Thursday, 9 October 2014

This notice has been late in coming due to the nature of the notice, and that it's taken this long to organise what situation I'm in and what can and can't fit.

I've recently started at a full time job, which means CraftyMutt will need to cut down or stop to fit in the time I have - I have assessed how much time I will have left over and it looks like CraftyMutt can continue to sell patterns and glove kits but physical knitted items will no longer be possible to make on request.

New pattern designs will also become even more slow, although there may very occasionally come up some pre-made items for sale when new patterns are being designed as they are test knit and the test items are no longer needed.

I've had all item commissions at zero stock for a while now so all that will happen is nothing will change back. Pages relevant to the ordering and purchase of ready-knit items will be removed/archived as and when to reduce confusion, but as of this post they are no longer in service.

As it affects kits, the level of scales in stock is currently very low after the period of low activity (see the Etsy listings for regular and long gloves to see what colours are in stock if you are interested in a kit) but I expect to be buying more in since selling kits is still going to be feasible.
Other minor changes include that I will only be able to purchase yarns and dispatch kits on Saturdays, which means the one week dispatch estimate is now more likely (previously I would often be able to buy the new yarn and dispatch in a day or two) and occasionally it may take two (I would contact as soon as it's known in case it affects the order)

Thanks to everyone who ordered gloves, pouches, necklaces, dragons, and other miscellaneous bits and pieces over the years and helped me hone the designs to the point they could be made into patterns; although I won't be making the actual items any more it's nice to know they'll continue to be made through all you ambitious knitters!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Small Scale Mail Dragon Pattern


This intermediate pattern allows you to knit your own scaly baby dragons in chunky yarn with poseable wings, which can sit up, lie down, and generally lie around being tiny and fierce.

The pattern includes comprehensive written knitting instructions for all parts, plus charts for adding the scales visually in one or two colours. The assembly of the dragon is described in detail and includes photos of important stages so it's as easy as possible to make up your dragon!

The photo tutorials for both knitting and purling with scales techniques are also included in the pattern for scale-knitting beginners, however this pattern is more suited to those with some experience knitting with scales.

What Do I Get?

PDF Pattern
- Step by step tutorial for adding scales as required for the pattern, including images shown on the tutorial page
- Full material and equipment list
- Charts of the scaled sections of the dragon to accompany the written pattern showing each individual stitch and scale
- Simple colour and symbol code in both chart and pattern allowing for easy arrangement of scales to form a bi-coloured dragon, with one colour for the top and wing bars, and another colour for the tummy and between the bars on the wings (code designed with colour-blind users in mind)

You can also have a free preview of the first page!

Click to enlarge!

How Is The Pattern Delivered?
This pattern is available as an instant download via Ravelry - if you have any trouble with this please contact me at, preferably forwarding your receipt so I can sort things out as quickly as possible!

What Do I Need?
You will need 148 scales total for one baby dragon; if you wish to make your baby dragon in two colours you will require 87 of the main body colour (for the back and the wing bars) and 61 of the secondary colour (for the tummy and between the wing bars). See the bottom of DIY Scale Mail for suggested scale suppliers!
Chunky yarn in body colour (less than 100g), DK yarn for horns and claws, yarn for eyes, stuffing material, and optionally two pipe cleaners/chenille sticks matching body colour.
You need double pointed needles in 3.5mm and 2.5mm (required for knitting in the round) and some other basic knitting gear. See the preview for a detailed list of materials and equipment (right click the image and open in new tab if it's too small to read in the gallery)

How Difficult Is It?
This is an intermediate scale knitting pattern with involved assembly after all the parts have been knitted, and it is recommended you become familiar with all techniques (including knitting and purling scales into knitting) before starting to knit the dragon. The body, from tail to head, is knit in one piece, and contains narrow sections covered in scales which can be difficult to fix if you do not notice an error quickly, so it is recommended to double check your work against the chart frequently. The dragon is somewhat of a combination between the knitted scale pouch pattern and the mini palm sized dragon pattern, so if you would like to work up to this you may want to try some of those patterns first. If you are not as experienced with scale knitting, it is recommended that you knit the right wing and then left wing (which are knit flat) before you begin the body section (in the round)
The making up section is comprehensively described, and includes diagrams and photos of key stages to help you assemble your dragon as simply as possible.
The dragon is quite a quick pattern and an experienced knitter who has used scales before could complete a dragon in a matter of hours.

What Do I Not Get?
You do not get permission to sell this pattern as it is or in an adapted form, or give it away for free.
You do not get permission to make and sell items made by this pattern, although the technique of knitting with scales itself is allowed - you can design your own items that include scales using the technique described in the free tutorial whether you buy the pattern or not. Only the pattern itself is protected.

What Can I Make?
Little scaly dragon friends!
Click an image to enter full size gallery

Friday, 23 May 2014

New Pattern Store

Behind the scenes things have changed quite a lot, but here's a summary of what you might notice using the updated pattern purchase system;

Pros Cons 
- Can add several patterns to cart and view cart from any page
- Cart opens on top of your current page so you don't lose your place
- Can now pay for multiple patterns in one transaction
- Instant download access to pattern files
- Capable of processing coupon codes allowing for discounts and offers in the future
- Patterns all available to browse on one page
- Still doesn't require a login or account to use
- If you do have a Ravelry account you can interact with the patterns in all the usual Ravelry ways
- Sometimes takes 0.2 seconds longer to load the checkout

So as you can see, even without going into the higher efficiencies in the management of the system there's a lot of new and improved features!

If you'd like to see the patterns on Ravelry itself, they're all right here.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Baby Dragon Palm Pal Knit+Crochet Pattern

Note: This pattern uses both knit and crochet, and cannot be completed in only knit or only crochet!


Make your own baby dragon to sit in the palm of your hand! Two inches tall, and five from nose to tail, this miniature beast probably won't be terrorising anything more than some dust bunnies.

The pattern was designed to combine a realistic style of dragon usually only available in much larger patterns, with tiny proportions able to sit on the palm of your hand.

Being so small, they're great for stash busting leftover DK yarns!

What Do I Get?

PDF Pattern
- Basic instructions for all techniques used in the pattern (suggest looking up comprehensive guides online for any you are not familiar with)
- Comprehensive knit/crochet instructions for every body part (2 pages)
- Step by step tutorial for assembling your dragon parts, including photos of every step (4 pages)
- Full material and equipment list

You can also have a free preview of the introduction!
Click to enlarge!
(right click and open in new tab if it's still too small)

How Is The Pattern Delivered?
This pattern is offered as an instant download via Ravelry - if you have any trouble with this please contact me at, preferably forwarding your receipt so I can sort things out as quickly as possible!

What Do I Need?

  • a set of 2.5mm DPNS (for i-cord and knitting in the round)
  • 3.5mm crochet hook (for crocheting in the round)
  • body colour DK yarn
  • eye colour DK scrap
  • eye hilight embroidery thread scrap
  • 1 inch square piece of felt for claws
  • sewing thread to match the body colour
  • small quantity of toy stuffing
  • yarn needle, thread needle, scissors for assembly

How Difficult Is It?
It's certainly not a beginners pattern (although includes enough detail that a determined beginner should have plenty to work with) as it includes knitting and crochet in the round, with increases and decreases, plus i-cord and french knots. All these techniques are fairly simple to master, but are probably best practised before undertaking on such a tiny (and therefore occasionally fiddly!) item.
There is more knitting than crochet; only the main body/tail section is crochet as a basic amigurumi style item, so this pattern will be more accessible to knitters with some crochet experience than crocheters with some knitting experience.
A moderately experienced crafter who is familiar with the techniques already should be able to complete the dragon in a matter of hours.

What Do I Not Get?
Legal stuff:
You do not get permission to sell this pattern as it is or in an adapted form, or give it away for free.
You do not get permission to make and sell items made by this pattern, although the technique of knitting with scales itself is allowed - you can design your own items that include scales using the technique described in the free tutorial whether you buy the pattern or not. Only the pattern itself is protected.

What Can I Make?
Hoards of baby dragon friends!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Migrating Pattern Purchase Links

Currently all patterns are available for sale on this site with direct link to paypal for purchase. Although this works pretty well for the few patterns I have, as I add more patterns it gets more complex to manage manually sending patterns out to people who've bought them this way! Etsy is a great alternative allowing for instant download, but you have to be a member so I don't want it to be the only option.
I didn't want to spread my effort over too many sites too early, but I'm now also adding Ravelry to the mix - as oppose to having three options of where to buy the pattern clogging up the pages, the Ravelry shopping cart and paypal checkout will be replacing the links currently around this blog, which will make it much easier for people who want to buy more than one pattern!
This change doesn't have any major effects, you still won't need any accounts if you will be purchasing patterns directly on this blog (even Paypal will let you go through checkout with just a card, no login required) but it will look a bit different once you click on a "buy it now" or the incoming "add to cart" buttons.

These links are all over the place, on the DIY Scale Mail page, on each pattern's individual page, and a few odd links in other places as well. I'll be replacing all the major ones as soon as each pattern goes up on Ravelry (over the course of the next few days all of them will be migrated) and eventually it will be possible to add any and all patterns to a cart and purchase through paypal with a card or paypal account.
The gloves and neck piece are already available on Ravelry itself, and soon to be re-directed at various links on this blog.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

[ARCHVED] Scale Glove Kits - no longer available

Kits are no longer available, this page is archived for the reference of previous customers who want to check up info on the kit they purchased.

Kits come in a paper bag with materials,
instructions, and a yarn needle to sew up
Just add knitting needles and scissors!

I've been looking for a good solution to the difficulty some people find getting hold of scales for a while, and finally put together a solution in the form of scale kits! Two kits are available initially, for regular or long gloves, but there will be more kits available in the future for a wider range of items.

Examples of the regular vs long length,
showing how far down the arm they go

Each kit is packaged neatly in a paper bag and contains nearly everything you need to make one pair of gloves;
  • scales (300 for regular gloves, 400 for long gloves, in your choice of colour, in a pouch)
  • 100g chunky yarn (in your choice of colour)
  • chunky yarn needle
  • kit instructions
The pattern included is specifically written with the kit in mind so it's easier than ever to make your own gloves, all you need is a pair of needles (3.5-4mm) and some scissors. The pattern includes hands sized small to x large (6.5 to 9 inch measured around the base of the fingers) so each kit can make a pair of gloves to fit nearly anybody comfortably!

A preview of the first page of each pattern (click to enlarge)

The kits are available on Etsy (see listings for the regular and long versions) and also here directly through paypal. All the options are the same for both lengths, and after you've seen the colours and chosen your combination you can order below!

All the colours for scales an yarn,
in order from top left to bottom right

There are two colour options for your kit - the yarn and the scales. There are so many options that they don't even fit into paypal's dropdown boxes, so you're provided with a text box for each scales and yarn to enter your choice.

silver (frost)
bronze (brown)
yellow ochre
denim blue
dark brown
blue/light blue
purple/light grey
pink/dark grey

There are quite a lot of possible combinations (165 to be precise!) so if you'd like a bit of guidance check out the recommended match-ups for a few suggested ideas (click to enlarge)

Your kit will also include an organza pouch (to hold your scales) and a yarn needle, which come in a limited variety of colours. For simplicity I'll generally pick the best match but if you have a preference feel free to add it in the seller notes in your checkout and I'll do my best to match your colours when possible!
Pouches in light pink, pink, purple, lilac, grey, white, ivory, gold, orange and brown
Yarn needles in pink, purple, lime, aqua, and orange

For a full specification of the kits right down to the yarn materials, see below the order form!

Scale Mail Glove Kit

Scale Colour
Yarn Colour
[PURCHASE BUTTON REMOVED - this product can no longer be ordered and information is archived for reference of past customers only]
(a reminder of the options so you can have everything on screen at once;
Scales - red, orange, gold, green, blue, purple, pink, black, white, silver (frost), bronze (brown)
Yarn - red, yellow ochre, blue, denim blue, lilac, pink, black, white, dark brown, red/grey, green/blue, blue/light-blue, purple/light-grey, pink/dark-grey, black/grey)*
*text colour coded for quick reference, however the colours are not all close matches, see photos for more accurate representations of the colours, however due to monitor differences the actual colours may still differ somewhat

-----Full Information-----

---What Do I Get?---
-approximately 300 (regular version)/400 (long version) anodised aluminium scales in your choice of colour (by weight at 110g/145g)
- this is enough to make the gloves in the correct length, plus a few spares just in case
- The scales will be securely packaged in an organza pouch (colours vary)
1 ball of chunky yarn in your choice of colour, single and variegated options available
- single colour yarn is Boyes Chunky (100g, 144m, 100% acrylic; suitable for those with wool allergies) (recommended for beginner knitters as easier to work with)
- variagated yarn is Stylecraft Phases Chunky (100g, 158m, 80% acrylic 20% wool)
- This is enough yarn to knit a gauge swatch and a pair of gloves of either length, with some left over
1 yarn needle
- a large plastic yarn needle suitable for using with the chunky yarn is included in the kit for sewing up at the end (colours vary)
Printed copy of pattern for either Regular OR Long Length gloves (as relevant to your kit)
- The printed version is specially written to go with the selected kit
- Suggested learning resources for all techniques used, from cast on to cast off
- Step by step tutorial for adding scales as required for the pattern, including images
- Full material and equipment list
- Four hand sizes (from 6 1/2 inch to 9 inch) with stitch numbers throughout for each

---How Is This Delivered?---
- A paper printout of the kit pattern, the yarn, scales, and yarn needle will be packaged in a paper bag and posted to you! As default items are sent by UK first class small parcel or airmail small parcel, however if you would like to upgrade to tracked and insured postage please e-mail to make your custom checkout.
- Because only one price is available on paypal checkouts, the price is based on standard international airmail. UK buyers will find that buying through Etsy saves a few pounds as postage is customised by location!

---What Do I Need?---
- All you need in addition to the kit is a pair of knitting needles (3.5mm to 4mm are suitable, as needed for gauge) and a pair of scissors

---How Difficult Is It?---
- If you're reading this section you're probably worried that you won't be able to understand how to knit with the scales, well fear not!
- In the links to the left you will see a DIY scalemail link - halfway down this page is a set of instructions including a basic youtube video showing how to do the technique so you can become familiar before hand.
- That's all the special techniques you need! If you want to try it out before hand, try punching holes near the edge of small pieces of card and seeing if you can do the technique on those.

---What Do I Not Get?---
- You do not get permission to sell this pattern or kit as it is or in an adapted form, or make copies of the pattern to give away for free; the kit pattern is for personal use only
- You do not get permission to make and sell items made from this pattern or with this kit, although the technique of knitting with scales is allowed - for example if you design your own items that have scales knitted into them.

---What Can I Make?---
A pair of gauntlets in your choice of colour!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Help your scaly items last

Inspired by questions I've been asked quite a few times about how well gloves last, here is an exhaustive list of my experience with scale knitting, with information that can help you care for your finished items, as well as a few tips on choices if you are making your own to make something that will last.
Generally you shouldn't have any problems with scaly items wearing out, but if you are worried about things that could make your items start to look scruffy too quickly you might find some information here helps you keep everything in top condition for as long as possible.

Scale Material Considerations
Aluminium Scales
These are in the most common in items I've sold and are available in the most colours.
Aluminium scales can have rough edges, which can wear the yarn over time. Normally the scales won't rub the yarn very much at all, as individually the scales are very light and as long as the yarn is thick enough they barely move around. This will become more important if you are regularly rubbing the scales the wrong way, for example wearing gloves when putting them on or taking them off under sleeves, or putting your hand in and out of a bag. Although doing these things shouldn't cause any immediate damage to the fabric, it's best to avoid any major pulling on the scales whenever possible to maximise life.
Aluminium scales are not particularly reactive in water, and all the non silver (and most of the silver ones in item's I've made since late 2013) are anodised which helps protect them further. All non-anodised scales will have a naturally grown thin layer of aluminium oxide (unavoidable in contact with air) which also helps protect them, however they may still suffer from water damage it's still best to avoid getting the scales wet and to dry them out again as soon as possible. Do not use direct heat to achieve this though, as the aluminium is very conductive and will get surprisingly hot and you may even find the yarn begins to melt!
Aluminium is not particularly hard, however the colour is anodised into the surface so small scratches general won't affect the finish.
Aluminium scales are not armour grade - if they are hit with a sword or other heavy blunt object for example in a re-enactment, they will dent permanently (also you will certainly be bruised if you hit them hard enough to dent them). This may cause some of the pointed ends to stick up which aside from altering the aesthetics is more likely to scratch and damage other items or people.
Plastic Scales
As I write this none of my sold items include plastic scales, but I have just gotten in the first batch and they look great. They're generally safer, lightweight and water resistant, making them a prime candidate for kids sizes, however they're only available (at least right now) in black and transparent.
In contrast to aluminium scales, these have smooth edges and are much more resistant to water. They may have two noticeable sprue marks were they have been cut from the main piece after moulding, but they shouldn't cause any damage to the yarn. If they get wet it's still a good idea to dry them out as soon as possible, as damp yarn can become home to unwanted microbes.
These scales are the same colour through, so if scratched will not stand out in a different colour, even if the scratch is deep.
Plastic scales are very not armour grade - if they are hit with a sword they will probably shatter, and may leave sharp edges which at high impact could cut into your arm.
Other Materials
Although I do not normally stock them, there are plenty of other materials that are available for scales, so if you are making your own items then you may want to use something else.
Most likely it will be a metal, and although some metals are softer and will punch more smoothly it's best to assume that it may have a rough edge that can wear on the yarn. Many metals are more reactive than aluminium and will react even in damp environments. Look up your metal and find out general information about how it will act if you get it wet. If unsure, make every effort to avoid getting it wet, dry it quickly, and to keep it away from damp atmospheres.
Some other materials are technically armour grade. However, if you knit them into fabric, your item will not be armour grade as they can shift too easily past each other. If a scale claims to be armour grade then you can be confident that it shouldn't dent if hit, however the flexibility of the knitted base means it will not afford you any protection and you will almost certainly bruise or worse.

Special Item Considerations
Yarn only items are safely covered by other areas, however there are a few things that need a little extra care.
Baby dragons, while partially scaly, have shape and pipe cleaners. Due to the pipe cleaners particularly they are a bit more difficult to take care of. They should avoid ever getting wet (or feeding after midnight*) and if they do, make sure the spread their wings and limbs wide and allow them to dry fully. Although the pipe cleaners make the wings moderately poseable, their primary function is to bear the weight of the wing scales. If harshly bent too many times to pose the wings, the pipe cleaners will eventually break, so try to stick to gentle curves and minor adjustments to angles at the elbow and shoulder.
The pangolin, like the baby dragon, is also stuffed, and is a lot chubbier. The pangolin is probably at the most danger from getting wet as the stuffing inside is quite bulky, and even if you dry the surface the inside may still hold some water for a long time after, which aside from standard damp concerns can cause discolouration and reactions in the scales. It's best to make sure the pangolin does not get wet, or if it does to allow it to dry thoroughly for several days minimum in a very dry place.
*Actually avoid feeding your scaly critters at all, they don't know how to eat regular food and they'll just make a mess. Your scaly animal will hunt down suitable food for itself when you're not looking.

Manufacturing Considerations
When you're planning to knit an item, you want it to last as well as possible. There are a few things you can do to help your item work at its best.
Use the strongest, thickest yarn suitable for your project. The patterns available here all recommend aran or worsted weight, because this is the best compromise between strength, holding power, and ease of knitting. If you want to make a particularly heavy duty item and have the time to work with more awkward yarn, something chunky will improve the life of your item. A thicker yarn holds the scales down more firmly, so they won't move around which in turn reduces wear (particularly with metal scales' punched holes). The thicker yarn can also take more wear intrinsically.
I personally favour James C Brett's Marble Chunky, as it's structure is particularly suited for long wearing. The yarn has two thick ply twisted around each other, each with a strong core thread; the coloured yarn visible is not structurally integral, and provides a thick barrier of protection to the inner core. Any normal chunky yarn is generally good, if you are comfortable working with such a thick yarn on small needles (you may need to switch the needles down a size to make sure you keep gauge) and pulling it through the small holes in the scales.
If your item is likely to receive heavy wear you may want to choose plastic scales, or use a small round file to manually smooth each individual scale. If you do this, be careful not to damage the colouring too much! If your item might get wet, you're best to use the plastic scales, which are much more suitable for wet conditions.
If you think you might get ambushed by a medieval knight while wearing your item, consider using armour grade scales. They may not give you much protection (although it's probably better than nothing) but it will ensure that once you've defeated your foe your item should not have been substantially damaged.
If a scale does not explicitly state that it is armour grade, assume it is not.