Little Woolly Sheep

Summer is here and there are only twelve weeks left before we open wide the Yarndale doors for the fourth year. It’s an exciting time for the Yarndale team as we work hard to make our festival a fun, exciting and inspirational event for our amazing exhibitors and our thousands of visitors. Those of you who have visited us in previous years will be familiar with the unique creative vibe that Yarndale has become so well know for. You will no doubt remember the now famous crochet bunting (all 1.5km of it) as well as having very good recall of the 1,182 beautiful crochet mandalas which caused such a stir two years ago. Last year, our Flowers for Memories display was a fantastic celebration of yarn and creativity (we received over 5,000 crocheted and knitted flowers from all over the world!) whilst at the same time raising money and awareness for a very good cause. Donations poured in during the two days of Yarndale, raising a total of £1811.80 for the Alzheimers Society.

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We are really excited to tell you about our idea for Yarndale 2016, which as you’ve probably gathered by now has something to do with little Woolly Sheep! The auction mart in Skipton where Yarndale is held each year is a very busy place indeed and for most of the year it is inhabited by farmers and their animals. In fact, just three days before our exhibitors arrive with all their beautiful yarny stuff, the pens are chockablock full of real live woolly sheep. It was this truly woolly connection that inspired our project this year – we decided that we would like to create our very own flock of sheep! Baaaaaaaaa!!!

We have both a crochet and a knitting pattern to share with you this year – both versions feature little woolly animals made from natural coloured yarn, with colourful woolly jumpers that can be removed. The sheep are made from small amounts of Double Knit yarn and stand just 8cm tall, making them quick and easy to make (and just a teensy bit addictive, you’ve been warned).

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As in previous years, this creative project means a huge amount to us here at Yarndale. It’s a way for us all to celebrate our shared love of yarn and the wonderful creative community we belong to. We feel it is a unique way for us to bring people together via crochet and knitting, to celebrate yarn and colour and  to enable each one of us to be a part of something really big and beautiful and visually inspirational. It is our hope that we will be herding together hundreds of sheep from all over the world this summer, we are more than a little bit excited at the prospect!

In addition to the visual impact we are hoping to create with our giant yarny flock at Yarndale, we are thrilled to be working in collaboration with our chosen charity Martin House Hospice. We have supported the work of Martin House for the past two years by donating a percentage of sales from our lovely Yarndale calendars, so we have seen what a difference it makes to this local charity to have our support. The wonderful ladies from Martin House will be helping us keep our woolly sheep in order during the Yarndale weekend and will be running the Grand Sheep Sale which will take place from 12 – 4pm on Sunday 25th September. More details about the sheep sale will be available nearer the time, and it goes without saying we would truly appreciate all the support you can give us.

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If you are interested in joining in with this baaaaaaarilliant project and making a little Woolly Sheep to send on it’s travels to Yorkshire, here are some more details….

Q :: How many sheep would you like me to make?

A :: This is VERY IMPORTANT >>> please can we ask that each person makes just ONE WOOLLY SHEEP to enter into the Grand Sheep Sale. Only ONE per person please.

Q :: What type of yarn would you like me to use?

A :: Any yarn you like! We’ve found that wool or wool blend yarn gives great results for this project, but any oddments of DK yarn will be fine.

Q :: Where can I find patterns for the crochet and knitted sheep?

A :: We have two patterns to share…..

“Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing” is a knitting pattern designed by Frankie Brown. You can find it as a free download on Frankie’s Ravelry page HERE. The pattern contains plenty of photos to help you knit and make up your little sheep.

“Little Woolly Sheep” is a crochet pattern designed by Lucy of Attic24. You can find a full picture tutorial as well as a PDF pattern to download on Lucy’s blog HERE.

Q :: What needle/hook size shall I use?

A :: Details of all materials needed are contained within the patterns. You will need some oddments of DK weight yarn (preferably wool or wool blend). Hook size is 3.5 mm. Needle size is 3 mm.

Q :: What size should my finished sheep measure?

A :: The woolly sheep stand approximately 8 cm tall, but really the size doesn’t matter too much and we are expecting lots of unique and individual animals! The important thing is to aim for a reasonably tight tension so that the knit/crochet fabric will contain the stuffing and your sheep will hold it’s shape well.

Q :: What colours should I use, and can I add decorative touches to my sheep?

A :: Please be creative and use whichever colours float your boat! We’ve made our sheep in natural sheep colours but colourful sheep will also be welcome. The woolly jumpers can be decorated if you wish too – crochet/knit stripes, add decorative embroidery, buttons or little motifs – have fun with it!

Q :: When do you need them?

A :: We are keeping this project open until two weeks before Yarndale – closing date for sheep to arrive is FRIDAY 9th SEPTEMBER (that’s ELEVEN WEEKS!)

Q :: Where shall I send my sheep?

A :: To the following address…….

YARNDALE SHEEP

PO BOX 97

SKIPTON

NORTH YORKSHIRE

BD23 9EN

** Please can you be mindful of your packaging and use paper/cardboard that can be recycled (no plastic bubble wrap or padded plastic envelopes if possible please)

Q :: What information should I include with my sheep?

A :: Please could you supply your name, along with your town/county/state/province and country. We’d like to compile a list of shepherdesses, along with their origin.

Q :: What will happen to the sheep?

A :: All donated sheep will be lovingly numbered, catalogued and photographed before being herded up ready for their big outing at Yarndale. The woolly flock will be displayed during the Yarndale weekend, culminating in a Grand Sheep Sale which will take place from 12pm to 4pm on Sunday 25th September 2016. Proceeds from the sheep sale will go to Martin House Hospice, a very deserving Yorkshire based charity which supports and cares for terminally ill children and their families. A donation will also be made to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation as requested by Frankie Brown, with gratitude for her support of this project. After Yarndale, the remaining sheep will be rounded up and divided between ten high street charity shops in Yorkshire. These shops are run by Martin House who are very excited about having some sheep in residence, although we do hope they will soon find loving homes whilst raising money for a very good cause.

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THANK YOU FOR JOINING IN WITH OUR WOOLLY SHEEP PROJECT!

With love and woolly gratitude from The Yarndale Team xxxxx