These little woolly sheep are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, this breed is known to display an especially high level of cuteness!
I've created a full tutorial for this pattern with lots of pictures to help you along the way. If you would like to go straight to the written pattern which you can download and print out, you can find it here >>> Woolly Sheep Pattern <<<
Crocheted with DK yarn and a 3.5mm hook, each sheep stands approximately 8cm tall and will snuggle into the palm of your hand.
You can use any double knit yarn that you have to hand in suitable sheepish colours - I used Stylcraft Life DK (75% acrylic / 25% wool) in Natural Nepp colour which is a creamy shade with little dark grey flecks running through it.
To make your very own woolly sheep, this is what you will need ::
Small quantity of DK weight yarn (preferably wool) in cream/grey/black sheep colours
Small quantity of DK weight yarn (preferably wool) in two contrasting colours for the woolly jumper (plus extra colours if you wish to add some decorative embroidery)
Oddment of black/grey 4ply yarn or embroidery thread for embroidering the face
Small amount of toy stuffing
The sheep is made in five separate pieces, as follows :
- The Head, which is worked in amigurumi style to produce a three dimensional shape (above left)
- Two Ears, which are stitched to the side of the head
- The Body and Legs, which are worked in rows of double crochet. The body and legs are worked together as one flat shape (above middle)
- The Tail, which is stitched to the rear of the body
- The Woolly Jumper, which is worked in rows of double crochet as one flat shape (above right)
I am writing this pattern using UK crochet terms, as follows :
sl st [slip stitch] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on your hook.
dc [double crochet] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (two loops on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook (note :: this is equivalent to the US sc stitch)
htr [half treble]:: yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook (note :: this is equivalent to the US hdc stitch)
dc dec [double crochet decrease] :: insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (two loops on hook), insert hook into next stitch, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook (note :: this is equivalent to the US sc dec)
To begin : Chain 2.
Round 1 : In 2nd chain from hook, work 6 dc. Remember you will be working the head as a continuous spiral, so there are no slip stitches and no distinct start/end to each round. Unless you are sitting in silence where you can concentrate fully and count religiously, I would advise you to use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of each round.
Round 2 : Work 2 dc in each stitch, remembering to mark your first stitch with a stitch marker (as shown above). [12 stitches]
Round 3 : *2 dc in first stitch; 1 dc in each of the next 3 stitches*
Repeat between ** three times (as above). [15 stitches]
Round 4 : Work 1 dc in each stitch. [15 stitches]
Round 5 : Repeat round 4
Your crochet should now have changed from a flat circle to a cup shape.
In round 6 you will begin to decrease. A dc decrease is worked across two stitches (see stitch explanation at the start of the pattern)....
...which effectively turns two stitches into one.
Round 6 : *dc dec; 1 dc in each of the next 3 stitches*
Repeat between ** three times [12 stitches]
Round 7 : 1 dc in each stitch [12 stitches]
Now you need to add a little stuffing to the head at this point - only lightly stuff so the head takes on a soft oval shape. Push the stuffing right into the head with the end of your crochet hook so it doesn't get in the way of your next stitches (as shown above)
Round 8 : *dc dec; 1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches*
Repeat between ** three times [9 stitches]
Round 9 : *dc dec; 1 dc in next stitch*
Repeat between ** three times [6 stitches]
Fasten off, leaving a 30cm tail for stitching. Your head will look a bit like an egg at this point (as above) but don't worry! Thread the yarn onto a needle and stitch through the remaining six stitches, gathering them up as you go. Pull the yarn tight so that the stitches close together and there is no hole.
Fasten off securely and bring your needle out to the centre-back of the head shape - you will use this tail end to stitch the head to the body later.
Gently knead the head shape so that it's more of a soft oval and less of an egg!
EARS (make 2)
To begin : Chain 4
Row 1 : Begin in 2nd chain from hook (as shown by my needle in the above picture).
Work 1 dc; 1 htr in next st; in the last stitch work (1 dc; slip stitch). Fasten off, leaving a 20 cm tail end for stitching.
The ear shape is pretty tiny and can be quite fiddly with only three stitches. Try and keep a nice even tension as you work your stitches.
To begin : Chain 5
Row 1 : Begin in 2nd chain from hook and work 1 dc in each of the next 4 chains. Fasten off, leaving a 20cm tail end for stitching.
BODY / LEGS
To begin : Chain 31
Row 1 : Begin in 2nd chain from hook and work 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn. [30 stitches]
Row 2 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn. [30 stitches]
Row 3 : Repeat Row 2.
Row 4 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each of the next 27 stitches. Leave the remaining 3 stitches at the end of the row un-worked (above picture). Turn. [27 stitches]
Row 5 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each of the next 24 stitches.
Leave the remaining 3 stitches at the end of the row un-worked (above picture). Turn. [24 stitches]
Row 6 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn. [24 stitches]
Rows 7 – 12 : Repeat Row 6.
Row 13 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each stitch across; chain 4. Turn. [24 stitches + chain 4]
Row 14 :
Note : The first three stitches of Row 14 are worked into the chain you made at the end of the last row. This can be a little bit fiddly, but if you twist the chain slightly towards you, you'll be able to clearly see each individual chain stitch. Insert your hook under both loops of each chain to work the double crochet, just as you would do if you were working into a foundation chain.
Row14 : Starting in 2nd chain from hook, work 1 dc in each of the next 3 chains (as shown above)
Work 1 dc in each of the next 24 stitches;
Chain 4. Turn. [27 stitches + chain 4]
Row 15 :
Note : The first three stitches of Row 14 are worked into the chain you made at the end of the last row.
Row 15 : Starting in 2nd chain from hook, work 1 dc in each of the next 3 chains; 1 dc in each of the next 27 stitches. Turn. [30 sts]
Row 16 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn [30sts]
Row 17 : Repeat Row 16. Fasten off.
Your crochet will probably be quite curly at the edges, so give it a very light steam press (use a steam iron on a low setting and puff some steam onto the crochet. Don't let the iron touch the yarn!)
The first stage of creating the sheep's body is to stitch up the four legs. Fold one of the small legs in half (as shown above).
Use whip stitch (over sew) to create a neat seam down the whole length of the leg (as shown above). Fasten off securely.
Repeat with the other three legs, making sure you are folding and stitching each leg in the same direction. All seams should face upwards - this is now the Wrong Side of the sheep.
To stitch up the body, you will need to fold the shape in half (along the dotted fold line in the above picture), making sure the Wrong Side faces outwards...
....the best way to do this is to lay the body flat on the table and make sure you can see the leg seams facing you. Now simply pinch up the crochet along the middle (as above)
Your crochet rows should be running vertically up and down the body, with the legs pointing downwards and the leg seams visible.
Stitch up the front and rear ends of the body.
Use whip stitch to over sew the edges neatly together, starting at the bottom where the legs are and working your way neatly up to the top.
This is what your sheep body should look like - the above photo shows the Wrong Side with legs seams, front and rear seams visible.
Turn the body so that all seams are on the inside and the Right Side is facing outwards.
Stuff the body, gently stretching out the crochet fabric as you go to create a neat body shape. Don't over stuff.
The final seam will close up the underside of the sheep's tummy.
Begin by making a few strengthening stitches in between the back legs.....
....then whip stitch the edges of the tummy neatly together, making sure not to catch any of the stuffing as you stitch.
Stitch in between the two front legs to strengthen, then fasten off securely.
The legs should be stiff enough to enable the sheep to stand up all by itself - clever eh?
Stitch the tail onto one end of the sheep.
Now stitch the ears to the side of the head, they should stick straight out or droop slightly. Position them approximately three rounds down from the top of the head - if you put them too high up, your sheep may end up being mistaken for a dog (trust me on this one, I made plenty of dog-like sheep before I realised it was the ears that were making it look wrong!)
Embroidering the face is not as easy as it looks, so be prepared for it to take a few attempts. Through trial and error (oh, so many errors!), I found that the features need to be placed quite low down on the face to prevent the dog-look-a-like thing.
Use a finer yarn (4 ply) or embroidery thread in dark grey or black.
Start with the nose - bring the needle to the front, slightly to the left of where you think the nose should be. Insert the needle back in slightly to the right, bringing it out again slightly underneath where the centre of the nose should be. Keep your yarn looped under the needle (as in above picture) and pull the needle through so that your yarn makes a little V shape....
...now insert your needle a little way underneath the point where it just came out to secure the V and form the nose....
...then make two straight stitches to form the mouth directly beneath the nose.
The eyes are made with two small vertical stitches on top of one another, or small French Knots if you know your embroidery stuff.
Small faces like this can be fiddly to get right, so you can always have a little practice on a spare piece of fabric or crochet first. It's amazing how much character is brought out by just a few little straight stitches, I hope you enjoy the sheep-face challenge!
Position the sheep's head so that it's facing to the side (not the front). You should be able to see the sheep's face when you look at the side of the sheep. Stitch the head securely to the body using the tail end you left in place at the end of crocheting the head shape. Remember to keep your sheep facing to the side! By the way, it really doesn't matter which direction your sheep faces - feel free to swap the tail and head around if you want your sheep to face the other way.
Our little Woolly Sheep is looking lovely, but in need of something to wear......
Use DK yarn in your favourite colour and a 3.5mm hook.
To begin : Chain 21
Row 1 : Begin in 2nd chain from hook and work 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn. [20 stitches]
Row 2 : Chain 1; 1 dc in each stitch across. Turn. [20 stitches]
Rows 3 – 12 : Repeat Row 2
Row 13 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 10 stitches. Leave the remaining 10 stitches un-worked. Turn. [10 stitches]
Row 14 : Chain 1; work a dc decrease across the first two stitches....
...then work 1 dc into each of the next 8 stitches. Turn. [9 stitches]
Row 15 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 7 stitches; dc dec. Turn. [8 stitches]
Row 16 : Chain 1; dc dec; Work 1 dc into each of the next 6 stitches. Turn. [7 stitches]
Row 17 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 5 stitches; dc dec. Turn. [6 stitches]
Row 18 : Chain 1; dc dec; work 1 dc into each of the next 4 stitches. Turn. [5 stitches]
Row 19 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 5 stitches. Fasten off.
Join yarn in the 11th st of Row 13 (as above)
Row 20 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into same stitch; work 1 dc into each of the next 9 stitches. Turn. [10 stitches]
Row 21 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 8 stitches; dc dec. Turn. [9 stitches]
Row 22 : Chain 1; dc dec; work 1 dc into each of the next 7 stitches. Turn. [8 stitches]
Row 23 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 6 stitches; dc dec. Turn. [7 stitches]
Row 24 : Chain 1; dc dec; work 1 dc into each of the next 5 stitches. Turn. [6 stitches]
Row 25: Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 4 stitches; dc dec. Turn. [stitches]
Row 26 : Chain 1; work 1 dc into each of the next 5 stitches. Fasten off, leaving a tail end for stitching up.
Fold the jumper in half as illustrated by the dotted line in the above picture.
There are just two small seams to stitch at the Front and Back.
The front seam is very short, made up of the five stitches at the end of rows 20 and 27. Over sew along the edges to join the two sides, then fasten off securely.
When you stitch up the Back seam, start at the bottom and over sew until you are approximately two thirds of the way up. Fasten off securely, leaving the top third of the seam open for the tail to poke out.
Turn the woolly jumper so that both seams are on the inside and the Right Side is facing outwards. You might wish to add some decorative embroidery, cross stitch, buttons or small felt motifs to your jumper, let those creative ideas flow!
The final finishing touch is a contrasting edging which is crocheted around the bottom edge of the jumper. The stitches will be worked into the ends of the crochet rows (as shown above)
To begin : Join yarn at the base of the back seam, chain 1, then work 1 dc in the same place.
Work 1 dc into the end of each crochet row, working around the post of the end stitch. Keep your tension even, taking care to keep stitches neat and evenly spaced when you pass over the join at the Front seam.
When you arrive back where you started, snip the thread and make an invisible join into the top of the first dc. Darn in ends securely.
Your woolly Jumper should fit your sheep snugly - start by pushing the sheep's head very gently through the sloping gap above the Front seam. Then ease the jumper over the sheep's back and pull the tail through the small gap left at the top of the Back seam.....
Give it a little tug and adjust until it sits neatly around your sheep - awwwwww, way too cute!!!!
These little jumpers can easily be jazzed up and personalised too - crochet stripes if you like (work two rows for each colour), add come embroidered flowers, a little cross stitch pattern perhaps, or maybe even some buttons and trimmings. How about making a little scarf, or tying a pretty ribbon round her neck?
I really hope you have fun trying out this pattern and creating a little Woolly Sheep for yourself. You might even be inspired to make a small flock! These cute sheep would make a great little gift and are a fab fund raising idea too - please feel free to make and sell for your chosen charity or good cause with my blessing.
Remember that as well as this tutorial, I've also written a standard pattern which you can download and print out....
>>> Download Woolly Sheep Pattern <<<
Happy hooking my friends.........
ps this pattern was created with kind permission from Frankie Brown. It was inspired by her original knitted "Sheep in Sheep's Clothing" which is available as a FREE pattern download from Frankie's Knitted Stuff Ravelry page.
My crochet sheep and Frankie's knitted sheep will form part of a creative collaboration for Yarndale 2016. You can read more about the project on the Yarndale blog. x