Monday, September 3, 2012

D is for Dragon

Kristen commissioned this as a present for Helen's baby.  She also felt that having a dragon pattern would be helpful since I know so many people who graduated from the Governor's School (*cough cough*).

Based on what I can tell from the tiny picture on the pattern, the original colors are pretty meh or at least inappropriate for a baby gift.  Normally I size down pictures for viewing convenience, but this is the original size.  Based on the comments that accompany the pattern, I assume this is to prevent people using the picture to copy the pattern.

Kristen and I considered using Harry Potter dragon colors.  This idea was scrapped and replaced with pastels since neither one of us could figure out what the hell "Harry Potter dragon colors" actually meant.

I've talked about changing pattern colors before.  In this one, there were color families used, but no real shading.  Choosing a new letter color definitely helped since that gave me something to match the other colors to.  I ended up writing out the symbols and randomly assigning a new color to them.  Then I sent Kristen this elegant and super helpful picture of what embroidery floss on top of gold fabric might look like.

After this, the only change was to add another green and to find out that the palest purple and the light yellow did not show up on this fabric.  While that might have been fixed once the backstitching was added, it was easier just to reassign colors.

To minimize crumpling the stitches in my grubby little hands, I did the letters all the way across, then started to do the dragons from the last letter.  While I could have started at the far right, I wanted to avoid as many counting mistakes as possible.  Each letter was 18-19 stitches wide and two stitches between each letter put the width at 160+ stitches.  Counting that out would be a terrible idea even for people who actually know how to count.

Also, I managed to fuck up some of the spacing anyway.

For the backstitching, I went with black for the outlines and claws, and sparkles if I already had the color for wings and spines.  Here you can see what the finished stitching looked like before the backstitching was done.

The pink dragon to the right wasn't finished because I also realized that I needed to do backstitching as I went.  Before this epiphany, I'm not sure how I thought I was going to do the backstitching without mangling the dragons in my grubby little hands.

Eyes were chosen from my specialty threads based on the super scientific method of "what would look good" and "what hasn't been used yet".  I think there might be one or two repeats for the eyes.  I did some further color choice adjustment to avoid having dragons with identical coloring or the same main body color.  W and E are both slightly different shades of blue, just like O and L are different shades of pink.  Certain symbols (like the one I assigned to pale pink) were used more frequently.  I erred on the side of Kristen liking pink shit.

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