November 3, 2010

Free Pattern! Snowbird Mittens

So this afternoon I googled myself. You make sure that there isn't a new cult leader/arsonist/clown who shares my name now. I didn't turn up any nepharious Elli Stubenrauchs but I did discover that Woman's Day magzine has posted my Snowbird Mitten pattern as part of a VK Mittens & Gloves promo! Which means that I get to keep playing the Free Stuff Fairy and give you the link to the pattern. Yay!

I'm getting a lot of milage out of this photo.*

I don't receive royalties for these mittens from Vogue Knitting online sales, so I definitely encourage you to save yourself the normal $5 download or magazine/book purchase and snag the pattern for free. I have no idea how long WD will keep the pattern up on their website (one week? forever?) but it's there now. What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Ravel it

p.s. have you entered the Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting giveaway yet? The contest is open until 11:59pm EST, Friday, November 5, 2010.

*photo courtesy of Vogue Knitting/Soho Publishing

October 31, 2010

Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting - Free Pattern: (new and improved) Squirrelly Mittens

Years and years ago (also known as 2007) I was a fairly low-key knitblogger with a couple of free patterns, just hanging around doing my knitbloggerly thing. I'd never published a pattern in a magazine or book...the thought had never even crossed my mind. So imagine my surprise when one day, out of the blue, Debbie Stoller, Queen of Stitch 'n Bitch e-mailed me wondering if she could use my Squirrelly Swedish Mitten pattern in a new SnB book.

Yeah. You'd be excited too. There may or may not have been heart palpitations of delight.

Never one to keep things simple, I decided to improve the pattern a bit for the SnB version. Peasant thumbs have never worked very well for me, so I reworked the thumb into a stripey side-tab thumb (just like I'd recently designed for my Herringbone Mittens pattern) and I proudly knitted my samples in a slightly bilious orange and blue color combination.

yeah, I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking either

It wasn't long before I got an e-mail from Debbie asking if she could have them re-knit in different colors (she was very polite, citing contrast issues...but my guess is that she couldn't quite figure out why we'd gone with that color combination either). I happily gave her the go-ahead and some party unknown did a re-knit* with some very nice colors of Jamison & Smith 2-ply Jumper Yarn.

Then there was a bit of a wait (2.5 years or so) while the book was shuffled around in Publishing Purgatory, as sometimes happens.

In the intervening years I've published nine other patterns in magazines and books, and self-published a couple more too. So, as strange as this seems, I'm pleased to introduce you to my VERY FIRST PUBLISHED PATTERN:


Oh, and the icing on the cake? You can totally have a copy of the pattern. Here you go!** New and Improved Squirrelly Mittens for everybody!

Ravel it!

Tomorrow (Monday, November 1) Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting is officially released into the big wide world. I'll be doing a little review and a book giveaway, so stay tuned for that!

*unfortunately, whoever knit them didn't do a great job. oh well. live and learn.

**this is a pdf file. you'll need a recent-ish verson of Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to open it (free download here).

September 14, 2010

Color Fail

Today, a little glimpse into the brain of Elli.

Question: How long will I knit before I accept that the colors I picked out just don't have enough contrast?

one mitten?*

nope. 1.9 mittens.


On the bright side, these knit up ridiculously quickly. It's like I sneezed and a couple of mitten appeared. Also, I really really really love this Araucania Azapa. It's soft like a baby's butt and has a lovely sheen. Not surprising as it's merino/silk/alpaca...yum, yum! So yum, in fact, that I ordered another skein:

Hello there. I am here to save the day.**

I see more contrast in my future.

*pattern = Sprig Mittens. Something I charted up for fun...probably will be available eventually if there's any interest.
**Araucania Azapa, colors Sea Green (808), Tan (802), and Cadet (811).

Get your elliphantom on the cheap

In case you haven't heard, Vogue Knitting is having a pattern sale (ends tomorrow, Wednesday, September 15). All patterns, including three of my designs, are marked down to $2.99!

SnowMaiden_sm.jpg Snowbird_sm.jpg RainyDay_sm.jpg

It should be noted that I don't receive any royalties from these online pattern sales, but if you've been itching to knit these it's a great time to snap them up!

September 9, 2010

New(ish) Design: Arboreal Beret!

Hello there!

This is a bit tardy, but since the cooler weather is finally setting in and all good knitters' minds are turning to to thoughts of wool, I thought it would be as good a time as any to tell you that I have a pattern in the most recent Twist Collective! But you're clever so you probably already knew that.

arborealberet_a_500_sm.jpg arborealberet_b_500_sm.jpg kind of outdoorsy and rustic, yes? makes you want to stand by barns.*

The original Arboreal Beret was knitted as a Christmas gift for my sister, Rae. Christmas 2008, to be exact. But then I never blogged about it, because apparently I was going through a slacker phase.

The hat itself is a pretty standard-issue beret, sized to be nice and slouchy, the tree pattern is comprised of a mixture of cables and twisted stitches with some bobbles thrown in to take the texture up another notch. Is the knitting world still divided when it comes to bobbles? I fall so firmly in the pro-bobble camp that I have completely lost track. They're like little nuggets of knitterly yumminess...mmm...

or contemplate your woodpile.*

The pattern takes about 5oz/140g of aran-weight other words, just about what you have left over from knitting that sweater. See? You already have the yarn. If you have some size 8 dpns cluttering up the joint you're already 2 for 3.

buy the pattern!

ravel it!

arborealberet_d_500_sm.jpg arborealberet_c_500_sm.jpg she's happy because she's thinking about bobbles.*

*photos copyright Jane Heller, and courtesy of Twist Collective.

February 11, 2010


I am a wee bit behind on pretty much everything right now. Thunky's birthday has come and gone (February 8), so his Snorri gloves are most definitely late. Though not as behind as this photo suggests.

In real life I'm almost finished with glove one...but I'm behind on taking photos as well. On a positive note, I'm pleased with how the design is coming together!

halló! I am glovely.

If I can finish them in the next week he can wear them for a few days before he goes to L.A. for a month. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that it will not be glove-wearing weather in California, and that when he comes back in April it'll be too warm to wear them. *Sigh* Am a failure as a wife and knitter.

In other news, I guest-blogged over at Made by Rae yesterday. My assignment was to do a summary of boy's knitting projects for Man Month (she's calling it "Celebrate The Boy"). I managed to work in a couple photos of us a kids...because I could. What's the use of being sisters if I can't embarrass her in her own digital living room?

February 6, 2010

New Design: Birdcage Mittens!

Hello again!

Here's the second installment in Elli Designs Yet More Mittens! If you missed yesterday's post, the quick summary is that I have two new mitten designs in 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220, which will be out in April. Yesterday was superwash kid's mittens, today I have some classic 220 ladies' mittens to show you!

clearly there are never enough knitted birds in my life.*

I don't know if I've ever mentioned much about my design process on the blog but, for me, the easiest part of every project is designing the main theme for the front of the mitten. Once the idea is approved I then spend (what feels like) forever trying to come up with the perfect palm pattern. When I FINALLY get that sorted out, I spend just as long trying to find a good thumb to tie the whole thing together.

Which then explains why, even though I'm generally quite fond of all my mitten fronts, I feel disproportionally proud of the palms. And, of course, books and magazines rarely show that side! You're lucky if you get a glimpse of a coy palm peeking out from under the other mitten. The above photo is remarkable in that you can see almost all of the palm, even if it is (what I think of as) upside-down.

Here's the full palm shot so you can drink it in:

ah, that's better!

The palms are patterned to evoke trailing branches and tall grass. In my imagination it's early morning and it's a little misty, and there is dew dripping from the branches. The little bird is glancing over his shoulder and considering flitting over to check out the situation in the trees..but he's uncertain, because it looks a little damp.

go for it, little dude!

Yarnwise, this is as fabulously basic as you can get. Just a skein each of two colors of Cascade 220! These colors are both heathers (#2440 vinci and #9489 red wine) but I think solids would work equally well. Time to raid your worsted stashes, peeps! Well, not quite yet. We have to wait until April. *sigh*

{twiddles thumbs impatiently...}

In the mean time, ravel it!

*Photo by Jack Deutsch, from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220.

February 5, 2010

New Design: Child's Octopus Mittens!

Ho there!

Just a little entry to show you the first of two new designs that I can finally post about! This time I'm really and truly in an actual book! With a binding and a library of congress number and everything! How fancy is that? (hint: totally fancy).

Both of these pattens will be in 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220, which doesn't come out until April.* I am proud to represent 1/10th of the mitten portion! You may have noticed that I do love a good mitten.

Mini Mitts!**

This is my first child's mitten pattern and I had so much fun designing them! I find the little details the most the increases for the body of the mitten warp the corrugated ribbing just a little so it looks like sea grass waving in the current. Also, I designed the palm pattern to mimic the suckers on the underside of an octopus' arms...because if I were a kid I would totally dig that.

slorp slorp!

I made the cuffs a bit on the long side. My strongest childhood mitten memory is the feeling of snow creeping in under the cuffs. There will be no chilly wrists if I can help it!

Size-wise, the mittens were designed to fit the measurements of a four-year-old child, but I think there should be a bit of leeway there. I've listed the measurements on the Ravelry page if you're uncertain.

full frontal octopic

As far as yarn goes, these just take one skein each of two colors of Cascade 220 Superwash (#886 citron and #812 turquoise), so they're a super-affordable project! Yay! You probably already have suitable yarn in your stash.

And if that weren't enough incentive to make these, they knit up SUPER FAST. Seriously. They're small. They're worsted. They're colorwork. You won't believe how quickly you'll have a pair of little cephalopod mitts. Now, if the book would just hurry up and come out...

Stay tuned for more new mittens tomorrow!

Ravel it!

*but there's always pre-order for you impatient types!

**Photo by Jack Deutsch, from 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats, 20 Scarves, 20 Mittens in Cascade 220.

January 23, 2010

Help for Haiti / FO: T2

You're probably already aware of the Help for Haiti fundraiser that many of the designers on Ravelry are participating in, yes? I regret to say that I only have one downloadable pattern for sale, but if you have a hankering to knit a Tuppy, I'm donating half of the proceeds from pattern sales in the month of January to MSF/Doctors Without Borders. Fun knitting, good cause, win-win!

Ravelry Link
Pattern summary

That said, I have a little FO I've been sitting on since June (yes, I am that behind). Meet Tuppy 2: Brother of Tuppy:

A new Tuppy has risen

Since Tanis was the driving force behind the whole Tuppy project, I thought it was only fitting that I knit her her very own be-horned and winged beastie! The only elements I changed on her monster were the wing and foot colors, but despite all the sameness they have their differences in personality. I feel like the mother of twins...I can tell the difference, but can you?

Before the brothers were separated.

Tuppy 2 has long since flown off to live on the east coast, but rumor has it that he's giving the monsters under Tanis' bed a run for their money.

Never too monstery for florals.

January 10, 2010

New Design: Tree Mittens

I've left this a little late, but I have a new pattern in the latest Vogue Knitting! I'm sure that you're not shocked that I've done another pair of mittens, but I'm rather fond of these ones so I hope you are too.

Have you noticed themes in my knitting yet?*

Yes, it's trees again! And I got to knit them in very Elli colors. This might surprise you, but the most difficult part of the designing process is getting the perfect yarn to fit the idea in my head. Since I'm ridiculously particular about color, more often than not that's the part of the process I get hung up on.

As far as the design goes, while I am pleased with the tree chart, my favorite bit is the mosaic repeat on the palms. If you wanted to shake things up a bit and do something less pictorial, you could easily knit a pair with just that pattern on both sides.

There are a few of you who will be relieved to find out that this is the largest-gauge pair of mittens I've ever designed and therefore a nice quick knit. If you've been dying to do some colorwork mittens, but don't relish the thought of fingering-weight and size ones, these are for you. Enjoy!

-The preview for the whole issue is here!
-Ravelry link is here!

{Coming soon...the Christmas knitting!}

*photo courtesy of SoHo Publishing

July 31, 2009

New Design: Bird on a Wire Hat

It's that time of year's hot as blazes out, but the preview for Vogue Knitting 2009 is up! I've got a pattern in this issue. It's a bit of a departure for me: a) you don't wear it on your hands, and b) it's double knit (and therefore reversible)!

the outards. also, what is up with the model's arm?*

The design
I had a lot of fun with the colorwork on this one...the little buildings and the "wire" ring the entire hat and are punctuated with a little bird at the front. If you're a guy, or if birds are just a little cutesy for you, I think it would also look great birdless and knit in slightly more urban colors. Here's a little thumbnail showing just the buildings:


Double knit eh?
I know that double knit isn't one of those techniques that everyone has used, but it's fantastic for colorwork! I taught myself how to double knit way back when I was a new knitter and I couldn't figure out either intarsia or stranded knitting. I also wanted to knit a scarf with an octopus on it...not exactly a beginner colorwork project...but double-knit saved the day!

Double knit is amazing for intricate designs in the middle of blank floats! No ten-million bobbins! Plus, extra-snuggly-double-layer warmth! Have I made it sound appealing yet?

the innards*

I should also point out that only the colorwork section is double knit. Once you get past the bird, you knit the lining separately from the outside of the hat. Easy, peasy!

Go forth and start your Fall knitting!

ETA: Ravelink!

*all photos courtesy of SoHo Publishing

June 2, 2009

New Pattern: Tuppy Von Monster

After much mucking about with prototypes, changing my mind about colors, fiddling with horn shapes, and all manner of other knitterly shenanigans, I'm pleased to say that my monster is finished and ready for his closeup!

Hallo, my name is Tuppy!

Knitted out of worsted-weight yarn and designed with stashbusting in mind, this little guy uses less than 50 grams of the main color, and only a few grams each of four contrasting colors. You knew you were saving those random partial skeins for something!

Affinity for plantlife not guaranteed

Tuppy has a little bit of everything: knitting in the round, increasing and decreasing, picking up stitches, simple charted colorwork, basic hand-stitching, and embroidery! The pattern includes six pages of photos and step-by-step instructions, and one page of templates for the wings and teeth.

9 out of 10 watermelons recommend Tuppy for your summer knitting!

Yarn: your worsted leftovers (wool, dishcloth cotton...whatever you've got)!

One size: lovable.

Knitted measurements:
-Toes to horns: 11”/28 cm.
-Tummy circumference: 12.5”/32 cm.

You'll also need: felt, thread, stuffing, extra-heavy stabilizer, safety eyes.

Price: $4.50

Ravelry Link

Hooray for monsters!

I mentioned in my last post that my partner in monstrosity, Tanis, was working on her very own bundle of knitted ferociousness. Her creation, The Stubenmonster, is available on Ravelry too!

May 13, 2009


Heyya! So today is rainy and yucky, and I just want to curl up on the couch and see if Season 2 of Gilmore Girls is any good, but...I was told I need to blog. Peer pressure, it seems, is alive and well in my life.

Here's a little project I've been working on:

What ees eet?

Back in January Tanis had a dream that we designed a project together. Since this dream seemed to make a lot more sense than the other one she had where she was stealing babies from the hospital...we decided that it must be a good idea. There followed this chat:

T: I really want to do a plushy-type stuffed character/animal/thing or a fabulous fair isle hat. Any thoughts?

E: I'm more excited by the fair isle idea...though judging from the number of babies my friends/family keep having, maybe I should be more into the plushes. A fair isle plush would be cute. Maybe a fair isle monster plush?

T: OMG. That's exactly what I wanted to do! A fair isle monster!

So that pretty much decided that. Tanis has long since finished hers...written up the pattern and everything. I, of course, am the one dragging my feet. Why? Who knows? My horn prototypes have been a little problematic, but nothing an intrepid knitter couldn't overcome. Maybe my intrepidity is waning?

Anyway here's a photo of my sketch. This monster will look like this if it kills me:


That's all for tonight! Stars Hollow calleth.

ETA: Upon re-reading I realize that I've muddled the facts. Tanis and I are each designing and knitting our own monsters...doing our own individual spin on the same project. This one is mine; hers is yet to be revealed. Stay tuned for that!

January 21, 2009

Snow Maiden Gloves

Hello there lovelies! I've been dying to introduce you to the last of my Summer design work. Meet the Snow Maiden Gloves (aka #23 Opera Gloves...gotta love those names)! This one is in the new Vogue Knitting Winter 2008/2009.

cheer up sweetie; I'll let you take them off in a minute. (photo courtesy of SoHo Publishing)

The Skinny:

My first pair of proper gloves! If you don't think you have any need for opera-length gloves, just take a peek in the closet and think about how nicely they'd go with that 3/4 sleeve coat. See? Everybody needs a pair! Seriously, they're not as difficult to knit as you might think.

I designed these to be knit from fingertip to elbow because it's so much more fun to try them on as you go. It's the glove equivalent of the toe-up get the finger-knitting out of the way at the beginning and the rest is just twisted stitchy goodness! If you run out of steam (or yarn) you can always make them a tad shorter.

The inspiration came from flipping through the Barbara Walker treasuries and seeing the pattern for Exploded Ribbing, a great twisted-stitch cable that reminds me of Russian onion domes. And to take the Russian thing a little further...since these are opera gloves...the name "Snow Maiden" seemed appropriate.

A Note on Sizing: The pattern lists the hand circumference as 7.25," which is true, but they are intended to be worn with a little negative ease. The gloves were designed for someone with a hand circumference of 7.5." Finger-length, of course, can be easily modified.

So this design wraps up the 2008-09 mitten/glove designing season for me! I hope you like them!

{Ravelink here}

November 23, 2008

Rainy Day Fingerless Gloves

So remember when I said I spent most of the summer working on design projects? Let me introduce you to Ms. August:

Hola! We are not mittens.

I know...the shock, right? When Tanis over at Knit.1 asked for a "dream project" for the story they were putting together on bloggers, this idea fell together pretty quickly. I love fingerless gloves. I love color (especially yummy, semi-solid, hand-dyed, wooly/silky color). I love buttons, and I especially love a good fast knit.

I'm really excited about this pattern! Excited enough that I'm looking forward to the magazine coming out (December 16 is the official release date, if you're counting) even though I'm a little nervous about the blogger profile part. I happen to be Very Bad at talking about myself without completely over-thinking things. Have you ever noticed that I don't have one of those "100 things about me" pages? That's why. I tried a couple of times but I got bogged down somewhere in the low teens.

Anyway...not going to think about, la, la...

bloggers_crop.jpg cover_crop.jpg

Now for the really cool part. If you've been poking around Knit Blog Land (and chances are, if you're reading this, you have been), you've probably run into some of the other super-talented bloggers who have patterns in this issue. If you want the whole list, here's a little cheat sheet for you:

Cookie A

I feel like a bit of an underachiever compared to that lot (not having written a book or inspired a Ravelry fan club), but I'm incredibly excited to be included!

Ok, I think that's enough for today. In summary: new pattern, Knit.1, lots of cool bloggers, woo-hoo! Oh, and the full preview should be up on the Knit.1 site on Monday the 23rd.

p.s. Ravelink!

November 17, 2008

Lotus Leaf Mittens

Heyya! I know I'm a little late with the news, but the winter Twist Collective is up! I'm totally and completely thrilled to have a pattern included in this issue, especially considering all of the other brilliant talent that is represented.

Would you be surprised if I told you it was a pair of mittens? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Hello world!

The observant among you will have noticed that the blog was a bit quiet this summer. Well...this was the project that dominated July. August and September to be unveiled soon!

The Deets:
I used Schaefer Heather in the colors Indigo and Clara Barton, but most fingering-weight semi-solid or solid sock yarns will work. I was super-excited that I finally got to use a red/blue combination...that's my current color combo crush!

Other than that, they're pretty standard Elli-mitten fare: colorwork on size one needles with a thumb gusset on the side. This seems to be a good fit for most people and has the added bonus that you can use the lotus pattern (topside) or the leaf pattern (palmside) on both sides of the mitten. Because everybody loves a little mix and match!

Ravelink here.


If you do nothing else, make sure you check out the fabulous watercolors that Eloise Narrigan did for the story. I'm particularly fond of my chipmunk, but they're all really cute!

July 18, 2008

In Vogue

The preview for the fall issue of Vogue Knitting is up! Guess which pattern is my favorite?

photo courtesy of SoHo Publishing

Project details later. I'm going to go have a celebratory grape soda now.

February 13, 2008

Finished: Coral Herringbone Mittens

The camera, it is still broken (sadness, woe, etcetera). But now it is absolutely, completely broken. This is different from the sort of broken it was before (which was just kind of halfway broken). There are still a few photos hanging around from before the world went dark for my beloved Crapshot 2000, including these ones, taken Saturday.

Howdy. We are Pomtastic

The Specs:

-Pattern: Herringbone Mittens with Poms, by me! Pattern here.
-Size Knitted: Medium
-Yarn: Cascade 220.
-Skeins: Less than one skein each of Coral (7830) and Natural (8010).
-Needles: Size 6 dpns (size 4 for ribbing).
-Start to finish: October 2007 - February, 2008.
-For: Recipient as of yet unknown (which explains why I wasn't really in a hurry to finish these).

Upside-down mittens! I really know how to shake things up.

You probably thought I'd finished these already, since one of them appears in the pattern and has been paraded around blogland for all the world to see. But that was just the single mitten I knitted up to test out the smaller size. Now there are two and, as someone's wise mother once said, mittens really are better in pairs.

Not much new to say about these. If you really want to read a full FO report, you can take a gander at the last one, which is here.

Final Verdict: neat-o complete-o!

November 7, 2007

For you...

So I’ve been off in a world of my own lately. Granted it’s a very nice world with lots of yarn and hot cocoa and an imaginary Gregory Peck* rubbing my feet, but it’s about time to snap back to the Land of Blog before you think that I’ve gone and pulled a lonely-tourist-Charlotte-Charles on you. Hi there. Not dead! Just changing seasonal gears and getting my cold-weather knit on and working on that gift I promised you.

You may have noticed that making presents is one of my favorite ways of showing affection and expressing appreciation. Which is to say...I think you guys are the nicest bunch of blogreaders on the planet. Here, have a prezzie:

I'd like to give the world a Pom.

Download your very own copy here**. I've proofread the pattern about 10 bajillion times, but do let me know if there are any errors I've missed, and send me pics if you make a pair!

Hugs and Keeses,


*Roman Holiday-era Gregory Peck, please.
**Requires Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded for free here, if you don't already have it.

September 26, 2007

Finished: Herringbone Mittens

Look! Mittens!

Does looking at herringbone make you dizzy too?

The Specs:

-Pattern: An Elliphantom original.
-Size Knitted: Elli-size (read: biggish).
-Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted.
-Skeins: Less than one skein each of Deep Charcoal (M-06) and Silver Sliver (M-130).
-Needles: Size 7 dpns (size 6 for ribbing).
-Start to finish: September 9 - September 25, 2007.
-For: Me!

From the bottom up: ribbed cuff; eyelets to accommodate crocheted cord and large pom-pom; striped thumb; herringbone goodness.

I've wanted to knit myself some mittens ever since the too-small-squirrel-mitten incident of 2006. So a few weeks ago I grabbed some leftovers from the stash, took some inspiration from the thrifted herringbone fabric, and got cracking.

Improvements I've made since the squirrel mittens:
-These fit! It's a nice touch.
-Worsted-weight yarn for a quicker, thicker mitten (heh. that rhymed).
-A ribbed cuff for extra snuggyness.
-The traditional thumb. I've determined that my thumbs are too, how should I put this...drumstick-like for a tab thumb).

Other than that, they're pretty similar to the squirrel mittens. (read: they're fair-isle and the tops are shaped similarly).

The Yarn:
The mohair content in the yarn makes it ill-suited for a lot of projects (too itchy), but it might just be made for mitten-dom. Lots of fuzzy snuggliness inside these double-stranded babies. If they full up just a little bit over time they'll be darn near impervious to wind and weather.

Respect The Pom.

Final Verdict: I'm so pleased. La, la, la...

May 3, 2007

Finished: Mossy Baby Sweater

Hey look, it’s a finished baby sweater! This one has been waiting for its write-up for over a week, but lately life has been getting in the way of blogging. And returning e-mail. I'm working on it, I promise!

Oh fine, it's not the same color as moss.

The Specs:
Pattern: My own.
Size: About 3 months.
Yarn: GGH Samoa (50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
Needles: Size 7 circs for the body, size 7 straights for the sleeves.
Start to finish: March 4 - April 24.
For: Little Nephew E.

I couldn't find any snakes or snails or puppy-dog tails, so you'll have to settle for pine-needles and rocks.

If you cast your mind back to early March, you may recall that this sweater started out as a slightly modified version of this pattern from Rebecca Baby and Kids No. 8. After about 100 bazillion modifications, I ended up with what you see here.

The Plan:
I wanted a baby sweater with similar construction to the EZ baby sweater: knit in the round but with sleeves knit flat (though they could be done in the round. Whether a short little seam or knitting in the round takes longer is a bit of a toss-up). I knew I wanted zig-zaggy cables (I can't get enough zigzags. I bet you never noticed).


What really happened:
That was about where the planning ended. I pretended to crunch some numbers and cast on. After I knitted my way to the bottom of the sweater I decided that the neck was too small (resulting in the great backwards seed-stitch rip-out of '07). And then there was the night I decided I didn't like the spacing of the buttonholes so I dropped back the button-band stitches and picked them back up with new yarn-over buttonholes in the proper spots. And we won't go into how I knitted the first arm three times before I got it to look like it would fit a human baby (as opposed to a t-rex baby).

I feel a little bit like I knitted the middle of the sweater first and then fiddled around on the edges for a long time. Maybe because I did?


I took a bunch of notes thinking that maybe I'd write out a pattern, but I feel like I need to knit this one again the way normal people knit (you know, from the start to the finish without all that wishy-washy rippyness) before I put it down on paper. Luckily, people just keep having babies so it shouldn't be too much of a problem finding another one to knit for.

Tree, tree, tree...tree, tree, tree...

Final Verdict: I like it! Even if it was the slowest fast knit ever executed.

p.s. I finished up the Flowerbasket Shawl last Sunday! More finished object goodness coming your way soon! (Though I do realize that "soon" in Elli-land has come to mean "sometime hopefully in the next week.")

October 22, 2006

Finished: Chunky Scarf


Secret Project revealed! This is a very easy scarf I whipped up as a gift for the little sis for Christmas. I figure she got River last time, so this time around it's something a little more basic.

The Specs:

Pattern: Garter stitch. You know that one, right?
Yarn: About 250g of mystery super-chunky alpaca, acquired when Ms. Aura was destashing a while back.
Needles: Size 35s. Ack! The bigness!
Start to Finish: October 14 – October 15.
For: Kricket.


I just cast on 78 sts, knit 7 rows, bound off loosely, and threw on some fringe. Easy-peasy! The hardest part was jamming all those stitches onto the needles. That and freezing my tooshie off while Thunk took pictures.

Timewise, this took about as long as a dishcloth to make...just a few hours. Like I mentioned before, I don't have a clue what kind of yarn this is, but I did knit a similar one for Rae in Cascade Magnum a couple years back if you're looking around for something appropriately chunky (I dubbed that one the macaroni scarf, for very good reason). You could even rustle up some white Magnum and turn this into an adventure in hand-dying.

I see a scarf in someone's future...

Final verdict: Wrap it up and put it under the tree!

March 23, 2006

Guess what I finished?

The mitten pattern!


Just to warn you, I changed the pattern a bit to make them a little longer. It turns out that, when it comes to guessing how long mittens for women with small hands should be, I stink. They were too short. They didn’t even fit my friend Ginny who has lovely short little fingers. So if you notice that the picture looks a little different from the instructions, you’re right. Follow the pattern, not the picture.

If you do decide to knit them, which I know isn’t highly likely with spring here and everything, feel free to drop me an e-mail at elliphantomknits(at)yahoo(dot)com with any questions. I proof-read it ten bazillion times, but it’s entirely possible that I’ve missed something. Oh, and you’ll need version 7.0 of Adobe Acrobat Reader to open the pattern. (free download here).

The pattern is here: Squirrelly Swedish Mittens

In other knitting news, I’m planning the spring line-up. This spring and summer is going to be devoted to knitting for me. I only have three gift-knits planned and I am going to try not to add any more (you can laugh all you want…I’m serious). More on that later.

February 13, 2006

Finished: Garter Stripe Scarf


The Specs:
-Pattern: An Elliphantom Original
-Yarn: Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Brush
-Skeins: 1 skein each of 2 colors
-Needles: size 9 Lantern Moons
-Start to finish: January 30 - February 12
-For: Me!

Notes: Lovely mindless knitting. I knitted quite a bit of this on Saturday Night when Wendie was over. The rest was knitted while avoiding other knits, watching the Olympics, and at stoplights. Knitted with yarn from the stash.

The Yarn: I love the Baby Alpaca Brush. It's soft. It comes in lovely colors. My only complaint is that I used two (supposedly) 50g balls to knit the scarf and the resulting scarf is 88g. I had 4g of orange left over at the end, which brings the total yarn weight up to 92 grams, but where are the other 8 grams? I love my scale, but sometimes it causes me heartache (the kind of heartache you get when you're afraid that a yarn company you trust is secretly trying to rip you off).

The Pattern: CO 20 sts with yarn A, knit one row *Knit two rows with yarn B, Knit two rows with yarn A* repeat until you run out of yarn, cast off on the second row of a color so that the stripe is the same thickness as the others.) Easy Peasy. I think y'all could have figured that out.

Final Verdict: La-la-love it!