Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Making the wings for the Fierce Little Dragon

My Fierce Little Dragon pattern is one of my most popular patterns - since I made it available on Ravelry in 2011 it has been downloaded over 90000 times! However, it's not necessarily a pattern for total beginners, as there are some more complicated elements, in particular the wings.

I'm happy with the basic design, which is different from the normal bat-wing look of dragon wings, and was somewhat inspired by Wayne Anderson's illustrations for The Flight of Dragons.

I used front post stitches in the wings to make ridges that give them stiffness, but as the pattern stands the two wings aren't totally symmetrical. This doesn't show very obviously when they are sewn on, but I had a bit of a play with the design and came up with something that makes the wings a bit more symmetrical. I have updated the pattern with the new details (so go and download it again to get them) and I decided to make a little tutorial to show the more fiddly parts of making them. Whenever you want to make the dragon, read through the pattern for the wings, and follow this tutorial to help.

So, here are the new, improved wings. Upper side:

And lower side:

For many of the stitches (sc, hdc and dc, in US terms) you will be working around the 'posts' of the stitches, which is the main body of the stitch, rather than through the two loops at the top. With front post stitches (fpsc, fphdc and fpdc) you insert your hook from right to left around the back of the post, and that makes a ridge at the back of your work.

Working around a double crochet (dc) stitch, it's quite easy to see where to put your hook. Here are the dc stitches from the previous row:

Here's an arrow to show where your hook should go:

And here's the hook being inserted (after doing a yarn over hook):

You work around the hdc and the sc stitches in the same way. It can be a bit harder to see where to put your hook with the sc stitches, but once you have done it with the larger stitches you'll start to get the hang of it. Here's a photo showing how you do an fpsc around the last sc on the row:

At the end of the row, you then work an sc into the top of the last sc you worked around. This stops the edge of the wing ending up sloping to the right. This is what it looks like when you work into the last sc:

You then ch 1 and turn, here's what the wing looks like when turned (I undid the ch 1 as it's hard to count the stitches in a photo otherwise):

For the next row, you miss the first sc and instead work around the second sc. This is part of what stops the edge forming a slope. Here's where your hook should go:

And here's a photo showing the hook inserted:

I hope this helps, just ask if you have any other questions about the pattern, and have fun making your dragons!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Firefly Amigurumi - Jayne Cobb

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on a series of Firefly amigurumi characters, and the next one is now ready. The pattern to make Jayne Cobb, the Hero of Canton himself, is now available in my Etsy shop and on Ravelry. He's the same size as Mal, about 16cm/6.5" tall, and he comes with a removable gun in a holster, and his famous woolly hat.

Apart from the hat he's quite a simply dressed figure, and he has straightforward hair, but a lot of character in his face is created with his eyebrows and beard. I didn't give him a smile, because he's a tough-guy sort, but you might want to make him looking happier when he's wearing that hat!

I experimented with two versions of the hat, one made the normal way round, and one made inside out to give a different texture that maybe looks a bit more like knitting. I couldn't decide which one I liked best, so you can choose which you prefer.

I'm also selling the Mal and Jayne patterns together at a reduced price if you want to make them both, on Etsy and Ravelry.

I've got a couple more projects I'm working on right now, but soon I'll get on and design the pattern for another Firefly character - I think it'll be Kaylee next.