Elsa, my snow dragon. Or, ah, Blue Firelizard . . .
For you expert knitters, please have patience with me. I’m going to break this down to simple steps for the novice knitters because I know how bad it feels to want something and not have the skill–yet. Novice knitters, please have patience with me and yourself. This took me a year to figure out, and nothing worth having comes easy. I’ll show you some of my failures as we go. Holy cow. Ugly dragon.
I’m going to stretch this out over a month, so the instructions will come in bits and pieces. This is mostly because this is not my day-job, and I’m a little flaky on trying to explain how to do some of these things, and I don’t want to lose people when I throw down rInc or PYO when it’s not that hard once you know what I’m talking about. I’ll have videos when I can, and pictures. I recently found out there’s like four distinct ways to knit, so my rInc might look different from your rInc. I believe I knit like an American. (grin)
My gauge of 2 inches by 2 inches is 15 stitches and 20 rows of straight stitch. I used a #1 size U.S. double pointed needle to get this, but if your gauge comes in smaller, you’ll get a smaller dragon.
Clearly the gauge isn’t critical, but if your dragon is too large, you’ll have to cobble pipe cleaners together for the wings, which is awkward.
So . . .stuff you’re going to need:
3mm pipe cleaners the color you want your dragon’s nails to be. I like black, but white is easy to find. You’ll probably have to get these online, but I have seen them at Michaels upon occasion. 6mm pipe cleaners are much more common, but they are harder to work with, and your dragon’s fingers will be lumpy and bumpy. If you can, take the time to find them. You will be happier. Trust me.
Two skeins of Patons Grace yarn, one for the wings and breast, one for the body. You’ll need more if your gauge is coming in larger. It’s critical to have a yarn that holds its shape. Grace is a lightweight cotton yarn. Wool that has been half felted before skeined up is stiff enough, but stay away from soft yarn that will stretch or your dragon will be lumpy after all that work. I’ll be using Fiesta and Beeswax, or maybe a little white on the breast. I’d stay away from black for your first dragon simply because it’s hard to see the stitches, and I’ve got a bang-up way to sew together that doesn’t show, and it’s hard to learn if you can’t see.
Stuffing. I use polyester.
Tweezers and the back end of a pencil to help to stuff.
Stitch markers, 2 colors. One for right, one for left.
A tapestry needle whose eye is big enough to thread the pipe cleaner through. Seriously, check this. Most needles are too small.
DPN (double pointed needles) I find it useful to have two packages of these so I don’t have to keep putting my work on a stitch holder. Ten needles is good. I used U.S. size 1 to get my gauge.
Pliers are useful for pulling pipe cleaners when things get tight in the wings.
I’ll give you guys until Friday to find your stuff, and then we start on wings for the weekend. That way, we can use the excess pipe cleaner for the feet.
So, wing pattern and some explanation on rInc, LInc, and w/t on Friday!