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Topic: Embroidered Dragon Sweater (victory dance)  (Read 1909 times)
Tags for this thread: sweater , embroidery , dragon  Add new tag
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« on: February 05, 2009 08:48:22 PM »

About a year ago, my boss's mother commissioned me to knit her a sweater with a picture of an Eastern-style dragon on it.  She gave me one of her books for reference and I took measurements for sizing from an existing sweater of hers that she really likes.

I agonized over this thing, redid it a few times in a few different sizes of yarn.  Originally it was going to be a dk-weight yarn with the dragon image all-intarsia, but that proved to be impractical and really....bad looking.  And it took months to knit.  I still have 2/3rds of that sweater still assembled in my to-be-frogged pile.

I took the summer off of the project and put it away for a bit.  However once it started getting cold out I started to feel the itch to finish it once and for all.  Slay the dragon as it were.

I redid the whole sweater in a worsted weight yarn, and instead of intarsia for the whole design, I made the dragon insignia using intarsia only for the base body color of the dragon, and then embroidered the rest of the dragon to give it a more lively appearance.  Originally he had all four of his legs, but it was way too crowded so I frogged those and left the two most dynamic ones.

His body is outlined in chain stitch embroidery, with most of the embellishments a variation on satin stitch or stem stitch.  (Thank you Interweave Knits-- the holiday issue had a primer on embroidered knitting that saved my rump!)

This is the first sweater I have ever needed to use my Dremel in the finishing process.  Cheesy  The eyeball is a 9mm safety eye normally used in amigurumi toys.  I had to take the stem down so it would lay more flush with the rest of the back.

I picked up and knitted a tiny swatch 4 stitches wide to house the backing of the safety eye so it wouldn't be scratchy.  (for some reason I didn't think I should get a picture of that...)

Finally, after another month of failed attempts at photography and one last editorial decision (ripping out and restarting the sleeves from scratch) I have finished it and given it to its intended recipient!   Grin

I cropped out identifying features (besides the OOAK sweater of course) but this picture has one very happy dragon owner beaming at the camera.

Apologies for the wonky color-- my camera is really fussy.  The last pic is the most color-accurate.  (Apologies also for the wall-o-text.  I'm a writer, it's what I do.)

I am really happy with this-- this is probably my favorite commission to date and I could not be happier with the result!  Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009 10:51:41 PM »

that is really cool, I love dragons!  Im so glad you finished this, its so awesome!  I love the color scheme.  Very cool indeed!

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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009 07:55:31 PM »

Wow. That is really cool!

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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011 09:36:25 PM »

That is impressive embellishing! I like it very much. I think that it would have been even better had the motif been bigger and taken up most of the front of the sweater.

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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011 10:40:47 PM »

well, considering I was constrained by both the wearability of the garment and the degree of detail desired by the recipient, it really wasn't practical to knit the image any larger than it appears here-- there's a lot of embroidery on here and embroidered knits tend to be a bit stiff.  Keeping the stiff part centered and in the same zone as a logo on a t-shirt, for example, mitigates most of that problem.  Smiley  Thanks for looking, this is an ages-old thread!  I had forgotten all about it  Embarrassed 
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