09 May 2016

Crochet Dragon

I can crochet. I don't always remember I can do this. I learned to crochet when I was about nine or ten years old. I can remember working on crochet in school when I was in fourth or fifth grade. Both of my grandmothers as well as my great grandmother were crocheters. And when I was in college, I used to crochet snowflakes. That was a great way to learn the basic stitches, because snowflakes usually incorporate a variety of stitch heights to create their patterns. I would hang the snowflakes against the large sliding glass windows of my dorm room.

As we know, Ravelry is the Internet Wonderland of knit and crochet. On the Woolly Thoughts board was a thread titled "Amish Puzzle Ball." What's that? For an adult, the puzzle ball isn't that difficult. But for a child, it would be an interesting object for learning three dimensions (width, length, height or for pilots, pitch, roll, and yaw). I followed links over to this website, where I learned what a puzzle ball is. Dedri Uys is the designer. Somehow — and I really don't remember what link I followed or how I fell down the rabbit hole —I discovered her book. Dedri has converted puzzle balls into toy animals. Adorable!

And I couldn't help but notice that the dinosaur looked similar to the dragon from Tomie dePaolo's book The Knight and the Dragon. This is one of my favorite books to give as a baby gift. After all, the story involves a knight and a dragon! And there is a princess, too, who happens to be the librarian. It's a great story about books, learning, practice, and discovering that enemies can be friends.

The modifications turned out to be more complicated than I expected. That said, I'm not sorry I waded into the project. It is good to push oneself creatively. I had assembled the legs and the basic forms of the head and tail section. But it took most of the weekend diligently working on the project to finish all the little elaborations. Many of these I worked more than once until I got something that worked. For those of you who would like to give this project a try, below are my modifications from Dedri's delightful pattern. I can also see the potential to work this pattern as a rhinoceros.

Rounded “spikes” instead of pointy ones.
Working in a spiral.
Use magic circle, chain 2, 6 sc around. (6 sts total)
Work (1 sc, 2 sc in next sc) ×3. (9 sts total)
Work 9 sc. If making smaller spike, skip to end.
Work 10 sc. (the extra is because you lose 1 st per round when working in spirals)
To end: break yarn leaving 30-40cm tail for sewing.
Pull end through and weave under chain to fasten off.
When attaching, flatten to for semi-circle.
Sew three small spikes and three large spikes to spine of of tail, working from tip of tail. Sew five large spikes to back and top of head. Sew by going through both legs of chain on opposite sides and taking the same stitch twice. You want these to be very secure so they cannot be pulled off no matter what!

Spade shape for the end of the tail:
Working in a spiral.
Magic circle, chain 2, 3 sc. (3 sts total)
2 sc in each sc. (6 sts total)
1 sc in each sc. (6 sts total)
(2 sc in next sc, 1 sc, 2 sc in next sc)×2. (10 sts total)
(1 sc, 1 sc, 1 slip, 1 sc, 1 sc)×2. (10 sts total)
(2 sc in next sc, 1 sc, 1 slip, 1 sc, 2 sc in next sc)×2. (14 sts total)
1 sc to offset precession
(1 sc, 1 hdc, 1sc, 1 slip, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 sc)×2. (14 sts total)
(1 sc + 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in hdc, 1 hdc + 1 sc in next st, slip, 1 sc + 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in hdc, 1 hdc + 1 sc in next st)×2. (22 sts total)

Ears (make 2):
for pink inner ear:
working in rows
Magic circle with tail for sewing later, ch 2, 2 sc.
Ch 1, 2 sc.
Ch 1, 2 sc.
Ch 1, sc decrease to end.
For green outer ear:
working in rounds
Magic circle with tail for sewing later, ch 2, 4 sc.
4 sc.
2 sc in each sc. (stitch count increased to 8 total)
8 sc.
8 sc.
4 dec dc. (stitch count reduced to 4 total).
4 sc.
Fasten off, leaving tail for sewing.
Sew pink to one side of ear.
Run green tails so they both come out the less-pointy end (should be the beginning end of the ear).
Sew less pointy ends to side of head.

Horns (make 2):
Working in a spiral.
Magic circle, ch 2, 3 sc.
Work 8 rounds of 3 sc.
Reach across (i.e. skip next sc) and sc in middle stitch to close tube.
Work another tube as above, but with only 3 rounds not 8.
Work a third tube as above, but with only 2 rounds not 8.
Sew three pieces together to form sturdy horns.
Sew to top of head between spike and ears.

Wings (make 2):
Worked in rows. Leave long tails for seaming and attaching.
Cast on 18 foundation single crochets (fsc).
Ch 1, 2 sc, sc dec, 10 sc, sc dec, 2 sc. (16 sts total)
Ch 1, 1 sc, sc dec, 3 sc, sc dec, sc dec, 3 sc, sc dec, 1 sc. (12 sts total).
Fold in half. Seam top and bottom. Attach to back of neck.


Laura said...

How wonderful...looks like a great item for me to make and give to my girls - especially for homeschool! Books and toys can spark reading like nothing else. Thanks for this. Looks like I have another project to complete this summer! :)

Jolie said...

Be sure to look up the designer on Ravelry. She has many, many version of the puzzle ball. You might find a version you like better than the dinosaur/dragon. Depending on the child, you might even be able to have the child crochet some of the elements.

Anonymous said...

Cute, cute, cute; you have done it again :-) Pam