Knit Elephant Sweater

How cute is this?  This project was special.  More special than anything I’ve ever made.  Read on to find out why.


My mother-in-law’s had an amazing best friend.  They raised their families together, traveled together, shopped together, dined together and spoke almost every single day.  Tragically, this friend was taken from all our lives much too soon due to cancer.  She was as close as family and fought a very brave fight against this devastating disease.  Everyone I know has been affected by cancer in some facet – if you can, please donate money to help with cancer research so someday we can find a cure.  Check out the Canadian Cancer Society as a starting point!

The Project

Her daughter found a sweater she had started knitting years ago, and asked me if I would help finish it.  I was honoured to be a part of it!  It’s a silly sweater, clearly from the 80’s or early 90’s, but it’s a fun pattern and I helped finish it off so that it could be used by her daughter, who is expecting a baby!  It fills me with joy to know this sweater could be completed and used for a new generation.

The pattern was a photocopy from an old book, and the yarn balls were clearly purchased many years ago – they were 89 cents per ball!  I made some adjustments to the pattern based on what had already been started, so the sizing is a little wide, but the sweater is so much fun!  It’s also the first time I made a sweater in this style – starting front bottom, going over the neck and then finishing the back all in one piece.  There were only a few seams to do at the end, I think it turned out great!  I’m also still pretty new to intarsia/stranded colourwork so I learned a lot along the way.

I’m happy to report that this sweater was finished in time for her daughter’s baby shower and I was just overjoyed that I could be a part of this project.  Never has knitting felt so meaningful to me!  I think my favourite part is that you can actually see in the front where she stopped knitting and I started, because it sat on the needles for so many years.  I could have fixed it but I thought it was a nice touch to keep in there.  You can see it in the photo below, about 3/4 down the elephant’s body.

Finishing the Garment

Once the knitting was done, there were several finishing steps.  Seaming up the sides, a button, weaving in a ton of ends, ribbing along the sleeve edges and the neckline, embroidering the eyes, attaching the adorable trunk and tail.  Then I lightly blocked it, although it kept its shape very well.  I had a some tight intarsia I had to fix by loosening some strands. Lots of photos of the finishing are below!



  1. Lynne

    Wow! What a great sweater with a wonderful bittersweet story. I would love to make one for a very special little boy. Is there any way I could get a copy of the pattern?

    1. homemadebygiggles

      Hi Lynne, if you send me a message on Facebook or email me [email protected] I can share the chart with you. That’s the only portion of the pattern I have. Thanks for the kind words!

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