Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweet & Demure

So by now you’ve heard me talk somewhat secretly about elephants.  You all know the reason why – the E is for Elephant swap on Ravelry.   I joined this swap for a couple reasons, but one of the top reasons was because I’ve always wanted and planned to knit Susan Anderson’s Elefante.  The pattern is petite and loveable.

I’ll leave all the swap details to my post about that experience, but wanted to share with you some unintended results from participating in this swap.

Now, I have yet to receive my swap package, so I have no idea what my package contains.  I very well could be getting my very own Elefante, but there were also 2 other patterns to choose from, so there really was no way to tell.  Most everyone knit Elefante, so my chances are good – but really, I’d love any knit that comes my way.

I was knitting happily away on this little lady for the swap package when I realized that half the yarn I was using was an alpaca blend.  Seriously, how did I NOT notice this before.  My swap partner had mentioned in her questionnaire that she is allergic to alpaca.  As Homer Simpson would say, “DOH!”  I was pretty bummed because I thought my partner would really enjoy this Elefante.  I picked the colors especially for her.  I must have been so engrossed in finding the perfect color combination I looked over fiber content.

So with a heavy sigh, I put her away for the time being and started on Elefante #2.  Once all the swap knitting was done, I was able to get her back out again and finish what I had started. 

BE (short for Baby Elephant, which is what Squishy calls her) is knit from a variety of yarns.  The main bits of striping are Blue Sky Alpaca Alpaca Silk in Peacock and Knit Picks Andean Silk in Sangria.  The legs have a tiny amount of Berroco Vintage in Dark Denim and the tail and ears have a splash of Berroco Vintage in Tide-Pool.  I used up every last bit of yarn of these 4 colors, successfully utilizing my stash. 
I used a 5.0mm crochet hook for the ears and crocheted as per the pattern.  The proportion seemed good, so I went with that.  I found that if I folded the circle with right sides together, the ear lay much better against the head.  With the swap Elefante, I folded the ears wrong sides together and I fought with the ears the entire time because they didn’t want to lay right. 
I finished BE up when Squishy was visiting Grandma C. so I couldn’t show him right away, but I knew she’d be a hit.  Squishy hadn’t wanted to put down the other Elefante and I actually had to hide him so I could get him packaged up and mailed out.  From the time BE and Squishy met, he’s kept a close eye on her.  She takes up residence on his bed every night and is quite adamant that she is HIS!

So after knitting this pattern twice, I would certainly knit it again. The construction is pretty simple.  A lot of people have struggled with the ears because they’re crocheted.  I’m not an avid crocheter, but I thought the ears went fairly smooth.  I know many knitters have opted for an alternate knit construction – which looks great too. 

Hopefully you enjoy the photos.  I had to promise Squishy I would return his beloved Baby Elephant quickly and safely in order for him to let me take her. 
On a side note – for any parents out there I would like to mention that Squishy has given this calm little lady quite a run-around.  He holds her around the neck and swings her by the tail.  He pulls on her ears and squishes her trunk.  She’s holding up to it all.  My recommendation would be to take several rounds with your whipstitching to make sure everything is nice and secure and then let your child run with it.   The best toy is a well-loved toy and of course, very rewarding for any knitter! 


  1. OMGosh! How creative w/the colors :O)! It must be so soft that alpaca silk. How cute your boy loves it so.

  2. Very cute Rae Lynne! I really want to knit myself one since I missed out on this swap :)
    I agree with you, a well-loved toy is the best!!