June 27, 2012

Chinese Dragon Hat

So I teased you earlier last week, and again this week with images of my latest project: the Chinese Dragon Hat. I am happy to report that it is finished. I call it that because I was looking at these images for inspiration...

As I mentioned before I had the idea while making the 5 fish hats. I had originally thought that I would like to try a fish hat that looked like a koinobori flag or a red koi fish, but as that would require changing colors in the middle of rows and all manner of confusion, I decided to leave off that idea for now. Instead I thought, why not make the hat go on for a long while and be a scarf at the same time.

So I picked out 7 colors that I liked and had about one skein of: a pumpkin orange, a jake the dog  light orange, brown, khaki, hunter green, pale yellow and a dusty blue. Figured I would be upset with myself if I didn't have a blue in there since I wear so much of it.

It is as tall as I am, so about 5 1/2 feet in lenth.
I followed the fish hat patter for making the mouth. Once I got to the end I just continued the single stitch rows out for longer until I felt the head was long enough. Then to make the head blend with the body and make it just a little bit more of a long dragon head, I added a few shell rows of the same color. Then I started rotating through my colors until I reached a thickness that I felt was right for a scarf. (Following the pattern terms, I stopped decreasing at 10 shells.) I feel that it might be good to say that I had thought of making the colors random, but then decided against it because it would bother my slightly OCD brain. So I had first arranged them in a general ROYGBIV sort of order, but didn't want it to be a rainbow dragon, so instead opted for a sort of compatible light dark light dark arrangement.
You can see ears, horns, eyes and whiskers here.
I added red lips around the face and white teeth in a similar shell pattern. Once I reached a length that would wrap around my neck once, I started decreasing the shells again down to two and then fanned out a tail. I also used a half circle pattern for eyes, the shell pattern for eyebrows, a leaf pattern for ears, a modified version of the fins pattern that came with the fish pattern for horns, and a made up kind of chain for the nose whiskers. The entire project took about a week to make and sew together.

Tail Fan
I expect I will have orders once I start wearing him out in the winter...

UPDATE: Added some nostrils and a neck fin... images in this update post.