Wee Tree Sheep!
Right now in my corner of the world, everyone is hunkering down for the first snowstorm of the season. While we eagerly anticipate between 0 and 74 inches of snow, expecting to be house-bound and without electricity for a few hours or weeks, I'm donning my coziest clothes, sipping hot drinks and digging in to one of my favorite yarn pastimes: making pompom sheep!
Pompom sheep are an absolutely delightful excuse to make pompoms, and if you've never made pompoms before, I'm going to apologize in advance for convincing you to do so, because not only is it a bit addictive, it also uses up a lot of yarn, and everything gets covered in wool dust. It's totally worth all of that, however, to have a bunch of these cutesies hanging around softening up the place.
I like to hang them on the tree. All of that white wool looks really lovely tucked into spruce and lit with fairy lights. As quickly as they come together (and given the highly addictive nature of pompom making), you'll have plenty piled up in no time to spread the cheer to all your other fiber-loving friends this holiday season.
So here's the pattern!
- white(ish) yarn for the pompom body (rug yarn works well but any old yarn will do. Obviously, wool is choice for making sheep but use what you've got!)
- dark medium weight yarn for the limbs and face. I used black here, but that can be a tricky color to work with, especially for beginners or very tired people. Brown looks equally good!
- 4.0 mm crochet hook
- good scissors for trimming the poms
- a tiny bit of stuffing (optional)
- a pompom maker (optional) the sheep shown were made on a 2.5" pompom maker, but you should feel free to use whatever pompom making method brings you the greatest joy.
- a yarn needle with a large eye
Crochet Legs (make 4)
r1: ch 2. 4 sc into 2nd ch from hook (or use magic ring) do not join 4sc
r2: (2sc in next sc, sc) x2 6sc
r3-5: sc in ea sc. if you would like to add a tiny bit of stuffing, do it now.
r6: (sc2tog) x3 3sc bind off, break yarn and stuff the tail into the inside of the leg
r1: ch 2. 4 sc into 2nd ch from hook (or use magic ring) do not join. 4sc
r2. (2sc in next sc, sc) x2 6sc
r3: (2sc in next sc, sc) x3 9sc
r4-6: sc in ea sc.
r7: (sc2tog)x2. sc in next 5 sc 7sc
r8: (ch 6. sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in next 2 chs, sl st in next ch) -- ear made. sc in next 3 scs of r7. make another ear. if you would like to add a tiny bit of stuffing, do it now.
r9: sc in next 4 sc. sl st in sc after first ear. bind off and break yarn, stuff in the ends.
Now make a pompom (or 10) and trim it up neatly. Both pompom production and trimming are skilled crafts, don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Practice makes perfect, but all that snipping can be tough on your fingers. Take lots of hot cocoa breaks.
Et voila! wee sheep bits. See? That went pretty quick, didn't it? Don't you want to make about 20 more? Me too. But first, let's put this little guy together, or else there will be sheep parts everywhere. Messy.
Attaching the limbs to the body
This is the bit that I had to think the most about ahead of time, but it turned out to be pretty simple. What it really comes down to is defining the piece of yarn that's holding the ball together as the "belt" around the sheep's belly, and passing the thread back and forth across this barrier to secure each limb. Here's a quick step by step of the legs going on:
Back and forth across the"belt" in the middle, re-insert the needle close to the point where it came out and try to keep pompom threads out of the way. Once all of the legs are attached in this manner you can tug them around and nestle them into the threads of the body.
Once you're satisfied with the placement of the legs, you get to decide which end of the sheep looks more like a butt. This is a pretty low-stakes judgement call, and I tend to think that both sides look pretty butty most of the time. Once you've picked, aim the needle to that side and up. catch the head at the top on the back side and make one more pass back across the middle to secure the head in place. Pass the thread through the head one more time, tie a knot and break the yarn and stuff the end in. Nestle the head down into the pompom and celebrate your new floofy creation with some more hot cocoa!
That's it! I really hope you enjoy making these as much as I do -- the world needs more wee tree sheep. In that spirit, please feel free to sell these guys at craft shows etc, just include a link back to this pattern. Please don't reproduce or alter the written pattern, or try to sell it. If you get stuck on any part, hit me up in the comments and I will do my best to help you, and we would love to see any pictures of your wee tree sheep when they are finished!
Happy hooking <3