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Yarncrafting Costumes: Knitted Light-Up Wings

When our Marketing Team asked me to turn myself into a yarn hero, I was so excited for the opportunity to create a whimsical super hero costume with wings! I decided to become a “moon fairy," whose superpower is bringing light to the dark places.

gali wings 1

In plotting the costume, the moon crown I knitted last year was the perfect choice for headwear. Always happy to re-use a costume piece!

Knitting Wings

Next up, I wanted to design wings. For an ethereal look, I chose to work with LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel in Azalea. Knitting the fine yarn on larger-gauge needles created a lacy, airy fabric using just simple garter stitch.

For inspiration, I looked at photos of butterfly wings and sketched out the wing shape. Each of the two wings would be composed of two separate wing pieces, with a long tail on the lower pieces. I drafted a rough pattern and wrote down the details as I knitted. These notes were especially important since I wanted to create matching wings!

Constructing

Construction presented an interesting challenge. How would the lacy, floaty knitted fabric hold its shape? Armature wire to the rescue! Often used in sculpture, this wire is soft enough to manipulate by hand, while sturdy enough to hold its shape. After knitting each wing panel, I threaded armature wire around the perimeter of the panel and bent it in to the desired shape. I used the long ends of the armature wire to connect the panels to each other.

Now, how would I attach the wings to my body? For a comfortable way to wear the wings on my shoulders, I made straps out of silvery grey elastic. These straps were then sewn to a matching shade of felt, to blend in with the wire frame of the wings. I added a felt sandwich to the wings using hot glue, thus hiding the messy knot of armature wire where the wing panels all connected.

Pink LED strand lights woven around the perimeter added some extra fairy sparkle. A pocket made of felt held the battery packs for the lights. And so my wings were ready to light up the night!

Check out this short video so you can see them in motion!

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