Can you relate to that really satisfying feeling you get when you pick up a lovely set of needles, a gorgeous yarn and a well written pattern? I had one of those moments last week when I started knitting a gift for a good friend of mine who is expecting her first baby. In this case the needles were Knitpro Symphonie 3mm wooden DPNs (a must for toy knitting in my humble opinion), the yarn was Sublime Yarn's Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK and the pattern was Ysolda's elephant Elijah.
After knitting Ysolda's Sophie bunny earlier this year - and loving it! - Elijah was sitting on my queue just waiting for an occassion to be knitted. The disappearing loop cast-on is still tryingly tricky, but once that is under your belt it really is quite an easy knit. Like Sophie, Elijah is knitted completely in the round and stuffed as you go. After knitting the head, you pick up stitches and start knitting the body, and so on and so on. This time I took Ysolda's advice and used a crochet hook to pick up the stitches, which was much easier.
To make things a little trickier for myself I decided to give Elijah a striped jumper (the arms were the worst - 5 needles, 2 strands of yarn and a knitted head to deal with!). After inspecting the other FO's on Ravelry I decided that it was essential, otherwise the trunk can look a bit odd.
I used Morris Empire 8ply for the jumper and scarf and think that it matches the Sumblime yarn quite well. In fact I think it actually out-performs it, as there was a bit of pilling on the head by the time I had finished. I will definitely use Empire for knitting toys in the future (although I might go down a needle size to tighten up the fabric a bit more).
After a week of knitting my heart out and a very late night on Saturday (note to self: I need more than 7 days to knit a toy!), my little bundle of joy made his way to his new owner as we celebrated the imminent arrival with a delicious high tea at Sydney's Observatory Hotel.