My friend who made an offering at Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine on my behalf was kind enough to bring back a little “Make your own felt penguin” set from a hundred yen shop. I’ve never made felt before so I was reluctant to open the pack and have a go for ages – until I had an idea to use the contents to make a felt Brighid for Imbolc! Imbolc is associated with lambs, so it seemed more than appropriate to make a representation of the goddess out of felt wool to put on my Imbolc altar.
It turns out you make felt by repeatedly stabbing wool with a sharp needle – you need a lot of patience and very thick skin as you will end up pricking yourself on multiple occasions! I didn’t really know what I was doing (and I’m not at all patient) but I managed to make a sort of head and body, with blond felt hair.
Brighid is sometimes known as “Bride,” and indeed she is sometimes associated with brides. It therefore seemed appropriate to dress her in some of the leftover material cut from my wedding dress when it was altered (white is also a common Imbolc colour). I folded the material around Brighid in the shape of a lily (more commonly associated with Ostara, but it’s still a Goddess flower and not wholly inappropriate), tied it off, added a little paper rose for colour (red is another Imbolc colour) and left it as finished!
She’s fairly delicate (the felt’s not particularly tightly bound) so I hope she lasts until Imbolc!