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On Your Table Blog

November 11, 2020

What the felt?

What the felt?

by Kelli Bowen

So there I am, looking at these adorable little fuzzy pumpkins on the Facebook, and I see that a local organization is having classes to create them (it’s called Needle Felting). I did what I normally do: talked a couple people into coming with me, and we signed up!

It was held by Bear Creek Felting at the Nome Schoolhouse, which holds a special place in my heart.

I grew up on a farm between the itty-bitty towns of Nome and Kathryn. My Great Grandmother lived in a little yellow house in Nome when I was a small child. We used to go visit and get sandbakkles and other treats. We’d walk around the yard and looming at the end of the block was the Nome school, long since abandoned.

I used to ride my bicycle the six miles into Nome to buy a Dr Pepper and hope that I won a free pop when I twisted off the cap. My best friend lived in Nome. We’d walk and ride bikes around town for hours. We’d trick-or-treat running up and down the three streets of Nome. We’d hit every house with a light on and the deserted school looked a little extra spooky on Halloween night.

Two visionary women saw this abandoned school as an opportunity and are renovating and refurbishing it into a destination. On this particular Saturday, the day after I was released from Covid isolation, two girlfriends and I traveled down to Nome to learn how to needle felt.

The abbreviated version of the process is:

We took dyed wool and rolled it into a ball. Then we poked the ball with a felting needle until the wool “felted”, which basically means it frays and fuses together which makes it more firm. We used string to create our creases in the pumpkin and then repeated the felting process with an additional brown piece of wool to create the stem. Then when our stem looked stem-like, we felted the stem to our pumpkin and voila! Felted Pumpkins!

felted pumpkins

We chatted and laughed from behind our masks, and created adorable little autumn creations in this building I’ve been aware of my entire life. After some anxiety, humor, a little blood (I stabbed myself with a needle 19 seconds after starting), and some patience, we had made some great memories and some fun decorations. Plus the super-duper-added bonus, we discovered this amazingly wonderful little gem of a location. We will definitely be back!

bathroom in Nome Schoolhouse

In November, the time of being extra-thankful, I challenge you to find a new small business to check out. You might just find the neatest new place hiding in a not-so-new place.

Kelli Bowen Kelli makes her home in rural Cass County with her husband, two daughters (8 and 5), two dogs, and random poultry. She works for a regional seed company by day and tries to be an alright mom, wife, friend and writer by night.

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