Tumblr Q&A: re-sizing the dragon eggs

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The yarn/hook size is the easiest way to create an egg of a different size, but it’s definitely not the only way to upscale or downscale.

(Haha, I had to make that pun at least once. Sorry!)

TO MAKE A BIGGER EGG—
Base: Add 2/4/6/etc. more increase rows. The increase pattern is simple. Each row adds 1 more “hdc into the next stitch” than the previous row. Your final amount of stitches should always end with an addition of a multiple of 12 (i.e. 60/72/84/etc.). There’s a reason for this and I’ll get into it in the scales section. Just trust me for now.

I’d suggest adding the new rows before the final “hdc into each st” row. But to keep it even and rounded, you also have to shift rows.

Let’s break down 60 as an example. The original pattern has 4 increase rows, a straight hdc row, 3 increase rows, and another straight hdc row (4/1/3/1). You always want the first increase set to have 1 more row than the second. Since you’re adding 2 new rows, the new pattern would be 5/¼/1. So instead of

RND 5: [2hdc into first st, hdc into next 3 sts] 6 times (30)
RND 6: hdc into each st (30)
RND 7: [2hdc into first st, hdc into next 4 sts] 6 times (36)

it would shift to become

RND 5: [2hdc into first st, hdc into next 3 sts] 6 times (30)
RND 6: [2hdc into first st, hdc into next 4 sts] 6 times (36)
RND 7: hdc into each st (36)

And after that you’d keep making increases until you reach 60 stitches. Then you’d end with a straight hdc row.

So far so good?

Scales:  If you divide the number of stitches you have on your last row of the base by 6, you’ll get the number of scales you’ll start with. So in my pattern, because I end on 48 stitches, it starts with 8 scales.

Okay, here’s why I mentioned that 12 is an important number. 2 rows creates 12 more stitches to the base. Think of it this way: there is 1 scale for every 6 stitches in the base. This happens because 2 foundation posts are worked into 6 stitches. A scale is worked onto every other post. So 1 scale every 6 stitches. Here’s a drawing to explain, in case you’re a visual learner:

increase-notation

To evenly increase the amount of scales, you have to add 2 scales. This is to keep the increases and decreases centered. So that’s why the base addition always has to be a multiple of 12.

So now that you have the amount of scales you want to start with, where in the following rows do you increase and decrease? We have to shift the foundation stitches in the same manner we shifted the base. This is the first increase row of the original pattern.

RND 3: ch2, dc into first post, ch2, INC, [foundation] 3 times, INC, [foundation] 2 times, 2sc b/w scale center (20 posts)

It goes INC/3/INC/2. Still working with our 60 stitch example, you’d have to add 2 more foundations. So it would become

RND 3: ch2, dc into first post, ch2, INC, [foundation] 4 times, INC, [foundation] 3 times, 2sc b/w scale center (20 posts)

INC/4/INC/3.

And decreases work the same way. So this

RND 15: ch2, dc into first post, ch2, DEC, [foundation] 4 times, DEC, [foundation] 3 times, 2sc b/w scale center (20 posts)

becomes

RND 15: ch2, dc into first post, ch2, DEC, [foundation] 5 times, DEC, [foundation] 4 times, 2sc b/w scale center (20 posts)

DEC/4/DEC/3 –> DEC/5/DEC/4

So that handles how to adjust the rows, but how many rows of each should you do? Well, that’s a little harder to formulate. Shaping the egg took the longest when I was patterning. And without testing, I can’t give you a definitive formula. However, to help, I’ve made a grid with my pattern.

shape-grid

Each box represents 1 scale. Feel free to take it into your editing program of choice, or to print it out and color it in. As long as you follow the basic shape that I’ve laid down, your egg should come out fine.

TO MAKE A SMALLER EGG—
The same concepts apply if you want to make a smaller egg, just in reverse. So instead of adding rows and foundation stitches where I’ve indicated, remove them.

Shaping for a smaller egg is easier to estimate. I would suggest starting by keeping the ratio of scales to rows in accordance with how many you start with. For example, if you decreased the base stitches to 36, you’d start with 6 scales. The first 12 rows of the original pattern go 8/10×2/12×4/10×5. So for a 6 scale egg I’d try 6/8×2/10×4/8×4. It keeps within ratio of the original and removes one of the rows from the section with more consecutive rows.

And for both larger and smaller eggs, I suggest you always close with 3 scales.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your pattern! Let me know how it comes out. I’d love to see the result! =)

And as always, more questions are always welcome in the comments, on my contact page, or in my Tumblr ask box!

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