Introduction: Felting a Coronavirus

In stressful times due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we must make light of the situation to relieve stress and fear. Social distancing and self-quarantine can start to become boring and uneventful- so why not spend an our or two felting your own coronavirus. You might ask- "Why would I want to felt my own coronavirus?". I think we are all in agreement that the virus, in some way, has caused a frustrating interruption in our life. The felted virus serves as a voodoo model for frustration to be brought about. Whenever you are frustrated about the pandemic, stick a pin into your coronavirus!

As a disclaimer, I am new to the realm of needle felting. My techniques are what have worked best for me so far and what I have adapted to my projects. For a more instructional lesson on needle felting, refer to youtube videos for a better understanding and proper form.

Step 1: Supplies

To get started, you need wool roving, felting needles, a felting tool, a soft surface to work on, and a reference picture of the virus (sourced from the CDC). Gloves are an opptional supply as it does not impact the outcome of the project (in this case, the gloves serve as an entertainment purpose). You can source wool roving from your local woolery or an online website such as Amazon. For this project, you can use any color of interest. I used gray and red since I am following the reference picture. Individual needles will help with tacking parts into place while the needle tool will help with smoothing a surface. As for your workspace, upholstery or a soft foam works great. In this case, I used a foam that came in a needle felting kit that I purchased.

Step 2: Wash Your Hands

As for any practice, washing your hands is the most important step. In particular for this project, washing your hands for 20 seconds or more is ideal to protect yourself as we are working with the coronavirus (not literally). Developing these good habits will lead to a healthy studio practice.

Step 3: Felt a Sphere

Begin your sphere by rolling roving between your palms to start with a nice base. With your felting needle, plunge into the felt and lift up in a poking motion. Keep rotating and poking your project to avoid getting a flat spot on your felted ball. To smooth the surface, use your needle tool in the same motion over the surface. Since the needle tool has several needles, this process will go by quickly. Repeat these steps and refer to the video until your project has stiffened and is firm to the touch.

Step 4: Felt the Details

With the color of your choosing, start felting the outside layer of the virus. To achieve the look of the viral attachment spikes on the coronavirus, start with a folded strand. I made a loop and needle felted the tip to make a round q-tip look. Similar to the last step, remember to keep picking up the project to avoid flattening one side. After making 3, attach all three strands together in a bundle. I made around three dozen sets of three strands. However, adjust the amount to the size of your sphere and the amount of attachment strikes you want your coronavirus to have.

Step 5: Adding the Details to the Sphere

With your bundle of three, needle felt the ends into the sphere. You can do this by poking the needle at the base of your strands. Keep repeating this motion until it is tacked in. Keep turning your sphere and attaching the spikes until it looks full. Refer to the reference photo.

Step 6: Add Pins

This is my favorite part of the whole project. Since COVID-19 has caused so much frustration in many variables, use this form as a device of frustration. Similar to screaming in your pillow, plunge a needle into your virus to say "I've had enough of you!".

Step 7: All Finished

Enjoy your plush COVID-19!

On a serious note, make sure to wash your hands and social distance yourself. We must keep ourselves and the community safe in times like these. Stay in touch with those who aren't in your immediate household and remind them of their importance in your life. As a community, it is important to take this day by day, "as this too shall pass as they say"..

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