Crochet Free Elf
In a KNUTshell
- Standard elves are approx. 20cm tall; Giant elves 30cm tall.
- The body/head are crocheted in Deramores 'Studio' yarn.
- The Tunic is crocheted in Scheepjes stone washed yarn.
- Socks are crocheted in colour-changing Stylecraft 'Cabaret' yarn. Socks are NON-removable, but the tunic can be removed by gently lifting it over the elf's head .
- The arms contain craft wire to make them bendable.
- The eyes are hand-painted with cruelty-free nail polish and attached with safety backs, to ensure they don't fly off.
- All Elves come with an adoption card and book badge.
- Elves are not CE-tested, so are not intended for young children.
Walt Disney famously said that "it all started with a mouse" and, in the World of Bumble and Be, the same can be said of an Elf! Five years ago, I suspended my University degree to receive treatment for an eating disorder, and it was during this incredibly dark period that I found two enduring sources of Lumos: Crochet and Harry Potter.
After years of measuring my self-worth by academia and numbers, my treatment team encouraged me to embrace creativity and words; accordingly, I became a certified Yarnivore crochet and dove back into the pages of my favourite childhood story. I credit both with keeping my mental health from unravelling, and this included discovering just how many powerful mental health analogies there are the Wizarding World - starting with FREE Elf Dobby!
In a KNUTshell, Dobby finds freedom. In my headcanon, the Malfoys were strikingly similar to the relentless, dictatorial voice of mental illness that tells you nothing will ever be enough. And while Dobby may not set himsELF free, he chooses "right over easy" by going to Harry, defying his oppressors and also seizes the possibility of freedom when it comes - in my life, I likened this to embracing the opportunities afforded to me by treatment.
I cannot over-emphasise how much this analogy helped me in those darker moments, and thus inspired me to design my first ever 'magical' crochet pattern... a FREE Elf called "Sir Bumble", ft. odd socks! This latter detail was very important to me, and one of the reasons I 'rejected' all the elf patterns I found online and created my own. None of them had elves with TWO SOCKS. As Ms Granger would say, it's "positively barbaric"... without a Chess Piece in sight! Over the years, my Elf Pattern has evolved, yet Sir Bumble is still here to tell his tale as my CEO (Chief Elf Operator) of Bumble & Be, and "certifies" every single Beastie adoption.
Of all the creatures I make, none hold quite as much personal meaning as my free elves, because they remind me just how far I have come - not just as a maker, but my mental health recovery. And that is worth more than all the galleons in the world. The photo below is of Sir Bumble (right) with one of my Giant Elves (left).
The Design Story
As I mentioned in the last section, I decided to crochet my first Elf for one very specific reason - the need for two odd socks! I couldn't find any pattern that had two socks; what's more, I found that other patterns seemed to come in two extremes: they were either more cartoon-like/kawaii-style, without fingers, shaped feet or facial definition, or so far out my skillset that I would still be making the elf 19 years later!
Over the past five years, my elves has evolved slightly - the main changes being the facial shape and adding a white back to the eyes. Yet the base design is the same and - as with many other Bumble Beeasties - is distinct for its use of a "seamless" pattern, using short rounds to so that the neck, body, arms and legs are all made in one piece, with no limb-sewing needed! In 2019, I also made the switch to hand-painting all my eyes with nail polish, which truly brings them to life - I give it a thin coat, which allows the light to reflect better.
Arguably the trickiest part of bringing my Elves to life hasn't been the design, but the actual materials! You'd be forgiven for assuming that beige yarn is one of the most common colours out there, but finding the right beige yarn is a whole other story! I have been through half-a-dozen different varieties since 2016, and each time they were either discontinued or not achieving the results I wanted. Then, in Spring 2020, I found my 'keeper' - Deramores own-brand 'Studio' yarn, which was not only just the right shade but also anti-pilling (so the stitches stay well defined and don't fluff!)
I now use the same yarn for my niffler paws/snouts too, so I like to think that makes them look related! For the socks, I naturally wanted to make them as Dobby-worthy as possible, which means ALL THE COLOURS and combinations! This lead me to the "style craft" Cabaret yarn; not only does it come in a huge range of colours and have a sparkly thread woven through, each ball is also colour-changing, so no-two socks are ever white the same! Finally, for the Tunic is use the Sheepjes "Stone Washed' yarn - the same that I use for my thestrals - which is brushed cotton and therefore incredibly soft.... and also more eco-friendly too!
As with all other Spew Crew creatures, each Elf is made with my own pattern, so is 100% exclusive to Bumble and Be. What's more, as they are made-to-order, it means that no Elves are ever quite the same; however, I like to think that this is part of their magic - just like an Ollivander wand!
Elves come in two sizes (standard and giant) and their socks can be customised to any colour your heart desires. I recommend to odd socks, to honour our favourite free elf; however, even if you do choose one colour, as the cabaret yarn is colour changing they naturally come out a little different each time! You can leave your sock colour preferences in the buyer's note, or message me post-adoption to confirm.
Every single Elf adopted will also come with their own exclusive adoption card and "beastie book badge", which I make from the secondhand pages of Harry Potter books. Before your Elf flies off to you, I will also check if you have a name in mind and - if so - put this onto the adoption card. On that note, this name will often form the basis for the book badge too; for example, past customers have called Elves Neville, Arthur and - yes - Dobby! So I have chosen passages with these names included.
MY BEASTIES are inspired by the Wizarding World, but have no affiliation with JK Rowling/Warner Brothers.