Saturday, 22 November 2014

Dragons

For more than 6 months I had been expecting to leave the country permanently in October (last month) for a job offer in Zambia. I didn't mention it, because, well, things can go the other way easily. Some difficulties came up from the other side and now I am waiting indefinitely to see wether the plans will ever be completed or not. 
The situation is a bit fuzzy and this delay is not entirely a bad thing, since I didn't manage to finish some things I planed for the University, but it still threw me off my preparation mode.



I had been re-organising my space, all of my stuff, getting rid off whatever I don't need, and evaluating what I would actually need to take with me. This is the reason why I have been on an stash organizing frenzy lately. Can't transport yarn unorganized, right? Also just the thought of not having any yarn shops around is scary enough to motivate me to stuff all the yarn I can in my luggage xD.

All the while I was also doing medical check ups and some (of the total necessary) vaccines. 

One of the aspects of moving to Lusaka would be that I would be hosted by my Uncle and his family for a considerate amount of time. And because I believe that in just a case one cannot show up empty handed, I thought of knitting them a few presents.

Today I will show what I made for my young cousins: two Dirk Dragons.

Before I start describing them I will say this: I generally don't like knitting the same thing twice. That's why I sometimes have issues with knitting in pairs like socks and mittens. But this time I decided that it would be best to give the same present, just slightly different. That doesn't mean though that all differences shown here were made intentionally. xD

I have been a follower of Lalylala's designs for a while and I have been admiring her work and creativity. So it has been natural to want to attempt at least one of her patterns. First up is Dirk the Dragon, which I find very cute.

the ears are positioned with a slightly different tilt between the dolls to give a different personality (that really does it!)

The pattern is very well written and also features schematics and instruction pictures whenever needed. Comes in multiple languages too. One day I will attempt the German version in order to freshen up my language skills. :)

I used Light Fingering crochet thread, which is much lighter yarn than the one suggested, so the dolls came out much smaller - which is not a bad thing. The hook I used is of the bamboo handle tiny hook set I purchased on ebay. It did it's job very well, but I had to go down to 1.5mm instead of 2mm because that wide handle makes me crochet looser.


I was fixed on colors from early on, and I am very satisfied with the vibrance and sheen of the yarn. It really is too bad that this label is discontinued. It is a Greek label, so that's not really an unexpected outcome.

The first doll completed was the brown one and technically I think, it is better made. One of the reasons is that I was more energetic while making it, and the other, the purple one was made during my exams, so my mood was not the best, while my mind was elsewhere.

different sewing method for the tails

The instructions include a bit of sewing parts (head, hands, tail) to the main body, but at my second try I made the doll bottom up by joining on the go: tail and hands and then progressing to make the head seamlessly. That resulted in less trouble, but a much smaller head xD.

Overall find the process a bit fiddly, especially since I made the dolls with such fine thread, but not too complicated. One thing I don't like is the flappyness of the wings and spikes: their shape is very pretty, but no matter how you try to block them or stabilize them, they don't stay up. 
(in the pictures the dolls are still slightly wet, so they did stay up for photoshooting xD)

One addition that I worried a lot from the beginning was the eyes. I have never used doll eyes before and there is no shop that sells them locally, so my only option was to research online. After a bit I settled on these green eyes and they were a good choice. I recommend the shop by the way, they have really good customer service and products.

These eyes are safety eyes, but have no 'stop' to stop them from coming out, so glue is needed. Because I used cotton as filling (I can't find polyester easily around here) I did the mistake of not creating placehold holes in the filling for the eyes before washing. That resulted in me trying to insert the eyes and pushing and compressing the filling instead.
The heads are a bit weird now, but eyes are in place at least. xD 
I inserted instant glue before inserting the eyes. Now they won't go anywhere.

It would take a long time for me to make another doll (I think) but next on my queue is Loni the Lion!

Have you ever made a crochet doll? How did it turn out? :)

P.S: my mother is head over heels with these two dolls! xD

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