February 03, 2004

Bring on the Elf!

Lola Falana envies me these ruffles.
[Click me and I will give you another view.]

Elfin is finished! The outcome: I forgive Kim Hargreaves for those 10,000 stitches of Kidsilk Haze. The ruffles on the front edges are a great big valium to cast on, but they result in enough frills to make a Las Vegas performer jealous. With a skirt or slacks this cardigan is a cute party jacket, but the flecks of blue in the tweed make it easy to wear with jeans, too. I am really not much of a frill person, but this cardi changed my mind about that. I like it!

Some tips:

1) Casting on all those stitches for the front band frills is an event in itself, but so is sewing them onto the front edges. It's imperative that they match up correctly without puckering, so I sewed on both front bands simultaneously, taking in 2 horizontal bars alternating every 2 or 3 stitches up to the shoulders. (If you're knitting Elfin, you'll know what I mean when you get to this part.) When I finally finished sewing on the frills, I was so happy I pulled the half-sewn cardi on and said, "Woot!" And here's the photo to prove it. [A big thank you to my ever-observant pal Alison for sending me the shirt! (My e-mails tend to be peppered with exclamations of "Woot!", particularly when writing about yarn.)]

2) I used black hooks and eyes instead of metal ones, and they are invisible when the cardi is worn. I didn't fasten them directly at the edge, but two rows inside to ensure better closure.

3) Elfin is a VERY warm cardi. If you plan on wearing it on its own indoors (which you can, as the darts make it an excellent fit), don't do it where the heating is on full blast, or you'll sweat yourself into a puddle on the ground.

And here are some more photos for you: The official standing still like a mannequin with hands on hips shot, and the customary skinnyrabbit.com dancing shots* taken with my spycam:

A big thank you to Sarah W., for enabling me with this yarn and for choosing the perfect colorway for me. As promised, here are your dancing in the forest shots! Edited to include an enormous thank you to Ms. Curls and Purls, for organizing such a fun Elfin knitalong. It was a blast!

*Say hello to Lucy, my bichon frise and loyal canine friend of 9 years. When my husband started taking the dancing shots, she ran over and stole the show.

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76 comments to this entry:

ok, ok, I will admit I thought you had completely lost your mind when you started knitting that thing - but, man!! That could even change my mind about ruffles, too. What an absolutely gorgeous piece of work! Great job Becky!!
Oh! But it's GORGEOUS! Woot! I'm super super jealous, and I'm going to make one now. Or sometime soon at any rate. Yours looks nicer than the one in the Rowan mag, I think your ruffles are more buoyant maybe? Anyway I was really looking forward to seeing your Elfin and it was worth the wait. Lucy is gorgeous too, by the way!
Elfin is so gorgeous, so stylish and the frills, so becoming. Good show. Happy, aren't you? And very pretty, I say. Bisous.
Very lovely! Everything (color, style) perfect for you.
I am not into frills either, but these ones look really great, even Lucy can be jealous :)
it is gorgeous!! you have done a fantastic job! now you are fancier than your fancy little dog
Wow, the sweater looks gorgeous. What a project! Lucy is adorable.
Ooh - it's beautiful. I'm in awe of that ruffle!
Elfin looks heavenly. I love the ruffles! You are so fancy! You look like a happy elf frolicking in the woods! Lucy is adorable. She dances just like you! Everyone in the family does...did they learn that from you, Ms. Becky!?!?!?
Whack dancing rabbity Elf! WOO HOO!! Girl, you look fine in that sweater. Nice choice of pattern/yarn, and excellent knitting.
Gah! How faboo! It is indeed Liberace-esque, but only in the very best way. If you have to go Vegas, you might as well go Elfin - great job, Becky!
Magnifique! Merci beaucoup pour les photos! I'm working on my first sweater (well, first in 17 years) now and it's great to see such a huge accomplishment finished and dancin'! Woot!
Muy fabulous!!!!
congrats from your tweedy coat friend. Yet another beautiful accomplishment. Isn't it great to be the maker of your own fabulous clothes? I just scored 10 skeins of kidsilk haze for cheap on ebay and am happily anticipating all the wonderful things (ruffles?!) I can do with it. As usual, your work is inspiring. BTW, check your posy mail so that I can start blogging and knitting along, too!
You know, I'm not a ruffle girl either, but that sweater has won me over. It's gorgeous. (oh...and Diego has a crush on Lucy now...)
Oh my god, Elfin is so so so beautiful, I'm SO jealous. Worth all that work, absolutely. And you and Lucy look so smashing. I wish Lucy can meet my Ty, they are practically twins.
i am not worthy....i am not worthy. tres manifique!
That turned out beautifully Becky! I do not envy you the thousands of stitches you did in the Kid Silk Haze, but the finished product was well worth it! Congratulations! jenn
Oh. My. God. GORGEOUS!! My absolute terror of knitting/attaching such frills will keep me from making one for myself but I stand in awe of yours.
It's fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing with us--it's positively awe-inspiring!
Elfin is truly beautiful. And so becoming on you. Congrats on a great job. What a task, making all those frills and sewing them on -it's been exhausting just watching you do it! But I can see that it was so worth all the trouble. Amazing! Love the Woot shirt on you! So glad that you like it. :0)
Elfin is beautiful. The ruffles make this sweater -- I love it!! Oh, and you look wonderful in it, too!!!
I have been checking your site for weeks to view the finished elfin. It was worth the wait! The sweater is very beautiful and you are very beautiful in it. And I really appreciate your excellent tips as I head toward the finish line myself. What a WOOT moment that will be! Aara
ooohhhh....ahhhh...very pretty. yes, very much worth the wait. your elfin is gorgeous(insert applause here). lovely pictures...
Simply astounding! Love that smile.
You look totally stunning and gorgeous in your beautiful Elfin. Fantastic bit of knitting. Maybe one day my 'Essence of Elfin' will be more than a pair of ruffless sleeves ! That mine should look so good...
I love this sweater, and you look awesome in it. In my constant effort to improve my skills and attentiveness to detail, knit stylish garments that are the envy of all my friends, and...well, be more like Becky, I took up Elfin this weekend with the zealousness of a new convert. I purchased my yarn (dark brown tweed with camel colored KSH) in Huntsville, Alabama, the Rocket City, appropriate because I feel as though I'm enduring preparation for a trip to Mars with the fortitude I'll need for the task at hand. However, I'm enjoying the heck out of it so far. I'm started the back panel and have about 8 inches so far. Thanks so much for your diagrams and discussion of all the nuances of this pattern. They have helped enormously. I have printed these pages and placed them in a binder with page protectors. It's my mission control. Houston, we have gauge! Thanks again for guiding all of us neophytes through this process. Your final results show that it's soooo worth it!
Yummy! Ruffly fun! Looks like a lot of work went into those ruffles, but they're worth it! Delightful Elf girl...
ohmygodohmygodohmygod! Frothing at the mouth over the frills. Stunning!
As always, you did a great job! It really looks good on you.
Woot! It's just beautiful, I do not dare knit Elfin for fear of hanging myself with all of those ruffles. I love it, I think my brain would hate it.
Oh, Becky--Elfin is simply BREATHTAKING. I am without speech. I, too, have been patiently waiting for the wacky elf-rabbit dancing shots and it was so worth the wait. Wow.
Lovely, lovely Elfin! And finally a lovely face to go with a lovely sweater...now THAT'S a WOOT!!! Exemplary knitting Becky, my dear.....and love your little dog too!!
Excellent!! As always I am so impressed! You did a wonderful job! Oh, the finishing with those ruffles would have scared me away! Wear it with pride! It looks fantastic!! Cute little pooch too!
That is absolutely stunning!
Well, I don't know what I could add to these 35 other comments, but I just wanted to say that Elfin looks beautiful! You are an inspiration to us all.
There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said, but I needed to add my "Bravo!" anyway. Beautiful work!
Ah, beautiful. I love it! W00T!!
What a labor of love! Not only is the style and color perfect for you, but I'm so happy that you worked out all the technical snafoos for all of us who can just only imagine making it. Quite a feat - you should be proud.
Really stunning and a perfect fit. You are going to turn heads (even more than usual), you stylish thing you. xox Kay
Gorgeous on you! Hello & kiss-kiss to little dog Lucy! Love little furry friends :-)
I have a Bichon Frise too. They are the greatest little dogs. So cute and nice personalities. He likes to curl up on my knitting, like a cat. By the way, Elfin looks smashing!
Wow, Becky! That is just beautiful. Another fine job! The fact that your dog wacky dances too just seals the deal... lol!
Becky, Elfin is just wonderful. It looks fab on you. I am blown away at how good it looks finished, better than the book. You have spured me on to finish mine off now - along way to go tho. I have only just finished the back!
professional, perfect, poised.......completed with patience for those ruffles......congratulations on a tremendous accomplishment ..... it's breathtaking.
Becky! The sweater is absolutely georgeous. I can't believe how well it turned out - almost makes me want to go and knit away on one! Fabulous job.
Elfin- très chic, however for me Lucy stole the show, she is adorable!
absolutely beautiful. i am envious of the ruffles and the ksh ... i can't knit with it but i sure love to look at it!
Wow, Becky! Elfin is fantastic -- I'm in awe of your patience with those ruffles. Thanks for all the photos! What a beautiful spot.
Wow!! It is awesome, Becky! So totally YOU. BTW... did you get a haircut? You are stylin', Mama. ;)
Bravo Becky! Cela me donnerait presque envie de le tricoter, malgré les zillions de mailles en KSH, mais bon, il y a déjà un air de printemps en ce moment...(bonne excuse). En tout cas, les photos sont magnifiques, Elfin te va à ravir, et le petit bichon est tout aussi craquant :-)
It's FANTASTICO!!!! So lovely & FRILLY! I've been looking forward to seeing the finished article for ages and then typically take a day off when you post the pics... I love the forest shots - definately a chic french elf! I'm so glad the colours worked out - they certainly do suit you. It may be difficult to stop myself purchasing the raw ingredients now!
It's absolutely gorgeous. Now, I want one!!!! But, I don't think I have the patience for all those ruffles. Must resist the temptation to start yet another project. Ugh. You're killing me.
What a lovely outcome for Elfin. Almost makes me want to knit miles and miles of ruffles in Kidsilk Haze.... no... well, maybe I will just admire yours :-)
Elfin looks divine! I like the snap of you and Lucy. She's adorable!
Gorgeous as always! I mean you, and the sweater too of course. Love that Lucy. Achoo, dog allergies.
Hi Becky! The sweater turned out so nicely - fit and stylewise! Congratulations! I guess I've never seen your face before in the pictures. Are you Asian (or part Asian)? You look very much like a friend of mine from SE Asia (Malasia)...
As you know, I'm a big fan of animal companions named Lucy! And Elfin is a vision of loveliness!
Omigod that sweater is amazing! The ruffles! Faboo. Absolutely perfect. I'll knit me another Rowan beyond Smooch, someday. (Wait, I have Zephyr poncho on the needles now.) Hey, I think we want a dog like that -- did you hook up with her in France or USA? Any drawbacks to the breed? I read some stuff online about drippy eyes . . . But your Lucy looks as perfect as your Elfin!
Ooh, how pretty. Great job!
Wow! That is one beautiful sweater. You did an awesome job!! Enjoy and show it off.
Lovely lovely lovely...jealous, jealous, jealous. What more can I say?? :)
tres chic, mon amie. alison sent me 3 balls of the felted tweed, it is SO SOFT i can imagine it must be quite the comfy sweater, non? i want to make a turtleneck just of it, no crazy KSH pour moi.
Well, I am so jealous. Your Elfin looks just gorgeous. No non-knitter will ever know your pain, though. I have decided to knit some intarsia on my future Elfin, across the back in big letters: "This sweater was a b*tch to knit. Hope you enjoy." Kudos for finishing and making me feel like a total knitty loser... :)
I think that is one of the most beautiful sweaters I've ever seen. Way to go! Great job teaching your bro to knit. Love the hats. The Captain is dashing as always. I want to live in that French forest, how breathtaking it is...
Gorgeous! Everytime I look at it, it just gets better! The colors couldn't be better. Now you're stuck staying in the forest all the time, because the sweater looks so charming there-- I guess that solves the indoor temperature issue. ;)
You continue to be an inspiration, Becky. Love Elfin, love your dancing dog and kid, and love your knits!
i am at a loss for words. you should go into business, girlfriend. :) elfin simply looks gorgeous on you!
Oh, Becky, Elfin looks positively wonderful! I'm looking forward to finishing my version of it. Here's hoping it fits as well as yours does (once I reclaim my pre-pregnant body!). Love the dancing doggie photos!
Wow! Thank you all so much for such wonderful, encouraging comments!!! They make those gazillion stitches of [whispers] Kid Silk Haze and sewing on those front bands [woooooot!] worth every bit the time and effort, and then some. Merci beaucoup! :-)
Congratulations on finishing Elfin. It looks fabulous.
I don't know you, but that sweater is SO YOU. you wear it well, girl!
stupendous!! congratulations on finishing this most exquisite haute couture garment.
I want your wardrobe. You look beautiful.
I love your blog! Yours is the best knit blog I've ever seen!!! I also love knitting.. I probably love it more than you do! Your blog really inspred me to create one for myself. I'll come by often to check out your new pictures ^++^ btw.. I am wondering how you knit sweaters that really fit? how much do you add for "ease"? or do you knit to your exact chest measurement?
Becky, you should send your picture into Rowan. Your Elfin looks sooo much nicer than the one in their book. I don't know if it's the model's posture, but it looks like a shapeless...blah. I wouldn't have had any desire to make it but now that I've seen your's I think I'd like to tackle it...even with all those ruffles. Was the shaping really difficult? I'll have to check my LYS to see if the yarn is still available and if I can get it without having to sacrifice a kidney.

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