Follow these directions to make a colorful sheep enjoying nature in your back yard. It is stitched on wool fabric but you can use any fabric you like. Change up the colors or add more features. It is hand embroidered using techniques from my new book Joyful Stitching: Transform Fabric with Improvisational Embroidery.
The written and illustrated directions for Dyed in the Wool, are also found in Free-Form Hand Embroidery on Wool along with 4 other projects stitched on wool.
Materials Needed for the Dyed in the Wool Stitch-Along:
- Click here for the Dyed in the Wool Stitch Kit or assemble the following items:
- 6” x 6” wool
- Size 8 pearl cotton threads in these colorways: Black, Butter, Oranges, Really Red, Wisteria, True Blues, Aquamarine, Lime Frappe, Peas in a Pod or similar colors
- Printed pattern for the Dyed in the Wool Sheep. Click here for a PDF of the pattern to download and print.
- Tracing paper
- Straight pins
- Black fine point marker
- Sizes 3 or 4 hand embroidery needles
1. Download and print out the Pattern PDF. Trace the sheep pattern onto tracing paper using a black marker.
2. Pin the tracing to the wool with straight pins.
3. Follow the black marker lines and stitch the outline of the sheep onto the wool using Running Stitches. (In this example, the outline is stitched with the True Blues thread.)
4. Use the tip of a pin to score the paper next to the stitches and remove the paper. These Running Stitches will be removed as the design is stitched.
5. Stitch around the shapes of the sheep’s ears and legs using the Stem Stitch. Stitch Long/Short Stitches across the sheep’s face using a light colored thread.
6. Fill in the ears and leg shapes with rows of Stem Stitches tightly packed together.
7. Stitch a row of Bullion Knots vertically across the sheep’s forehead.
8. Stitch the head and neck of the sheep with French Knots tightly packed together.
9. Fill in the body of the sheep with French Knots tightly packed together.
10. Add a tail using French Knots.
11. Remove the Running Stitches from the shapes.
12. Stitch grass using Straight Stitches in a variegated thread. Stitch from the sheep’s feet down to within 1/4” of the bottom edge of the fabric. Keep 1/4” free of stitches on each edge for finishing the piece.
13. Stitch 2 rows of Stem Stitches within 1/4” of the fabric sides and top edge to form a frame. Do not stitch the bottom (grass) edge of the fabric.
14. Stitch Stem Stitches in a spiral in the upper right hand corner to make the sun.
15. Stitch French Knots inside the sun spiral.
16. Stitch parallel lines of Running Stitches across the sky to make waves and spirals.
17. Stitch 2 French Knots on the sheep’s face using the black thread to make eyes.
18. Stitch Straight Stitches in a T shape on the nose of the sheep using the black thread to make the nose and mouth.
19. Stitch 5 Bullion Knots in the grass to make flowers.
20. Trim the fabric close to the outside edge of the stitching to finish the piece.