In the spirit of the season - meaning the approaching winter, because seriously how is this still considered fall?? brrrrrr - I thought you all might enjoy a winter tree tutorial. There are other tree tutorials out there. I know Gypsy Felting and Felting Farmer Lady have on up on youtube for example, but this one is different in that it uses armature and has a trunk.
Also, I'm calling mine a winter tree, not a Christmas tree. You could easily make yours into a Christmas tree, especially if you use green locks, add color to the base to make it look like a tree skirt and maybe add a few baubles and a star. Or a Hanukkah bush as I've heard them called using blue and silver grey locks. In fact I think either of those would be quite beautiful! (I'm sorry Buddhists, you'll have to wait for the Bodhi tree tutorial at another time.) This tutorial is the basics of how to make an evergreen tree, so you can make it yours however you like. To make your life easier, you will want to either use core wool in your desired color, or take an extra step in covering it with color before adding locks. Since I was working with white locks, the plain, white core wool was more than sufficient.
In my case, I used raw fleece that had been washed but was still in the grease. What that means is that the lanolin had not been scoured out of the wool. It was a bit of an experiment on my part. I had read that spinners will sometimes spin wool in the grease because it would make their hands soft. I wondered if needle felting it would have the same effect (not as much) and maybe oil my needles to boot. Not that your needles need oiling per se, but maybe it helps stave off rust? Just an educated guess. What I learned is that wool in the grease, especially when not carded, is rather stubborn. You may notice my changing my needles out from time to time throughout the video, and eventually using a single needle for most of it because it just did not want to stay put without an excessive amount of stabbing. At one point I even added a bit of core on top to help pin some of the more stubborn ones in place.
I used 1/8" thick armature wire. The benefit of this is not only does it make it quite stable, especially if you make the base wider than mine, but you have a bit more control if your finished tree looks like it's leaning. If you just have the thinner wire on hand, I'm sure you could use that as well, though you may want to double up on it at least around the trunk and base.
That's all I can think of at the moment, so enough typing and on with the video! Enjoy :)
If you have any questions about the tutorial, feel free to leave a comment either on the video itself or here in my post.