Category Archives: Latest News

Quick, Last minute holiday gift ideas with NEFS!

There are several holidays coming up, and if you celebrate them, we thought you might appreciate some project ideas to wrap up and hand over to happy friends and family.  If you don’t celebrate anything coming up, you can still make ’em and give ’em away as tokens of your undying affection.  There’s nothing like a handmade gift to make someone feel special! I turned to the creativity of some of my coworkers for .

Felted Hearts with Anne Vinsel

We get a lot of phone calls here at NEFS: customers with technical questions over my head that Trish gracefully answers; product questions that, one year later, I can finally answer with confidence; such as, “WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE YOU?!?!” ; and more. I expect our customers to be intelligent and creative, and Anne Vinsel is no exception. She has used needle felting for a most fascinating project, and so I decided to write a .

What is Short Fiber Merino?

Our Short Fiber Merino (SFM) comes in enormous cardboard boxes from a place far, far away.  Alikya, in our shipping department, almost cries with delight when it comes time to break those boxes down into batts– first pounds, then four ounces, then half an ounce, then itty-bitty bits.  The process is endless, but she loves it for its softness and color.  (I personally prefer playing with it while felting- it felts like a dream- .

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber & Fleece!

As all of you know, turning a wet mound of fiber into seamless fabric is a pretty darn amazing process.  How does it happen, you ask? It turns out that the unique characteristics of some fibers allow them to felt.  Here’s some info about feltable fiber, taken from page 93 in Uniquely Felt. Felters aim to create a stable, immobile felt with fully entangled fibers, and so they usually lean toward fibers without high .

Join NEFS for Small Business Saturday!

When I decided to join the ranks of NEFS staff, I had no idea what was in store for me.  Coming from an education background (with a dollop of food service and childcare), I had no idea how many moving parts there would be, how many hats each individual gets to wear in order to keep things running smoothly.  Working for a small businesses has allowed me to explore interests and meet career goals .

Uniquely Felt Turns Ten!

Felting Detangled would not exist without Uniquely Felt. It’s as simple as that. Whenever I need a strong dose of information and inspiration, or when I’m drowning in wool questions and have no answers, my first step is to pull out the heavy book with the green and orange cover that has informed a generation of feltmakers and wool enthusiasts.  Uniquely Felt was written in 2007 by Christine White, NEFS founder and owner, and .

When Rolling’s Not Enough: Fulling Tools and How to Use Them!

There can come a time in the fulling process where even the most intrepid felter wants to throw up their hands and say: NO MORE! Fulling tools let your project finish before you reach that point! Here’s a breakdown of sanders, palm washboards, and glass washboards for your reading pleasure. One afternoon during a class with Katia Mokeyeva, I was confused by a persistent buzzing. Did a late-in-the-season mosquito somehow find its way indoors? .

How to Organize Your Workspace!

Creative types are known for their passion, dedication, and bravery, and these are amazing qualities that I know NEFS customers and staff embody.  Though many artists are disciplined and organized, however, there are plenty of us (myself five thousand percent included) whose closets look like a toddler’s dinner plate. In other words, messy, messy, messy!  Here are a few ideas for organizing your studio or workspace to maximize good vibes and cut out the .

Trick or Treat! Costumes for Intrepid Felters!

The leaves have turned fluorescent, there’s a bite to the air, and I wear my scarf when I scurry to my car in the morning.  These are all undeniable signs that a new season is upon us, and even though the temperatures keep spiking and cause us to sweat a bit more than is comfortable, it’s time to start thinking about the big, bat-filled holiday that plans to scare us at the end of .

Exploring the Pioneer Valley!

There are about a million reasons to come visit us at 122 Pleasant Street in Easthampton, MA.  The roving wall.  Local wools.  Unique classes taught by experts.  There are also a million things to do AFTER you visit us and want to explore.  Here are SEVEN ideas for you when planning your trip! Smith College If you are looking for some floral inspiration for your felted creations, visit Smith’s botanic garden!  It was founded .

Soaps of All Shapes and Sizes

Note: If you’re looking for some seriously good metaphor and clear instruction, check out Uniquely Felt’s section on soap. I’ve broken down the most fundamental points for you, but there’s definitely more to learn! Soap tastes weird and makes your eyes itch, but it certainly is crucial while felting! First and foremost, it swells the scales on the fibers so they can entangle, and it also speeds along their migration. Just as importantly, it .

Some Project Inspiration!

  There is a whole world full of inspiration out there, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to make next! It’s sort of like choosing between too many ice cream flavors.  I’ve run into that conundrum writing or creating in any way, and I thought some nudges in the right direction might be appreciated. I’ve compiled a list of project ideas that maybe you haven’t thought of before. Try them, change them, .

Fibers That Felt (and How to Use Them)!

A wool enthusiast founded this store, wool enthusiasts run this store, wool enthusiasts shop in this store… But wool is not the only answer to the eternal felting question: What fiber will I use today? There are other kinds of fiber that felt on their own or when mixed with wool, and we carry some of them in our luxury fibers section. I found wonderful descriptions in Uniquely Felt, the book I quote every .

Mab Graves: Needle Felting With Attitude

Most blog post brainstorming sessions end when I turn to my deskmate Trish and ask, “What do YOU think I should write about?” She has some pretty good ideas, I have to say. I especially liked today’s advice, when she directed me toward the work of Mab Graves. Graves is an Indianapolis-based artist inspired by “Science, 60’s Space culture, fairy tales and old classic literature.” Her art borders on creepy (but in the best .

Caring for that felt!

How do you keep your felted masterpieces safe, healthy, and moth-free? Finished felted creations are lovely to admire, feel and talk about- but it’s no fun to worry about them getting destroyed! Here are a few suggestions to help your work stand the test of time. Moths are creatures that have a felt vendetta, and they are therefore the first thing to arm yourself against. The first line of defense is to handle or .

On Inspiration…

So here I am with a giant fluff of C-1 wool, needles, and foam (or, sometimes, a rolling kit, soap, and merino combed top), and I wait for inspiration to strike. As a new felter, I don’t really know where to turn for ideas! I thought that maybe there were some of you out there who face the same conundrum, so I searched around for some expert advice. Here it is for you! Trish, .

The Gift of Darkness

So for many of us, felting is a special experience, right? The colors and the textures and the results? Imagine for a second, though, that felting was one of the only things keeping you going, allowed you to fight depression and get up in the morning. That was the case for Becky Devivo, a vivacious customer who came into the store last month to buy supplies for her business Felted Couture. Becky walked through .

Kid-friendly Felting!

  Some NEFS customers have purple hair, some have gray hair, and some have a dark brown, baby-soft curtain behind which to hide when strangers get too close. The latter arrived in the form of a six-year-old pixie wearing glasses last Saturday, and I realized that I have missed an entire segment of the felting community when waxing eloquent about silks and combed top and nuno. What about all the six-year-old pixies out there? .

Nuno Felting Tips!

As many of you know and I am discovering, felting as a medium encompasses a variety of techniques that enable you make your project as unique as you are.  Nuno felting is one such technique, and our nuno workshops always yield pretty fabulous results.  So what is nuno, and how does it work? The word “nuno” is Japanese and means cloth.  Nuno felting is a technique in which you lay out wool on a .

Hats, hats, hats!

  Last week, two homeschoolers and their mothers came into our store determined to make hats. They asked smart, sophisticated questions and ultimately chose the perfect shade of short fiber merino for show-stopping accouterments.   When I asked why they were inspired to decorate their heads so beautifully, they gave me the most exciting answer I’ve heard in a long time: they plan to attend a fairy festival and were making costumes.   Excuse .