Thursday, 22 December 2016

My first free pattern a.k.a. El Elephanté

A quick introduction as to how and why this pattern has come about. Our wonderful charity knitting group were in the throws of getting prepared for our Christmas stall. As part of this process, they had been looking for cute critters to make and sell, however a lot of the patterns place unreasonable restrictions on what you can do with the finished goodies you make from them. Having seen my pin cushion critters, they asked me to step up and design them something that we could happily sell for charity. And so I came up with El Elephanté, who is a jaunty little elephant. This is an intermediate to expert level pattern, as you will need to be able to knit in the round, knit an i-cord, work Kitchener stitch, and be able to knit short rows. Please feel free to make and sell as many as you wish.

El Elephanté

Materials:

  • You will need aproximately 50g of some bright DK yarn. I've used Marriner Mermaid Double Knit in the Fireworks shade, but you can use whatever you have lying around. You can play around and make him up in stripes to use up any scraps you have, or you can use a solid colour as a contrast for his feet, trunk, and ears. The point is - have some fun! He is afterall supossed to be a jaunty elephant.
  • Gauge(tension) is not important, so I've used size 4(3.5 mm) DPNs as this little fellow is knit in the round. Use a needle size that will result in a fabric that won't show the stuffing through based on how you knit.
  • A stitch marker is also required, as well as a tapestry needle.
  • You'll need some toy stuffing too.

Body

Cast on 6 stitches, distribute evenly across 3 needles, join in the round making sure not to twist the stitches. Mark the first stitch with a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of the round. Make sure to use the tail to sew close the hole once you've got a few rounds knitted.
Rnd 1: knit
Rnd 2: inc in each stitch to end (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [k1, inc] to end (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [k2, inc] to end (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [k3, inc] to end (30 sts)
Rnd 6: [k4, inc] to end (36 sts)
Rnd 7: [k5, inc] to end (42 sts)
Rnd 8-16: knit
Rnd 17: [k5, k2tog] to end
Rnd 18: [k4, k2tog] to end
Rnd 19: knit

Begin stuffing the body.

Rnd 20: [k3, k2tog] to end
Rnd 21: [k2, k2tog] to end
Rnd 22: knit
Rnd 23: [k1, k2tog] to end
Rnd 24: knit
Rnd 25: [k2tog] to end

Finish stuffing the body. Cut the working yarn, thread on a tapestry needle, draw through the remaining stitches pulling up tight, and bind off.

Head

Cast on 6 stitches, distribute evenly across 3 needles, join in the round making sure not to twist the stitches. Mark the first stitch with a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of the round. Make sure to use the tail to sew close the hole once you've got a few rounds knitted.
Rnd 1: knit
Rnd 2: inc in each stitch to end (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [k1, inc] to end (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [k2, inc] to end (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [k3, inc] to end (30 sts)
Rnd 6: [k4, inc] to end (36 sts)
Rnd 7-14: knit
Rnd 15: [k4, k2tog] to end
Rnd 16: [k3, k2tog] to end
Rnd 17: knit

Begin stuffing the head.

Rnd 18: [k2, k2tog] to end
Rnd 19: knit
Rnd 20: [k1, k2tog] to end (12 sts)
Rnd 21-25: knit
Rnd 26: purl

Finish stuffing head.

Rnd 27: [k2tog] to end
Cut the working yarn, thread on a tapestry needle, draw through the remaining stitches pulling up tight, and bind off.

Legs

You'll need to make 4. Cast on 4 stitches, distribute across 3 needles, join in the round making sure not to twist the stitches. Mark the first stitch with a stitch marker to keep track of the beginning of the round.
Rnd 1: [kfb] to end (8 sts)
Rnd 2: purl
Rnd 3-8: knit

Bind off, leaving enough yarn to stitch the leg to the body. Gently stuff the leg.

Ears

You'll need to make 2. The ears are knitted from the head, by picking up 2 rows of stitches, with 7 sts on each needle. Look at the photo to see how this is done. Position them as far back as possible using the photos as a guide. The ears use short rows for shaping, which method you use for doing your short row turns is up to you. I've used the German method, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with.

This bit is important: With the trunk facing you, you will start knitting the right hand side ear. To start the other ear, you will need to have the trunk facing away from you. This allows you to get the shaping in the right part for both ears.
Rnd 1: knit
Rnd 2: knit
Rnd 3: inc in each stitch to end (28 sts)
Rnd 4: knit
Rnd 5: knit
Rnd 6: knit to last 8 sts (20 sts), turn & purl to last 8 sts, turn & knit to end
Rnd 7: knit to last 6 sts (22 sts), turn & purl to last 6 sts, turn & knit to end
Rnd 8: knit
Rnd 9: k2, ssk, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2 for each needle

Use Kitchener stitch to weave the remaining stitches together closing the ears.

Tail

Pick up 3 stitches on the body, and knit 6 rows of i-cord then bind off. Attach a tassel to the end of the tail.

Assembly

Sew the head to the body using the photos as a guide. His head needs to be fairly back on the body so that his ears help with his centre of gravity, else he'll fall over and be a clumsy elephant instead of a jaunty one.

Position the legs under the body and sew onto the body.

Lastly, you can either attach some beads VERY FIRMLY for his eyes, or you can use a scrap of black wool to embroider on some eyes with Satin stitch or French knots.

Lastly, sit back and admire your work. Now go off and make a bunch to sell for charity.



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