Friday, 10 December 2010

There's So Much You Can Learn When You're On A Pachyderm

Though Pachyderm is an obsolete term for Elephant, the genus Elephantidae being the taxonomic classification preferred these days. Those crazy biologists.

I found the scrap of paper with the a-bit-complicated-but-nonetheless-awesome crochet pattern on it, so today we have a crocheted

ELEPHANT!

Adorable, no?
This was made with 1 big ball of basic grey DK yarn using a 4mm crochet hook (go fancier if you want to). You need some stuffing (I used kapok, but cotton wool or scraps of rags will do). You'll need a small amount of felt or fabric in pink (for the mouth), grey (for the feet) and white (for the tusks), and button eyes at the end too. You could faff about with tension squares & whatnot, but to be honest, if you want to make a bigger one, use a chunkier yarn & a larger crochet hook. If you want an ickle one, use a finer yarn & a smaller crochet hook. Enough incomprehensible drivel, onto the pattern!

Okay, this pattern starts off with the trunk, increasing to make the face, neck & then the main body of the elephant. It will look wrong. And weird. But trust me, it is an elephant, they just look kind of freaky without ears. The legs & ears are made separately, then it's all sewn together at the end.

Head
Chain 10 & slip stitch into the first chain to make a ring.
R(ound)1 Chain 1, then dc into each chain (working in back loop only), then slip stitch into the first dc & turn. You should have 10 stitches there.
R2 Chain 1, dc into first stitch, then 2dc together 4 times. 1 dc in last stitch, then slip stitch into the first dc & turn. You should have 6 stitches there.
R3-7 Chain 1, then 1dc in each stitch, then slip stitch into the first dc & turn.
You've just made the trunk!
R8 Chain 1, then 2dc in the first stitch. Then 1 dc in all the stitches but the last one, which needs 2dc in it. slip stitch into 1st stitch & turn. You should have 8 stitches now.
R9-11 Repeat R8. You should have 14 stitches by the end.
r12 Chain 1, then 1dc in each stitch to the end. Don't join this time (as the mouth is being created here), but remember to turn.
Face
R1 Chain 1, then 2dc in each stitch. Turn.(28 stitches here)
R2 Chain 1, then 1dc in each stitch to the end. Turn.
R3 (a complicated bit with lots of increasing & shaping!) Chain 1, then 1dc in the first 9 stitches, then 2dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 1dc in the next 6 stitches, 2dc in each of the next 2 stitches, and finally 1dc in each of the last 9 stitches 9so you started with 28, and should end with 32 stitches)
R4 Chain 1, then 1dc in the next 9 stitches, 2dc in each of the next 4 stitches, 1dc in each of the next 6dc, 2dc in each of the next 4dc, and finally 1dc in each of the last 9 stitches. Phew! You did brilliantly, and deserve a cup of tea. You should have started with 32, and ended up with 40 stitches there.
R5-6 Nothing scary here, just 2 rows of good old dc, remembering to chain 1 at the start & turn at the end.
Cheeks
Chain 1, then 1dc in next stitch. 2dc together 3 times, then 1dc in each of the next 26 stitches, then 2dc together 3 times, then 1dc in the last stitch (a crochet palindrome!)
Mouth
Join the last 3 stitches & the first 3 stitches of your last row with 1dc. Chain 1, then dc in each stitch, and slip stitch into the first dc to form a round, then turn. You've just made a little elephant mouth!
To celebrate, work 4 rounds of dc, remembering to chain 1 at the start & turn at the end.
Neck (another tricky bit. Sorry)
R1 Chain 1, then 2dc in each of the first 3 stitches. 1dc in each of the next 5 stitches, 2dc together twice, then 1dc in each of the next 4 stitches, 2dc together twice, 1dc in the next 5 stitches, 2dc in the final 3 dc, and finally slip stitch into the first dc & turn.
R2 Chain 1, then 2dc in each of the first 3 stitches, then 1dc in each stitch until you get to the last 3 stitches, which need 2dc in each stitch. Slip stitch into the first dc & turn (you should have 36 stitches here.
R3 Chain 1, 1 dc in each of the next 2dc, then 2dc in next stitch. Repeat that bit twice (without the chain 1 obviously). 1dc in each stitch until the last 9 stitches, then 2dc in the next stitch & 1dc in the next 2 stitches. Repeat that last bit 2 more times, and then slip stitch into the first dc & turn. You should have 42 stitches now.
Body
Work 11 rounds in good old dc, slipping into the first stitch & turning each time.
(Another tricksy bit) Chain 1, 1dc in first stitch, then 2dc in each of the next 3 stitches. 1dc in each stitch to the last 4 stitches, then 2dc in each of the next 3 stitches, and finally 1dc in the last stitch. Slip stitch & turn.
Work 6 rounds of dc. Sweet, no counting required dc.
This is a good time to fill the head & main body of the elephant with whatever stuffing you have (the, um, aperture at the end is kind of small)
Bum!
R1 Chain 1, then 1dc in each of the first 15 stitches. 2dc together, 1dc in each of the next 2 stitches, and repeat 4 more times. 1dc in each of the last 13 stitches, then slip stitch & turn.
R2 Work in dc, slip stitch & turn.
R3 Chain 1, then dc in each of the next 3 stitches. 2dc together, then 1dc in each of the next 3 stitches. Repeat that (without the chain 1 & 3 dc, durr!) 7 times, slip stitch & turn (and pray that it's 35 stitches there).
R4 Chain 1, then 1dc in each of the first 3 stitches. 2dc together, then 1dc in each of the next 2 stitches, and repeat 7 times. Slip stitch & turn (27 stitches now)
R5 Chain 1, 1dc in each of the first 3 stitches. 2dc together, 1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches & repeat 5 more times. Slip stitch & turn.
R6 Chain 1, then 1dc in each of the first 3 stitches. 2dc together 10 times, slip stitch & turn.
Finish any stuffing here, as we're about to close her up!
R7 Chain 1, then 1dc in the first stitch, then 2dc together 5 times.Slip stitch into first dc, but don't turn.
Tail
Chain 1, then 2dc together 3 times. Slip stitch, but don't turn, and dc 6 stitches in a spiral. Chain 3 & fasten off. Snip the yarn with an excess of an inch or so, and tease out the threads of the yarn to make a little tassely tail.

Front Legs
Chain 18, and slip stitch to form a ring (making sure it's not twisted). Work 3 rounds of dc, slip stitching & turning each time.
Chain 1, then dc in each of the first 5 stitches. 2dc together, then 1 dc in the next stitch 3 times. 1 dc in each of the last 4 stitches, slip stitch & turn.
Work 13 rounds in dc, slip stitch & turning each time. Fasten off & sew in ends.
Stitch the felty footpad in place, or crochet up a circle of suitable size.
Make another one.
Back Legs
Chain 18, and slip stitch to form a ring again. Work 3 rounds of dc, slip stitching & turning as usual.
Chain 1, then dc in each of the first 5 stitches. 2dc together, then 1dc in the next stitch 3 times. 1dc in each of the last 4 stitches, slip stitch & turn.
Work 11 rounds in dc, slip stitching & turning each time. bind off, and add footpads.
Make another one.

Ears
Chain 15. 1 dc in 2nd chain from hook, then 1dc in each chain (14 stitches).
Chain 1, then 2dc in each stitch to the end. Turn.
Chain 1, then then 1dc in each stitch to the end. Turn.
Chain 1, then 1dc in each of the first 9 stitches, 2dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 1dc in each of the next 6 stitches, 2dc in each of the next 2 stitches, and finally 1dc in each of the last 9 stitches.
Work a last round of dc & bind off.
Make another one.

Finishing
Stuff the legs & stitch onto place on the body (making sure it all stands up!). Sew on the ears (the elephant will suddenly look like an elephant!). The elephants mouth needs a triangle of pink felt. Cut into shape & stitch into position, pulling the mouth into a shape you like. Roll white felt into two little cone shapes & stitch into place for the tusks. sew on eyes. (if making this for a small child, eyes & tusks can be embroidered on)

Woo, you have an elephant!

4 comments:

Captain Shagrat said...

looks pretty good to me, would love to learn but I'm a bit of a dumb dumb when it comes to stuff like this;-(

littleblackfox said...

Heh, I spent years trying to get my Mum to teach me, but she was a terrible teacher & I was a much worse student. It was only in the last couple of years that I managed to pick up the knack.
Crochet is simple, but not easy, you basically have to find yourself clear instructions (the book 'Happy Hooker' is really good) & muddle your way through & find a technique you're comfortable with.
Hope you're keeping wrapped up warm!

mangocheeks said...

Oh s/he is so gorgeous. I tried my hand at crochet once or twice, but actually need someone to guide me.

littleblackfox said...

I think it's a she (the friend I made her fors totem animal is the female elephant). She was fun to make, even if there was lots of stitch counting involved, and if there's one thing I hate, it's stitch counting! (I have an Odd Brain, and get easily confused with sequences of numbers).
Aww, if I can help you crochet, I will. I'll see if I can cobble together a beginners guide for you in the new year.