Friday, April 12, 2013

Lil' Bo-Peep and her lost sheep

Originally, back when I was doing the lions, I had planned to make a sheep and sew the coat on like I did the lion manes.  But... it wasn't weaving and it actually covers up almost ALL the woven material!  Something just didn't seem right about it, so I decided to try my hand at making the whole thing woven, even though I knew I would just have to go off of gut feelings here.  But I wanted the sheep fluff to be woven into the skin.  I had two options I could think of, one would be to make it like loops through the whole cloth, almost like terry cloth.  The second would be  to make a chenille-like cloth, with woven "caterpillars" sticking out of it that I can go back and fluff up later.  I went with the second option.

The chenille cloth was hard to imagine at first, but here is basically the image from my head.  You warp about 6 threads per inch, and then put all 6 in one dent.  In the heddles, you thread it 1,2,1,2,1,2.  When you weave the cloth, you are going to cut up the little caterpillars and then weave them again with some plain weave between each row.  So basically, this is what the first part looks like.

This is the chenille warped placed 6 threads into each dent every inch:

Threaded 1,2,1,2,1,2
Skip some space
skip some space

Tie-up is just shaft 1 on the left treadle and shaft 2 on the right treadle.

These treadles are so light compared to other designs I've done.  I can just scrunch my toes up and it goes down!  I hardly need to lift my feet.  Some of those 8-shaft patterns cause me to really stomp, which uses a whole lot of energy!

And this is what you should get...

I like to think of this sheep skin as a twice-baked potato, mainly because we have to weave this cloth twice!  I'm soooo super excited to see what it will be like after the 2nd weaving, as I have never done this before!  It will be fun to watch the mystery unfurl! 

I've been studying all the sheep pictures online very closely, and this is what I came up with for my pattern, which I drew myself!  I admit to a lack of drawing skills, but this looks pretty darn good for not being able to draw!  Each square is one inch, so it will need fabric that is about 14 inches across, and maybe a half yard, but that is just a guess...

I drew this based on all those Google images of sheep.  Its nose is a little longer than a dog's, the tummy droops down a little and its NOT trim, the legs are a little longer, and they don't have fuzz on them.  The fuzz goes around his eyes, but his eyes, ears, and all the fuzz seem to come together in one place.  The ears will be long and skinny and stick straight out of the sides of the head.  The tail will be wide, but short.  I want the skin to be dark and the fuzz to be white, but I think I might have to go with white skin and fuzz because I want to use cotton

Here is another sheep picture that has caught my attention.  I have it hanging above my loom.  This is a picture of the Australian $2 bill, which is out of circulation now.  A friend on Ravelry sent it to me from Australia!  I sent her son a few US quarters that I found.  It is fun to make so many friends around the world!!  And not only do I love the color, but I also love the details in this picture:

All those tiny lines and swirls in the fur, the horns are really cool, too.  I have thought about trying to make a whole sheep family!  Or even a flock!  What fun that would be!