This needle felted rat was both!
The lesson was to not skip the step of drawing the skeleton first as a guide for the armature. I did skip that step and the result was that the tail was too short and the body was too long. I tried to stretch the wool on the tail and the result was a lumpy tail tip.
But the too long body was a worse problem. In fact, it was so bad that I decided to throw it away and start over. So I began crumpling it up and lo! it looked like a sleeping rat! This was something I couldn’t have achieved if it hadn’t been too long – there wouldn’t have been enough length to curl the body like this. So, the rat saved herself.
From there I finished her face with closed eyes. I knew she needed a blanket, but how would I make it without investing forever amounts of time? Then I remembered a sweatshirt jacket I made nearly ten years ago in a class at the local quilting store. It was fun to make, but the resulting jacket just looked like a bag on, and the applique process had stretched out the neck. So, I seldom wore it. But a piece of it would be perfect for the rat’s blanket.
And when I got the jacket out of the closet I saw that I had gone to the trouble of embroidering a few patches with flowers. So I cut a section, wrapped the raw edges with a strip of fabric, and…Voila! The perfect rat blanket.
So, in the end, what’s the lesson? I’m not sure, but maybe it’s not to give up, or, to keep your eyes open!