Shelby the Shelf Elf

Shelby main left sm Shelby main right sm

The holiday season at last has come, the shopping and planning has now begun, but soon we’re so hectic with all of our plans, our fistfuls of hair match our barked out commands. 

When the pot boils over and the last nerve is wrung,  there’s someone who’ll help, someone who’ll come. 

He sits up high, perched on a shelf, awaiting that moment when you yell out a “Help!”

No worries, as Shelby has all in hand; he’ll mind the children and butter your pans, he’ll wrangle dust bunnies, with a sure and quick hand, and even frost all those gingerbread mans.

Never fear… sweet relief is near…
Shelby the Shelf Elf now is here! 


Knitting loom: KB Sock Loom 2 (KB All-n-One Loom could also be used).

Yarn: 1 each (or portion of 1 skein each) Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (170 yrds per skein,  #4 worsted weight, 100% acrylic) in the following colors: fisherman, cranberry, kelly green, white, taupe mist and mustard.

Notions: 2 wiggle eyes or other substitute, sewing needle and embroidery floss or thinner weight yarn (for stitching on face details), craft glue, craft felt in blue and white, polyfill stuffing, beans/rice/some other type of weighted items for base of elf’s body, Press and Seal plastic wrap (or whatever is preferred to secure rice/beans: see Finishing Steps), loom tool, 5mm crochet hook (for cast on and help with possible missed stitches, etc), stitch markers, scissors, knitting pins, yarn needle, row counter.

Gauge: 9 stitches and 14.5 rows per 2”

Finished  Measurements:

Width:  6″

Height sitting:  9.5″

Height unfolded: 21″

Skills Needed: E-wrap, Knit/U-stitch, Purl, Double Wrap Short Row Method (shown in video links and step by steps below), Drawstring CO, Half Hitch CO (or CO of your choice), Gather BO, and Basic BO, embroidery techniques.


CO: cast on

EW: E-wrap

K: knit stitch/U-stitch

P: purl stitch

KO: knit off

St(s): stitches

WY: working yarn

BO: Bind off

W&T: wrap and turn

Pattern Notes:

This pattern uses 1 strand of yarn held throughout.

Video Tutorials and Web Tools:

Drawstring Cast On

Heel and Toe Part 1 & Part 2

Pattern Instructions:


-Wrap a length of skin color (sample uses fisherman) once around the loom and cut at this point. Set aside.

Set loom to 42 pegs. Using the skin color, Drawstring CO to all of the pegs to work in the round. **Note: do not cinch in CO until instructed.

-K 35 rounds.

-Decrease 4 stitches on each end, moving loops and slider to fill in empty pegs.  K the remaining 34 sts, working 2 over 1 on pegs with 2 loops.  Cut WY.

-Using the length of skin color cut at the beginning, work one Gathered Row.  Leave ends to outside of work, and do not cinch in until later.

Gathered Row-
(Example of how to work a Gathered Row…simply work yarn in front and behind of pegs, so that this row can be easily gathered later on. KO all pegs with 2 loops.)


-Adding red color (sample uses cranberry), K 50 rounds.

-Panel knit on only pegs 1-12 for 16 rows.

-Basic BO loosely on only pegs 1-12. Wrap WY around loom once and cut here.

-Add new length of red yarn and Basic BO remaining pegs 13-34. Wrap WY around loom once and cut here.

Shelby parts


-Set loom to 16 pegs and using red yarn, CO and prepare to work in the round.

-K 80 rounds.  Cut WY.

-*Using green color (sample uses kelly green), K 2 rounds.

-Using white, K 2 rounds.  (No need to cut yarns between uses, simply bring next color up without pulling tension too tightly.)

-Repeat from * once more.

-Pick up green and prepare to turn the heel. Step by Step instructions are listed at the bottom of this pattern. *Use separate instructions for right and left legs, so that the stripe “jogs” can be put to the inside when seaming legs to body.

The heels will be turned using 8 pegs, and W&T’ed until 2 pegs are left unwrapped.

-Once the heel has been turned and the entire round is completed, K one more round with green.

-Pick up white and K 2 rounds.
-Pick up the green and K 2 rounds.

-Pick up the white and K 2 rounds.  Cut white yarn only.

-Pick up the green and K 1 round.

-Decrease 4 stitches, evenly spaced across the 16 pegs, moving loops and slider to fill in empty pegs.  K the remaining 12 sts, working 2 over 1 on pegs with 2 loops.

-Decrease 4 stitches, evenly spaced across the remaining 12 pegs, moving loops and slider to fill in empty pegs.  K the remaining 8 sts, working 2 over 1 on pegs with 2 loops.  (*Note: the spacing of the loom makes this part just a bit tricky. Simply place 4 loops on the slide and 4 loops on the end pegs and squeeze slider as far in as possible while knitting.)

-K 4 rounds.

-Gather BO.  Pull all threads to inside.

-Make 2.


-Prepare to panel knit using 12 pegs.

-*Using green, CO and K 2 rows.

-Add white and K 2 rows.

-Repeat from * for a total of 48 rows.

-Cut white yarn only.

-Using green, K 12 rows.

-Pull up the loops from row 1 of the previous 12 rows up onto their corresponding pegs, the same as when creating the brim of a hat. KO on all pegs.

-Wrap green around loom once and cut here.

-Add skin color and K 6 rows.

-HHCO onto 2 pegs before peg 1.  K12, HHCO onto 2 pegs after peg 12.  There will now be 16 pegs being worked.

-Thumb Row: K pegs 16-7.  Panel knit on pegs 7-10 only for 10 rows.  K pegs 6-1 to complete the row.

-K 10 rows.

-Gather BO all pegs.  Seam sides of thumb, then sides of hand.  Use green tail to seam sides of arm together, but do not cut yarn at end of seam.

-Make 2.

Ears & Nose~

-CO with skin color using 7 pegs to work as a flat panel.

-K 4 rows.

-Move loops from pegs 2 & 6 in one peg towards center. Move end loops in one peg to fill in gaps. K 2 loops over 1 in next row.

-K 2 rows.

-Move loops from pegs 3 & 5 in one peg towards center. Move end loops in one peg to fill in gaps. K 1 row, knitting 3 loops over 1 on peg 4 in next row.

-Gather BO remaining 3 pegs.  Cinch tightly and knot.

-Make 3.


Shelby back-Set loom to work 50 pegs in the round.  Using white, CO to all pegs.

-Rounds 1 & 2: *K, P, repeat from * to end of round.

-Round 3: instructions are broken down peg to peg below  (**Note: Popcorn: EW same peg and KO 5 times. Pull white base loop back onto peg and KO red/green loop so only white remains on peg. Pull ends of red/green at back to remove slack. Because this is for a toy and will be stitched onto the head, you may trail the red/green yarns across the back of the work between popcorns. White will be carried behind each popcorn peg.)

  • -Peg 1: Create a popcorn using red.
  • -Pegs 2-8: P, K, P, K, P, K, P using white.
  • -Peg 9: Create a popcorn using red.
  • -Pegs 10-33: rep pegs 2-9.
  • -Pegs 34-41: P, K, P, K, P, K, P, K using white.
  • -Peg 42: Create a popcorn using red.
  • -Pegs 43-50: K, P, K, P, K, P, K, P using white.

-Rounds 4 & 5: Repeat rounds 1 & 2.

-Round 6:  instructions are broken down peg to peg below 

  • -Pegs 1-4: K, P, K, P using white.
  • -Peg 5: Create a popcorn using green.
  • -Pegs 6-12: P, K, P, K, P, K, P using white.
  • -Peg 13: Create a popcorn using green.
  • -Pegs 14-37: rep pegs 6-13.
  • -Pegs 38-45: P, K, P, K, P, K, P, K using white.
  • -Peg 46: Create a popcorn using green.
  • -Pegs 47-50: K, P, K, P.

-Rounds 7 & 8: Repeat rounds 1 & 2.

-Rounds 9-14: EW using green.

-Round 15: P using red.

-Rounds 16-18: EW using white.

-Round 19: K2tog every 10 pegs as you EW knit the round using white. Move loops and slider as necessary to fill in empty pegs.

-Rounds 19-21: EW using green.

-Round 22: Repeat round 19 using green.

-Rounds 23 & 24: EW using green.

-Round 25: P using red.

-Round 26: EW using white.

-Round 27: Repeat round 19 using white, but rather than every 10 pegs, space 5 k2tog’s evenly across remaining pegs.

-Round 28: EW using white.

-Rounds 29-34: EW using green. (Repeat round 27 on rounds 30 & 33)

-Round 35: P using red.

-Rounds 36-38: EW using white.  (Repeat round 27 on round 37)

-Rounds 39-44: EW using green.  (Repeat round 27 on rounds 40 & 43)

-Round 45: P using red.

-Rounds 46-48: EW using white.  (Repeat round 27 on round 47, but only make 4 k2tog’s)

-Rounds 49-52: EW using green.  (Repeat round 27 on round 50, but only make 2 k2tog’s)

-Gather BO and cinch tightly and knot.  Create pom pom as desired and attach to end of hat point.


Shelby bum-Lightly and evenly stuff the legs and feet/arms and hands. Using a knitting needle or another long item to help you get the stuffing all the way down and to work out any lumps.  It is important to remember to use a light amount of stuffing throughout.

-Pin legs evenly to the base of the front side of body. Make sure you have the right and left legs in the correct position. Add the bottom of the body’s panel knit section to the base of the front, with the legs sandwiched in-between. Stitch in place through all thicknesses. Continue to stitch along the sides of the panel knit section to create a flat bum shape.

Shelby hand-knee-Using red, stitch a running stitch across knees to help them bend.

-Create a bag of beans or rice for the base of the bum to help him sit properly.  The sample used several layers of Press and Seal plastic wrap to create a bean bag type circle. Place the bag firmly into the base of the bum.

-Begin adding stuffing to the body section, first poking it down around the bag of beans/rice to cushion it a bit.  Continue to stuff the body firmly and evenly so that there are no visible lumps and the body does not bend at all.

-Once body section is completely stuffed, pull 2 ends of Gathered Row and cinch in tightly, being careful not to break yarn. Knot securely.

-Pin and stitch arms into place at shoulders, making sure they are stitched with the thumbs facing up.

-Stitch hands together at fingertips.  Overlap them just a bit, so it looks like they are resting on one another.

-Continue stuffing head in the same manner as the body: firmly & evenly.  *Tip: to create a circle shape, keep pushing stuffing to the outside of the head section, and add stuffing to the center. Do this until it is the size and shape desired.

-Pull Drawstring CO tail in tightly.  Sew across any hole that might be remaining and knot securely.  Do not cut yarn.

Shelby hair loops -Create loops of yarn for the hair (sample uses both taupe mist and mustard) by wrapping it as many times as is desired for hair thickness around your four closed fingers. Carefully remove from fingers and spread loops onto top of head, making sure that they are tipped down enough to peek out from hat brim. Use the CO tail to stitch the loops repeatedly and securely into place on head.

-Place hat on head where desired and stitch in place.  Trim hair loops so that they are single strands and frame face as desired.

Shelby face-Stitch CO edge of ears low onto sides of face in a curved shape.

-For the nose, stitch up sides of third piece to create a cone shape. Add just a tiny bit of stuffing to help hold shape. Stitch top of nose so that it is even with the top of the ears on the center of face.

-Cut the white felt into a collar shape and place at the neck with the opening at the back. Glue the ends together.

-Sample uses small pieces of blue felt circles to outline the wiggle eyes.  Both pieces are glued together, then glued onto the face.  You may find another option for eyes that you prefer better…feel free to make his personality shine through in the way you wish! 🙂
-Using the red/pink embroidery floss, stitch a mouth into place as desired. Using the brown floss, stitch on his eyebrows and eyelashes. Again, the attitude your elf will have depends highly upon the way you create his face. Look at photos of dolls or cartoon characters online to decide how you’d like to create his features to make him your favorite creation!  A little powdered blush works excellently brushed lightly on his cheeks and nose to give him that fresh from the cold at the North Pole rosy glow.


**Step by Step Double Wrap Short Row Instructions:

To wrap and turn (W&T): Remove the loop from the peg and hold it. With working yarn, simply wrap around the peg, then place the loop back on the peg.

Use the main instructions for the LEFT leg, use the instructions in the parenthesis for the RIGHT leg.  If no parenthesis are used, the main instructions apply for both left and right legs.

  • K8 (16), W&T peg 9 (1).
  • K8 to peg 1 (9), W&T peg 16 (8).
  • K7 to peg 7 (15), W&T peg 8 (16).
  • K6 to peg 2 (10), W&T peg 1 (9).
  • K5 to peg 6 (14), W&T peg 7 (15).
  • K4 to peg 3 (11), W&T peg 2 (10).
  • K3 to peg 5 (13), W&T peg 6 (14).
  • K2 to peg 4 (12), W&T peg 3 (11).

Increasing Begins: Each W&T will make a total of 3 loops on that peg (lift both wraps and loops already on W&T peg as one, then W&T), and the peg before the W&Ts will be KO 2 loops over 1, then 3 loops over 1 as the pegs increase.

  • K3 to peg 6 (14), W&T peg 7 (15).
  • K4 to peg 3 (11), W&T peg 2 (10).
  • K5 to peg 7 (15), W&T peg 8 (16).
  • K6 to peg 2 (10), W&T peg 1 (9).
  • K7 to peg 8 (16), W&T peg 9 (1).
  • K8 to peg 1 (9), W&T peg 16 (8).
  • LEFT: K16 to peg 16, knitting off 3 over 1 on pegs 9 & 16.
  • (RIGHT: K8 to peg 16. Knit off 3 over 1 on next round on pegs 1 & 8.)

Heel/Toe Video Tutorial, if needed:

Heel and Toe Part I

Heel and Toe Part 2

*To contact Bethany Dailey, simply submit a comment at the bottom of this post. 🙂



11 thoughts on “Shelby the Shelf Elf

  1. Bethany please is there any chance of this gorgeous pattern for ordinary knitting needles? Thank you.

  2. Author: Brenda Chell
    Bethany please is there any chance of this gorgeous pattern for ordinary knitting needles? Thank you.

    Hi Brenda! At this time, I don’t have any plans to recreate Shelby on needles, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t someday, as now you have put the idea in my head, haha! 😉 But, I really don’t think you would have much trouble in translating this pattern for needles, as it’s mostly worked in the round, which is directly transferrable to needles as written. The only time you would have to convert anything would be when the item is worked as a flat panel. In that case, you would work the first row as knit or purl (however the pattern calls for), then for the 2nd row, you would do the opposite of whatever is called for in the pattern. So, if the pattern calls for 4 rows of knit, you would knit row 1, purl row 2, knit row 3, purl row 4. The only place in this pattern that it would be needed would be on his bum flap, his ears and nose.
    I hope this explanation helps! I would so very much love to see your needle knit version of Shelby when he’s done… he is listed on Ravelry and you could link to the project that way so we can all see him! 😀

  3. Mary Ashcroft says:
    “When u use pegs what dò u mean”

    This is a pattern for working on knitting looms, which have pegs to knit on rather than needles. 😉

  4. merci pour le tuto dommage j’adore pourriez vous la traduction en français s’il vous plait pour tous vos beaux modèles merci

  5. Definitivamente hermoso el trabajo, Dios bendiga grandemente esas manos maravillosas, muchas felicidades

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