Dragon Balaclava

knitted dragon mask, balaclava

My Grandson, Little Bro, became 8 yesterday. He had asked me to make him a dragon mask some months ago and was so sure that is what he would be getting. I heard him telling his Mum and he was so excited! Β At first I had no idea how to begin to make a dragon but he seemed so confident in my abilites that I felt I must take up the challenge.

I found this pattern on Ravelry: Dracoclava

I can’t say I can recommend it. It is a genius design with absolutely terrible written instructions for the pattern. If it were not for the notes of other intrepid knitters who had paved the way, I would have given up. The notes that helped me the most were these by a member of Ravelry from Chicago.

The pattern asks for Aran weight yarn. I didn’t have any in dragon colours so I used two threads of Stylecraft Special DK and an 4mm needle.

The colours: Claret for the main part, Burgundy for the i-cord and a scrap of Tomato to sew round the nostrils.

The neck part is made in the round in the pattern, but if I were to make it again (eek! I really don’t think I could face it!), I would make the front and back as two pieces.

I don’t enjoy knitting in the round, all that fiddling around with the loop of the wire in between, I would rather sew some seams.

However I did discover The Magic Loop, which helped a lot.

Another useful new skill I learned was to make an attached i-cord. There are several You Tube clips for this, this clip has a few other tips and tricks in it.

the back and top

I did not make holes for the horns, but marked where they were to go.

The i-cord for the brow is an 8 stitch icord, and I stuffed this with crocheted chain of 3 chunky yarn threads together with a 6.5mm hook. I attached a big safety pin to one end and threaded it through.

knitted dragon mask, balaclava, halloween

The ears are knitted separately and will form part of the side of the head.

Following the notes of other knitters, I made the bridge of the nose just 5 sts wide.

The pattern suggests that you knit the bridge of the nose together with the brow when doing the i-cord. By this time the pattern was giving me headaches enough, so to keep it simple I left them separate so that I could sew together later.

construction of dragon mask

balaclava construction

Luckily I have a polystyrene head the I can pin things to. This helped enormously in getting the placements right.

ear attachment

knitted dragon mask

at this stage I had a FaceTime meeting with Little Bro to ask if he would like the ears sewn flat to the head/neck as in the pattern, or with the bottom curling out. I wish I could share with you his face beaming with awe and joy. It made all the days of trial, error and headaches worth while!

He wanted the ears flying free at the bottom and so that is how I have made them. I always like the children to have some say in the design, but with lockdown in progress it has been a bit trickier.

I did not get it to him for his birthday but at least he was able to see it complete and he absolutely LOVES it.

 

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along.

 

54 responses to “Dragon Balaclava

  1. That’s a great mask, I love everything that has to do with dragons, especially dragon fruit. Dragon fruit is very subtle, very delicate. So you want to be careful not to kill it with things that have very strong flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you, an experienced knitter and pattern maker, found it difficult, what hopes do we nooobs have? That is absolutely fantastic and large enough he can enjoy it for several years. Wonderful gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I started out, I was quite confident I would be able to work it out ….. !
      Hmmm! Little did I know!
      I am so grateful for the other people who had gone before me and been good enough to write notes.

      Like

  3. So totally awesome! You must be so proud of it and happy that you kept going to the end. He will be the envy of all his friends – heck, I want one too!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is amazingly roarsomely fabulous

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are simply amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Murtagh's Meadow

    Wow

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! It’s amazing, I’m not surprised he was grinning from ear to ear πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Adorable. He will be the envy of his friends. If he is like my granddaughters, you may have his friends lined up for one also

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Only one word will do: Wowsah!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an absolutely fabulous present for your grandson. He must be over the moon and can’t wait to try it on. An awful lot of work and effort on your part but well worth all the trials and tribulations it caused you. I wonder if he will wear it on his first day back at school…..whenever that might be……it would be good and cosy for the Autumn term.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is amazing, Sandra! Would you take a paid commision to knit one for me – not a grandhild, but for me – in blues and bluey-grays maybe? Or at least for you to scale the pattern up for an adult stitched version? Then I might have a go myself – the pattern would stretch my abilities to the limit without the added hassle of knitting in the round! I adore your creativity and the way you share it for all to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmmm ….. not sure if I could face another attempt, but once I have done a few really easy projects …. then maybe I will feel able to give it some thought. I have a couple of grandchildren with birthdays in July, so they are my next challenges.
      So glad you enjoy seeing my crazy forays into creativity. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This us wonderful, Sandra, and almost makes me look forward to being asked to make one myself…not sure I would have the skill to fathom out the rubbish pattern though! Well done for your achievement and it’s no wonder Little Bro was thrilled!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sandra, absolutely canNOT imagine knitting this fantastic mask!
    The Force was reeeally with you, Dear One! ❀️ ❀️ ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lisa Greenbow

    Any child that loves dragons would be over the moon for this. You are the most talented Grandma. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. GOSH! You must love him very much! I think you get the ‘Grandmother of the year’ Award. That mask is amazing and I think I would have thrown the whole lot away in a massive tantrum if I had had to grapple with a poor pattern as well. Well done for persevering and I am sure the beaming delight made it all worth while.

    Like

  16. I love it. Can you make me one too? Great for going out these days. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What a brilliant grandma you are…. It’s an astonishing balacl… I mean mask, and he’s going to get such joy from it. I hope you haven’t been too scarred by the experience!

    Liked by 1 person

    • HaHa! Well ………. it had its moments, especially when the weather was demanding that I be in the garden and I was inside slaving over a hot dragon!
      The scars will heal, especially seeing the delight on my Grandson’s face. That is worth a lot – and more important – my reputation of being able to bring their ideas to life is intact – phew! HaHa!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. oh wow! This is amazing! well done for persevering! Grandson is going to be over the moon!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Rustic Pumpkin

    Amazing, just amazing. {I don’t know why I can’t say balaclava, I keep saying baclava}

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is fantastic. What a birthday gift for an 8 year old boy – or any boy I would think. Well done you for persevering with bad instructions – I’m sure you are quite the hero with your grandson.
    The magic loop is great isn’t it? I used it when I could be bothered to knit socks.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. That is absolutely amazing Sandra! A work of art! Good for you for persevering. I am sure Little Broβ€˜s face when he saw it made it all worthwhile. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

I love your comments, keep'em coming :-)

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