Making time to do what you love can ease stress, lift your mood and expand your social circle. January is National Hobby Month, and Anoka County Library can help you start a new hobby or dive deeper into a favorite pastime. For those who aren’t sure where to begin, I’d like to introduce you to a hobby I enjoy called felting. 

One of the lesser-known crafting methods, felting is essentially the process of bonding wool fibers together, producing a textile material. There are two basic ways of felt making: wet and dry. While wet felting uses water and soap to bind wool layers together, dry felting (more commonly known as needle felting) involves using barbed needles to bind fibers together until they transform into the desired shape. With few materials required and lots of free resources available at the library, you can get started with felting easily and inexpensively.

“First Time Felting: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide” by Ruth Lane is a great starter book. It walks you through different felting techniques and teaches you about various types of wool, how to prepare and how to dye them. This book covers both needle felting and wet felting. If you’re looking for a good basic guide with clearly presented instructions, look no further!

Want to watch an expert guide you through the process? CreativeBug is an online resource full of classes taught by top designers and artists. Visit creativebug.com/lib/anokacounty with your library card for free access to thousands of arts and crafts classes, including an “Intro to Needle Felting” class.

“Felting: The Complete Guide” by Jane Davis is an amazing guide for creating anything felted. It extensively covers different forms of felting, including wet felting and needle felting. This book is essentially an overview of felting in a variety of techniques and designs. Even if you’re a beginner in the felting world, fear not, as this book can take the mystery out of what seems like a difficult process.

“Uniquely Felt” by Christine White is a terrific guide focusing on wet felting that’s suitable for all skill levels. It offers information on a variety of topics, from the history of felting to different techniques and projects. Whether you are an experienced crafter or someone who’s looking to venture into the felting world, this book will serve you well.

“Woolbuddies: 20 Irresistibly Simple Needle Felting Projects” by former animator Jackie Huang is an adorable guide to needle felting. It’s full of step-by-step instructions that show you how to felt small animal toys. With just this book, some wool and a special needle, you can go ahead and start your needle felting journey.

Felting is just one example of the myriad of hobbies that the library can open the door to. Stop by, give us a call or submit a request through our Librarian Recommends request form at anokacountylibrary.org for personalized recommendations for books and other resources to explore your interests. During January and February, join us for Winter Reads at anokacounty.beanstack.org to track your reading, write reviews and earn digital badges for completing activities like learning a new hobby.

Thuy Nguyen is an intern with the Anoka County Library System.

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