So my lack of posts relates to my continued need to knit Elijah elephants. The stalk is still working overtime in Middle England. It’s really makes for boring posts so I just haven’t bothered however I’ve come across a new technique that I want to try out. One thing that has left me unsatisfied with my elephants is the little holes in the trunk when I’ve been putting in short rows to add a curve to the trunk (an adjustment I’ve made to the pattern). Because they’re knit in the round using the usual technique you get these slightly annoying holes. While looking for a solution I came across this on YouTube. I’ll let you know how I get on.
So I’ve dropped some short rows into the back of Elijah’s trunk. I’m pretty sure I’ve not quite done this right on all of the turns as it looks a little messy to me. A bit more practice needed I think but it’s a promising start.
A little while ago I think I remember sharing that I was going to get myself my very own mini me. Well my mini me (or mini Hunky Husband to be more precise) made his grand entrance into the world a week ago and has been busily causing chaos at the Castle while he settles in. The Little Prince that he is is making his mark taking visitors by the gazillion and by filling the Castle with soft toys, blankets and clothes. There’s one very special soft toy that is gracing the crib right now…an Elijah that I didn’t make. Auntie Senior (aka my Big Sis) has been busy speed knitting and here he is…
Anyway, I’m sure you won’t be suprised to hear that I haven’t picked up my needles in a week. This is be rectified today with a little seaming of a Little Cotton Rabbits pattern while my Little Prince is sleeping soundly. I feel a pattern review coming on.
Well I wouldn’t give myself an Olympic gold for this but I think I’ve beaten a Cosmo personal best. 17 days from casting on to grafting that last little ear. The stalk has dropped of his penultimate package of the year so no more elephant knitting for me and Baby D will have her Elijah very very soon.
Time to move on and get on to knitting for my own little package who should join us in mid October if the stalks pocket watch is keeping time well. Now I must get on with washing the baby clothes before I get lost in Ravlery again.
I’m so far behind with my Elijah‘s, I’ve only just managed to finish this one and then there’s one more to go before I can start knitting for my mini monkey. T minus 11 weeks until he arrives so I really need to get a move on don’t I!
So while casting on another Elijah (obsession becomes Groundhog Day) I’ve made a yarn and pattern purchase. Chunky Special by Stylecraft (I seem to be a bit of a convert to this yarn and despite my yarnsnob tendencies preferring to work in natural fibre, I’m planning on making mini monkey a latte baby coat. This won’t be for contact with skin and should wash well. Yes yes, I know I promised you an ombre blanket, I’ve not forgot – just slightly distracted.
Our Elijah knit-a-long slowed to a snails pace while I have been putting in some extra hours at work and some extra DIY hours at home. Yesterday came the news that the Elijah my sister is knitting would have a new owner very soon. Frantic WhatsApp messages about short rows and upside down ears followed while I was watching Spectre. This morning along came this picture, nearly done and along came a bouncing baby girl. Now time to get my finger out and get the Elijah on my needles finished.
Winter is coming. The click clack of the lesser spotted Cosmo can be heard from the sofa. An Elijah is growing from the needles again. Another squishy baby is bundled up with a stalk waiting to be delivered to a dear friend.
[Leaving the David Attenborough voice behind]. This time Elijah is a knit-a-long. My sister has chosen to attempt an Elijah as her first knitting project in 20 years so that another delivery from a stalk can have a very personal gift. I set her about learning the new stitches she didn’t know and having cast on the head with that crazy cast on last weekend for her, she has knit the head and I have stitched eyes and attached the body. This is not just a knit along, it’s a knit together. I am doing the more fiddly bits for her this time so Elijah is grown in time for the new arrival. I’m just slightly ahead of her on my Elijah with a complete body so Elijah looks a little like a weeble except he can’t stay up rather than can’t fall over.
Now if I can find a way to weigh Elijah down in a baby friendly manner to make him a little weeble like [sits up nicely] that would be another Cosmo modification to this lovely pattern.
Elijah is finished, just in time for the arrival of Baby
Button FJ (yes, it took a few days because Mummy and Daddy couldn’t agree but he now has a name). I delivered Elijah to Baby FJ on Sunday and got my first squishy cuddle from him. I’m hoping to get lots more of them.
Immediately Daddy compared Baby FJ’s Elijah to Little H’s. FJ’s is larger despite the same needle size and very similar yarn so my knitting must have relaxed somewhat over the last three years. Daddy noticed my pattern alterations and approved of the curvature of the trunk that I have added. Mummy placed Elijah into the Moses basket. If baby FJ loves Elijah nearly as much as Little H, I will be really pleased.
So I don’t have anything on my needles at the moment. I’ve got so many ideas I can’t decide what to do next. My Elijah obsession might need to take a holiday – there aren’t any babies on the way. Then again, I could just make one for stock!
Ravelry notes here
So on a very frosty morning here in middle England, I am thinking about the cast on method used in the Elijah pattern I posted about recently. Looks like it would be a perfect day to get out into the garden (my other big love) but decorating the Christmas tree and finishing off the table stockings are going to take priority today.
Elijah is knit in the round, starting at his head and his body is joined to his head by picking up stiches, and arms, legs, and ears are then joined in the same way in turn. The cast on for his head is a circular, disappearing middle cast on. Ysolda’s pattern directs the knitter to a techknitting blog page which explains how to cast on.
Trying this cast on for the first time is not for the faint hearted. I cannot repeat the language that I was using trying to cast on my first Elijah head; fortunately I was sat in hotel room in Manchester all alone on a work trip so no one else had to hear me. Following the diagrams is not easy, and once you’ve worked out what you’re actually meant to be doing, and you’ve tried five or six times and got the stitches cast on to one needle, you then have to distribute them over three needles and knit them. Well you’ll almost certainly have to cast on again because a needle is bound to slip out at least once. I know this from experience being on Elijah number nine.
What I have learned from repeating this cast on a number of times…
- Use bamboo needles if you’ve got them and not metal
- Use a crochet hook to do the initial cast on rather than a knitting needle
- Keep everything as tight as possible
- Keep the yarn taught by clamping in between your knees (or any thing else that will serve that purpose) and wrap the yarn around your had twice so you’ve got two parallel pieces of yarn across your hand. (Picture to follow)
- Be patient
- Then have a go at belly buttons or umbilical waste cord method
So I’m yet to try the belly buttons or umbilical cord methods simply because I’ve only just found out about them when I was linking the disappearing loop page to this post. I will reserve judgement on this method until I’ve tried it but will let you know which I prefer when I get round to it.