A Onesie – With a Hood!

Months ago, I dreamed up a fun (and maybe slightly crazy) idea for a Halloween costume design. The weather around here is kind of hit or miss in October. Some years it’s absolutely freezing and you have to wear a jacket or a big sweater, and some years it’s pretty warm and you can get away with just a long sleeve top. This costume is probably going to be pretty warm, so it will really depend on the year if Nacho can wear it or not on actual Halloween. The rest of Canada is fully into late autumn / early winter at that point, so for most Canadian dog people, this costume is going to be great! We may have to road trip this year just for the pictures!

I’m going to go ahead and spoil it for you, because after all, this blog is a behind the scenes of what we’re up to. So this crazy idea is so far just a hood. A hood, for the record, that has actually taken over a week to create. The hood itself is not actually a difficult knit really. It’s that I have knit no less than four versions of scales to get them just so. Once I settled on a stitch pattern, I had to fiddle around with sizing and then I had an issue with the overall construction to make sure the scales were going in the right direction.

Yes, I did say ‘scales’…it’s a DRAGON COSTUME! I do think I will add some teeth to it, but this is the hood part for now. Initially, I was going to knit it the same way I did the Life is a Highway sweater, where I knit it in the round with ‘make one’ style chest increases, and scrap yarn sleeves. Or maybe knit in the round with Unwritten-style sleeves, where I do a bind off at the top of the arms and knit the little chest piece and that section of the back flat. But when I started to get into the details of the stitch pattern, I realized it had to be done vest style, like my Mirrorball, which is done in two pieces and seamed together. The scale stitch pattern on this looks exactly as I’d like it to, but it has zero stretch so the safest thing to do is to make the chest be it’s own pieces and entirely ribbed so it will have some room to grow that way. No stretch in the back means for sure you nee some stretch in the front.

This lead me to another construction issue though. I think, for maximum effect, this costume should have pants, like the back legs should be knit too, like a full onesie. I had envisioned how to do that from knitting the rest of this in the round so now I’m not entirely sure how to go about it. I could just pick up and knit from the top of the hip, and do maybe a cable cast on or a backwards loop cast on and start knitting in the round from there. The arms will have to be picked up and knit too, but that is less of an issue because the armhole is already there.

I have two patterns in testing right now and one that is done and should be out this week. I really want to get this into testing this weekend because I think it’s amazing and I want to be sure there is enough knitting time from the release date to Halloween so people can make it for this year. Which means, I will be devoting most of my week to this hilarious dragon, but I really think it’ll be worth it!

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