The minute I saw a picture of a Bobtail I knew I could knit that. That will be my next blog post. I thought I could also do a Dugite similar to the white oak snake. I made the tail longer and narrower and the head and neck have a different shape.
Here's a link to the Dugite pattern on Ravelry. The brown stocking cap in these photos is also my design. I'll be writing up that pattern next month.
The oak snake is knit on size 8 needles but to get the long fine tail of the Dugite I started with a size 3 needle and went up a needle size every few inches until I got to size 8 to knit the bulk of the snake. I tried to make the icord style tail section 18% of the body length just like a real Dugite. But I made the whole thing longer than the average 1.5 m Dugite so it would make a good scarf. It's over 2 meters long (7 feet).
|Compare the Dugite and the White Oak Snake side by side|
|The Dugite's head is similar in width to the neck.|
|The Dugite head has four stitches on the sides instead of just two for the White Oak Snake.|
This makes it a thicker head versus the rather flat head of a White Oak Snake
|The Dugite has 10 mm topaz glass eyes. The White Oak Snake has 9 mm plastic safety eyes.|
|Both snakes have grafted noses.|
|The knitting needles through the fabric show where the icord knitting ends|
The tail of the White Oak Snake is knit all on size 8 needles with just 3 inches of icord at the end. The Dugite has a 12 inch long icord tail starting with 2 stitches on size 3 needles working up to 7 stitches on size 6 needles
|The body of the snake is not stuffed. The heads have fleece pillows inside to hold the stuffing.|
|At the end of knitting the head I grafted the last stitches together.|
I used a third needle keep the tension the same for the graft.
|I traced the knit head onto some black fleece.|
I folded it over at the nose and didn't cut that part.
|I sewed up the sides. This is exactly the size of the knitting flattened out.|
The fleece is stretchy so it will expand with stuffing.
I put the pillow into the head and stuffed it and figured out where to place the eyes
I ordered the eyes for the Dugite online from CR's Crafts. They are 10 mm medium topaz glass eyes, pre-looped. They're $2.46 for a pair.
After finding the right spot for the eyes I ended up pulling the stuffing out of the head so I could get the wire loops through the inner fabric. I sewed the black fleece around the wires before I ran heavy duty thread between the eyes to hold them the right distance apart. This part is admittedly tricky. The safety eyes are a lot easier.
|Here's a pair of 8mm eyes in the same style|
After stuffing the head again the fabric failed to stick out above the eyes like I wanted. I had photos I was trying to match (see the end). I decided to add a sort of leather patch between the fleece and the knit to hold the knit fabric out to make the kind of snake eyebrows a Dugite has. I had some leather from a jacket I had in high school. I kid you not, I have been carrying this leather around for 30 years in my sewing box.
|Head shaped leather patch held over stuffed knitted head.|
|There's a leather patch inserted into the head to hold out the eyebrows.|
|This brown hat is superwash merino wool and nylon sock yarn.|
I've already shot a video of how to make it. I'll write up the pattern soon.
Photos of real snakes coming up. Stop scrolling down if you don't want to see the real thing.
|Compare those eyes. Nailed it. (Photo by Ashleigh Wolfe)|
|This view was really useful for getting the head and neck shape right. (Photo by Ashleigh Wolfe)|
|This coloration would be achievable if I had a spinning wheel and a variety of wool colors. (Photo by Ashleigh Wolfe)|
|This dark brown color is what I was going for. This one gets lighter at the front too,|
but I just had to give up on trying to achieve that. This snake has a GPS transmitter on its tail.
(Photo by Ashleigh Wolfe)
|Notice how carefully Ashleigh and her colleagues handle Dugites in the lab.|
They take lots of precautions. A real Dugite is not a fashion accessory. (Photo by Ashleigh Wolfe)