Friday, July 14, 2017

Building a dinosaur

Whenever my knitting friend Linda makes dinosaurs, people smile. She does, too -- it's one of the reasons making them is a pleasure for her. "It's creative and it goes quickly," she says. "You put it together and you end up with something that makes you smile." There are other reasons: she loves working with the beautiful saturated colours in the Kureyon yarn, made by Noro, a Japanese company, that she uses to make the toys. "It's wonderful to hold these colours in your hand." And because the yarn is multi-coloured, the end result is always something of a surprise. "It's endlessly fascinating; you don't know how it's going to come out." As well, knitting is meditative. And making small objects that people enjoy creates a sense of accomplishment in a crazy world.

One of the reasons people notice the dinosaurs so much is that they are unusual, with their odd shapes and angles. No wonder; dinosaurs themselves are unusual, with their strange appendages -- triangular plates along the spine, a bony frill around the neck, three horns, and a gigantic bone-crushing jaw. I've always been curious about how Linda incorporates these features into her toys, so when she made four dinosaurs for a relative recently, I asked if she'd document the process for me.

Here are her photographs from her creation of  two stegosauruses, one triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus Rex: 

In the beginning, there's the Fibre Fill for stuffing, the yarn, and the needles making a start on the body.

The stuffing begins. Double-pointed needles are used for knitting in the round, the same technique as for knitting socks. The body, neck and head are one piece, with stuffing added as the knitting progresses. The body narrows at the neck, which makes stuffing tricky. The head is created by increasing and decreasing stitches and other shaping techniques.

The triceratops in pieces, before assembly. Body to the left,  tail at the bottom, neck frill in centre, legs at right.
All assembled. Notice the three horns added to the head.
Front view of the completed triceratops.
The pre-assembled parts of a stegosaurus. Body at left, tail at bottom, legs in the middle, triangular spine plates at right.
Assembled stegosaurus.
T. Rex with his white grin.
The two stegosauruses, one green, one blue.
The four dinosaurs all together..
A frontal view of the herd.
The back view: the herd says goodbye.

1 comment:

  1. These are just so delightful and it's great to see how they are made. That wool is amazing.