I woud really like to build up a flock of Knitted Sheep for the nativity set. Could you help?
There are some lovely patterns out there on various websites.
Our nativity set is based on the Jean Greenhowe Christmas Special knitting collection:
JEAN GREENHOWE WEBSITE
The 'official' patterns available for purchase HERE
A Free but slightly fiddly sheep pattern is available here (See also below):
FREE SHEEP PATTERN
There's a simpler sheep pattern here as a PDF, for a smaller nativity set, with a little lamb (part of a shepherd) that might work:
SHEEP PDF PATTERN DOWNLOAD HERE
Also you can buy sheep and lamb patterns on Etsy, including:
THIS SMALL SHEEP
Thislow cost basic pattern offers three different scales of small sheep:
Pattern for the Free sheep
I used DK yarn for the head, body, legs and ears and size 2.75 mm needles (US size 2). This finer needle gives the required tighter fabric.
Different yarns vary in the way they knit up but here is the pattern I used. Please adjust if necessary to suit your own requirements. I experimented with stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch, both are suitable, its a matter of personal choice.
Body - Cast on 14 stitches, knit 16 rows. With a large sewing needle take the stitches off onto a length of yarn and draw up. With wrong sides facing stitch the long edges together. You should now have a tube. Turn to the right side, stuff and draw up the open end to make a fat sausage shape.
Legs (knit 4) - Cast on 6 stitches and knit 8 rows. Cast off. Roll up the knitted piece as tightly as you can to form a tiny sausage shape and stitch down the open edge (no stuffing required). Stitch the tops of the legs to the body as shown above.
Head- Cast on 9 stitches and knit 10 rows. Take stitches off onto a sewing needle and draw up. With right side facing (because head is too small to turn inside-out) neatly oversew the long edges together. Lightly stuff the head and gather the open end. To give the head a realistic curved shape push the threaded needle from the nose end through the head and out of the top. Pull until you have the required curved shape then fasten off. Decide which end is better for the nose and stitch the head to the body (see picture above).
Ears (knit 2) - Cast on 3 stitches and knit 2 or 3 rows. Remove stitches onto sewing needle and draw up, this makes the pointed end of the ear. Oversew down the ear to the base and stitch it to the top of the head (see picture above).
Now you can give the sheep a face. I used embroidery floss.
Now comes the fun part...dressing the sheep. You can create different coats from different yarns, in other words anything goes!
I used 3.75 mm (US size 5) to make a soft fabric.
Basic coat- Cast on 10 stitches and knit the required number of rows to wrap over the sheep's back from one side to the other. Cast off. Fold in half and with wrong sides facing. Stitch together the edges at one end to form the back end and a very short seam (about 1cm) at the front. This will fit under the sheep's head. You must leave an opening large enough at this end for the sheep's head to pass through. Turn right side out.
I used a curly boucle yarn for the white coat (garter stitch) and a grey DK for the other coat (moss stitch).