Dino Hat with Tail by Valery of This-n-That Boutique

The Dino Hat with Tail


Standard Crochet Pattern Elements

  1. Is the name of the pattern and a photo prominently displayed at the top of the pattern? Yes
  2. Does the designer assign a difficulty rating to their pattern? No
  3. Is a gauge given and if so, what type of gauge (horizontal/vertical swatch, chain only, sized by a certain number of rounds, swatch of a portion of the pattern)? Yes, circular gauge (first 5 rounds)
  4. Is there an abbreviation key? Yes
  5. Are measurements or a size chart included? Desired circumference of the beanie portion only is given.
  6. Is a hook size given either by letter, number, or both? Yes
  7. Is a recommended yarn listed either by weight, brand, or fiber? Yes
  8. Is there information on how to contact the designer? Yes
  9. Is there a materials list (i.e. ribbon, buttons, etc.) if pattern includes extras? Yes
  10. Is there a photo or written tutorial on special or difficult stitches or techniques? No (no special stitches but you must have knowledge on sewing on parts)
  11. Are there stitch counts at the end of every row or round? Yes
  12. Does the designer signify if the turning chain is counted in your row count? No

Subjective Crochet Pattern Elements

  1. Is the pattern uncluttered, orderly, nicely laid out?  Does the designer give directions on where to find the next step if there is a break between sizes or there are pieces to crochet and sew on?  The pattern is uncluttered, is worked easily in the order given, and is nicely laid out.
  2. Is the font easy to read?  Are stitch counts that are laid out in parenthesis to signify different sizes highlighted in different colors or placed so that they are easy to follow? The font is easy to read and all stitch counts are in parenthesis at the end of each row.  This pattern is for a newborn sized only photography prop so questions pertaining to different sizes are not applicable.
  3. Does the pattern writer have a ‘friendly’ writing style?  Do they add a personal flair?  Does their tone encourage you to seek assistance should you run into a problem? Yes, the pattern designer is very inviting and encourages you to contact her with any questions or comments you may have.
  4. Does my finished item look the same or similar to the designer’s photo? Yes, very similar.
  5. Are there adequate, too many or too few photos showing special stitches, parts placements, etc. and are these photos clear?  Are they labeled with an explanation? There is only one photo of the product included in the pattern.  More photos could have been included on spike placement which would change my rating of this pattern from easy to beginner (more customers for the designer!)  The photo of the finished product that is included is a nice clear professional shot.
  6. Are special instructions such as “do not turn” or “slip stitch into second stitch of your turning chain” included and are they used consistently? This pattern uses the Magic Circle to begin the hat and the spikes and a link to a video tutorial is given.  However, the designer does not give you an alternative way to start your work.
  7. Is the pattern clear and concise, free of run on sentences and unnecessary information? The transition from the tail to the edging of the hat was redundant (telling you to turn your work in the last row of the tail and then again telling you to turn your work in the edging section), there were a few places where punctuation was missing or should have been used, and although there was no unnecessary information, I just felt like some of it could have been condensed down a bit but that may be just a personal preference for brevity.

Verifiable Elements

  • Using and matching the gauge (not the hook size) the designer gave, did the finished piece measure the same or very similar to measurements given? Yes, my beanie section matched the designer’s hat circumference and height.
  • Were typos or misspellings found in the course of working the pattern?  How many? There were no misspellings but there were a few places where punctuation was used incorrectly or was not used at all.  There were not enough errors to make it annoying, even to this Grammar Warrior (I was dubbed with that name a few years ago by a fellow ham radio operator). 
  • Does the designer allow sales of items made from the pattern?  Are there any restrictions? Yes, she does allow sales of your finished products and requests that you link back to her shop.

Pre-Purchase Information

  • Where was pattern purchased (Ravelry, designer’s personal website, Etsy, etc.)?  This pattern is, as of today’s date, unpublished and it was sent to me personally by the designer, who is a fan of my Facebook business page.  She will be offering this pattern for sale in the near future I believe.  Previous to her contacting me requesting a review, I had no affiliation with her other than the fact that she was a fan of my page.
  • In the sales description, does the designer give enough information to help you make an informed buying decision?  (Do they list the sizes they include in the pattern, the hook size, yarn recommendation, difficulty level, etc.?) Not applicable to this pattern as it is not currently published.
  • Is the tone of their advertising friendly and inviting? Not applicable to this pattern as it is not currently published.
  • Do they provide good quality photos of the finished product?Not applicable to this pattern as it is not currently published.


When I was contacted by the very lovely person who wrote this pattern, she stated that her dino hat with tail was one of the best selling items in her shop.  I can see why!  It is adorable!  I think that Ms. Valery Cagney has done a wonderful job on writing her first pattern and I hope that once you all finish reading this blog that you will head on over to her Facebook page and give her some encouragement to get this pattern published for sale to the masses.

There were really very few things that I found that I felt needed a bit of improvement.  The pattern is designed for use as a photographer’s prop and is offered in a newborn size only so that eliminated the need to further organize the pattern into different sizes.  As stated above, I found one section that was a bit confusing because of a redundant instruction but if you are a novice to expert crocheter, this would be a minor error that you would automatically know to overlook.  If that and two other things were fixed in the pattern, I would rate this pattern as a complete beginner’s pattern instead of an easy pattern.  The two issues to be addressed to make this a beginner’s pattern is the need to give an alternative to the Magic Circle method and to add a photo tutorial on sewing on the spikes.  I think that the designer would want to appeal to the complete beginners to boost her sales of the pattern and just imagine the feeling that the crocheter would have completing something this darned cute!

Yes, everyone ‘should’ learn how to use a Magic Circle because honestly, I think it makes the work look neater, but there are those that have a difficult time learning the technique for one reason or another so they are happy enough to just work the correct number of stitches in the beginning chain.

So, I’m not sure how Valery sews her spikes on but I thought you might be interested in seeing how I did mine.  Yes all you diehard crocheters out there, there are some uses for knitting needles which you will discover when you click on my pictures.  Oh, and don’t do what I did and ignore her specific instructions on where to place the spikes – like not in the join between the hat and the tail.  You will end up like me and have to pull out the stitch ripper.  Here are the photos:

Valery, thank you so much for sharing your unpublished pattern with me!  I enjoyed creating this precious little photography prop very much and I will be sending my sample on to my photographer so I can list these  up for sale in my own Etsy shop.

Folks, please give Valery a shout and show her some fan love on her Facebook page over at This-n-That Boutique.  Here’s the link for ya: https://www.facebook.com/Thisnthatboutiquefans

Until next week, get your crochet on!


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