Dragon Hide Baby Blanket!

This baby blanket is a finished object from (much 🙂 ) earlier this


The story is that I started out by thinking of making something
interesting with the knitting machine (and, at the time, I only had the
standard gauge machine — which meant I had to use very fine
yarn).  So, I settled on a mess of Dale Baby Ull yarn in these,
umm, vibrant colours.

Time passed, and the baby for which it was intended became more
imminent.  At some point, it became clear to me that I and my
knitting machine were not going to be in the same place for long enough
for me to do anything (interesting or otherwise) with it for this
project.  So, the question was — what to do with it by hand?

Two key facts drove my pre-design thinking:

  • Baby Ull has a posted gauge of 32 st to 4 inches (hint — that’s
    great for a sock-sized project, but somewhat daunting for a 32″ blanket)
  • The colours are vibrant!

I might have thought of doing something lacy with it, but for the fact
that my imagination was not coming up with anything that didn’t
emphasize the colours to the point of baby-frightening garishness.

So, I let the yarn lounge in my office for a while, hoping that it
would tell me a thing or two about what it wanted to become. 
Presently, the notion of “dragon hide” wafted out of the bag of
yarn.  Dragons are naturallly colourful creatures and the scale
texture could add a lot of interest. 

Which just left me with the small question of how to implement said
scale effect…  My first inclination was to try various shell
effects in crochet, but all I could produce was something akin to angry
granny squares:

Back to knitting… doing intarsia lozenges would have worked, but
would have been fiddly and, I thought, too “flat”.  Not so much
hide of dragon as sock of argyle.    I knew “entrelac”
would produce a basket weave effect. 

Of course, this meant I had to look up how to do entrelac (never having
done it).  And very shortly thereafter, I was educating myself on
how to knit/purl backwards, so as to avoid having to flip the work for
each row of 6 stitches or less.  Cool!  Two new techniques in
one project!

Here is the test piece, in progress:


Essentially — you knit each set of one colour rectangles across a row,
and then fill in the slots with the next colour, coming back the other
way in the next colour.  Each rectangle is knitted as its own
unit, and is attached to the adjoining rectangles (working live
stitches or picking up edges) as you go.  Pretty funky!

This project travelled — it had at least one trip to Europe, and
probably more than one cross-continent trip.  And I wasn’t
entirely sure I was liking the progress as I went:  still too
garish?  I’m not afraid to knit in public.  But I wasn’t sure
I was ready to show anyone this particular project…!

To clinch the dragon motif, I wanted to do the edging in triangles,
like the ridge down a dragon’s back:

No, that is not a logo.

Finally, done, I tried it on my local dragon to see if I thought it had
achieved the desired dragon hide effect:


I’ve posted
in my drafty gallery.

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