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Category: Tutorials

The Crocodile Stitch: Dragon Scale Neck Warmer

With the popularity of shows such as Game of Thrones and others from a similar genre, the dragon scale, or crocodile stitch has also surfaced in popularity. No doubt, using the right yarn and with the right pattern, you can create an awesome design that will get many a compliment no matter what shows are trending.

Finding and creating the right design, however, can be tricky. I wanted to make a simple yet elegant cowl using this stitch. Sometimes when trying to come up with a design, I will see what already exists and just use that; but more often than not, for my personal style, I have something already in my head and it rarely exists outside of that. This was one of the great motivating factors for me when I started crafting and creating my own designs. And so I had to come up with my own pattern for an elegant dragon scale neck warmer. As the saying goes: If you can’t find it, make it!

The Simple: The crocodile stitch is not exactly simple. At first attempt, it can be rather confusing. But once you have the basics, it becomes a lot simpler. As with most designs, it’s made up of some standard stitches. It’s no different with the crocodile, which uses chains (ch) and double crochets (dc). It’s how you put them all together that gives the stitch its unique look.

One of the important parts to this stitch is that it has a foundation or base row. This foundation is made up of v-stitches. The number of v-stitches you have is important, of course, in order to make a balanced pattern of stitches. For every scale visible on the right side of the pattern, there is an additional v-stitch. In other words, you need two v-stitches for each scale you want in your pattern. When I designed this pattern, determining my starting length was essential in order to have the correct number of chains to get the correct number of v-stitches for my foundation row.

Let’s start with understanding the v-stitch. For this stitch you need to have 3 base stitches for each V. And of course for the starting V, you need to have 3 chains to count as the first dc that makes up the V plus 1 more for the space at the top of the V (between the 2 dcs).

Once you have the correct number of v-stitches you can start creating the actual scale. The scale is made up of several dcs worked around the V. The first V worked will start with a ch3 as many starting rows do followed by working the rest of the dcs around the first leg (or dc) of the V. After you have 5 dcs wrapped around the V leg, you ch1 or 2 (depending on the shape of the scale you desire—2chs creates a more pointing scale). Turning your work slightly to access the 2nd leg of the V, you will work another 5 dc around this leg. And, VOILA!, you now have a scale!

Now back to the point I made about having 2 v-stitches for every scale. You just made a scale around one V; however, the very next V you will skip. Each skipped V creates enough space between each scale allowing them to be nicely spaced apart, so they don’t bunch up on each other. At the same time, each row of scales staggers creating the overlapping scale effect. Those extra v-stitches are used to create the next rows scales.

Simple right?!

The Elegant: Creating the right pattern for your piece is the next challenge. For this scarf, I wanted to keep it light and simple; to make sure it was something that might even fit in a purse while still able to keep your neck warm. With this in mind I decided to keep it short, but making the pattern simple enough to create a longer scarf without having to determine extra pattern design.

Once I established my base pattern, it was time to choose the best yarn. This is often the make or break of a great pattern. There are plenty of great yarns out there that would be great for this pattern, but I decided to choose Lion Brand’s Landscape yarn in Metropolis. It served the perfect purpose of the scales and elegance I was looking for.

Once completed, I was in love! It looks amazing not only under the collar of your coat but also alone over your outfit for the evening.

To check out this pattern, I am offering it free with sign up to my email list or click this link to purchase directly here.