One Collared Elephant

You can tell that the Elephant’s inspiration was the right one – suddenly he’s taken off!

The Elephant Collared

The Elephant Collared

I’m using one set of variegated silk thread (shading from orange to brown) for the harness and headcloth and saddlecloth, and another (shading from cream to brown) for any small bits of the Elephant that show through all his finery.  I shall have to redraw his head and headcloth – the transfer has rubbed off – but I’m pretty pleased with progress.

The collar is worked in six rows of braid stitch, which is a stitch that always looks better in a round yarn like this silk perlé. The roundels hanging from the collar are two rows of buttonhole stitch, and the roundels on the ear-covering are spiral trellis stitch – at the moment. I’m not quite sure that they are right. I first used Spiral Trellis on the Jacobean Work Panel, and really enjoyed stitching it, but I think these look too fussy. One big one might be better, and it would allow the colour change in the thread to show a little more.

I’m glad that I have worked out something to do next, as his anklets are giving me trouble.They are smooth and domed in the original model, but I think satin stitch might look a little ordinary.

I’ve used small satin stitches to outline the border of the saddlecloth, but only because I wanted something quiet to contain the excitement I intend to put inside it – I’m planning to use one of the complicated interlacings from the Tudor and Stuart Goldwork Masterclass for the saddlecloth, but extended to form an all-over pattern.

Watch this space…!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    It’s taking shape nicely. Can’t wait to see the entire elephant!

  2. Janice says:

    Ooh, yes, it is coming along nicely. The problem with undoing the roundels at the ears may be that they are so tightly worked that they will have pulled the fabric, and continue to be visible afterwards. The goldwork in the saddle sounds perfect. A touch of gold to the anklets might complement that, even if you use the variegated thread for the most part. I’ll email you a photo of a stamped elephant I did a few years ago with sparkly anklets – I love needleworked and crafted elephants with rich accessories!

  3. coral-seas says:

    Oh yes, he is shaping up nicely! I like the sound of the stitches/threads you have in mind.

    A couple of suggestions for your anklets – either, use string to pad your satin stitches and stitch them at an angle over the sting, this will give you the domed effect, Taking a completely different approach, silver passing thread or Jap couched to-and-fro.

    What ever you decide, I have no doubt will look stunning 🙂

  4. karen says:

    you know sooooooo many stitches!! a proper encyclopaedia. I think your work is amazing and your knowledge astounding.

  5. Mam says:

    I’m truly impressed – and since I commissioned it, that’s got to count for something! And i must tell everyone that it looks even better in the flesh. Go to it!

  6. There is something about elephants, they have a presence that isn’t just their size. This one is starting to show his personality. You say he, so I take it that it is a male.

  7. Penny says:

    This is going to be one of your ‘works of art’ and I can’t wait to see it all finished. Once again your master of stitchery is showing up beautifully.

  8. Penny says:

    Exploring stitches and finding new uses for them can be such fun. I have a niece who adores elephants…he’s gorgeous!

  9. Elmsley Rose says:

    oooo…..can’t wait!!!!

  10. […] may recall that last week I said I was thinking of working one of the new interlacing patterns on the Elephant’s […]