One of the barnyard animals I made last year was a pom-pom baby chick. It was constructed simply by making two pom-poms out of yellow yarn and sewing them together. I discovered, however, that this wasn't the most sturdy chick for a soon-to-be toddler. This year, I set out to find another way to create a sturdy, yet natural and lovable (and recognizable) baby chick. I think this year's attempt is a winner too, as everyone I flashed it in front of could identify it as a bird of some kind (some said "canary", others said a "chick", and Astrin herself called it a "hen"). Here's a quick tutorial:
- Yellow wool rovings
- Large bowl with dishwashing soap and warm water
- Felting needle
- Optional: black or blue wool rovings (for eyes)
1. To make the body:
- Take a handful of the yellow wool rovings and wrap it tightly into ball form
- Dip the wool ball into the bowl with dishwashing soap and water
- Roll the wet wool ball in your hands, applying gentle but steady pressure. Think of the action you use to roll play dough into a ball. As the wool ball cools, dip it in the water and continue to roll it until a ball forms to your desired firmness.
- Wrap additional wool around the ball, if necessary, to achieve the proper size. Something about the size of a ping-pong ball is good.
- Let the ball dry (likely overnight)
- You could likely needle-felt the body, I just chose to go with what I knew for my first attempt!
- Take a slightly smaller handful of yellow wool rovings and wrap it tightly into ball form
- Select where the head will be placed and start to needle-felt the head into place, starting with the neck. Use the sponge as a base for your work, so that you can pierce through the head and not damage the counter-top or table underneath. Experiment with using different angles when using your felting needle.
- One the head is attached, needle felt around the rest of the head to shape it more and make it firmer.
- Select where the beak will be. Place the beak position against the sponge and concentrate your needle-felting on this spot. Consider felting on both sides, as well as the top and bottom of the beak, to give it further definition.
- Optional: Take a very small amount of black or blue wool rovings and wrap them tightly into a ball. Put the ball into the eye position and needle-felt the ball in place.
- Take a small handful of yellow wool rovings and wrap it into a tight ball, square or triangle - either of these will work.
- Select where the tail will be placed and start to needle-felt the tail into place, similar to how you attached the head to the body.
- Use different angles with both the needle and the tail on the sponge to create a pointed tail.
And you're done!