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The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XXIV: Rosy the Elefante

Date Begun: 12/27/2008
Date Completed: 12/30/2008
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Grey Heather and Autumn Red
Needles: US6 DPN (metal)
Source: Elefante by Susan B. Anderson
The Story:
This was a new experience for me. I've never made a knitted toy before. But when I saw the pattern in my random wanderings through the InterWebs, I immediately fell in love. As I was looking at the hundreds of other Elefantes, though, I realized that I liked the one made by the pattern originator better than any of the ones made by anyone else. This led me to think that maybe I should try to exaggerate the things I loved about the original and eliminate the things I didn't. So, I made several modifications to the pattern.

Like a lot of other people, I wasn't too sure about putting poly-pellets in a child's toy, so I made up little muslin bags to hold the pellets within the toy. That seemed to help, but made the whole thing look a little "over-stuffed". I decided it didn't really matter because the recipient wouldn't know the difference and it made my Elefante look more "cartoony".

I looked at some of the other examples floating around out there and decided I would prefer to make the trunk/head transition a bit more hard (less sloping), so I basically used the instructions from the body on the head (post-trunk). I like the way it came out. That was one of the things I H-A-T-E-D about most of the others I'd seen - that the trunk looked like a direct extension of the head, rather than mimicking the relationship between the body and feet. (I know it sounds pretentious. But that's how I felt about it.)

At the time I was making this, I had not yet learned ANYTHING about crochet. I could manage a single-crochet edge on something simple, but that was it (not to give the impression that I'm all little-miss-crochet now, but I can at least stumble through a granny square with minimal cursing). So the ears presented something of a quandary. I tried first to use quesselchen's elephant ear/batwing pattern, but when I finished the first one, I hated it - not due to any problem with her pattern, I just don't think my yarn behaved the same way hers did. So I ripped it out. And wrote my own. They're floppy and big use some short-row shaping to make them have some "body". I think they're great - not as small as what the original pattern called for, but also not too big.

So here's the pattern for the ears I made (in case anyone's interested).

Rosy's ears:

Right

  1. CO10
  2. Kfb twice, K6, Kfb twice
  3. P all stitches
  4. Kfb twice, K10, Kfb twice
  5. P all stitches
  6. Begin short rows to shape inner curve (note that I did not use wrapped stitches in these rows):
  7. K15, turn work
  8. P12, turn work
  9. K10, turn work
  10. P8, turn work
  11. K6, turn work
  12. P4, turn work
  13. K to end of row
  14. P all stitches End short rows, continue as normal
  15. K all stitches
  16. P all stitches
  17. K all stitches
  18. P all stitches
  19. Kfb twice, K16
  20. P all stitches
  21. Kfb twice, K18
  22. P all stitches
  23. K18, k2tog twice
  24. P all stitches
  25. K16, k2tog twice
  26. P all stitches
  27. K all stitches
  28. BO 6 stitches, P12
  29. K all stitches
  30. BO 6, P6
  31. K all stitches
  32. BO6 and cut yarn

Left

Left is exactly the same until row 18, when you mirror the whole thing:
  1. K16, Kfb twice
  2. P all stitches
  3. K18, Kfb twice
  4. P all stitches
  5. K2tog twice, K18
  6. P all stitches
  7. K2tog twice, K16
  8. P all stitches
  9. K all stitches
  10. P all stitches
  11. BO 6 stitches, K12
  12. P all stitches
  13. BO 6, K6
  14. BO6 and cut yarn
I then did a single crochet all the way around the edge in red to give them a bit more stability and sewed them to the sides of the head with a bit of a curve to make them move in interesting ways.

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