SheepInStitches

Sheep In Stitches

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Announcement    "Sheep in Stitches" is owned by Pauhla Whitaker, a working Shepherd who, out of her passion for sheep and the British countryside, has created a range of vintage, hand embroidered and needle felted gifts, plus some useful everyday items with a little bit of embellishment to make life more fun!

In 2016 I added a range of felt and needle-felted British Sheep breeds and I am continuing to develop an expanded range of sheep, dogs and horses.
A very popular item is my custom made dog "portraits" in a combination of felt and felted wool and I am able to take commissions for any breed.

Many of the fabrics, lace and threads used are vintage and at least 60 years old while the majority of the wool used in felted items and as stuffing etc is from my own organically certified sheep.

***SHEEP WELFARE ***
Any bought-in wool is UK sourced where possible. If a UK alternative is not available it is from a supplier who guarantees that it is not from sheep who have been "mulesed" (skin around the tail surgically removed to prevent the accumulation of faeces leading to attack by flies/maggots). This is a practise not carried out in the UK on welfare grounds and is not one that the UK sheep industry condones!

Announcement

Last updated on Aug 23, 2021

"Sheep in Stitches" is owned by Pauhla Whitaker, a working Shepherd who, out of her passion for sheep and the British countryside, has created a range of vintage, hand embroidered and needle felted gifts, plus some useful everyday items with a little bit of embellishment to make life more fun!

In 2016 I added a range of felt and needle-felted British Sheep breeds and I am continuing to develop an expanded range of sheep, dogs and horses.
A very popular item is my custom made dog "portraits" in a combination of felt and felted wool and I am able to take commissions for any breed.

Many of the fabrics, lace and threads used are vintage and at least 60 years old while the majority of the wool used in felted items and as stuffing etc is from my own organically certified sheep.

***SHEEP WELFARE ***
Any bought-in wool is UK sourced where possible. If a UK alternative is not available it is from a supplier who guarantees that it is not from sheep who have been "mulesed" (skin around the tail surgically removed to prevent the accumulation of faeces leading to attack by flies/maggots). This is a practise not carried out in the UK on welfare grounds and is not one that the UK sheep industry condones!

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Pauhla Whitaker

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Pauhla Whitaker

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5 out of 5 stars
(370)
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About SheepInStitches

Sales 1,200
On Etsy since 2012

The sewing shepherd

MY ROOTS ARE IN THE LAND...
Working outdoors in all weathers, covered in mud (and often worse!), soaking wet and freezing cold, it is easy to wonder why on earth anyone would want to be a farmer. Then there is the emotional roller coaster of lambing time with life, death and 20 hour days.
But on a good day when the spring flowers are just starting to emerge from the grass, the sun is shining and the skylarks are singing overhead, there is nothing else I would want to do and nowhere else I would want to live. It is this landscape that feeds me the inspiration for my needlework; the textures, colours and "feel" that I try to put into my work.

MY WORKSPACE...
I work on my kitchen table, surrounded by farming newspapers and magazines, piles of sheep records and biros that don't work and dogs, always lots of dogs. The phone is always ringing, people pop in an out (including me) and I have to sweep everything off when it comes to mealtimes. It's mad, chaotic even. The view from the window is either glorious and includes my 4 horses, or the fog is so thick I don't even know there is a view. At nearly 1000 above sea level, I am on top of the world in fresh air and space.

MY INSPIRATION TO CRAFT...
As a child, I had done a few simple tapestry kits and a bit of knitting with huge wooden needles that usually ended up in the creation of something that looked more like a fishing net than a piece of wearable clothing. But I had never attempted anything you could really call embroidery and I never did any serious sewing until I was in my early 40's.
One day I was looking through a cupboard and found a half-finished tapestry that I had started about 15 years previously. It had got bundled away when I ran out of the right colour wool so I got onto the internet to see if I could find a match, ended up on a wonderful sewing supplies website and was completely lost looking through hand-embroidery kits.
When I rediscovered my tapestry, I also found a beautifully hand-embroidered table cloth, sewn by my grandmother about 60 years ago in a design of beehives, holly hocks and other cottage garden flowers. I decided to get some thread, learn some basic stitches and see if I could copy it.
As usual, my Mum came up trumps and dug out a vast bag of vintage embroidery silk she had bought in the 1960’s when her godmother sold up her haberdashery shop in Bristol, so I found a piece of old linen and started sewing. Luckily, I found some part-used skeins of thread that were an exact match for the design on the table cloth, but it took about an hour of stitching for light to suddenly dawn…I was using the same skeins of thread that my Gran had used to sew the original cloth. As I stitched, a gap of over 60 years closed gently, reuniting me with my grandmother in spirit at least, through a love of needlework.
With the help of some internet resources, I gradually built up my repertoire of stitches before being diverted into other media such as needle felting, cross stitch and felt toy making just for variety. I am not good at sitting doing nothing so I like to have a project on the go on the rare occasions when I’m watching TV. In 2012 when the whole of the UK seemed to be glued to Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and then the Olympics, I needed something a bit more substantial to get my teeth in to. I started work on a still life of wild flowers picked from one of our cornfields and found I could translate the three dimensional living plant I was looking at into stitches on fabric. Our farm is certified organic and so there are plenty of flowers in the field edges and by the time the Olympics was over, I had completed my project.

OUR FARM IN MY WORK...
I shifted back to needle felting for a while but with all the sheep I was making, it wasn’t long before I ran out of wool roving but it occurred to me that I had an ideal resource under my nose….350 of them in fact.
I am shepherd to a flock of commercial breeding ewes on our farm in the Gloucestershire Cotswold Hills in South West England. We are Soil Association certified Organic and produce our own beef as well as lamb (find out more about the farm at www.overtownfarm.co.uk ) so at shearing time, I saved three fleeces. One came from a little black ewe, one from a Herdwick, (the iconic sheep of the Cumbrian Lake District) and one from a white sheep called Friendly. She was one of my bottle reared lambs from 4 years ago and lives up to her name by always coming up for a scratch behind the ear when we gather the sheep. I washed the wool in batches and started felting and on, the place was full of needle felted sheep.
Friends loved them so I booked a table at the village craft fayre and sold out. Before I knew it, I had orders coming in, started my business “Sheep in Stitches” and opened up my shop on Etsy… and now you have found me. Welcome!

Shop members

  • Pauhla Whitaker

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator

    I live & work on a 560 acre organic farm in the Cotswold Hills in the south west of England. We have 390 breeding ewes, 200 beef cattle, 2 horses, 4 working Border Collies & acres of restored wildflower meadows. In my spare time I do a bit of sewing!

Shop policies

Last updated on June 25, 2022
Welcome to "Sheep In Stitches" !
Thank you for taking the time to browse my shop. All designs are originals, created by me and as such, each piece is unique and may vary slightly from the photo in the listing. Many of the items I sell are made from vintage materials and threads, many of which are at least 60 years old. They were given to my Grandmother when her friend who ran a Haberdashery shop in Bristol, retired.

The majority of the wool I use in needle felting, to make sheep ornaments and as stuffing for cushions, pillows and tuffets e.t.c is from my own flock of 350 organic ewes (Soil Association inspected and licensed , license number G4314). We have a variety of breeds, mostly white wooled, but we also have a small number of Herdwick sheep from Cumbria and some Badger Faced Welsh Mountain ewes. I particularly enjoy making sheep from wool of their particular breed and will be creating more of these in the coming year.

As a shepherd, my passion is in creating beautiful pictures of sheep and I specialise in stumpwork sheep, using anything up to 3000 french knots and individual drizzle stitches to build up a thick lifelike "fleece". I also add authentic features such as individual ear tags. Did you know that it is a legal requirement that all sheep have an individual identification tag in each ear and than one of them must be electronic so that it can be read with a bar code scanner?

I am always happy to take commissions, either to your own design or to my interpretation of your idea. Please feel free to contact me and discuss with no obligation.

Accepted payment methods

Paypal Visa Mastercard American Express Discover Apple Pay Klarna Giftcard
Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
I gladly accept exchanges
Contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back within: 21 days of delivery
I don't accept returns or cancellations
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
The following items can't be returned or exchanged
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Perishable products (like food or flowers)
  • Digital downloads
  • Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
  • Items on sale
Returns and exchange details
All orders are sent by Royal Mail 1st class signed for within the UK, and Royal Mail International Tracked or tracked and signed for non-UK orders.

Damage...In the very rare instance that an item arrives damaged, I will replace it providing you notify me immediately via Etsy messaging. Please include a clear photo of the packaging as it was received, and the item, including the damage, and then return it to me complete with packaging within 14 days of receipt.

Non delivery... Items are sent tracked and are rarely lost in transit. It is the customer's responsibility to rearrange delivery or collection if a failed attempt has been made, otherwise the item will be returned to me. Refunds are not offered in this situation but the item can be resent on payment of the shipping cost plus a small admin fee, which will be invoiced via Etsy.


In the case of bespoke/one-off/custom order items that are lost or damaged in transit where it is not possible to create another, I will offer a refund or a choice of alternative goods to the same value if the buyer wishes.
I do not accept returns of customised items or custom orders.
Payment
I accept several forms of payment and can also arrange for cash on collection if you are able to collect your order in person.
Payment is required at the time of ordering for bespoke and custom orders.
Shipping
UK...
Unfortunately due to an increased number of items lost in the post or erroneously reported as not delivered, most items are dispatched within the UK by Royal Mail first class signed for post which is tracked and will require a signature on receipt. I am happy to send special delivery/additionally insured for a small additional cost. Please convo me before purchase to arrange.

NON UK ...
All orders are dispatched using Royal Mail International tracked or tracked and signed for, depending on the order value to ensure safe transit and proof of attempted delivery.


I will send you a dispatch notification as soon as your item is on its way with tracking details if appropriate so you can check on your order's progress.
Additional policies and FAQs
I am delighted to take custom orders. Payment is due at the time of ordering and are non-refundable/non-returnable.

Packaging Recycling Policy....
Germany - Verpackungsgesetz (LUCID Packaging Register)
In 2019 Germany’s Packaging Act VerpackG came into effect, imposing requirements on online retailers selling to buyers in Germany. The Packaging Act promotes recycling and reuse of packaging materials (e.g. cardboard boxes, tape, and bubble wrap). My packaging consists of paper bags and labels, plastic bags made from recycled and recyclable materials, and occasionally cardboard. I save and reuse plastic mailing bags wherever possible.
My company, Sheep In Stitches, is registered at the Packaging Register of the Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) with registration number DE537853810809. My Dual System Licensing partner for the collection, sorting & recycling of the packaging is ACTIVATE by RECLAY.
As a consumer, please ensure that all received packaging is reused wherever possible, or disposed of through your local recycling facilities.
Privacy
I do not keep customers details and only use the information supplied to me by Etsy.