Some like my ‘simple‘ sheep…
Some like my ‘fancy’ sheep…
But, I love all my sheep!
Not to worry… no harm was done to any sheep or lambs during the writing of this post!!
Say ‘hello’ to my mini lambskin sheepy ‘rug’.
I’ve wet felted several of these little splayed sheepies over time… and have one in my farm shop (my prototype) that I use to display small hand-made ceramic sheep figures. In fact, I have made them so small that they can easily fit into a Christmas greeting card ~ world’s smallest sheepskin rug ~ that I’ve gifted to fiber friends.
THIS little sheepy rug measures approx 8 1/2 X 11 – inches.
A few weeks ago, a lady requested if I’d make her one of these little sheepskin ‘rugs’ for her 90-ish year old mother who is suffering from a rare blood cancer. Naturally, I said “yes”!
Well, Carolina dropped by the shop rather unexpectedly just this past Tuesday! YIKES!! I hadn’t even begun to THINK about making the little sheepy rug with all the holiday happenings! Thank God, she didn’t come to tell me that her mom passed-away!!!
I used my North Country Cheviot wool batt and began with several alternating layers (north/south)… leaving the edges a bit ‘rough’ and in the shape (legs, front & rear/tail end) as if it were a sheepskin pelt. Sorry folk, that’s farm life!
Once I was satisfied with my ‘layout’, I began the initial felting process. I used a kitty litter (clean) pan to contain the water, alternating hot & cold water w/a wee squirt of Dawn dish soap added to the hot water. I like to use a bamboo place mat to help with the agitation, remember to alternate directions – shrinkage occurs in the direction you’re working the piece.
Towel blot and allow to air-dry. Then came all the tedious work of needle felting all those little ‘tufts’ of fleece… remember, I LIKE lots of texture! My bumpy sheep is kind-of my trademark. Last, I added a few details to the face!
…and there you have it!
I was told by Carolina, that she actually wants to frame the sheepie and add a Bible Scripture verse around the perimeter of the sheep.
Yesterday, my mom had an appointment for a ‘routine’ stress test. I was the designated driver (since my mom, 86, doesn’t drive). While she had the test, and I sat in the waiting room… I doodled!
doodle (v.) – to draw, scribble, sketch
Not with paper and pen, but with WOOL. YES, W.O.O.L., really!
Besides my more traditional, well-loved sheepy felted soap, I also ‘felt’ other images, including free-spirited or free-styled ‘doodles‘. I had pre-wrapped my soap in wool roving beforehand. As I headed out the door, I grabbed my bag of colored roving and my felting needle.
With felting needle in hand, I doodled away…with no particular road map.
Some with a hidden message…
Doodling with wool is a good thing!
I’ve been fuss’n over a needle felted sheepie ~ a no-sew fiber project! She’s a real cutie *** my sheepies are usually a bit more primitive *** but, I couldn’t help myself…she makes me smile!
She’s all decked out for All Hallow’s Eve!
She can’t decide…whether to wear the pumpkin…
…or go completely ‘batty’??
You’ll need natural (white) wool roving or batt, felting needle, foam (to protect surface from felting needle), recycled wool/felt for ears & tail (or you could needle felt them), 2 black beads for eyes (you could needle felt the eyes), wood skewers for legs – painted black, but you could needle felt the legs too. AND whatever ‘accessories’ to embellish your sheepie.
I began by needle felting a rather large oval head (compared to the body), poking over and over a hunk of wool until quite dense. Then repeat and needle felt a body. Place head and body in position, and with a little whisp of wool roving, lightly wrap around head/body & begin to needle felt to attach both pieces together. Add more wool as you go until firmly connected!
Viola! Done! OOPS! Did I mention you may need bandages…in case you poke yourself!???
LEGS: Cut a wooden skewer into four 1/2-inch lengths for the legs; I painted them black with acrylic paint. Position the legs in the ‘body’ (HINT: Drill a little hole first with a sharp object to insert the legs a bit easier and dab with a pinch of fabric glue.). Needle felt a bit of wool around each leg to tidy up! OR, needle felt four little legs and attach to body the same way you attached the head.
EARS/TAIL: I snipped a bit of wool and attached them, but you could also needle felt little ears and a tail.
I needle felted a bit of black wool roving onto the sheep’s face and sewed black beads on for the eyes, using white thread (uh oh…I said ‘no-sew’ project!). BUT, you could needle felt eyes and a nose/mouth too!
Now comes the fun part… your imagination hath no limit! I made a witch’s hat with a bit of card stock that I cut, rolled and glued, painted black and glued halloweenee-type ribbon to cover it. I also used a pipe-cleaner for the rim and needle felted a black pom-pom for the top of the hat. BUT, you could make a more traditional witch’s hat, wide brim ‘n all, cover it with a decorative tissue paper/gift wrap, or even needle felt a hat! Use scrap bulky yarn for the rim, etc.
The mini-pumpkin and bat ‘accessories’ are made with a low bake resin clay, shaped free-hand, painted and strung onto a bit of novelty yarn. HINT: Don’t forget to make a hole in your ‘bead’. BUT, you could attach a little trick or treat bag, a little cape or witch’s broom…candy corn necklace, and so on??!! See what I mean…endless possibilities. ALL one-of-a-kind! And YOU get to decide!!!
I almost forgot, for reference, my little sheepy measures approx. 2-1/2 inches tall by about 2-1/4 inches wide. She just may end up in my ETSY shop…
I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter holiday! As with any family gathering, I think we all ate too much!
So, how about indulging in a zero-calorie strawberry tart?
The strawberry is needle felted with hand-dyed wool, stitched on wool fabric for leaves and a few black seed beads…and glued into a vintage tart tin.
And here’s another needle felted sheep pinkeep.
The sheep is needle felted and sits on an old thread spool that I covered/stuffed with wool. I embellished it with a few stitched daisy/crystal beads. I ripped muslin strips and stamped ‘pin-keep’, baa, etc and wrapped it onto the spool.
Last, here’s another needle felted sheep with bamboo skewers for little legs, painted with acrylic paint, poked and glued into the wool body. I added a few alphabet beads to spell ‘baa’ and tied it around her neck!
I never get tired of making sheep…