Crochet

Basel basilisk: an amigurumi

Sincel last July we are living really close to the city of Basel. The city is proud of its heraldic animal, the imaginary basilisk, and according to the legend, there was one living in a cave that used to exist in the Old town. If you want to find more about Basel and its basilisk check my blogpost about Basel.

It is not a really big animal. The fountain basilisk (shown in the photo below) in the actual size of the legendary basilisk.

A basilisk fountain in the centre of Basel

Do you remember my nice red dragon Temeraire? He is positioned on top of my library, guarding my books. But it has been quite some time now that he has been asking for a friend and what else than a basilisk. I did a bit of searching, but there was no pattern interesting enough for what I wanted. So I decided to make it myself, so as to fit Temeraire. I used as a base the dragon body of Temeraire from the Amigurumi to go pattern. But the head is not the same as a dragon’s; it rather resembles the one of a rooster. That part I created myself. and I am going to offer it to you for free.

The abbreviations I use in the pattern are:

ch: chain
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet
inc: increase – make two in the same stitch
dec: decrease – combine two stitches to one
[…]: repeat this sequence

What you need is a hook 4.00mm. As I have explained in previous posts, I like the Clover Amour ergonomic hooks, so I used the CLOVER Amour 4.00 mm hook. I made Temeraire with Stylecraft Special DK 1010 – Matador and I decided to make my basilisk black, as the colour of the coat of arm of Basel, so I used Stylecraft Special DK 1002 – Black. for the body.

The coat of arms of the city of Basel

For the head of the basilisk use Stylecraft Special DK 1002 – Black:

  1. Start with a magic ring of 6 sc (6)
  2. [inc] x 6 (12)
  3. [sc, inc] x 6 (18)
  4. [2 sc, inc] x6 (24)
  5. [5 sc, inc] x 4 (28)
  6. [6 sc, inc] x 4 (32)
  7. 12 hdc, 20 sc (32)
  8. repeat row 7 (32)
  9. 1 hdc, 10 dc, 1 hdc, [4 sc, inc] x 4 (36)
  10. 1 hdc, 10 dc, 1 hdc, 24 sc (36)
  11. 12 hdc, 24 sc (36)
  12. repeat row 11 (36)
  13. [hdc, dec} x 4, [sc, dec] x 8 (24)
  14. [2 sc. dec] x 6 (18)
  15. 18 sc (18)
    Start filling the head and keep filling it till the end
  16. [sc, dec] x 6 (12)
  17. [dec] x 6 (6)
    bind off. It is not important to close the hole as the beak will be covering it.

In order to have a proper rooster, we need a beak, wattles and a comb. For these ones I used Stylecraft Special DK 1114 – Sunshine. It is a shade between yellow and orange and it felt more fitting than than either of the two other colours. And here is how I made them:

The beak consists of two parts, the upper and lower one.

The upper and lower parts of the beak, sewed on the head

Upper beak part

  1. start with a magic ring of 6 sc (6)
  2. sc, hdc, 2 dc, hdc, sc (6)
  3. [inc] x 6 using only sc (12)
  4. 2 sc, 2 hdc, 4 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc (12)
  5. [sc, inc[ x 6 (18)
  6. 4 sc, 3 hdc, 4 dc. 3 hdc, 4 sc (18)
  7. 18 sc (18)
  8. 18 sc (18)
    fill it with a bit of cotton batting, bind off and leave string for sewing

Lower beak part

  1. start with a magic ring of 6 sc (6)
  2. [inc] x 6 (12)
  3. [sc, inc] x 6 (18)
  4. [2 sc, inc] x 6 (24)
    fold the circle in two and close it with 10 sc

Wattles

  1. ch 5, turn, 4 sc (4)
  2. inc, sc, sc, inc (6)
  3. sc, hdc, sc, sc, hdc, sc (6)
  4. 6 sc (6)
    Make two of these and sew them together leaving the bottom open
The comb, sewed on top of the head

Comb

  1. ch 9, 2 sc in the first one, 6 sc, 3sc in the last one, 7 sc from the other side (18)
  2. [2 sc, inc] x 6 (24)
  3. [sc, hdc, inc with 2 dc, hdc) x 6 (30)
  4. 30 sc (30)
    bind off and leave string for seweing

In order to assembly the head you need to see the individual parts on it. The head is rather egg shaped. The magic ring is the back of the head, while the part where the hdc and dc are is the top of it and the sc the bottom. The comb goes on the top of the head and the wattles, once the two parts are sewed together, are sewed on the botton part, opposite to the comb. The two parts of the beak are sewed approximately at the height of the 14th row. Sew first the upper part in such a way that it looks nicely at the front of the egg-shaped head and the bottom part just under the upper part. The bottom part is sewed with the folded side of the circle to the head.

The head of the basilisk

The wings, spikes and eyes are done according to the Amigurumi to go pattern, but there are a few changes compared to the dragon:

  • The spikes stop at the bottom of the head and they don’t continue on the head. I made them with Stylecraft Special DK 1114 – Sunshine too.
  • The head of the dragon is a bit too heavy, so it is better to use some wire for support. This is not a problem for the basilisk. Its head is less prolongated and its barycentre is more centred than in the case of the dragon.

Since I made a basilisk, I embroider a Basel coat of arm on his belly!

How do you like my basilisk? Doesn’t he fit nicely with Temeraire?

Temeraire and Basilisk together!

P.S. Concerning the links used here, please check my Disclaimer.

Crochet

Crocheted baskets

As you might know from previous posts, we moved to a new apartment in the beginning of July. The past couple of months have been full of arranging the new house. How much time settling takes! One of the problems that came up was that I was in need of boxes and baskets to organise the small things. In most cases I used plastic or carton boxes, but there were some cases, that too much customising was needed, such as the bathroom mirror. Why do they make them so shallow and long!

Since I am quite comfortable with crocheting, I decided to solve a couple of tricky situations through my hobby.

When I started crocheting, I tried making a basket, so as to exercise. For my first basket, I followed the Chunky crocheted basket pattern, which is a free one. The pattern suggests to use a super bulky yarn, so I chose Katia Ushuaia -100 g / ca. 85 m, that fits the suggestion. It is a dégradé dyed yarn in several combinations of colours that consists of 53% Polyester and 47% Polyacrylic. The link above refers to colour 623, but I really used colour 603, a combination of green, turquoise, purple and pink. The size of the hook needed is 8.00 mm.

Basket_1
My first basket

It was a quite easy project and a good exercise for my level of crochet, thanks to the size of the hook and the yarn. It turned out quite nice, no? I used it and I am still using it to store yarns and things. Nevertheless, it has some drawbacks, with the most important being that it is not sturdy. It is not a problem since I use it for yarns, as it adjusts to the shape of the contents, but for our toiletries I wanted something more robust.

I did a bit of searching in the internet for basket patterns and I came up with an interesting one: Crochet Rope Basket. The idea behind it is to crochet around a rope or string, so as to add stiffness and stability. It was exactly what I was looking for! The pattern is quite easy and nothing very special. The important about it is the foundation chain, which needs to be equal to the difference of the depth and the length you want your basket to be plus 2 chains, as the pattern says. In my case, I wanted a basket 15 cm long and 10.5 cm deep, so my foundation chain was 4.5 cm plus 2 chains long.

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My nicest basket!

For this box I used my favorite Stylecraft Special DK – Matador (1010), a bit of Stylecraft Special DK – Black (1002) and a small piece of Stylecraft Special DK – Turquoise (1068). The pattern I made myself, so as to give it a bit of a character! The yarns are crocheted around a common everyday rope we had at home. I used a 5.00 mm hook, but the size you need depends on the thickness of the rope you are using. It should be big enough so as to be able to create easily the stitches around the rope, but still be tight enough. My yarn was thick enough so as to make the rope I used almost invisible. I like the result quite a lot!

I even made another basket! For the third one I used scraps of the Katia Ushuaia yarn I used for the very first basket I made. This is a nice advantage of these projects: they are all done with scraps of yarns used for other projects. This yarn was also big enough, so as to cover the rope. You can’t really see it right? But you can notice how much nicer it stands compared to the first basket I made in 2016!

Basket_3
And my third basket!

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The rope or better string that hides inside the second and third basket

Crochet

Crocheted girl’s coat

I have a beautiful godchild, Zafeiria, who is now about 2.5 years old. Unfortunately, I do not get the chance to see her too often, but she is always on my mind. In June she was celebrating her nameday and in May, I thought of making something nice for her. By luck, a really good friend was visiting me about the time I was looking for something and we both agreed that a particular pattern by Majovel crochet, named Girl’s coat, was so cute!

The pattern of Girl’s coat is for free. Majovel crochet has everything in Spanish and unfortunately it is a language I haven’t learnt yet, but she has several videos in Youtube, probably machine translated to english. The girl’s coat can be found in the this link.

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A picture from Majovel’s girl coat

Three colours are used for the coat. The original example is white, dark purple and black as you can see in the photo above, but I decided that white is not a good choice for a 2.5- year old child. Besides, personally I like vibrant and happy colours, so I decided instead of white to use my absolutely favourite Stylecraft Special DK – Matador (1010). I combined that with Stylecraft Special DK – Burgund (1035) and Stylecraft Special DK – Black (1002).

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The three Stylecraft Special DK colours I used

Stylecraft Special DK is a soft and of good quality acrylic yarn, that is not very expensive, but has proved to me that it behaves well when washed, without losing colour or deteriorating. My example is Lukas, who is as old as my godchild and has travelled all around the world with us.

The hook I used in order to achieve the measurements I wanted was size 3.50 mm. I used my also absolutely favourite Clover Amour (3.50 mm) . I have explained which hooks I used in a previous post.

Concerning the girl’s coat, it was the first time I had to follow a youtube video instead of a written pattern. I have to admit that I prefer written patterns, even if videos are more explanatory. I had to have my tablet always within reach and turn the video back and forth all the time. All these made working a bit uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, Majovel has done a brilliant work of explaining everything clearly and nicely, so following her pattern was not difficult at all. Most of the pattern consists of double crochets. The coat consists of four pieces: a hood, two sleeves and the body of the coat. Additionally, it has two ears and a bow knot. The body of the coat is worked from top to bottom.

Coat.jpg
The coat I made from the back!

Being a bit more experienced in crochet, I rarely follow the counting of the stitches that the pattern suggests. What is important for me, is the length and width I should achieve. Majovel suggests that for a 3-year old the initial chain should be 32 cm, the first part 16 cm long and the skirt 27 cm long. The equivalent for a 4-year old is initial chain 33 cm, first part 18 cm long and skirt 30 cm long.  I wanted to make a coat somewhere in between these measurements, so that Zafeiria would wear it for two autumns.

Front.jpg
The coat from the front

In total, in my case, the body of the coat was 20 rows the top part before the skirt and the skirt itself 20 rows red, 8 burgundy and 5 black. The sleeves were 14 rows red, 8 burgundy and 5 black, and the hood 25 rows. The ears and bow knot were two incredibly sweet details, that I enjoyed adding to the coat! And to make it a bit more special, I searched a bit for the buttons I would use and I found some really funny purplish elephants!

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Detail from the coat

I finished the coat on time for Zafeiria’s nameday that is on the 11th June. But by then we had entered the turmoil of moving houses and I neglected sending it a bit. I hope my godchild was still happy to receive it even with a bit of a delay! She looks nice in it, no?

Zafiria