Sheep in the Meadow…

I’ve been busy knitting and tweaking the pattern for these little sheep bottle-toppers. It’s a great stash buster…since you can really use any color yarn, whether they’re in the green ‘meadow’ or not…they’re definitely whimsical! I’m think’n about all the embellishments you could do with this project!!! 

A sweet ‘lil something to decorate a bottle of wine, herb vinegar, or perhaps a bottle of sparkling water…the next time you get-together with the girlfriends, fiber enthusiast, knitting club or spinning guild? Or, just cuz they’re cute!

The choice of yarn for the sheepie is up to you as well…but beware, commercial white yarn does NOT always felt well! Best to read the manufacturer’s label!

My initial bottle-topper sheep ‘prototype’ was knit without a head…I needle felted the head, tail and ears later after felting in the washing machine. The subsequent sheepies where knit with a head, ears and even a tail, and THEN felted in the machine.

Not ALL wool is created equally! The three ‘white’ sheep were knit with a bit of Greenfield Village’s Merino 2-ply worsted wool yarn that I found in my stash. The little grey sheepie is knit with 100% Merino wool grey/white tweed and felted well – that is, same ‘cycle’ time, and no stitch definition visible! 

Never machine felted before? Here’s HOW TO: Set your washing machine to HOT wash and lowest volume settings. Place your project in a zippered pillowcase to catch any loose fibers. Add a small squirt of Dawn liquid dish soap and an old pair of jeans to make a ‘full’ load and help with the agitation. (Avoid terrycloth towels since they may add undesirable fuzz/lint to your project!) You may even add a tennis ball ow two…

Now, set the timer and check the felting progress every five-minutes or so. Remove the item when felted, rinse with cool water, towel blot dry and pull gently into desired shape. Allow to air-dry. Ta-da! Honey, I shrunk the kids…I mean, you’ve successfully machine felted your first project! 

BTW, all natural fibers felt, some better, faster than others. Synthetic/acrylic yarn will not felt. I wouldn’t go any lower than 50/50 mix of natural/synthetic yarn – it acts as a ‘resist’ and may have fun results. But, always read the manufacturer’s label! Some natural fiber yarns are ‘treated’ so that they are machine washable without the risk of shrinking.  Expect anywhere from 25-30 % shrinkage. If size matters, work up a test swatch first!!!

Last, here’s a couple of embellished felted bowls that will be listed in my ETSY shop.

Here’s another…

I’m think’n of maybe making a needle felting kit?

Ahhhh, happy fiber’n!

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