Tag Archive | JoAnn’s

Haku… The Process of Making a Dragon

So first and foremost… I got the most amazing idea and pattern off of DeviantArt thanks to Aphid777. Check her out, her patterns are not tested and often leave a lot of wiggle room, but if you are ready for a challenge and an amazing result – she is the best! Small-ish Haku can be found HERE, her profile link is HERE

Spirited Away is one of my all time FAVOURITE movies. And Haku one of my favourite dragons. So when I came across this gem on my random look through the artist’s fiber art, well I knew I HAD TO make one of my own (with Ken’s amazing help).

First off my supplies… I used Caron Simply Soft brand yarn and stills from the movie to pick my colours. I used white, blue mint, blackberry and soft pink. IMG_20170521_142549_579

For detail work Ken used roving wool from a variety pack we purchased off of Amazon. You really do not need much for this sort of detail work. The process he used is called felting. 

For the actual structure of the dragon we purchased 12 GA solid white insulated wire from Menards. We wanted to be sure the dragon could be shaped without snapping the wire and hold form. 

For whiskers and horns we used wrapped in DMC floss color matched from pictures and super glue for ends. (E6000 would work too, except we couldn’t find ours).

For stuffing I used the usual fluffy stuff you buy at Joann’s Polyfil.

I had Ken cut and double our body wire. We went longer than suggested so we could cut as needed. The length we used was around 62 inches… 31 inches when doubled over.IMG_20170521_142549_580

I did not place the wire in the body until I had crocheted a bit down the length, going around the wire once it was in the piece was one of the more annoying processes of the project.20170524_234055

I also varied my amount of stitches to meet the bottom center of the piece from what the artist did. Again this is all eye balling and personal preference. I found that once my head was formed putting a stitch marker on the top of the nose of Haku made it easier to eye ball my return to center.

The trick was to consistently add stuffing without over stuffing, but a long stick was quite helpful. 

Once you crocheted to the near end of the tail it was time to trim my end and cover it in electrical tape to avoid a sharp bit poking through. Then PATIENTLY decreasing until you tie off and finish.

The belly is an easy one piece. If I make this again I would consider making the entire structure longer (mostly for fun with posing) and that would change count. But her pattern was easy to read.

Ears are a quick process. Legs took more work. We used a single piece of wire threaded through the body to each leg for our assembly. And did not poke our wire through the side of the leg as indicated.20170708_174309

Feet were added after, easy enough. (and obviously legs and feet were AFTER mane, but you get the idea)

The mane and fluff at the end of the tail was hooked in like when you are hooking a rug. I made sure to face all my knots toward the front of the body and to keep them close to center. Eyeballing and what you like is key. Lengths do not matter, as once they are in you take a cat brush and brush them until they are fluffy and then trim. 

Before brushing

Before brushing

20170717_142120Message_1500517039610Ken felted in our details and BANG dragon! I am super pleased with the side view though we feel we need to work on our eyes to better get the front view. Though front on loses the body so… not the view I want anyway! 

And there you have it…. HAKU! Into the local county fair he went. (Like the next day after completion. Nothing like JUST meeting a deadline). End result – first place in crochet, storybook characters! Not bad! 20170728_194459

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Welcome Grandma, Down from the Great White North…

But just for a week. Which I can tell you, her dog Gypsy did not approve of. I heard tell of a minor hunger strike when cookies were snitched from meals but the actual dog chow left untouched! It was a lovely week full of a good balance of activity and rest.20170404_134102

Grandma started off smart – she hooked the kids on some puzzle game apps so they could all play together. Always a good plan, especially since they were FREE. Couple that with watching dog rescue videos together and much time was spent in quiet enjoyment.IMG_20170404_152623_521

20170407_112120We took Grandma to the YMCA twice this visit. Once to watch Trinity and Emanuel in karate and meet their Sensei.IMG_20170413_222319_460

The other time to come for our Sunday night swim. Mommy got in her exercise class, and the rest got quality pool time with Grandma letting Daddy off the hook!IMG_20170409_182842_996

20170409_18390720170409_193406Our big field trip was to the Mill City Museum. A family favourite and fun for Grandma to see some Minnesota history first hand. She and Ken took the twins up in the big elevator that walks you through the history of the mill as well as its partial destruction.20170407_130947

20170407_13183120170407_13243220170407_135035IMG_20170407_135840_62920170407_14142220170407_13384720170407_132037Grandma asked to go to two specific places to eat – Culver’s, which we went to the night she came. She had never been, we simply could not let that stand!IMG_20170404_182631_533

The second place was a brunch with adults only to Perkin’s. This was followed up by a lovely stash of bakery goods purchased by Grandma that came home for the kids to enjoy. We snuck over to Joann’s while we were out. Good food AND good shopping (with coupons of course).

It was a decadent brownie.

It was a decadent brownie.

Grandma also COOKED a couple times – we got to taste her delicious homemade spaghetti sauce. With meat in it! AND she made taco soup. A new one for all of us, but one that everyone but the girls (no surprise) enjoyed. It was beyond delicious. So of course, I must share the recipe! HERE20170406_130918

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

Mine is without crunched up nacho chips.

She came bearing gifts… Canadian snacks… well lots of Canadian things. Including a colouring book for the 150th birthday. She also brought us some Gypsy puppies to add to our teddy collection. We had some small tokens for her.IMG_20170404_155142_971

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

My early birthday gift to mom, a pin.

We had hair braiding parties.IMG_20170410_220135

And Grandma spent special quality time with all the kids. It was so lovely for them to have one on one (though the twins opted to go together) time with Grandma and fully get her hooked on Caribou coffee.

Mix in a couple nippy spring walks to the park and Grandma got a taste of early spring in Minnesota.20170405_104230

We also pulled out movies and popcorn to make sure we had some quality cinema time. Kubo was well enjoyed.IMG_20170405_010349_384

Grandma took special care braiding up Emanuel’s hair. It was nice to have a week of no hair in the eyes. Though friends said it was very… basketball player! IMG_20170405_210629_766

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Since Easter was right around the corner we also did some egg decorating.IMG_20170409_145459_677

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Ken and I snuck away for some quality YMCA time… well he sat, and I went to class.IMG_20170407_180036_180

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It was a terrific visit. Sit back and enjoy the excessive, but happy images! Thanks for the visit Grandma!20170410_125226

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Girls Only Fun Time

So here I go skipping ahead, but I had to share an outing with Karyn on the 29th. We started at Joann’s for some yarn and such and then went down the strip to the new Herberger’s outlet store. They had a few racks at the front of formal wear… the original prices were a bit staggering… but the mark downs amazing – some as low as 14.o0… the highest I tried on 24.00. Of course we took pictures! I figure I would share the giggle worthy images. I did love some of them… too bad for most the tops simply looked wrong or would not stay up where I wanted… Enjoy! 

I rather liked the skirt on this one... but the top would not fit snug enough.

I rather liked the skirt on this one… but the top would not fit snug enough.

frills and a lovely tie... so sad about the top.

frills and a lovely tie… so sad about the top.

The gems were nicer in person. The top was a wreck... fit nicely but the way they crossed it ... lopsided boobs!!! What a colour! Would never have even looked at it normally!

The gems were nicer in person. The top was a wreck… fit nicely but the way they crossed it … lopsided boobs!!! What a colour! Would never have even looked at it normally!

Another OMG bright colour!!

Another OMG bright colour!!

LOVE the back... again shame about the front.

LOVE the back… again shame about the front.

Too bedroom for me... and the zipper... so industrial! What isn't shown is how see through the white skirt was!

Too bedroom for me… and the zipper… so industrial! What isn’t shown is how see through the white skirt was!

This is the one that was purchased thanks to Karyn! I was surprised... on the rack... totally 80's... on the body... I honestly like it!

This is the one that was purchased thanks to Karyn! I was surprised… on the rack… totally 80’s… on the body… I honestly like it!

With a cute bow in the back!

With a cute bow in the back!