I can't believe it. I finally finished my ram! It seems like so long ago that I started him. The body was relatively easy to put together. It was the fur that took so long. But I'm glad I did it because it looks awesome! I used an embroidery stitch called turkey work, which is worked similar to a backstitch but with a loop every other stitch that is tacked down with the following stitch. Then the loops are cut (though this step is optional) to create a fuzzy texture. I made the loops about 1 1/2 inches long on the main part of the body to make him extra poofy. The loops on the head, neck, and ears were shorter. And, as is the way of things, right after I finished him I found a special tapestry needle that would have made it way easier. But, no matter. He's done and ready for his photo session.
And now I have a little confession to make.
I might have gone a little overboard on this project. Somewhere between sewing the ram together and realizing how much time the fur was going to take, I decided to make a ewe as well. So I cut out more pieces and sewed them together. Part of the reason I made her was to try out another embroidery stitch. My absolute favorite embroidery texture is the oyster stitch. In fact, this whole project started after I found a picture of a brooch with a sheep done in this stitch. I staggered the stitches and made them close together to cover up all the base material. They ended up overlapping each other to create a roof shingle pattern. The oyster stitch has a very feminine feel to it, which is fitting since I used it on a female sheep. It looks like she is wearing many strings of pearly. It turned out so cool.
Her wool coat turned out so nice that I just had to take a bunch of closeups of it. The shadows in between the stitches create a lot of texture, even though the yarn is very tight against her body. She was so much fun to photograph. Here are the photos from her session.
And now I have a second confession to make.
I definitely went overboard on this project. After sewing the ram and the ewe bodies, I thought they would make such a cute couple that they deserved a lamb to complete the picture. And so, I made a third stuffed animal using this pattern. I shrunk the template to 70%, cut out the pieces, and stitched them together. This one was much simpler than the first two since I used wool felt for the body instead of embroidering fur. Even though it was the third one to get cut out, it was actually the first one I finished.
The eyes and mouth make such a playful expression. As I was taking pictures I imagined the lamb bounding away after each shot. Since there is less texture, all the focus is on the face, which is just fine since it's so cute. One last photo session before the family shots.
The three of them together make the cutest little family. I now introduce to you Mr. Ram, Mrs. Ewe, and Baby Lamb in their first ever family photo shoot. And don't worry, better names are forthcoming.
I can't help but be so proud of my creations! All the time, energy, and, yes, love that went into them make the end of such a long project absolutely worth it. Especially when my own little guy picks them up to play. His favorite game so far is knocking the ram over by throwing a ball at him. A future bowler, maybe? Aww, such a proud mama I am.