sheep

Meet the Artist: Laura Craig

I'd like to introduce you to an incredibly talented woman and a person I feel lucky to call my friend. Laura Craig is a painter of every day life, but there is nothing ordinary about her work. Laura captures the familiar and transforms it into the inspired. It's the beauty of her realism that draws you into the images she creates. Laura's instagram feed is the journal I always hoped of keeping- snapshots of her daily routine, expressed as a dreamy vignette cast in ink and colored in paint.  A watercolor of her daughter's tea party captures the imaginative nature of children at play more than a photograph could ever convey. Her self-taught talent lies in making the every day picturesque and delightful.

 
 

I asked Laura if she would be willing to collaborate on a series that focused on sheep and was delighted when she said yes. Laura's portraits of various sheep breeds capture the unique beauty of the animal painted, while her pastoral painting of a spring field dotted with sheep transports you to the hills of Yorkshire on a sunny day. Fanciful and beautifully rendered, Laura's sheep crowned with the flowers of each season are a celebration of nature. I'm happy to share that Laura's watercolors are available as cards or prints.

To help you get to know Laura Craig a little better she graciously allowed me to interview her. Be sure to check out Laura's other work, including her children's book Pea Soup and the Seafood Feast, at www.lauracraigfineart.com. Laura is currently taking commissions, including hand-lettered invitations. 


Sheep Portrait Note Cards
12.95
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Summer Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Suffolk Sheep Print - 8" x 10"
32.50
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Spring Pastoral Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Sheep Seasons Note Cards
10.95
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Autumn Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Herdwick Sheep Print - 8" x 10"
32.50
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Winter Pastoral Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Spring Pastoral Sheep Note Cards
12.95
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Winter Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Cotswold Sheep Print - 8" x 10"
32.50
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Spring Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Romney Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Print- 8" x 10"
32.50
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Happy Holidays (free pattern)

As the weather turns cold and rainy here in Virginia, I love retreating into the warmth of my house. The air is filled with powdered sugar, the smell of balsam fir and holiday music throughout the month of December as I knock out the gazillion holiday cookies I make for friends, family and my husband's coworkers. By the time Christmas rolls around though, I'm ready to trade in the kitchen aide mixer exclusively for my knitting needles and think I'll scream if I hear "Baby It's Cold Outside" one more time. One Christmas song that never gets old, however, was introduced to me by my knitting friend Rachel R. If you haven't heard Donde Esta Santa Claus you're missing out. It's kitchy and catchy and if Wes Anderson ever did a Christmas movie, it would definitely be part of the soundtrack. 

As I write this, by the twinkling lights of my tree, I hope that all of you are sharing in the holiday magic, whatever it may be for you, with those that you love (in our house it's festivus). Happy holidays and please enjoy my gift to you...

Bobble Sheep Ornament

Finished Measurements approximately 4½”/11.5cm long x 3”/7.5cm tall

Yarn approximately 35yds [32m] of Bulky weight wool or wool blend yarn for sheep body (MC); approximately 20yds [18m] of worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn for head and legs (CC).

Needles US Size 7 (4.5 mm): straight or circular needle; US Size 7 (4.5 mm) dpns; Size G (4.0mm) crochet hook.

Notions tapestry needle, a handful of fiberfill. 

Gauge 14 sts = 4"/10cm in bobble pattern using MC. Please note that achieving the correct gauge is unnecessary for this project, as it changes once your sheep is stuffed.

Stitch Guide Make Bobble: Knit into the front, back, and front of the next stitch—3 sts; turn and P3, turn and K3; lift the 2nd and 3rd sts over the first st and off RH needle—1 st.

Body

With MC and straight or circular needles, CO 8 sts.

Row 1 (WS) Knit.

Row 2 and every RS row *K1, make bobble (see stitch guide); rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Row 3 *Kfb; rep from * to end—16 sts.

Row 5 *K1, Kfb; rep from * to end—24 sts.

Row 7 Knit.

Row 9 Knit.

Row 11 Knit.

Row 13 Knit.

Row 15 *K1, K2tog; rep from * to end—16 sts rem.

Shape head: Change to CC and beg with a RS row, work in St st for 6 rows. Next row (RS) *K2tog; rep from * to end—8 sts rem. Break yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull to gather, and secure with a knot.

LEGS (make 4) 

With 2 dpns and CC, CO 3 sts. Work an i-cord for 1”/2.5cm. BO all sts. Cut, leaving a long enough tail to use to sew legs to body.

EARS (make 2) 

With CC, CO 4 sts. Next row (RS) Knit. Next row (WS) P2tog twice—2 sts rem. Next row (RS) K2tog. Break yarn, thread through remaining stitch, and secure with a knot

TAIL (make 1) 

With MC, CO 4 sts. Next row (RS) Knit. Next row (WS) P2tog twice—2 sts rem. Next row (RS) K2tog. Break yarn, thread through remaining stitch, and secure with a knot.

FINISHING

Weave in ends. Seam body and head, stuffing sheep before closing the body. Sew ears to head. Sew legs and tail to body. With crochet hook and MC, chain 4”/10cm, break yarn, thread through stitch, and secure with a knot (alternately you can work a 4”/10cm i-cord). Sew each end of the chain to the top of the body, creating a loop with which to hang on the tree.