Craft · Needle felting

Needle-felted narwhal? Why not.

So here’s the thing: my partner and I have been together for seven years as of today. I know, I know. Seven years, we’re old, etc. We’ve actually known one another since I was 16 and that was nearly 14 years ago, but let’s not think about that.

Hey, I just noticed we’ve been together half of the time we’ve known one another now. That’s pretty cool.

When we met I was still living with my mum, though shortly after we started talking I moved in with my dad. It was a terrible time all round; I was badly bullied at school and unaware (at the time) that I was struggling with what would turn out to be OCD. Having someone like my partner come into my life was pretty cool since we had so much in common and spoke every day that we could.

Of course, it took us seven years to get together, but that’s what you get when you live thousands of miles apart. Now we live in the same country – the same apartment, no less! – and we are happy.

To celebrate we went to the Science Centre in Toronto and then went out for dinner. We also bought 6 books at Indigo, because why not celebrate with stories about human-eating spiders? Today, our actual anniversary, we haven’t done much. MacDonalds all day breakfast and a wander around some furniture stores before an impressive storm pushed us home.


(Thunder rumbled by as I uploaded this picture. It has a sense of drama.)

As most of you will know, knitting is something currently beyond my abilities. Despite lots of massage, stretching, and anti-inflammatory creams, I cannot wield knitting needles yet. That’s okay. There are other fun things to do. (I know, I know. It’s a hard life.)

Since 7 years together is either copper or wool, I figured my decision was easy. I bought WAY too much roving and got to work on a needle-felted narwhal.

Now, there’s logic here; my partner is big on narwhals. As I type she is drinking out of a narwhal mug, in fact! For Valentines this year, she drew me a picture of a raccoon (me) and a narwhal (her) hanging out. It’s a thing. Don’t judge us for being awesome, dude.

It turns out needle-felting is even more fun when done flat rather in a 3D shape. It’s like painting but with fluff. Yay.

I started out with a mix of blues, including some greeny silk I had laying around the place, with some white bits for added depth. This took far too long considering how simple it looks now that it’s done.


Next, I added some seaweed. I had a small clump of green/brown/bronze fibre that I think might be alpaca, but don’t quote me on that. It’s been in my drawer for roughly 516 years. I’m not even sure where it came from, but I do know it’s been there since before I moved back to England that one time.

This was a lot of fun to do. 10/10 would stab with barbed needles again.


Once that part was done, I started on the narwhal! EXCITING TIMES. I build up a bubble of white and fashioned it into a vague sort of whale shape, mostly hoping for the best rather than actually knowing what I’m doing. It turned out alright though.

Narwhals are blue, you know. As is water. Fortunately, I had a bunch of shades around because apparently I own more roving than I ever thought I would.

The horn was the most fun part. I made a white cone by just felting it a bit between my hands, then wound a small piece of black fluff, I mean roving, around it. Then I stabbed it a whole bunch until it was felting into place.

(Descriptions like that are why I shouldn’t write ‘how to’ articles.)

At this point I realised everything would kind of fade into itself, so I did a thing. I made that black fluffy twirl go all around the edges of the whale. I’m really pleased I did it; it gave it depth and makes it really stand out from the rest of the picture.

I mean, it literally stands out because it’s a bump, but that’s not the point.

It gives it a cartoonish air which is fun and defines it a lot more. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and my partner seems to like it. She’s put it up above her small forest she has on her table.

Here’s the finished image, before I made it pretty on a wooden frame:


I’ll be coming back to this medium for sure. It’s a lot of fun and I have a dozen ideas already.

Who among you folks has tried this before? If you have any links, I’d love to see your creations!


15 thoughts on “Needle-felted narwhal? Why not.

  1. Ermigawd! That is fabulous!! I just got a small bit of roving from a drawing I won that I have been waiting to be inspired to try. I have been struck. Thanks for sharing! I totally follow your how to! I’ll be taking a stab soon!!


  2. Congratulations. Your narwhal is inspired, what a lovely present. I would love to try felting, it looks fun, building a design a layer at a time.


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