Elephants are also often seen in nativity sets. They are one of the animals traditionally carrying the Three Kings (the others are a camel and a horse). Lie the camel we saw last week, elephants often have rich trimmiings that hide lots of their bodies. But because elephants are big there is still plenty of space for great stitches.
My favorite thread for elephants is linen. Because elephants show skin, not fur, the rough texture of this thread is perfect to add nice texture to the beastie. Using two or three shades of linen, as I did in this Needledeeva figure (stitch guide available from me), gives dimension to the figure without changing the texture.
Elephants’ ears are large and can work well as the focal point of the figure. Their size and undivided shape is perfect for textured stitches. Here I used a Jacquard variation. Although I used Tent elsewhere for the elephant, other areas you could consider for textured stitches are the legs and head/trunk. Just be sure if you use several textured stitches to understand perspective by putting the largest stitch on the most forward area — the ear.
Although I used a matte thread here, the tusks can be a charming accent. This is easily done by choosing a shinier thread for them. Neon Rays or Neon Rays + would be perfect.
You’ll also find other animals that I have not covered. If the animals are very furry, like the rabbot, use threads with longer hait. If they or shaggy or have short feathers, like the donkey, use Fuzzy SAtuff. For animals with short smooth fur think of using Encroached Gobelin and wool. I love using this for cows. It’s easy to use this stitch with fur that has large spots.