Elephant’s Anklets Identified!

Ladder Stitch Foundation

Ladder Stitch Foundation

I’ve been struggling to decide what to do with the anklets for the Elephant of Infinite Charm. When I look at the  Elephant without anklets it’s clear the design needs more visual weight lower down in the design, but when I asked the Elephant what sort of anklets he wanted, he just humphed at me. For days!

Now, however, I think I’ve cracked it. And one of the really pleasing things about the idea is that it helps me to practice my Ladder Stitch, which I’ve been struggling with for the Tudor and Stuart Goldwork Masterclasss. It’s easier in silk, partly because I’m not quite as conscious of the expense of the thread (I can’t believe I just wrote that!), and partly because the thread slides over itself more easily.

Zig Zag On LadderStitch Anklet

Zig Zag On LadderStitch Anklet

So here is my choice – ZigZag on Ladder Stitch. It adds a bit of patterning and structure , but it’s not out of scale with the Elephant or with his feet. The only slight difficulty is that because it it a complex stitch on top of a fairly complex foundation, it’s not exactly lightening-fast. Still, I’ve got one done, and the Elephant isn’t humphing anymore. When I’ve done both, I will need to decide whether to put a second anklet further up the leg. The original ceramic version does, but then in the ceramic version the anklet is smooth…


  1. The perfect solution, I think.

  2. Mam says:

    I must tell everybody, that having seen the “real thing”, I feel that photos do not do him justice – he really does have Infinite Charm, though a different sort from the original ceramic, and from the footstool interpretation. He seems almost too good to use as a door stop! And I am charmed by the intricacy of the stitching. you seem to combine Grandmama’s skill and care in stitching with my desire to do as many different stitches (albeit imperfectly in my case) as possible. I am very impressed, and seriously chuffed.

  3. That’s one well decorated elephant ankle!

  4. Your stitching is lovely – I’m looking forward to seeing more of the Elephant!

  5. Oh yes, that anklet is perfect.

  6. Elmsley Rose says:

    The zigzag ladder stitch looks just perfectly done!
    And the opposing light/dark colours on the anklet as opposed to his foot .. a lovely detail

  7. Lady Fi says:

    What adorable anklets!

  8. karen says:

    your stitches are always so perfect!!

  9. Penny says:

    Perfect solution to the ankle bracelet problem. Its lovely! I can’t wait to see him completely ‘decked out’!!

  10. Janice says:

    An excellent choice of stitch. Looking forward to seeing how it looks in situ, within the design as a whole. And great that you get a chance to practise another of those complex stitches!

  11. Alex says:

    I love the ladder stitch – beautifully stitched. We have two huge wooden elephants that MIL brought back from India when she and FIL lived out there in the 60s and they both have anklets with bells/fringing/etc. hanging from the bottom edges. Picots? Just a thought.