Kiyoshi 淳 ! needle felted umbrella bat

Meet Kiyoshi 淳!

last week i set out to needle felt a bat with wings made with umbrella parts. his wings turned out better than i thought they would because they have a full range of motion despite the wool. when i was almost done felting him,i decided to try a cabbage dye to give him a blue-ish grey color.

FIRST i chopped up some pretty red cabbage

i let it boil for an hour and drained it. i didn’t want to use alum to set the dye, so i added vinegar to the cabbage water and the color instantly turned from a deep blue to a bright pink.

i added mr. batty.

he was very pink and looked very unhappy. i let him boil for 5 minutes.

‘mmm smell that cabbagey, wooly bat soup.

thankfully, once i rinsed him there was no smell cabbagey smell at all but he was drab – very drab.

not at all the pretty blue-grey that i was going for.

in order to save mr. batty from his drabness, i mixed blue raspberry kool aid and black cherry kool aid until i got a very deep blue. i closed my eyes, hoping this would help and not hinder mr. batty’s color situation, and dunked him in the pot of blue.  i boiled him for about 20 minutes to let the dye set and woila! the perfect shade of muted purple i love it!

i hand dried him with a blow dryer so that the metal umbrella parts would dry quickly then i lightly needle felted him all over to tighten up the loose wool.  this morning i made him some socks and freckles and gave him a name…

Kiyoshi which means the quiet one in Japanese.


12 thoughts on “Kiyoshi 淳 ! needle felted umbrella bat

  1. ren

    you know, i thought it was going to be the wings that made him spectaular…but it’s really the socks that do it. i mean, he’s just amazing over all, but those socks really…yeah. he’s amazing. well done!

  2. deb

    He is a beaut! The facial expression is the best and the pic of him cooking in the pan glaring at you is – well – funny and rather distrubing at the same time…

  3. Tricia

    I’ve had this bug in my ear for years, to do a “red cabbage as acid/base indicator” project with my kids. I guess now I know what to do! (boil for an hour, then add various acidic and basic items to samples of the juice…)

    But yeah, that bat is so awesome. One (of many) reasons I was intrigued is because my 10 yo wanted wings on a halloween costume last year. I like how yours fold up – our final design was not nearly so flexible! I’ll have to show it to him.

  4. Linda

    absolutely sensational I love him and the color and all!! so happy to have found your blog thru Craft MagaZine!!off to drool some more!! hugs Linda

  5. Dana Jones

    if dying with cabbage is like cooking it, when the color fades in cooking, the secret to bring the color back out is to add acid in the form of vinegar.

    it might be worth a try next time!

    glad to see you fared through Ike with your sense of humor!



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