Needle Felting can be a little scary, especially at the point where your confidence and pokes-per-second exceed your attention span.
Here, a quick reminder to take your time...
Needles push or pull fibers, compacting the felt as you go. (They'll work just as well compacting right into your finger!)
Buying an assortment with at least one of each of the following is a good place to start.
- Triangular - barbs on three sides that are good for general detail
- Star / Square - barbs on four sides that are good for coarse work
- Spiral - good for quick and firm felting
- Reverse - barbs are reversed to pull fibers out rather than in
Generally, detail is determined by the size or gauge of the needle.
As you can see... I have not graduated (yet) to anything smaller than 36 gauge.
Needle felting starts with fiber... like wool, which is amazing stuff! But for some reason, it's difficult to find a source for smooth, consistent, and beautifully colored fiber.
Pull just a bit from the end... too far in and the fiber resists separating.
Vary the angle of the needle as you felt to develop strength in all directions. Using sponges, brushes, and even felt craft-sheets as a backer / base can help get things started.
So... let's throw-down some tufts of wool and get poking!