Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Knitting Update: My Wee Ones Knitted Elephant

After finishing the Punkin' Hat, I needed a new project to occupy my nights at my in-laws' house. So I decided to finally tackle the Wee Ones Seamless Knit Toys Craftsy Class. I've had this class for quite a while and just never took the plunge. Now that I have the Not So Itty-Bitty Giraffe under my belt, I feel a little invincible with knitted toys lol. It was a great confidence builder, for real. So I figured, "I finished that big guy, how hard could a little one be?" Pretty hard as it turns out - not so hard that it was insurmountable, just hard enough to have to keep watching the class to learn how to do everything. I stuck with it all weekend and I am really loving the results:
The class includes the pattern.instructions for 3 animals: an elephant, a bunny and a hippo. Since the first one she shows the particulars about in the class is the elephant, I decided it would be easiest if I started there as well. The coolest part about this animal is that it ends up being one solid knitted item - none of his parts are sewn on after you make them, you actually pick up stitches and knit each piece onto the previous one. 
You start with the head, then add the ears, then the body, then the arms, legs, tail and eyes. I finished the whole head Saturday night, the body was complete by the end of Sunday (minus one leg), and the final leg with the tail and eyes I did on Monday.
I used Patons Canadiana yarn in Gray that I picked up at a local thrift store a while back. Incidentally I used the same yarn on my crocheted elephant too :) Look at his cute little tail!
I am really happy I took this class to make these because I really learned a lot of new techniques while making this guy. I didn't think there could be so many things to learn on something so small, but even with making my giraffe I still had never done the following things before:

  • seamless knitting
  • picking up stitches (correctly - I tried once before but apparently I didn't do it right)
  • i-cord
  • after thought limbs
  • putting stitches on scrap yarn
  • reversing a pattern, a.k.a. mirroring (this wasn't taught by the class, but I had to figure it out myself to get the ears to look right).
I think you'll agree, that's a lot of new techniques packed into such a small item.The picture above it how my elephant looked after the body was finished - he's an amputee! I will say that since this is my first time trying out so many new things, this isn't my best looking animal. His stitches are uneven in places (it's so hard to keep tension with so few stitches on your needles and I ended up with ladders in some spots). Considering that it was my first try though, I am really pleased with him. He looks like an elephant, so that's good, and my nephew immediately reached for him when I showed him, so I take that as a success.
I no joke spent at least 30 minutes on the eyes, lol, I would stitch them on and just not like them so I pulled them out over and over. I'm happy with them now though, so I don't really mind that extra bit of time to make him look nice.

I give the Wee Ones Seamless Knit Toys class 5 out of 5 stars. It is packed full of info and new techniques and you really have no need to be afraid to try them since you have the pattern designer there to show you every step of the way! It makes it so much easier than if you were just using the pattern - honestly I don't think I could have made this without the class. At least it would not look anywhere near this good if I had tried it alone. If you are new to knitting toys like me, I highly recommend the class. This little elephant really built up my confidence and now I feel like I can tackle most any animals I want to make. I can;t wait to make the bunny and the hippo now!

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