Jan’s 3rd Quarter 2017 Challenge Part 2

Part 2 of Jan’s post: 

Part 2 create the base and start the octopus


Layout the background.
I had a bag of mystery white wool and some super wash merino, combining them together, I started my base layer. Then I lay in a line for the sky line and spent hours playing Runescape (AFK stuff like fishing and harassing trees) on the computer while hand blending the golden tan colour for the sky. I worked over the big 3 inch thick foam square I got at Walmart for the 12 x 12 pieces I did earlier in the summer. It again worked great with my wicked multi-needle metal tool to make a quick base from which to start.
     10 Needle Felting Tool – Aluminum

I had to put this project aside to work on the guild library, restructuring the Dewey Decimal Classification project, but was able to return to the Felting Challenge in September as my demo project at the carp fair.

There was a lot of interest in felting and lots of requests for Felting workshops this year. I directed them to the guild website and told them there would be more workshops for 2018 on felting so check the new schedule when it was up in November.

Carp Fair demo – the octopod is created…..sort of.
Carp Fair is an old fashion rural fair on a big scale. The Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners guild is in the Antique section. Usually we freeze since it’s the last weekend in September. We have spent many years demoing weaving, spinning and felting there, cursing the cold weather. (I can spin without feeling my fingers but not for too long or too well.) Well this year our pleas were answered. We had the hottest weekend of the summer, we were fine as long as we stayed in the shade of the tent and didn’t stand up! SO I got a lot of felting done.

Using my photo reference I chose the general shape and pose I wanted for the octopus to have. I had brought a package of pipe cleaners from the dollar store and had decided that 2 twisted together would make a good leg support armature and allow me to bend the tentacles as I wanted later.

Math is not my best skill it’s right down there with spelling actually but I can count to 8 twice. So I laid out 8 pairs of pipe cleaners beside me on the table, twisting them together as I put them down. (Are you having awful premonitions yet?) I pulled out my Rideau Arcott core wool and started shaping the slope back for the head, and adding the first leg. Then wrapped it with wool.

Friday is when all the kids come to the fair to do “research” for a questionnaire they have to fill out and to do the games and rides. They usually wander through the antique section in waves, it wasn’t too busy this year. We also had a canon being fired and a tractor parade in our area. So it was a bit busy in the early morning and later in the afternoon, it was quieter at the hottest part of the day.

Got to the last leg and started to build up the tentacles with more core wool to get the more triangular shape. By the end of the day I had what was obvious some kind of octopus like creature.

Saturday morning;
Once I had the general shape to my liking I started with the super wash to lay in the colour. I have discovered that super wash has exquisite colours and take forever to felt…. I will not be lured in by the evils of super wash again! It will felt with needle felting but it is a lot of extra work and it makes felting a lot slower! I will likely just save the super wash and blend it with corriedale or merino that still has all its scales.

One of the woman who was working at one of the other displays in the antique section came over and asked “does your octopus have 7 legs?” No I’m sure I put out 8 sets of pipe cleaners to start with. Oh no, one is missing, too late.


Sunday Carp fair;

The Octopus has its base colour layer, and one-sided blow-hole. I used a few fine skewers to rap the wool then Felted it quite firmly pulling out skewers as it shrunk. Thus making a hollow blow tube which I added to the skin fold just behind his/her eye.

You will have to wait for the next post to see how he/she turns out.

This entry was posted in Challenges, Design, Guest Writer, Needle Felting, sculptural felt and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Jan’s 3rd Quarter 2017 Challenge Part 2

  1. Karen Lane says:

    Wow, this is looking great! Can’t wait to see him finished…..don’t worry about the missing tentacle, Jan, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that they regrow!

    • jan says:

      I have herd that rumer too. it could have been a tarrable farm equipment related accident while i was not paying enuff attention to him on the friday. and not a child aquiering a wonderous dubble pipecleener mamento from the felting table at the carp fair. i hope you enjoy part 3!

  2. Lyn says:

    Yes, I think they re-grow too – if not, rename him a septopus! It’s looking great so far and I admire your perseverance with the superwash – lucky that you can needle felt it (eventually) because it won’t wet-felt.

    • jan says:

      we debated Septopod as a name too. there was even a suggestion of heptopod but that was rejected due to mixing greek and latin roots. cince octo was the roman verion of 8 with 7 it was suggested i should also use the roman root so Septo-pod won out.

      the other option is to clam one leg is just hidden behind a wave or is holding on to a rock below the watter line so he/she will not foat away. i had a lot of extra time to think about it while i was perswading super wash it wanted to felt!

  3. tracey2008 says:

    Looking good Jan!

  4. jan says:

    Thanks! keep watching to see what happens next!!

  5. ruthlane says:

    I wouldn’t worry about the missing leg. As you say, it is just underwater. Looking forward to the finished result.

    • jan says:

      Thankyou! i am glad your enjoying the sagga! there is a bit more to come! it was a lot of fun to work on.
      (but would have been faster if i had not sucome to the evils of pritty colours in Superwash mareno!)

  6. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Great progress Jan! Perhaps the missing leg is due to a very big battle. i too think they grow back, but depending on how you position him perhaps no one will notice. Looking forward to seeing it finished!

  7. jan says:

    As you can see by the last picture Octopus or Heptopods are vary helpufll. you can see he/she is holding the handle for the umbrella, some felting needles and even some of his/her outer colour. i suspect there was some imbarissment at being nakid at the carp fair even if it was the hotest days of the summer!

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