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When things go wrong, it’s good to know you can fix them – and felt can almost always be fixed if you’re willing to do enough work. Case in point: the Red Wyvern. As soon as he had wings, his legs turned into noodles. I went to bed one night convinced he was doomed to a limited and tail-dragging existence – depressing after a week and a half of work, including two days of exquisitely tiny stitchery to mount his wings – and woke up the next morning with a surgical plan in mind.

The pictures trace key points in the process; rest your cursor on each one for more info. (Best viewed in full screen on a large monitor.)

Note: Why, you may well ask, use such thin wire in the first place? Partly because the braided strands allow felting needles to go right through, anchoring the wool and protecting the needles, and partly because this particular size and brand has the best endurance – it takes more than 80 fast bends back and forth in the same spot to break it. Thicker wire of the same brand breaks sooner.

Pic #1: Standing on steel Pic #2: Too little steel Pic #3: Armature
1. Three-point stance: The only one possible2. The problem3. The cause
Pic #4: Open to the bone Pic #5: Inserting the brace Pic #6: First support in place
4. Slicing through the wool5. Adding more wire6. Testing the stance
Pic #7: Repair begins Pic #8: Initial close Pic #9: Trimming the tarsus
7. Finishing the reconstruction8. Closing things up9. Trimming extra wool
Pic #10 Pic #11 Pic #12
10. Raw material for new skin11. Finished skin panels12. Mounting the skin
Pic #13: Front view of the skin-mounting process Pic #14: Amost complete Pic #15: Free at last
13. Front view of mounting the skin14. Done but not finished15. Operation complete!