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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Sunday, 27 April 2008
As the mother of a 2.5 year old I know that sometimes you just have to have a cow and get it out your system!
Here is a bit of a glimpse of a cow that I recently finished for a custom felted play set. I should have taken a few more process pictures, but I always forget! The slideshow below shows the progress I did capture.
The cow (Clover) stands about 3.5-4" tall and is about the same length. She has no wires or frame and her joints have some mobility making her easy to stand on various surfaces. She is modelled after the cows in the book 'Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type'. She is toddler tough and ready to play! Here is how she got this way:
  • I started with a palm sized ball of natural corriedale. I punched it with a 36 star needle into a roughly egg shaped piece and then began to give it some more definition~ cows have such prominent hip bones, so I worked those, and a bit of a ridge down the back to the tail end. I left this piece spongy so that I could continue to shape it as pieces were added.
  • I took a 4" long piece of roving and made an oblong ball for the head, fairly firm. Using some soft pink merino, I needle on the muzzle, punched in some nostrils with repeated jabs on the nostril spots (very technical huh?). Then I shaped it a wee bit more and added eyes (just a teeny ball of black merino). The ears were felted separately on my foam pad ~ leaf shapes and a dab of pink merino was added into each. These were attached to the skull, pinched and shaped and needled until they hung just so.
  • When I went to needle the head on, I realized it needed a neck. Sousing the fibers left loose at the back of the head for attachment, I built up a neck and attached the head to the torso.
  • Still using my trusty 36 star, I measured out 4 lengths (approx. 6" long, 2" wide) for the legs. Rolled them like cigars and punched away. At one point I had a leg about twice as long as it needed to be~ punching in the bottom shrunk it quickly! When the legs were VERY firm (this cow needs to stand without a frame or wires) I felted on hooves in black merino and a few spots. The legs were then very firmly and deeply attached to the torso from every direction, with adjustments as I went to help her stand.
  • Clover's tail was a bit of a guess~ I laid black and natural wool together, twisted it and squeezed and needled it, leaving some fuzzies at the end. Interesting effect, but more marbled than I wanted. Tail was attached in the spinal ridge and the bottom shaped up.
  • At this point I was admiring my cow... and realized she had no udder! It would have been best to add the udder before the legs (note to self!). I firmly felted some corriedale and covered it with pink merino ~ since this cow is more cartoon than real, I just defined her teats with some needling. I attached the udder and adjusted the legs as needed.
  • Finally, Clover got her spots (aside from those built into the legs and head). I used black merino to make her Holstein pattern and used the spots as extra security for all the added pieces~ needling black over all the joints to ensure their security.
  • A last going over with a finer 40 guage triangle needle finished Clover and she is ready to join her sisters in the barn.
Clover will be joined by Farmer Brown, Tippy & Trotter, a duck and a cow sister. I plan to post some o the process for the Farmer ASAP.


Mrs.Kwitty said...

Wow--that felting is really quite a process! You little cow is adorable!
Smiles, Karen

Jenney said...

SO cute!! I've always wanted to try needle felting... one of these days I'll give it a try :)

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