Saturday, February 11, 2012

Woolly: Temple's Sheep Toy

Woolly says 'Hi!'
Woolly: Temple's Sheep Toy

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Creative Commons License
For personal use, gifting, and donation only. If you are involved in an animal charity, please contact me with details of the charity and event for permission to sell for fund-raising. Please do not sell or duplicate this pattern in whole or in part, claim any part of this pattern to be your own or ever use items made from this pattern for personal gain.

Ah, the folly of a white dog toy. Feel free to make this sheep in any color you like. Sheep come in black and grey and browns and dirt... or maybe your sheep come in blue and have three green feet and one orange. I happened to have this white boucle` in my stash (I do not remember the brand) but any bumpy/bulky yarn will do (Homespun is an easy one to find).

This little Sheep Toy was designed especially for a Pyrenees/Pit Bull mix puppy named Temple. She was born on a farm with lots of animals, and her mother is a working dog, guarding the livestock. Though she will not remember the lambs, kids, and ducks she teetered around as a baby when she gets older, her Pyrenees instinct will tell her to guard and protect. Plus, I never pass up an opportunity to make a new dog a welcoming toy. I was already working on a design for the Leap Year toy and told Temple's new owner they could have that when it was done. Oh, no. It has to be a sheep. Well, fine. I made a sheep. And I tried to make it sturdy like most of my other toys, though I was very tempted by a darling knit pattern that would have taken her less time to destroy than for me to make, but sturdy dog-toy sheep is better.

So, Temple's sheep.... Kind of a ball, kind of not. I can see the potential and lots of little appendages for a puppy to gnaw on, right? Temple's a doll, by the way, but after pretty much exclusive experience with Rat Terrier puppies that are barking and wrestling at 2 and 3 weeks old, this over-sized puppy who just lays there waiting for you to hand her something to play with seems unreal to me. She may possibly consist entirely of Polyfill and Beanies. If it were my dog I'd be sticking a mirror under her nose all day long to be sure she was still with us. I don't EVER want to hear anyone complain about their puppy being hyper if they aren't talking about a terrier. You really just have no idea.

See more pictures of Temple the Rat Guard here on the Vendage Facebook page.

Baaaaa! I am not really wool at all!
Skill Level: 
Working with boucle` is not super easy. There are few stitches used but some shaping and crocheting into sides of stitches that may be new to some.

About 6 1/2 inches long, nose to tail.

Black Worsted Weight (ww) Yarn
White Boucle` Yarn
H Hook
Squeaker (optional)
Tapestry needle
3 stitch markers

Terms Used:
Chain - ch
Slip Stitch - slst
Single Crochet - sc
Single Crochet Two Together - sc2tog
Right Side - RS (the outside of the sheep)
Wrong Side - WS (not the outside of the sheep)


Note: You will be crocheting with 2 strands of black ww yarn, and then 1 strand of the white boucle. If you decide to make this sheep with all Worsted Weight instead of part boucle/bulky, use 2 strands together of the white throughout like with the black. The sheep will not be as fuzzy, of course, but the dog will still like it.
Make feet first and lay them aside until needed. They will be crocheted in later. This will be more secure than sewing them on. Don't worry about the ends. We will hide them inside. (YAY!)

FEET (Make 4)
Round 1: With 2 strands of black, ch2. 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6sc)

Special Instruction: (For all pieces) Unless otherwise stated, you will be working in the round. Have your stitch marker ready and move up to the start of each new round. Working with Boucle`, it is very easy to miss stitches, so be sure to mark and count your rounds even on rounds without increases or decreases.

Rounds 2-3: 1sc in each stitch around. Stuff beginning tail into toe.
Row 4: Ch1, fold flat, 3 sc across, crocheting both layers together. FO leave 6inch tail.

Round 1: With 2 strands of black, ch2. 5sc in 2nd ch from hook. (5sc)
Round 2: 1sc in each stitch around. (10sc)
Rounds 3-5: 1sc in each stitch around.
Round 6: Ch1. Sc in same stitch. Sc in next stitch. (2sc in next sc) twice. Sc in next 2 stitches, leaving last 4 stitches unworked. Ch 1 turn (8sc)
Row 7: Sc in 1st stitch. Ch6. Sc in next 6 stitches. Ch6. Sc in last stitch. Ch1, turn (8sc, 2ch6)
Row 8: Sc in first 2 stitches. (Sc2tog) twice. Sc in last 2 stitches. FO black, stuffing tails into nose. (6sc)

Note: You may choose to embroider eyes and a nose at this point, but I didn't because a. I don't like to embroider and 2. details please humans not dogs. 

Row 9. (RS) Join 1 strand of white boucle to right side side at end, 2sc in each stitch across, ch1, turn (12sc)
Row 10. (WS) Sc2tog across, ch1, DO NOT TURN. DO NOT FO.  (6sc)

Note: You will be making the body of the sheep on the wrong side because the wrong side of bulky yarns is always the prettiest. You don't really need to turn it wrong side out. There will be enough room to just crochet INSIDE the round instead of on the outside. The last couple of rounds, though, will probably need to be crocheted on the right side. There will be a reminder for that when you get there.

Round 1: Ch1. With WS facing (until instructed otherwise), place 18 sc around the opening of the neck (on the black and the white). (18sc)
Round 2: 1sc in each stitch around.
Round 3: (2sc in next, 1 sc in next 5) around. (21sc)
Round 4: (2 sc in next, 1 sc in next 6) around. (24sc)
Round 5: (2sc in next, 1 sc in next 7) around. (27sc)
Round 6: (2sc in next, 1 sc in next 8) around. (30sc)

Fold flat and mark where the feet should be centered on the belly. You will want 2 or 3 stitches between them.

Round 7: 1sc in each stitch around, crocheting through both layers to attach feet where marked as you go. Be sure the feet are pointed to the outside of the sheep! Pull the tails through to the center.
Round 8-10: 1sc in each stitch around.
Round 11: 1sc in each stitch around, attaching back feet to line up with front feet as in round 7.

Note: After you get the back feet on, loosely knot two sets of ends on the inside of the sheep to prevent them slipping through in the future. Don't pull too tight as it will misshape the sheep. (ooh! say that ten times fast!)

Round 12: 1sc in each stitch around.
Round 13: (Sc2tog, sc in next 3) around. (24sc)

Round 14: (Sc2tog, sc in next 2) around. (18 sc)

Stuff lightly and place squeaker at this point.

 Round 15: RS from here on out. (Sc2tog, sc in next stitch) around. (12sc)

Note: Once the opening gets this small, it will be hard to crochet on the WS, so the last couple of rounds will be on the right side. You will be doubling back on your turn stitch, but just pull tight at the beginning of the next round to prevent a gap.

Round 16: (sc2tog) around. (6 sc)
FO leaving long tail. Stitch well to close. You can sew to pucker a bit to resemble a short, bushy tail. Sew securely then hide end inside by pulling through in a few directions with your hook.

Thanks to Virginia Smith of Vendage for these beautiful pictures of Temple and her new toy!

Please let me know in comments below, on the ADIAS FaceBook page or via email if you have any questions or find any errors in the pattern. Thanks and enjoy!


  1. It's adorable!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I just love it!


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