The lovely Wendy at Lara Downs was also on holidays, but opened up her shop "by appointment" for me (and I was happy to see that it quickly filled with other customers who saw the OPEN sign!).
(The Lara Downs shop"Precious Purl" is above Calico House in Brunswick St Fitzroy, for you local gals). The wee girl and I oohed and ahhed over colours and textures, and wondered at the possibilities of all we could make. Wendy was extremely helpful, knowledgable and passionate about felting. It was an absolute pleasure to shop with her assistance.
We settled on a bag of mixed bright coloured wool tops (wee girl's choice), a bag of lovely earthy coloured wool tops (my choice) and a mixture of coloured pre-felts.... some olive oil soap and a felting needle.... we felt very kitted-up and ready for action!
Armed with my book, that night I worked my way through a few basic processes - wet felting, dry felting, making balls and making string.... and the next day I introduced the wee girl to it all.
She LOVES felting!!
...or - more precisely - she loves making felt BALLS and STRING.
The dear girl has plans for me to make the rest of the bear for her "to sew up on the sewing machine" (she can dream).
I had planned to eventually make wonderfully arty textile fashion accessories for myself - envisaging a bit of scarf action... a touch of nuno-felting... perhaps a purse? But at this rate anything I'll make will consist mostly of pre-made (by a pre-schooler) felt string and balls...
I'll wear it proudly.