I’m not sure what my first foray into fibre arts was. I have a little bear that was the first thing I cross stitched, and I think I was under 10 at the time. But apart from little stitched Christmas ornaments and one large wizard, the first thing I remember doing a lot of was crochet. I made placemats. Lots and lots of placemats. My mom has two sets of six, and I have a set myself. I can’t remember if my sister has a set too, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I had to give up crochet at about the same time I gave up needlework, just because of the motion of the wrist, and that’s when I started knitting.
Like needlework, I can now do small bursts of crochet if I’m careful. I did a train on request from my nephew, which was enough crochet for several months. I’ve also done some greyhound dolls for charity auctions. And I tend to do quick crochet dishcloths if I feel like it. But otherwise, if you look through my projects, you’ll see the majority of my work over the last several years has been knitting.
I’m not one of those love/hate crochet people. As with anything, it has its time and place. It makes for good, cushy blankets. It works up quickly, which can help if you’re mired in a never-ending project purgatory. I prefer it for dish cloths. I also prefer it for toys.
So when I had a little bit of the scarf yarn left over, I went looking for a dragon toy pattern. After all, what’s a dragon swap without an actual dragon? So I went looking on Ravelry for a little dragon, and found the Apelsin Dragon by Irina Paklina. With fingering weight yarn, I went down to a 1.65 mm hook to get the fabric I needed. Knowing that I didn’t have a lot of the yarn left, I opted to start with the body, as I could figure out work-arounds if I ran out of yarn for the other pieces.
The short colour repeats that stacked and undulated in the scarf made for an interesting striping pattern in the crochet fabric. The pattern gave very good instructions for stuffing as you go, and the body went quite quickly. Unfortunately, I was too short of yarn to complete all the pieces. I managed to get the ears made of the same yarn, but had to stash-dive for coordinating colours for the legs and wings. The wings gave me a bit of trouble, as I couldn’t quite follow the pattern, but I understood the look that was needed and so just winged it. I also opted not to do the spine ridge, but did use the wing yarn to embroider on eyes. And the results?
I kid you not. Every time I crochet a toy, I want to keep it. Because they’re always so darned cute.
I know, I know. I have plenty of sock yarn. In great colours. I can always make myself one if I really want to. There’s always more yarn, and the pattern isn’t going anywhere. But this one just came out so perfect…
Thanks to my mom for the great photographs! The dragon is on its way to my swap partner as we speak, and I hope she loves it as much as I do!
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