Fancy a game of Sheep Chess

Fancy a game of Sheep Chess or ‘Shess’ anyone?

A farm yard manager, who has worked at Spitalfields City Farm for over nine years, has come up with a quirky way of utilising sheep wool and generate an extra income.

Helen Galland, who looks after a variety of rare traditional breeds, came up with the idea of using their wool for making...well sheep.

Her ‘woolly wally’ characters are part of a Sheep Chess set or one of a kind ‘Shess set.’

The opposing sides are made up of the Herdwick breed from the Lake District versus the Downland from South England.

Ms Galland says she began selling various woolly products to friends after she had to take a pay-cut when funding for the farm charity in Buxton Street was cut.

She said: “I was looking online for ideas when I came across these novelty chess sets with Harry Potter and Starwars characters. I could see how that could work with different types of sheep.”

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Using a needle felting technique Ms Galland has now finished her 40 by 40 cm Shess board with 5cm tall characters.

She said: “Rare breed wool is good to use —often it is naturally colourful, and the textile industry does not much like it for clothing as they like white wool that can be artificially dyed.”

Ms Galland is selling her products from Spitalfields Farm but also hope to start trading at some of London’s craft markets.

For �50 (or �75 with postage) the Shess set could be yours. Visit for more information.