Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Herd of Sheep

I dislike car rides. I don't even like driving so much, but just sitting in the passenger seat is even worse. So, a few years back I took up knitting as something to do to help me deal with my car ride issues. Well, we just got back from a visit to Colorado, which entailed an approximate 16 hour car ride each way (thankfully broken up over two days each way). In addition to listening to almost two audiobooks while on the trip (we didn't quite finish Journey to the Center of the Earth, but did finish and greatly enjoyed Nick of Time), I knitted 3 sheep. Check out these funky cute things.

These are made from the "Sheepish pattern" purchased as a download from However, this and many other googlely eyed patterns are available from the author's Etsy shop, cheezezombie. I know the sea horse, and the lizard, and the bunny, and the spider, and about a half dozen others are calling my name. Good thing she offers deals if you order a number of patterns at once :D.

Anyway, this Sheepish pattern isn't for the total novice or faint of heart. Serious double pointed needle work, picking up stitches all over the place, tiny stitches crowded tightly together, and some embroidery to boot (and I totally am not good at embroidery, which is why my sheep eyes aren't as cute as the pattern photo). Still, if you have intermediate knitting skills, or are a motivated advanced beginner, these would make excellent baby gifts as there are no loose parts anywhere.

My first sheep. This was made from Lion Brand's Fishermen's Wool in natural. I dyed a small amount of it for the face, ears, and feet using Wilton food coloring, vinegar, and the microwave. I used the instructions from here, more or less. This guy was named Shaun the Sheep, after a stop-motion animation show that my husband enjoys. I photographed this one while my 3 year old was holding it so that you can see its scale better.

I made the second sheep from Sensations Beautiful yarn, in pink, for the body and Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice, in taupe, for the face, ears, pupils, and feet. The eyes are from the Fishermen's Wool natural. My 11 year old daughter initially called this plump lady "Pinky" but it quickly was changed to "Cotton Candy" or "Candy" for short. I used size 6 needles while making this one, instead of the size 3 the pattern suggested, which is why it turned out bigger than the others.

My last sheep, at least for now, was made from Lily Sugar 'n Cream in red, white, and blue. Oh, how I love self-striping yarn, but that is a whole other post for another time. My 5 year old chose this yarn for his sheep, and I decided to give it a go even though I wasn't sure it was the ideal yarn choice for this pattern. "Stripes", as he was named, is well loved even if he isn't quite as sheep-like as his friends.

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