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Craft patterns

​In which one may learn many useful things, such as how to knit a bat or needle felt a bunny.

30 Days of Crafting: Carousel - a beginning

Terri Reinhart

I love the idea of making a carousel with needle felted horses, but had no idea if I could pull it off. I'm still not sure.  We'll see. Here I will show you the beginnings of how to make the horses and how I plan to create the carousel.

First the horse - I posted the photo of the wire frame yesterday. Here is my trick to forming the wire base for animals, people, and gnomes. Take a piece of wire that is longer than you think you need. Eventually, you'll be able to gauge the length easier. For now, it's better to have it too long than too short. Fold the wire in half.  

The center of the wire will be the head of the figure. If it is a person, the part of the wire going into the head doesn't have to be very long. A half inch or so would be sufficient. With animals, it's a little different.  The center of the wire will form the snout. With a small animal, like a mouse or chipmunk, this allows you to easily make the nose, right at the end of the wire, by wrapping the bend of the wire in the desired color. The horse, however, doesn't have a pointy nose, so the wire simply comes down to form the head.

Bend the wire for the head and neck, then continue, holding both ends of the wire together, to form the front legs, body, and back legs. You should have enough wire to bend it so the back leg wires are also doubled. 

To wrap the wire and begin felting, I always start with the feet and head - or - those places where the wire folds back on itself. Begin by wrapping a very thin piece of wool around one wire, starting before the bend. After you have wrapped past that point, fold the wire and pinch it tight. Continue to wrap both wires together. When making a horse, I do the same thing with each of the four feet. This helps to prevent the wire from pulling through the wool.

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Here is the wire frame for my first carousel horse. I have it bent to the approximate shape I will want it to be. I will still be able to change it.

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The horse, or beginning of the horse, is sitting on what will be the base of the carousel. I found a lovely wooden lazy susan to use for the base. As it already turns, it solves my first engineering challenge. There will be a post in the center - taken from an old standing lamp.  

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My plan is to have 4 horses around the edge and 4 more inside the circle. Now, how to make the inside horses go up and down when the carousel is turned? 

More coming tomorrow. This is being posted as I experiment and create it. I have no idea how it will turn out!