Designed and made by Nancy Ellison
My local Zumbro River Fiber Arts Guild always has an annual project. This year, we’re making ornaments for a tree to donate to the Festival of Trees fundraiser. Since I’m a member of various subgroups in the guild, I wanted to combine techniques for my sheep ornaments. Our inkle weaving group recently got into tube weaving, so my sheep has tube legs. Its knitted head and embroidered eyes represent two more groups. Handspun yarn honors the spinning group, and I wove the body on an Easel Weaver for the portable loom group.
After I finish sheep ornaments for the guild’s tree, I’ll make some more to honor favorite sheep in my flock, like Buddy, Marshmallow, and Sparky. This project would also be a great way to showcase fleece samples for a breed study—the locks will stand out in this barely spun yarn.
- Schacht Inkle Loom, belt shuttle, and 8 heddles (for legs)
- spinning wheel with extra slow whorl and Bulky Plyer Flyer or spindle—I used my Schacht Navajo spindle
- 6″ Easel Weaver, shed stick, beater, and weaving needle (for body)
- size 6 knitting needles (for head)—or weave on a Zoom Loom if you prefer
- tapestry needle
- sewing needle and thread
- 90 yards sturdy wool yarn for the legs and face—I used Brown Sheep Lana Bouclé (180 yds/100 g; Aran weight, 8 wpi) for warp, weft, and knitting
- 2 ounces washed uncarded locks, 3″ to 5″ staple length for the body weft
- 4 yards 8/4 cotton carpet warp for the body warp
- yarn or embroidery thread for eyes and face
- finishing touches: scraps of red yarn for bow, sheep bell, yarn for hanging loop