Josephina Elephant Rug – Pattern Review

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When my 1st granddaughter was born in March, my daughter chose elephants as her nursery theme.  And when she saw a picture of the Josephina and Jeffery Elephant Rug by Ira Rott, well, let’s just say it magically appeared at the top of my to-do list 🙂

So I found the pattern on Ravelry and purchased it and then went to visit my good friend Joann to grab some grey yarn.  The pattern calls for 3 strands, so I bought 3 skeins of Caron One Pound Dark Grey, dug out my trusty N hook, and went to work.  And worked…. And worked…. And worked!

Normally I’m a pretty fast hooker, lol, but this project seemed to take a long time.  And the more rows & rounds I completed, it become more challenging to maneuver due to the size and weight.  But, my skeins were dwindling down, and the head and trunk magically took shape!  I thought – whew!  Now we’re cooking hooking with gas!

As I got started on the ears, the variety of stitches really started bringing a lovely texture to the design.  However, it seemed to pucker much more than I would have liked.  But I kept going, thinking that it’ll lay flat eventually when it’s all completed.  Unfortunately though, it never did.  It seemed that in spots, there were too many increases making it ruffly, and in other spots there were not enough, which made it pucker.  But…  I always tell my knitting and crochet students to trust the process 🙂  Most designers have a method to their madness, and I was going to keep hooking along and see it through. And as it turns out, there were instructions to block each piece before putting it together.  And while I’m a huge fan of steam blocking, I thought perhaps it wouldn’t have needed the blocking as much if the increases/decreases were designed a tad differently.

By the time I got both ears done and attached to the head, I was flabbergasted by the size of it!  I ended up having to go buy 3 more One Pound skeins to finish it, and it was SOOOOO huge – it took up most of the floor.  I’m not sure why, but I was expecting it to be about 1/2 to 2/3 the size it ended up being.  But in all fairness, it’s my own fault!  I never looked at the finished size info in the pattern.   If I had, I probably would have cut it down to 2 strands and used a K hook.  It was a good lesson to me – I tend to “jump ahead” since I’m a very experienced hooker…  but it was a good reminder – a right proper thump on the forehead – to check the fine print on every pattern before getting started 🙂

I really enjoyed the eyes and the eyebrows – the white accents in the eyes really brought the whole face to life 🙂  The bow was the perfect addition for a little girl elephant, and the little “tufts” of hair just put it over the top for cuteness!

All in all, I do have to say the pattern was well written and user friendly in terms of the level of detail in the instructions. There were TONS of photos for nearly every step, and the pattern also included very detailed diagrams for stitch marker placement which made it very easy to attach the ears symmetrically to the head.  It really eliminated the guess work….  I didn’t have to “eyeball” anything, which was really appreciated!

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Although it does take up almost the entire floor of the nursery, my daughter LOVES it – pretty much head-over-heels-goo-goo-ga-ga over this rug!  And I’m pretty sure my sweet granddaughter will be too when she’s old enough to crawl around on it and experience all the sensory treasures hidden in the lovely textured stitches!

This was my first experience with Ira Rott patterns, and I have to say – I give it 2 thumbs up!!!

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