In Praise of the Humble Sheep

"La Fermiere" by Julien Dupis

“La Fermiere” by Julien Dupis

Don’t you love it!  Sheep are the bomb?..the dope?..the new black?…what’s the current terminology? I am thinking about these docile ditzy critters and wishing I could convey my thanks. Wool has been the soft cozy epicenter of my existence for over a year now. The fervor with which I throw myself into this work has been surprising, satisfying. I have been addictively, joyfully engrossed. The end result, seems to have everyone else smiling too.

Prototype rugged old 20 year-oldsheep

Prototype rugged old 20 year-old sheep

Through this past year I’ve made countless sheep in wool. In previous years they were resplendent in papier mache. (In fact, my first order with P’lovers in 2007 included 6 pair of rams and ewes.) Seems fitting to write a retrospective to illustrate where their peaceful pastoral presence has inspired me thus far.

Above was the Sunday school collection sheep back in 1996, when Seth, my youngest was only three. (Alarmingly, I think now, his head used to come off and the student’s pennies and nickels were dropped inside.) These two were made some time ago for my brother Robin and his wife Kim. He graciously sent their photos a few days back.

Robin and Kim's flock

Robin and Kim’s flock

As well, I completed four sets of these fellas during my time at the Crafter’s Room.

beach walk in hagenville 003

Lastly this big fella now resides with Sadie’s other Grandma, Margot Miller. Imagine explaining to airport security what this was doing in my suitcase!

"Yeah, just lemmie get this..."

“Yeah, just lemmie get this…”

When I began needle-felting last year the very first sheep was this big booty-ed white one made from the wool included in my first kit given by my Isaac for Christmas 2012 and some dark fleece given to me by my best buddy Elaine.


She was the first of many, most of which sold at the Crafter’s Room where I’ve been volunteering my time. They were all colors shapes and sizes, very simplistic and very quick to construct, with the most endearing results. Below is a shot of them in the display at the store.

A varied flock of Crafter's Room sheep.

A varied flock of Crafter’s Room sheep.

Pen and ink with minimal watercolor wash.

Pen and ink with minimal watercolor wash.

Also at the store I had an inventory of note cards in pen and ink. Amidst that collection was this lovely sheep.

In due course my dear brother took a shine to the sheep and increased his collection to two more, another big booty brown and a teeny little pink to go with big mama white. Clearly, these humble ovines persist in bleating their way into my thoughts.

Robin and Kim's flock.

Robin and Kim’s flock.

Recently I’ve rediscovered an amazing resource. Sara Renzulli, a needle sculptor in Maryland is gracious enough to instruct online. In a quick look back over my blogs, I found that in fact I’d first enjoyed her work, at, back in March of last year. A single lesson from this humorous, articulate, and gifted artist took me from here… more easter 023

… to here, in a single day.


So I shall continue this love affair til I’ve run out of steam, this last week has been thrilling with the catalyst of a new and boundless resource. I feel as though I’m growing in leaps and bounds. For now there are needles and lots of fleece so I must find the next “something completely different”. Back to work!


Cute iron on patch from the Etsy shop MTthreadz

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