Currently celebrating its 5th year, The Campaign for Wool is promoting Wool Week 2014 (October 6th-12th) with a host of activities set to make it the most memorable year yet. The campaign is a global endeavour to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by the fibre – but you can always start by raising awareness in your own home with a few clicks of your print button…
Firstly we should honour our fleecy friends that are regularly shorn to provide us with the fibre and what better way than to round-up your own flock? Just one of the fun actvity ideas that Activity Bucket provides its readers is a sheep template and instructions on How to make a Cotton Wool Sheep – just print, colour, cut and glue!
If you want all your woolly ruminants to be made of appropriate fibres then download the pattern for Melissa from Imagine’s Felt Toy Number 2 she included on her blog as an Easter basket toy for her children and get sewing and stuffing.
But you can also make 3D paper sheep with the help of the several different stand-up paper toy model sheep, lambs and rams AHC arts & crafts includes on its website along with how to draw sheep instructions and, if your children fancy joining the flock themselves, masks for both sheep and rams.
Doodles Ave also offers a lamb mask as part of its theatric-craft activity animal mask set that also features a frog, pig and mouse and suggests encouraging children to write a short narrative involving the animals before making the masks and acting it out.
Family Education‘s counting printable from Steampunk Riders will hopefully have children learning numbers 1 to 25 rather than falling asleep, there are a few sheep waiting to be coloured in as part of Ink Factory’s own 45 Farm Themed FREE Printables for Kids and trace and colour, colouring/bingo marker and magnet pages can be found as part of Making Learning Fun’s Lamb Printables which also include downloads inspired by popular children’s nursery rhymes Baa Baa Black Sheep, Little Bo Peep and Mary Had a Little Lamb (and can also be found linked to on Jo Kramer’s Pinterest page).
More Baa Baa Black Sheep printables can be found via Let’s Play Music’s free sheet music for piano for the rhyme, two colouring pages from Speakaboos here and here and Mr Printables nusery rhyme posters designed to help decorate a nursery room.
Always include cake in your campaign celebrations? Then head over to Hale Grafx for some Free Printable Shaun the Sheep Cupcake Toppers. This free printable includes four different cupcake toppers and prints all 12 to a sheet from a PDF file – Shaun’s cousin Timmy is included as well!
Once you have your flock, and their real life counterparts have donated their coats to be spun, crafty fingers will want to have a go at using the fibre itself.
Making poms poms is probably one of the easier activities for younger children to start with and can be used for a range of projects themselves – not least making more sheep!
Kidspot includes a printable pom pom disc template as part of its Activity Corner’s How to make a pom pom instructions. The template allows for a big and small pom pom to be made – “and if you pop on some googly eyes your kids will have a brand new toy!”
Older knitters and crocheters may want to find some more challenging printable projects to download however and knit and crochet community site Ravelry is a great place to start your search as it hosts many free patterns at a range of skill levels as well as paid for ones. Why not start with some Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing by Frankie Brown?!
But, if your flock of paper, wool and felt toy sheep is now starting to over run the house, they can turn the outcome of their needlework into much needed charity donations instead.
Innocent’s annual The Big Knit currently has crafters casting on and off in order to make tiny hats for the company’s drink bottles. In aid of Age UK who help thousands of older people across the UK stay warm and healthy over the winter months, its mini hat patterns include the “doddle” pattern for beginners, a woolter-melon, sheep, fez or hippie pattern and the crocheted owl and tortoise. A million of them will be put on Innocent bottles in November and 25p from every sale of those yarn bedecked bottles will go to the charity to spend on things like hot water bottles, blankets, hot meals and social gatherings.
The nine printable knitting patterns and three crochet patterns are far from the only woolly charity projects in need of your creations however.
International charity Oxfam has distributed a variety of patterns over the years for different projects. At the moment it’s encouraging needle crafters to knit clothing suitable for sale in its retail outlets or 6ft by 4ft blankets to sell at music festivals. Its website includes downloadable patterns for seven items including a hat with earflaps, a corsage and handwarmers.
Women’s Weekly Christmas World Record 2014 attempt challenged its readers to knit and crochet Christmas decorations in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and its free patterns that include mittens, a garland, a stocking, a wishing star and a Christmas pudding are still available from the Women’s Weekly Shop.
Teddies for Tragedies – “helping bring smiles all over the world” – has helped hundreds of thousands of teddies to be knitted and given to charities and volunteers since 1985 and there’s both a knitting and crochet pattern available to download.
And you can find lots more patterns for charity projects via the UK Hand Knitting Association including a house for Age UK and a tulip for ME.
Do you love finding printables on the internet? Do you have particular favorites? Or have you featured some on your own blog? Email karen.malpass @ inkfactory.com with your links and we may be able to feature them in a future post.