As a small yarn producer, I am often asked whether I sell shade cards, but I’ve never been quite sure how to present them. When my dear pal Felix got married recently, some fabulous wool-wrapped sheep featured among her many woolly wedding favours. Those wee sheep rather took hold of my imagination and I just couldn’t stop thinking about how well they’d work as shade cards.

I recently acquired some wee laser-cut sheep from a UK supplier and my mum and I spent a pleasant few hours yesterday afternoon wrapping strands of yarn around sheep. I am really quite pleased with the result!

All eleven shades of Buachaille are represented and to make the shade card, we cut the yarn into generous foot-long lengths, and secured them around each sheep with a simple slip knot. Unlike other shade cards, this means that you can then use and re-use your sheep as a template to test out different palettes, shade juxtapositions and colourways.

For example, here’s the original Moder Dy palette:

And here’s the Carraig Fhada palette:

Carraig Fhada features s a neutral palette with a single accent colour, and with the help of the sheep it is really easy to swap out the accent to test another shade choice. I am particularly fond of this alternative grellow palette . . .

We also had fun experimenting with blues

and fiery shades

and found that creating these sheepy palettes can become a bit addictive . . . I rapidly ended up with a whole flock.

Anyway, if you are one of those folk who like to have a shade card, I’ve now put a few sheepy shade cards on sale in the shop (try saying that at speed). If you like them, we’ll make up some more.


68 thoughts on “Shade card sheep

  1. Today i tried again to get a shade sheep after friend messaged they in stock, but once again a mysterious sheepdog has herded them all out the shop to quickly :(:(


  2. Love the sheep! We just got back last night from a holiday in Scotland. It was amazing! I’m hoping to order a sheep shade card once they’re back in stock. I thought of you, Tom, and Bruce while driving about the countryside in the wild weather during the week! The photos we took turned out great and I have lots of color inspiration from them.

    All the best,


  3. What a great idea! Especially the idea of using for color work choices – Brilliant!!!! Would have loved to had one when I ordered my Braid Hills kit, but then again it would have really made my color decision even harder :)


  4. ❤️ SO cute. I ordered similar wee wooden creatures, sheep and alpaca, and had a lovely time with my 4 yr old grandson wrapping their little bodies in scrap yarn for Christmas decorations. (I live in the States.)


  5. Hi Kate
    Could you advise me on the best blocking mat/ squares to buy – similar to the mat Mel was using in her blocking tutorial. U.K. Stockist please. Also the markers used.

    Many thanks – I love your blog.



  6. I love the little sheepy tool. It is certainly more fun to use than just a square of cardboard for testing out a pallette. However, as a shade card, there is no way to know the names of the colors without referring to your website store.


  7. Unique, very practical and too adorable… Wish shipping these to the USA was not so expensive. Your sheep would be a hit here too.


  8. Little Bo Peep never thought to look for her sheep across the pond. Simply brilliant! Let me know if any more are born in the spring.


  9. What a fabulous idea that you could also use at home, to put colours together for multicoloured items you are intending to make.


  10. Yes please if you can make more. I have made shade cards to send to friends who haven’t seen all the colours of Buachaille but these are much nicer.
    I love the idea to see how colour combinations look. I would love one too as everything looks better on a sheep.

    I read Twitter and my blogs too late to buy one or two

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Golly they’re darling (and useful)!

    Next KDD merch item? A sheep-shaped cookie cutter (maybe in copper? and the same shape as the shade card sheep) along with a rolled-and-cut biscuit recipe from Tom.

    xx ST

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Gorgeous but absolutely no chance of getting one here in the Antipodes. Email came through at 2:30am and just reading it now over breakfast. All the little sheepies are long gone :(


  13. Got in from work, checked emails, checked shop: already sold out!
    I think that might mean a few more sheep-dressing sessions are in store for you and your mum!


  14. Just looked and all sold out, please make some more. Fantastic idea to put the wool on so we can use them to test colour combinations – unique among shade cards.


  15. Oh they’re excellent! They’re such a great idea just as palette-testers – very tempted to buy some die-cut sheep myself!


  16. Sigh. All gone. You need an online order form. Unless you’re counting all the “I want one” posts here :-).
    I’d like two …


  17. Those are so adorable! You will have to have a waiting list for all of us who would like one or a whole flock! I will try to patiently wait for them to come in from the fields.


  18. Please make some more Kate, I couldn’t get to Edinburgh to see your wool so a shade card would be great. I am sure lots of other wool producers will pinch your idea!


  19. Dang, they ARE sold out! Between the time I put them in my basket and the time I spent searching for my account, it was gone. :( I hope you’ll be making some more up soon!


  20. Adorable–and truly helpful! I’ve been trying to figure out the color palette for my Carraigh Fhada, and the sheep would definitely help. I’m going to go order one now.


comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.