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Valentine's wool offer, work in progress and how to make equal limbs
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Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter and a Happy New Year to all. I intended to start by letting you know about my first workshop of the year, 'Little Houses'  at Folly Fabrics, Bampton, Wiltshire on February 27th. But it booked out so quickly that I'm afraid there are no places left!
I'll probably be doing another one there later in the year though, and will be putting the details in a newsletter as soon as it's confirmed.  You can also subscribe to Folly Fabrics own newsletter, as they do several other courses and sell a delightfully tempting array of fabrics, wools and general haberdashery. - look in the right hand bottom corner of the Folly Fabrics site for the sign up form.

With Valentine's Day approaching, I've put together six lovely shades of wools which are available for a limited time from my Etsy shop. It's a multi-bag deal, so you save approximately £2 if you're in the UK - or $3.20 in US dollars. Click here or on the photograph to purchase.
VALENTINE COLLECTION
 
'Sugar Mouse', a light, soft baby pink, 'Candy Cane', a bright vivid pop colour, 'Raspberry Sauce', a deep, rich Victorian red, 'Cherry Drops', a bright, primary red, 'Devon Cream', a soft, slightly off white shade and 'Snowdrop', a bright, zingy white.
Like so many crafters, I have a few 'WIP's languishing in odd corners. Some of you may have seen the 'Teddy Bear of Doom' on my blog - that was a case of thinking I'd wasted a lot of time on something I didn't really like, but it lead on to ideas for other things. He was soon snapped up in my Etsy shop, and is now in a very good home, starting his first job.  I will be sharing some previews of my work in future newsletters, before they go onto my blog and the first unfinished project is Aunty Pat. 
Poor Aunty Pat - she started off well enough. I have been struggling to take my designs in a new direction for a long time, and liked the idea of making a series of 'Old Dogs' in various vintage clothes and with shopping baskets etc. I also wanted to put more detail in my work, which as we needle felters know is so time consuming! This may be why she's been on the back seat waiting for her arms (and a shoe and a few other things). I do like her though, and will show her in her finished form at a later date. I hope she's not too cross with me; she does look somewhat formidable.  
Talking of Aunty Pat and her armless situation leads me on to my free tip of the month -  how to get more or less equal limbs. Sometimes you just want a bit of an easier way of doing something, and here's a little trick I use when I can't be faffed to fuss about making individual arms and legs separately.
First, get your length of roving; the amount will, of course, depend on the size of your creation This is to make two similar sized limbs.
Double the length over. This will give you a thicker end (where the fold is) which will be the part joined or jointed to the body.
Needle the wool into shape, trying to make it as close to the size (width and length) as you want both limbs to be.
Now for the scary bit! When the wool is shaped and firm but not solid (you want a bit of 'squidge'), take a pair of scissors and cut it as accurately and equally as possible in half.  This give you two arms or legs that should be pretty much alike.
Of course, they may not be exactly as you want them, as you can see here when I pinned them onto a very disapproving Aunty Pat. So I simply chopped a little of the thinner ends off, to get them to the length I wanted.
Fold each limb round, lengthwise, to get rid of the flat side and cut edges and cover it with a thin layer of wool, which will hold it all together when you start needling.
Now you can make the final shapes, making them curved or straight. I work a little on one, then the other, then back to the first, and so on, which helps in getting the same proportions and curves.
Here are my two almost finished arms - they still need a fair bit of work and some extras putting on (paws would be useful), but they are of pretty much equal length and size. Aunty Pat seems a little happier. Or does she?
Thanks so much for reading my first newsletter; I hope you enjoyed it. Next month I will have a new multi-bag colour pick and another smidgen of needle felting know-how, as well as anything else which may have occurred.
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