Recently in Fairy Wings Category

Finished Fairy Wings, Revisited

Not only was my "finished object" post for the Fairy Wings missing functional comments, but I did receive messages from people that they thought it was missing a child as well.  I couldn't agree more with that last statement, but when I finished them, I didn't have a child who could model them for me (Ms. Z would not have sat still for it and they would have been hopelessly large for her anyway), but I didn't want to put them on any child until the special recipient had a chance to take them for their first flight.

The weekend of th 4th brought the long awaited birthday party and the wings got to meet the little girl who would wear them.  My very sweet little niece is definitely a girly girl.  Princesses, pink and dress up form a very central part of her play time right now.   I wanted her to have a handmade gift that fit in with the things that matter to her, which is why I decided to make the wings and why I selected the colors I did. 

The funny thing about this project is that I was actually quite nervous about how she would like them.  She's got a definite sense of style and taste all her own and she's not afraid to let people know when things don't quite fit in with that (which I think is perfectly delightful -- children should always be encouraged to have their own opinions!) and when we wrapped up the box with the wings in it, I was hoping, but not absolutely sure that she would like them.

From what I could tell when she opened them, they went over well.  But there's nothing quite as heartwarming as seeing a child play with something you created for them.

20080712_OInWings.jpgNow that I have a child of my own, I am discovering how children bring a special excitement to simple things.  They can believe in magic.  A knitted gift can give them flight.

20080712_OTakingOff.jpgOne of my favorite movies ever is Toy Story.  A toy is given a special life when a child loves it.

20080712_OInFlight.jpgI think my niece has given these wings some of that life,  and they have most certainly taken flight.

Thank you to my sister- and brother-in-law for not only taking these pictures, but letting me share them here on my blog. And thank you to the most lovely Miss O for being such a beautiful model.  May these wings help you fly wherever your dreams take you.

Finished Fairy Wings


With my niece's 5th birthday party only a weekend away, it was clear that I needed to finish her wings.

I'd been procrastinating on this project since I thought the sewing up part of it was going to be fussy and take a long time.  As it turns out, for those of you who do not measure the amount of crafting time you have by the number of naps between now and an event, a single afternoon would likely sufficient for most people, assuming all of the ties were crocheted and the wings were completed.

20080629_FairyWingCenter.jpgIn order to create a more ruffly wing-like appearance from those rather rectangular pieces of lace, the pattern uses a crochet technique to gather in the wings and to create a nice edge for seaming.  Then the center band is sewn down over the top.  The loop at the bottom of the center band is meant to hold the ties that go over the shoulders and help keep the wings snugly in place.

20080629_FairyWingTopAttach.jpgSewing the shoulder ties down required some careful stitching so as not to make them obvious on the visible side of the garment and also to make them tough enough to withstand being used as a child's plaything.   I think that is the hardest thing about finishing this project.  Children are hard on toys, especially toys they love, and I didn't want the ties to become detatched easily.   I am a little concerned that this edge may still be fragile,  but the nice thing about the  Crystal Palace Kid Merino is that, just like Kidsilk Haze, the yarn has a nylon core thread, which gives it a little more durability.

20080629_FairyWingWristLoop.jpgRather than weave in the ends after I sewed the wrist loops onto the wings, I secured them, trimmed them and then tied them in a bow. This both obscures the less than beautiful edge of the loop and provides for some extra little fairy gold to flutter in the breeze.

These wings spent a lot of time trying to flutter while I was taking the picture.  Now all they need is a little girl to believe in their magic so they can transport her into a land of make-believe.

Pattern Details

Pattern: Fairy Wings from Boho Baby Knits
Yarn: Crystal Palace Kid Merino and Deco Stardust

Were I to do this pattern again, I would make one change for certain:  ! would just stick to one color (probably the variegated colorway).  I got tired of messing around with having two balls of fuzzy yarn that wanted to be best friends as I worked on the wings.  I don't think it would take away from the project at all if only a single colorway were used.

I would also probably try to find a lighter weight and smoother gold tape yarn.  The Deco Stardust is pretty and shiny, but I think it's a little heavy for the role it was chosen for and just a little scratchier than I would want it to be when knit up.  My only hesitation in changing the yarn would be that it's also pretty tough stuff and I do think durability is important for the pieces that are going to hold the wings to the child when the wings are being played with.

This project made my husband smile when I "tried them on" to show him how they would work for our niece.  When I ran around a little bit with them (yes, that is an image I will spare you of) he told me they fluttered nicely and that he thought they did really look like wings. 

Winging It

All the knitting, all the crocheting, it is now complete.  The last bit of work on the wings involves using a crochet edge to "gather" in the wings and create a ruffled look. 

At this point, it's all assembly.  The wings have to be seamed together and the pieces that are used to hold the wings on a child need to be affixed.  This is one of those projects that turn out to be a lot more effort than you expect when it comes to getting all the finishing done.   Hopefully the nice long weekend ahead of us here in the U.S. will give me time to get this one wrapped up.  I'm excited about giving it as a gift, but I am really looking forward to working on something for myself.  I have this incredible desire to knit socks.  And there is much quilting to be done.  And there is so little time in my life for anything extra right now since when Ms. Z is awake she is in "danger baby" mode and crafting of any kind is almost impossible.

Fairy Wings and Golden Strings


With persistence comes results.  The second wing came along much faster than the first, mostly in part to the use of stitch markers to mark the lace units.  Why this didn't occur to me for the first wing, I don't know.  It certainly improved my experience working on the second one. 

20080512_FairyWingsDetail.jpgIt's very simple lace and the variegated yarn helps to give it depth and texture.  I think if I were to do this project again, I would save myself the trouble of carrying an extra yarn up the side and just pick a multi-colored yarn that I liked or a solid that had some sparkle to it.  It wouldn't change the yarn requirements (I used most of both balls that I purchased), but it would make things a little less fiddly.  Normally working with two different colors wouldn't be all that bad, but this "kid merino" yarn is very attracted to itself and other yarns like it and towards the end I got a little tired of fighting that tendency.

All that remains now is the crochet ties.  These are made out of a perforated gold metallic ribbon yarn -- a perfect accent to the wings.  All the crochet is simple, so you don't have to be a crochet goddess to make them happen.  I've finished the first very long tie that is used to secure the wings to the child, and now I have the wrist loops and back piece to finish up.

Since these are birthday present for an early June birthday, I'm being very monogamous with this project.  Adults can cope with a special handmade project being a little late, but 5 year olds seem very sensitive to not having things show up on special birthday date. 

Fairy Wing Flies Off the Needles

The first fairy wing is done.  They aren't so bad when you don't have to repeat too many rows more than once.  I kept getting distracted and found myself having to tink back more than I would like to admit, so, at the end, I found that I was most successful sitting in the silence focusing on nothing but the knitting. 

It's very meditative... Knit one knit two yarn over knit two together knit one knit two knit three slip slip knit yarn over knit one knit two.  When I focused on the knitting and blocked everything else out, I got into this wonderful groove, relaxed and forgot about some of the things that I didn't really want to think about but couldn't keep my mind away from.  Product knitter than I am, its rare that I am able to put aside my desire to reach the goal and just focus on the simplicity of looping loops through other loops. 

What Fairy Wings Are Made Of

The older sister of the quilt recipient turns 5 in June.  She is definitely on the path of being a really girly girl.  She loves playing dress-up, Disney princesses and is a big fan of the color pink.  I didn't know how to quilt when she was born and I was rather adamantly against making baby knits for anyone.  Her arrival into this world was greeted with the standard Polish baby present: money.  I'm so excited about giving the new baby (a girl, by the way) the quilt, but, at the same time, I feel bad that I've never made anything for her older sisters. 

So I've been trying to figure out what would be good gifts for both of them.  Quilts are out since I've already got another baby quilt to make for the summer.  So I've been trying to find knitting projects that might work.  My mom bought a copy of Boho Baby Knits and I liked it so much I went out and bought a copy of my own.  And the project that really grabbed my attention in that book, looks like the perfect gift for my oldest neice: The Woodland Fairy Wings
Since my niece loves pink, I opted for the aptly named "Strawberry Soda" color of Kid Merino as the solid color in the wing and Strawberries and Limes for the variegated color.  Although it doesn't look it in the picture, the variegated color way has touches of the exact same color pink as the Strawberry Soda, so I think they will play well together in the wings.  (The gold ribbon yarn makes up the loops that hold the wings in place on the body).

I'm hoping that the fact that the wings are done on Size 10.5 needles and the ribbon yarn portions are done with crochet will mean that this will knit up quickly.  I had brief reservations about a relatively unwashable yarn in a gift for a child, but when I thought about how lovely and airy the final product would be and how much even I would have loved such a dress up toy when I was a little girl, I decided that sometimes it's better not to be practical about everything.

Now if only I could find the right thing for my second oldest neice -- she's almost three and is a big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine and likes to help her dad out when he fixes things.  Something tells me that fairy wings aren't really going to be up her alley!