I sort of stumbled into needle felting while playing with the soft, little poofs leftover from my spinning. Though I fell fast in love with the craft, awareness that it's practice would become more than just a pastime came when I offered to felt a few critters for a charity craft fair.
I stood that fateful day behind the craft table, watching as an elderly lady made her regal way down the table of donated items. She might have been a tiny General, reviewing the troops, her deliberate gaze pinning for just a moment on each item, betraying nothing.
I smiled at myself when I realized I was correcting my posture on her approach, but when she reached my little display, she stopped abruptly.
Her eyes softened, and she stood, statue-like, staring down at the tiny French Bulldog on the candy dish.
“Pierre,” she said at last, her hand reaching for him.
As she held him, shakily running one finger down his wee back, her eyes found mine, and I saw a child’s wonder there.
“How did you..?,” she began, then stopped.
“How is he made?” I offered, after a moment.
“No, no.” She studied me, seeming a bit confused. “Do we know each other, dear?”
I smiled. “I don’t believe we do - I’m Chris...”
“Or, perhaps you knew my Pierre? My husband used to walk him all over the village. Pierre knew a great many more people than I.”
“I regret that I never had the pleasure.” I motioned to the felted Frenchie. “Did he favor this little fellow?”
She took her time to look again. “It’s him.” she said simply.
After she’d paid me, I offered to wrap Pierre up.
“No thank you, dear.” She unfastened her top suit jacket button, folded Pierre gently within, and rested her hand over him.
“He’ll be fine right here.”
I had no doubt that he would.
And so it was that a hobby became a calling.