Friday, 8 June 2012

Crochet Snake In Camouflage

My sssimple ssssnake, aka Therapy Crochet for souls demoralised by complicated patterns that need repeated frogging, has reached completion! I am rather pleased with him. He was very simple to crochet, so long as one made sure one always ended up with 35 stitches at the end of each round after the initial increases, and he didn't require too much other brain power - ssimple sstripes, ssimple sstitches, ssimple sstuffing and ssimple asssembly! Here he iss!
Stripy Snake looking less "derpy" than he did!
I followed Lois Daykin's pattern in her book, "Baby Crochet" to shape the tail end and the head but simplified the pattern for the body to simple stripes of single crochet (US) / double crochet (UK) varying the colours and depths of the stripes as I felt like it, until I had a reptile of a good snake-like length. He's ended up about 1.5 m long. My only real difficulty with making him was his expression which has been through several iterations.

I've used buttons layered on top of one another but in the first attempt, where I used black buttons positioned centrally on larger white ones, H's critical verdict was that he looked "derpy". Is that how you spell "derpy"? It's not a word that often figures in my vocabulary! After establishing precisely what "derpiness" consists of - "gormless and foolish" seems to get it more or less, I was forced to concede that H was right. He did look extremely "derpy"!

Now you see me, now you don't!
I experimented a bit with the eyes and even tried painting the black buttons with a graduated white rim but I am afraid he still looked as "derpy" as before. I am not sure that the expression he has ended up with is entirely free of "derpiness", but he looks slightly less gormless than he did! Believe me, he does! H's considered view is that Stripy's permanently lolling tongue means a certain "derpiness" is inevitable and he may have something there. Anyway Stripy has triggered a great deal of hilarity and laughter among all who have encountered him and that can't be bad!

Stripy in situ prior to being snake-napped!
He was made in the same colours of Rico Creative Cotton as my Vintage Stripe blanket so he can lurk camouflaged on the bed or he can earn his keep, less camouflaged, keeping out the draught under the door. As you can see, he has a tinkly bell sewn onto the tip of his tail to warn the unwary of his approach - a gentler variation on the more vicious theme of a rattlesnake's rattle!

Despite the tinkling warning bell, Duck, my crochet mascot, does not like him and prefers him safely by the door to lurking on the bed. Rather like the Biblical Joseph, in his coat of many colours, Stripy Snake is not universally popular with his brethren! Midianite traders in the person of H came and stole him away last night, not to Egypt but to the Augean Stables that is H's room at the moment, much to Duck's delight! He'd sell Stripy into slavery for twenty shekels of silver if he could!


  1. Please don't let Duck sell snake! I love snake, he is fabulous. I think the rainbow stripes work well on the long, continuous shape - he is quite delightful.

    Please thank H for reminding me of the word "derpy" - I have not heard anyone called a "derp" or "derpy" since school and had forgotten about it! x

  2. I am scared of snakes, but this one is SO CUTE! And I love the colors you chose for it. The blanket is fabulous too.
    Ana BC

  3. I love your snake! He's much friendlier looking than the ones I've encountered lately. Who knows? Maybe he and Duck will eventually make friends.

  4. I like his mouth the best - looks like he's puckering up for a kiss (if anyone brave enough can be found).

  5. I think he is a very cheerful and colourful addition to your home, despite his expression (which looks fine to me).
    Best wishes

  6. I love your snake too,well done ,he looks very cheerful in those lovely

  7. This is such a fab post. I really want to make one!!! Xxx Kate Xxx

  8. Elizabeth, I love your blog, you make a few of my favourite things: crochet, sewing... Thanks for sharing.
    My best wishes!!!

  9. Never heard of 'derpy' - cool, a new word...... I love your colour graduations in this. He is rather dudey isn't he? Well done. x

  10. Oh I love him Elizabeth. He's so cute and slippery looking! I love how you have worked the colours together, you are a very clever lady. I have never used Rico Creative Cotton and I was wondering what it is like. My friend is having a baby in October and I'd like to make her something, either a blanket or a crocheted bear.. so do you think that yarn would be nice and soft for a baby? I don't know the gender so I'm gonna find it tricky to pick colours but I think your rainbow colours are wonderful! So if you don't mind bothering you some more would you be able to tell me the colours you have used? The internet is a hard place to buy yarn from as you can't see and feel the yarn.

    Oh and thanks for the introduction of a new word into my vocabulary, I had never heard the word derpy before! But I don't think Stripy looks derpy, he looks a cool character to me and Duck will just have to get used to him being around.

    Loving your work and your posts as always!

    Helen xx

    1. The Rico Creative Cotton is perfect for baby blankets - beautifully soft and it also washes easily. I made a ripple one last year - there's a pic of it in my banner. I haven't got any more pics as it's gone to South Africa! I will look out the exact names of the colours I used and email them to you. Some of them, unfortunately are no longer available which is a nuisance but most of them are still current I think. I know exactly what you mean about Internet yarn shopping - it's wonderful and so convenient but there are times when one really does need to see and feel the stuff in the hand as it were. I find sites vary quite a bit with the trueness of the on-screen colour swatches as well so unless you know how it translates in the yarn it can be difficult to assess whether a particular colour is any good for what one wants or not. I'll need to look out the list of colours but will get back to you in the next day or so. I have some superfluous duplicates of some colours owing to getting myself in a twizzle over what I'd ordered last year so if you're interested I can let you have a few balls to get started and see what you think. I'll have a look in the black hole that is my stash under the bed!! E x

  11. Love your snake and the blanket

    Susan :-)

  12. Thank you all so very much for your kind comments on Stripy. He (or rather I) felt a bit bashful about his appearance but you've made him (or rather me) feel he's OK which is lovely of you. Have a nice weekend everyone! x E

  13. Love it! I made two snakes last Christmas for my four year old twin nephews....they were a bit the same (as seems to be the prescription for their pressies) but to be honest I didn't follow a pattern or write it down (why do I always do that!) and when I came unstuck, I decided on different colour stripes so it wasn't so obvious.....but I so enjoyed making them, in fact, yours makes me want to ake another!

  14. Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog Elizabeth, never apologise for a lengthy comment - comments are great, particularly when they are as well thought out as yours. Your relationship with your son is a bit of a ray of hope for me - I have read bits and pieces about this on your blog before, and felt warmed by it. I love having just one child although it is quite terrifying to face that one child growing up. Deep breaths, and onwards.....x

  15. Elizabeth! What an awesome post!!! As if snakey isn't enough on his own, your delightful references to Joseph, evil brothers, Egypt and the shekels...oh, yeah. Perfect! Just perfect! And, the right amount of words for it.
    Love, love, love this post. You are so clever! Thanks for sharing AND entertaining us!


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