Knitting Sheep, The Pattern Thought Process…

I have been working on a new sheep pattern, I love the process… thinking a pattern into a form… 
I study photos of the animals I am designing, look at their shape, imagine their movement in my mind and think about how that would affect their musculature and overall appearance. Then, I look to their jaw line, how it tapers and how it balances with the curve of their neck and back…

So today it was the sheep, I drew him, noticing how his neck and head extend outwards as if he is reaching forward to grasp something. His face also tapers very slightly downwards and upwards as if converging to a central point of meeting, at the muzzle or snout. The back legs are quite muscular compared to the front legs and the tummy section is quite a bulk of form. Even the little ears I have noticed after looking at many photos of sheep, actually stand a little out to the sides of his head and don’t hang straight down…

This is how I like to look at an animal before I design a pattern, once I have an understanding of their shapely detail I can imagine the stitches and convert them to the written pattern instructions:)

Taking photos today was quite an interesting process, the chickens were intent on coming over to have a closer look at what I was doing…

The sheep…

He will be going into my shop his pattern is already listed:) I have also added him to Ravelry, I am there as Mamma4earth.

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20 Responses to Knitting Sheep, The Pattern Thought Process…

  1. anna January 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    He’s just perfect! I love his little ears especially 🙂

  2. Pamela Nees January 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    The sheep is wonderful! I think the chickens are jealous…

  3. Linda January 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Thank you Anna and Pamela:) Pamela, I think you are right about the chickens:)

  4. Deborah January 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    What a dear little sheep. I believe the chickens wanted to model for you, too.

  5. Gramerly January 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Love the sheep. What talent you have.
    I linked to you on my blog, as I discovered Anna through you and am enjoying knitting wee gnome hats, my only knitting adventure besides a scarf.

  6. Dawn January 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    You are so talented! I think this little sheep is adorable.

  7. Tracy January 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    I showed your notebook to my daughter. She is always talking about wanting to make something and I keep trying to get her to write down her ideas so the next time she says….I’m bored then she can get it out and create. Thanks for the idea.

    in 4 feet of snow here in the US

  8. goldenbird January 30, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Your knit sheep is gorgeous. Interesting to get a peek at your creative process. Maybe the chickens were hoping you were going to knit them next?

  9. Carol Browne January 30, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    It’s amazing how you can convert an animal into an accurate 3D knitting pattern. It’s kind of like magic to me. 🙂

  10. Beth January 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    I love seeing the creative process at work! And I love to observe the animals too. You have done quite well at capturing the character of a sheep ^_^

  11. Rachael January 31, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    Aw such a cute sheep! Where did you learn to make your own patterns pls? x

  12. Kathy January 31, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Having a window on your creative process is very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I, too, have linked to you on my blog because you always have something new and exciting to read about.

  13. Shannon January 31, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    I’m with Anna, his ears are perfect. I just marvel at how clever you are. how is your book coming along?

  14. W-S Wanderings January 31, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    I love this glimpse into how you work out your wonderful patterns. I chuckled when I saw your knit sheep beside your sketch of a sheep. Reminded me of when my husband made his plans for building a dormer. It was a triangle with measurements. That’s all he needed to transform it into a 3D reality. Must be nice for y’all to hold such magic!!!

  15. K January 31, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Ah! How I love to hear the process behind the art. You could go even deeper for me – I am simp;y amazed and fascinated.

  16. Bead and Needle January 31, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    How darling is this!!! Off to check out more of your blog, and your shop. Happy Monday – Tanya

  17. Linda January 31, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Thanks so much for your lovely comments, I appreciate every one:)

    Thanks so much:) I just imagine how animals look in wool and I knit them up into a pattern:)
    Take care

  18. Dawn January 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Lovely, great shape and ears. Is she knit flat?
    Beautiful as always x

  19. Linda January 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Dear Dawn,
    Thanks so much:)
    She is knit flat.
    Take care

  20. Rachel January 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    See! This is why you and Kristen are so good at this. I am a pattern follower. I can not draw anything to save my life. Seriously!! My stick figures aren’t even recognizable! You have such a gift!!

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