Tag Archives: balaclava

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!  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.