Gestating Elijah

This week, I am working almost exclusively on Elijah the Elephant so he’ll be ready in time for Alice’s birthday. It’s the most knitting fun I’ve had in ages. Discussions with other knitter friends have shown that many of us have avoided toy knitting for years because of the assumption that toys are fiddly, that toys must be knit in small pieces and sewn up.

Not so Elijah, or any of Ysolda Teague’s other toys. Oh no. These are damn clever. He started as a ball.

Elijah - beginning

You stuff each piece as you knit it, with wadding. It means each piece comes alive as you go.

Soon, he had a trunk and was a totally complete piece.

elijah's head

Cleverly, you pick up stitches at the base – Ysolda’s pattern has everything shown in clear neat diagrams that leave no steps unexplained.

Next thing you know, there’s a body.

Elijah - with leg

I gave him pale blue pads on his feet. Just to break up the beige.

For a moment I thought I might give him his eyes before the rest of him was complete, but Sean said no, that would mean I’d have a limbless elephant pleading with me to hurry up and finish him and we couldn’t have that.

More Elijah

Early this morning I rested him on the window sil in my bedroom and the morning light changed his look entirely!

As of tonight, he has a completed arm. Soon, he’ll be finished. Next time he shows up on the blog, he’ll be A Real Elephant.

They say an elephant gestates for 22 months. Not this elephant. He’s growing fast and furiously and I hope Alice will love him like I do.



24 thoughts on “Gestating Elijah

  1. it’s great to see this, as i agree about avoiding toys because they are fiddly. this one does look like fun though. ysolda’s so clever.

  2. Thanks for the step by step photos – he’s looking really good. I also hope that Alice loves him as much as you do.

    Thanks, too, for your comment on my blog regarding the arrival of Benjamin Alexander (hereafter to be called “Ben”). I have so many things in my queue to knit, not to mention a baby blanket still on the needles because Ben arrived 10 days early and it’s been too humid for me to knit a blanket comfortably. All that heat on my legs!! I also have another pair of pilchers on the needles but have had to forgo everything to prepare for the double knitting workshop I’m teaching on Saturday (which, of course, I love doing). Even though I’m not working, I can’t knit fast enough! *boo hoo*

  3. Thanks so much for explaining the process as I am one of those who refuse to knit toys as they are too fiddly. This really look so simple & all in 1 piece – my type of knitting. Happy knitting.

  4. Caught HUGE sale on debbie bliss DK cashmerino. Got enough for a pink elephant, two blue elephants and a taupe one. 🙂 Also enough cashmerino for that adorable little girl dress I sent you from Berrocco. Going to make one for my BFFs little girl. Am officially a yarn harlot. 😉

  5. Elijiah is looking so cute! I wouldnt put the eyes on until last either (when he comes alive) so he wont look like his being tortured with those dpns sticking out of him, lol!

  6. it’s always puzzled me that more designers don’t design toys to be knitted in the round. I always convert them to be in the round, where I can – it’s just so much easier isn’t it!

    I think you should make a storybook featuring Elijah, once he’s finished. That would be way cool.

  7. yes it would be kind of weird to have the eyes on already! he is a miracle of construction, i love the idea of him having his own book too. she will love him!

  8. I have made this pattern for friends with bubs a couple of times and it is quick, cute and great fun. They are always well loved.

    Don’t put the eyes on until after the ears.

    Plain and variegated yarn seems to work. Too cute.

  9. I’m loving knitting Sophie, but I just can’t take pictures of her in pieces. Nope. Funny, before I saw your pictures I put up a post explaining why I just couldn’t take or post the sorts of pictures you just did!! I admit the process is interesting to show, but…Still reminds me too much of the deranged kid in Toy Story 1 who tortured his toys. Especially the ones with the sticks… 😉

    I’m making Elijah next, btw. I think he’ll look fabulous in the dark grey yarn I’m using for the bunny.

  10. With that endorsement I may have to try knitting Elijah myself. It’s good to see someone finally took advantage of circular knitting in toy making, because all that sewing is for the birds.

    He’s looking good! Alice will be thrilled.

  11. What a great way to do it. The only toy I’ve ever knitted was a dragon and it was done up in pieces and sewn together. I liked it but didn’t love the design (Georgie’s little girl Grace has her now). I like the design of Elijah much better. You can see his personality is already there.

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