Monday 11 December 2023

Craft: Needle Felting - Pin-Sticking Can Be Therapeutic

I tried my hand at needle felting for the frst time at the weekend and made these three little penguins to hang on my Yule tree. I used an easy kit from Hobbycraft, in case you're tempted to try something similar.

Making the little birds reminded me of something I say when I teach poppet-making workshops: when you stick pins into an effigy it isn't always for doing harm. Your intention is what's important. If you're making a poppet - or magical doll - of a person for spellwork, you can visualise pins and needles as being for help or healing. You can imagine them as wands directing energy, as connecting things together, or as acupuncture needles. 

While using the felting needle to craft my penguins, I was visualising being creative and making something. It was a meditative and relaxing process and felt quite therapeutic. I certainly wasn't imagining harming any penguins!

I'm quite pleased with my first efforts although I know I'll get better with practise. I'm thinking of making more felt ornaments for my tree, but I might use the technique for poppet-making without worrying about doing harm to anyone except maybe myself if I accidentally pricked my own fingers.

You can find out more about poppets and magical dolls in my book on the subject. 

I'm giving an online talk on Magic for Yuletide tomorrow, Tuesday 12 December, through The Last Tuesday Society. I'll be talking about some midwinter folklore and customs. The event starts at 7.30pm and tickets ·are from £5.82. You can find more details and book here:

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