Wednesday, 1 August 2012


More things that I've done to keep my hands from being idle... 

2 - Five Elephants

Pratchett fans will be aware of the Fifth Elephant. Those who do not share my delight in these books need only to know that the world about which Sir Terry Pratchett writes is a disc carried by four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle. But there is an esoteric tradition that once, there was a fifth elephant ...

'Harris Tweed'
It started with one elephant. My regular knitting magazine [Simply Knitting, for those of you interested] often features 'toy' patterns designed by Alan Dart - but wonderful-looking though they are, most of them are really for show, not something that a small child could safely play with. But in the August 2011 issue, there was a group of 'real' toys that he had designed; 'Safari Sweeties': a lion, a zebra, a giraffe ... and an elephant. In the magazine the elephant was shown in a baby blue, but I had some odd balls of a greyish fleck DK yarn, that I thought was far more elephantine, and so I made 'Harris'.

He had to be Harris, of course, because he was made with a tweed yarn. And I took him with me to the local lunch 'gather' of CBB friends, as I knew two of the others had small children, thinking I'd let them fight it out, but would offer to make another for the loser.

'Donegal Tweed'

But only one of the Mums was there that day, so Harris went off to be Meli's ellie, and I emailed Eddy's Mum to offer to knit another for him.

Elephant number 2 became 'Donegal' - this being the only other tweed I could think of at the time. They are about 6 inches/15 cm 'tall' - i.e. from whatever they are sitting on to the top of their heads.

Donegal [L] and Harris [R]

He sat on my white bookcase for some time before Eddy's Mum could make one of our meetings, but eventually she did, and Meli's Mum brought Harris to see his 'twin...

Lewis is at the top - someone else had
evidently seen the same pattern, and sent a pink
and white elephant to be his friend...
And then another baby arrived in the family - so another elephant became necessary.

I was exercised as to a name for this one, and wondered about Tertius, but was told it would be too hard to for a little one to say. So he became Lewis, that being a sub-type of Harris tweed.
[After all, you can't call a baby ellie 'Herringbone' or 'Thornproof'  - or can you?]

'River Tweed'

At the beginning of this year, the little boy for whom the Gunner Bunny was made [see Rabbits!] was approaching his second birthday, so I started to make the fourth elephant. His parents said they thought he should be called 'River'.

I was at a folk dance weekend at the end of January and as I wasn't dancing as much as usual, due to an injury, I managed to get all the knitting done, and most of the stuffing and sewing-up - all that was left to do when I got home was to give him a face and some toenails.

The Fifth Elephant

Naturally, he occasioned considerable comment, and one of the musicians was particularly smitten. Over breakfast on the last morning I found myself offering to make one for her. Hence the Fifth Elephant - I don't know what she'll call it...

Update 17 November - the Fifth Elephant is now officially named 'Fifth' - and she's a girl!


  1. Beautiful elephants and such gorgeous yarn Ruth!

  2. Replies
    1. They're fun, aren't they? Do you knit - I can let you have the pattern if so :)