A couple of weeks ago I went to my friend's Hen Party and over dinner her cousin was regaling us with stories of how, when they were young, K (whose parents kept a smallholding) had a sheep by the name of Pottle which was convinced it was a dog. Every time they went out for a walk with the dog, the sheep would insist on tagging along, but its stumpy little legs couldn't keep up, and so she was frequently reduced to carrying it. The picture she painted of K (who is only about 4ft 11) staggering along under the weight of a fully grown Jacob sheep had us all in stitches.
When I got home and saw the pictures of the sheep teacosy Lara's mum had made her I couldn't resist making one for her as a wedding present. Unfortunately however, various complications and mis-timings meant that I didn't get the pattern until last week so it was a close-run thing. But thanks to Felix kindly typing the whole thing out and emailing it to me I finally managed to start it on Tuesday night. I knit one half of the fleece on Wednesday and the other half on Thursday, nearly crippling my fingers on the loop stitch in the process.
The whole thing nearly came to grief after I failed to find any black aran for the head in Oxford, but once again Bluestockings came to the rescue and Ellen kindly supplied me with some ex-dalek which did the trick very nicely. I managed to complete the head and ears on Friday (largely courtesy of a very nice hairdresser who let me knit all the time she was cutting my hair and still only charged me £13!).
I was particularly pleased with the eyes which I managed to pick up from the little knitting shop in Didcot on my way back from the hairdressers (in the process I suspect slightly disconcerting my visiting vegetarian friends by telling them I just had to nip round the corner and buy some sheep's eyes). The little brown eyes give him a suitably sheepish look I think. The lady in the shop offered me larger ones but they were orange which I think might have had an undesirably Satanic effect. Having successfully managed to acquire everything I needed, I just had time to assemble it on Friday evening in time to take to the wedding on the Saturday.
In fact the other part of the present proved far more problematic in the end. The fair trade football we bought them from their wedding list repeatedly demonstrated the cartographer's conundrum - it really is physically impossible to cover a sphere with a flat sheet of paper! It finally ended up looking like some sort of mutant Ferrero Rocher.