (which means soaking and rinsing and laying flat to us) just like before.
The same technique would look great on a cozy wool pillow. Needle felting is quick and easy work, so a pillow with a dense pattern or repeating design would look amazing and take very little time.