POW: Stranded Knitting With the Elephant Vest

What makes a project easy or hard? If you ask a thousand knitters, you’ll get a thousand different answers. For me, easy knitting projects that sound like a piece of cake are often the most challenging to finish, but “difficult” projects zoom by! Things that sound like they should be easy, but aren’t? Stockinette-stitch baby booties. Those suckers take forever. They’re small and fiddly and tedious as hell. Plus, you don’t even get to wear them when they’re finished! The ungrateful little punk isn’t going to appreciate them either. That baby will absolutely kick one off at the first opportunity, leaving a sad, lonely bootie in a mud puddle. “Ah,” passersby will remark, shaking their heads, “someone shouldn’t have wasted their time on hand-knit booties.”

A Stranded Knitting Stunner

Things that sound like they should be hard, but aren’t? Stranded colorwork projects. No, really—they almost knit themselves! You zip right through the entire project, wanting to finish just one more motif. You stay up until 2 am knitting because you really want to finish that band of elephants. Granted, it takes a little practice to sort out the cat’s cradle of holding two yarns at the same time, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be cruising through Shetland wool catalogs, debating whether moorit or mioget pairs best with musket.


The Elephant Vest from Interweave Knits, Spring 2017 is a fun way to cut your teeth on stranded knitting. Whimsical elephant motifs march around the body of the sweater, while colorful graphic bands break up the rings of pachyderm parades. It’s worked entirely in the round, with steeks for the neck and armholes, so there’s no need to learn stranded purling.

Harrisville Designs Shetland has just enough grippiness to make cutting the steeks painless, with no fear of raveling stitches. Use the vintage-inspired colors shown in the magazine, or choose your own colors. This vest would look fabulous in a neutral gray palette, or try it in a colorful circus-inspired palette. (If you’re too mature to wear elephants yourself, but have a younger friend who’s not as dignified, you’re in luck! The Elephant Safari Children’s Vest in Love of Knitting, Spring 2017 is just the ticket.)

Ready to give stranded knitting a go? Check out the Stranded Knitting Styles video and get started today.

stranded knitting


Try Stranded Knitting!