Friday, 24 March 2017

Needlefelting Wool Fairies & Ladies with Lavender Bags

My companion, Elinor Gotland, sat watching me turn out my wardrobe in a fruitless search for 'something fabulous'.
"Give up, Beaut. High time you had a Spring makeover. We'll go shopping this weekend."
"Too late, Elinor. Tomorrow, BG and I are off to Carmarthen for the Merlin Festival."
"Ah, I wondered why the sudden urge to smarten up. Going in for the Magician Competition, are you? Which of you two is going to be the lovely assistant, wear sparkles and get sawn in half?"
"Actually, we've been invited to set up the Rich & Strange stall at the Fairytale Market in St Peter's Hall. The dress code is 'fabulous' and the theme for the whole event is 'Arthurian Legend'."
Elinor looked at my cupboard full of old jumpers and jeans. She sighed.
"BG can dress up as Morgana Le Fay and you'll just have to hide behind your spinning wheel, pretending she turned you into a toad."
It's my guess our invitation to the Fairytale Market came as a result of one of the Christmas Fairs, where we exhibited a tree full of needlefelted fairies and angels. I've been making fairies by the usual method, using Spring colours, silk and merino blends, bit of sparkle, carrying little organza bags full of lavender. Hopefully, customers shopping for Mother's Day and Easter presents will be enticed by the smell.

Though the thread tied round the waist gives a suitably blossomy, blousey effect, I got bored of making pretty pastel fairies and fancied doing some with a more chic and stylish look. A wide ribbon knotted moderately firmly gave a better defined torso, though it left nowhere to tie on any wings. The figure could still hold an organza bag, perhaps she was destined to be a Lavender Lady, rather than a fairy. I skipped the flowing tresses and pearl head band with dew drop decoration, instead needlefelting some locks of wool radiating out from the back of her head, so that they stood straight up round the face. Much more snazzy.

Tying fat pink silk thread in a bow round the back of her head didn't seem quite sufficient. Some kind of headgear seemed called for. A tiny oblong of black netting ruched up under a couple of buttons made the right sort of hat for a chichi Lavender Lady. And hats are fun to put together.

Adding a drop of lavender essence enhanced the scent of a small lavender bag. Grey hair for a modish, mature look. The lavender ladies can dangle from a coat hanger to perfume a wardrobe full of clothes.
Bigger bags and purple rinses, these girls are growing old disgrace-fully. I may not manage fabulous dress myself, but even Elinor agreed the Lavender Ladies should give the fairies in the Fairytale Market a run for their money.


  1. Those are adorable! Helen

    1. Thanks :) Cross fingers the Carmarthen crowd agree. I've not been that far west for a fair, rumour has it they aren't big craft shoppers.

    2. You could name them Orwen, Ordu and Orgoch after the mystical witch/gods (it is not explained) from the Chronicles of Prydain by Loyd Alexander. One of them always wanted to turn people into toads. Alexander based it on Welsh mythology I think, I'm so bad at geography I don't know if that is where you are going? They hid as old hags and were absolutely gorgeous women in true form. They wove cloth on a loom that had burrs and prickles in it, the thread seeming to animate itself. I wont write any spoilers.

  2. I also meant to add - I hope you are feeling better!

    1. Heaps better. Carmarthen is so far west the M4 runs out. Nice little town, sunshine, choral singing and young men in chainmail galore. Had a really enjoyable day though we sold bugger all. I have never heard of those chronicles and look forward to finding out more. Cheers :)