18 May 2009


While I was in Texas this past March, my sister was in...India. With husband and baby. That's right, she took a four-month-old baby to India. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I didn't set foot on an airplane until I was fifteen years old. Can I be jealous of my nephew for being more well-traveled than I am? Is that okay?

They went to an elephant sanctuary and had a great time. I assume that Nephew slept through it all; he certainly won't remember any of it later. So I knitted him an elephant (Rav link), another one of the patterns in Zoe Mellor's Knitted Toys.

I love the projects in this book so much, but the patterns are so badly written. So much unnecessary seaming! It's infuriating! Not that I plan to knit another elephant, but I've been trying to figure out how to improve the process of this pattern -- what can be done in the round, etc. So dumb. But I digress...

I used Colinette Cadenza again, the same yarn I used for both toy bears I made last year. A great yarn for baby toys, soft and washable, and also good quality. I used the "Jewel" colorway for the elephant, because the colors made me think of the flash and color and beauty of India (not that I've seen them myself). And although I looked at this colorway on the shelf a zillion times and thought, "goodness, that's some ugly yarn! Who in the world would want those colors together?" when I decided to make this pattern, I knew that was the exact right colorway for this particular elephant.

I did manage to do a three-needle bind-off for the two gusset pieces (can I just say, how unhelpful is it to call the belly of the elephant a "gusset?" Legs, body, trunk...gusset? That is not a body part! Dumb!!! It's the underside of the elephant, the belly!!! GRRR!!!), so didn't have to get out the tapestry needle for that one. Then I blocked all the pieces -- and I must admit, I didn't know the Hot-Iron-On-Wet-Washcloth Blocking Trick before doing this pattern, and I love it and will forever be grateful to Zoe Mellor and her terrible pattern-writing for teaching me this technique -- and set about the stupidly time-consuming task of sewing them all together.

Seriously, it took me as much time to do the sewing as it took to do the knitting. Eye roll. The entire car ride to their house, then two nights on the couch... I had to give Nephew the not-quite-finished elephant before bed in order to get pictures of him playing with it (he liked it, I'm glad to say!), and then had to stay up until the wee hours of the morning before our departure to get all the seaming and stuffing done. Hence the terribly-lit late-night photo above.Still, I'm happy with the finished product, even if the process left something to be desired. Also, my nephew is so beautiful! He's slightly over six months in this picture (and today is his 7-month birthday).

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