This year, in the search for a craft I can actually do as I struggle with knitting, crochet, sewing and just about everything else I've tried, I discovered needle felting. Hurrah! A craft I can actually DO!
Essentially it involves stabbing fluff repeatedly with a barbed needle. Yes, I've got my fingers a few times (I'm horrendously uncoordinated) but overall I've actually managed to not only make basic figures but I've even taught a few other people to do it!
We are unable to run our craft sessions currently, but I have found a way to continue to share Needle Felting and the joy of fleece and natural crafting!
You can purchase an Alpaca Head Keyring from me, made by my own hands and with my own alpaca fleece from our small herd at Bumblebarn. We also have fleece suitable for bird nesting material in suet ball feeders, which make great gifts for nature lovers!
You can also purchase your very own Needle Felting Kit! Made in the UK with British sheep wool and sustainably sourced merino, Hawthorn Handmade make amazing kits suitable for complete beginners. They come with needles (in a secure holder) and full instructions to get you creating your own pieces. We've signed up as stockists and have a small range of their gorgeous mini kits - Unicorn, Snowman and (of course) Alpaca!
They come with two needles, but you can also buy an extra needle in a wooden handle from us if you want. These are great as they're easier to grip than the thin needles and the needle tucks away inside for safekeeping.
We also have the foam blocks which are a perfect surface to felt on to, they save your table or lap from getting needled and are essential for creating flat pieces like ears to attach to your creations. They'll last for 40 or so creations as well (hence why you don't get one with each kit, you'd be overrun!).
By buying these from us you are earning us a bit of profit on each kit sold, all of which goes straight into our business to help care for our alpacas and run our tiny business. We don't even pay ourselves yet so you aren't paying for CEO's holidays or second homes, literally every penny is essential to the upkeep of this business!
We are also making a donation to Crisis at Christmas for every online shop purchase between now and mid December. No one should be alone, hungry or on the streets at any time - let alone Christmas.
So essentially, if you were thinking of trying a new craft or if you were looking for a gift for a crafty friend or relative (or one who loves snowmen, unicorns or alpacas!) - why not buy one from us? It'll benefit people living in crisis at Christmas, benefit our alpacas and make me do a happy dance!