Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chinese Dragon WIP (and steam blocking acrylic)

I am currently working on making a white and blue Chinese style Dragon.

I am keeping some rough notes, so I will have a bare bones pattern to share at the end of it all.

For those of you thinking it looks like a white snake and not at all like a dragon, well yes it doesnt look like a European Dragon with a stocky body and huge wings.  Chinese dragons do not have wings at all as its believed they have mystical power they use to fly, they are said to be a long serpentine body with 4 legs, and a long ridge or hair line from head all the way to the tail.

I had seriously been thinking of wiring this guy as I worked him up but that did not happen.  I might wind up trying to slide some wire in him now that the base of the body is finished.

I had to pin and steam block him, as all crocheters know when you work in the round you get a bit of twisting as you work.  Well with a small diameter tube you tend  to get a lot of twist so much so it twisted all the way around, and that would make it more work for me when I try to run a Ruff down the spine.

So my awsome husband ran down to the basement and got my blocking mat so I could 'block' my dragon.   The first1/3 of the dragon was pinned down fairly easily it had almost no twist, it was when I got to the last 1/3 that the twist was really bad.  I had to put 12 T-pins into the end tail to get my rows to line up as close to perfect as I could.

From here I went back over double checking the line of the spine was straight, which is good because I had it twisting off still so I was able to fix it fairly painlessly.  I then used my garment/upholstery steamer I got on sale (only $19!!)  and slowly steamed it.  Holding the steam head about one inch from the work for15 to 20 seconds per section with a 3 1/2 inch head over 2-3 ft of dragon before moving on.  I went over the body till the 10oz of water I had put in the machine was used up (give or take an ounce).  I know I got at the least 4 passes of the body fully with some focused steaming on the tail end where the worst of the twisting occurred.  You can get the same blocking results with a iron that has a steamer setting I would just recommend you hold it farther away as the iron's heat itself will affect the yarn (2-4 inches).

I have taken out most of the T-pins but the head and last tail pin there has been no attempt to twist back up but I will be leaving it pinned over night so that it can dry up as the steam did leave it a bit damp.

I also got some time to paint up some eyes so he will be sporting custom painted eyes, I was going for a silver sky blue, I will try to get a better photo of the head later.

On Sunday I will hopefully know if I will be hosting a 30-60 minute pannel at a local anime/geek convention KawaCon.  Its been up in the air for a  while now when I was ask I said yes right away they just have to work out details on their end, it on hinges on if they have an open room and time slot.

Also I will be out at Animeggroll Sunday (1/18/15) helping people make/finish some Octos from 12-2!!

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