Sunday, September 30, 2012

FO: Elefante

UMMM....  I always wondered why I didn't have an Elephante FO post.  I knew I wrote one and I just figured it disappeared somewhere in the vast internets.  Well, no, it turns out that it was just in my draft box.  Oops!  Wonder how that happened.  Anyway, I just found it today, so here you go... a few years late.....

 I knit this darling little elephant for my mom's birthday this year. She loves elephants and I thought this little guy would be cute in her office. I saw the pattern while I was browsing Ravelry and I was instantly attracted to all the bright colors and this guy's cute shape. Best of all, it was a total stashbusting project.

Here he is getting into my plant - I wanted you all to see his cute tail! I think that may be my favorite part of this project.

yarn detailsI busted out the acrylics:
Red Heart Super Saver in Pink
Red Heart Classic Solid in Parakeet
Red Heart Soft Solid in Tangerine and Navy
Caron Simply Soft Brights in Limelight
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Ranch Red

black safety eyes (10 mm), polyfill, polypellets

project details
pattern: "Elefante" by Susan B. Anderson - it's free!
needles: bamboo sock needles in size 5
hook: E (for the ears)
yarn used: hardly made a dent in any of the skeins
duration: May 4th - July 14th (though maybe 10 hours of actual knitting?)

- Gauge & Needles: I wish I had knit in one needle size down and on metal needles - not the bamboo. This is knit at a really tight gauge and the bamboo needles just weren't pointy enough to grab the stitches with any sort of ease. I also wish I knit it at an even tighter gauge because on the end product the polypellets work their way out occasionally.
- Escaping Pellets: To fix the escaping polypellet problem I would line the pieces with old nylons or something next time. That's what I use to keep the catnip in Roxy's toys, and I bet it would work even better to keep pellets in.
- Jogless Stripes and Weaving as I Went: This was the first time I experimented with jogless stripes and with weaving in the ends while I knit. I used the instructions Stephanie Pearl-McPhee gives in her sock pattern Tiptoe Through the Tulips in the Spring Knitty. Parts of the body look really messy while I was learning the technique, but I think I finally caught on. Weaving in the ends as I went sure as hell was easier than doing it afterwards with a tapestry needle!
- Modification: I left out the plain knit row within the decreases on the bottom of the feet - it made them more flat, but in the end I don't think it really mattered because his feet are weighed down with the pellets, so he wouldn't fall over even if his feet were round.
- Yarn: This guy was supposed to be a stashbuster, but I ended up purchasing the red and turquoise yarns. The red I had in my stash was sport weight and didn't quite work right and the turquoise I had was bulky weight and I had the same problem.
- Head Positioning: People don't seem to like his head down with his trunk hitting the floor like he is pictured in the pattern (and below). We seem to keep sitting him upright, but it's a shame because that hides his darling tail! For the next one I might consider positioning his head higher and just weighing down the body a ton so he won't topple over. I can't quite decide. This picture illustrates that my Elefante doesn't stand quite as steady as Anderson's. His trunk is a little long and his back legs are a little short. If I decide not to sew the head higher, I will at least have to pay closer attention when I am pinning the head and legs on to make sure they all meet the floor correctly. It might even be a good idea to go ahead and shorten the trunk a bit.

(I've already got a second one of these little guys on the needles as a gift for a special little girl, more later...)

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