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May 5, 2005

E is for Elephant

Now this is what I had in mind when I got Last-Minute Knitted Gifts!


I bought the yarn on a Saturday and despite a full week of work and spending some time with other knitting projects, Ephraim the Elephant was ready to be gifted on Friday! I followed the pattern exactly, except that I didn't use the doubled baby alpaca called for. Instead I opted for trusty Lamb's Pride worsted in Blue Magic. (It seemed sturdier and more practical -- not to mention easier to find!) I used scrap yarn for the end of the trunk, the scarf and the eyes.

The pattern was fairly well-written right down to the one small correction (I remembered to check this time!). I've even almost gotten used to the crazy way this book has of telling you to do something, but then changing its mind. Like this:

Work 4 rows straight. (No problem, 4 straight rows coming up! OK, done!)
Five stitches before the end of the 4th row, K2tog... (But I already finished the 4th row! #$&@^!)
Oh, one last thing: there is what I call a "Technique Ambush" toward the end of the pattern. You know what I'm talking about; one minute you're knitting happily along, making good progress and BLAMO! the pattern calls for a technique that you have no idea how to do! In this case, it was a provisional cast-on for part of the trunk. The directions were good and I got through it without incident but I hate having to stop and learn something new mid-project -- needles dangling in mid-air, time running out, etc.*

Anyway, Ephraim has gone to live with Jason's brother and sister-in-law, who will care for him and feed him peanuts until their first baby (a boy!) is born around the end of July. Lauren, the mom-to-be, has been telling me for years that she can't wait to get hand knits for her babies. If that doesn't make a knitter's heart sing, then I don't know what does!


To give a sense of the elephant's scale, I took some pictures with the ubiquitous Sydney, my model of choice these days. I thought Ephraim was cute before, but when I saw little Sydney grasping his huge floppy ears, my heart melted. I hope that Ephraim gets toted around by his ears by his real owner for years and years to come.

* I know, I know. The ways to avoid both of the problems -- the crazy way the pattern is written and the Technique Ambush is to read ahead (1) before I start knitting and (2) as I'm knitting. But it's a Last-Minute Knitted Gift, people! Who has time to read ahead at the Last Minute?!

Posted by shannon at May 5, 2005 3:03 PM | For related posts: For Robbie, Miscellaneous Small Projects


What a cute elephant! Yours turned out beautifully! And BTW, I'm frequently a victim of the Technique Ambush. You'd think I'd learn my lesson by now... Puh-CHAH!

Posted by: Rossana at May 5, 2005 5:30 PM

Oh, I love that elephant! I hope that the July baby does as well.

Posted by: Colleen at May 5, 2005 9:28 PM

So so cute (Sydney and the elephant)!

Posted by: Alaina at May 9, 2005 10:15 PM

Awwww! Ephraim came out so well. And Sydney's looking so big too. What a cute pair. You may have to make her an elephant of her own.

Posted by: alison at May 14, 2005 6:46 PM

Ephraim came out so cute. I might just have to break down and get this book. I have a new (and only) nephew that was just born last week. I should make this, especially using Brown Sheep. Hmm.

Posted by: Wanda at May 17, 2005 9:28 PM