In 2015 I will attend my first comic book convention. I and a group of my friends have been planning this for almost four years now; it will happen. Still, with my normal inability to make a choice…I only finalized my costume choice, you know, three weeks ago. Brilliant, right?
I love, love, love How to Train Your Dragon. And the sequel. And the tv show. So I don’t know why the thought of going as a Rider didn’t occur to me in the first place. Not as a main character, though, but as a character of my own design. You following me so far?
I don’t want to flesh out an actual character or a full storyline– it’s not something I’m going to stick with in the future– but I wanted a design that makes sense, so I started by choosing my dragon and decided to design the personality and background of the character (and thus the costume design) based on the dragon she chose to ride. So I chose the Skrill— a hard-to-train dragon that happens to love to eat mutton. That last part is the important part, and the part that started the whole idea for the costume. See, if their favorite food is mutton, then perhaps they would be drawn to a herd of sheep. And perhaps the shepherdess of that herd of hardy viking sheep would get a little creative, and rather than kill the dragon terrorizing her herd (as Berk is rather against that by this point), perhaps she traps this dragon (I’m thinking something involving a cave or pit). And perhaps while deciding what, exactly, to do with this dragon, she feeds it, and takes care of it, and, slowly, trains it. That’s my story, anyways.
So what would a viking shepherdess who happens to ride a dragon look like?
Very brown. Although most of the sheep shown in the show and movies are white, authentic Viking sheep would be more likely to be brown.
I decided on crocheting the cloak and the boots– I’m basing the boots on this pattern, and the cloak on this pattern. I bought a brown sweater dress, a belt, a leather shoulder bag, and brown pants (various shades). That leaves me with the fun part– spinning the yarn and crocheting the focal parts of my garments. What olden-day shepherd wouldn’t wear a lot of wool?
So next, of course, came the hours upon hours upon hours agonizing over what wool I was going to buy. I did, eventually, come to a decision. Shetland sheep are descended from Viking sheep, and they were the softest (and most affordable) option, so I focused on that.
For the boots I’m using various shades of brown, hardy double-coated Shetland, plus a small bit of gray-brown Icelandic for some color interest at the top. I’m going to spin them as a thick single and hope the full a bit as I wear them 🙂 And I’m going to sew on leather soles…
For the cloak I have two pounds of grey-brown roving, 1/2 pound of brown roving, and about a pound of roving-ish (I bought a washed fleece from a sheep named Moni, which I then combed and pulled into nests). So lots of tones, and all of it is soft enough for me to stand wearing it on my skin.
The left is the wool for the cloak; the right is for the boots.
So that’s the ginourmous project I’m undertaking 🙂 Hopefully I’ll finish in time!