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Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing a Winged Superhero

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Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing a Winged Superhero

In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she walks us through her design process for a superhero costume party she recently attended. Looking for costume inspiration for conventions or Halloween? Read on!

New York Comic Con is one of the city’s biggest pop culture conventions, dedicated to comics, movies, TV shows, and more. Over 150,000 fans are expected to flock to the NYC Javits Center on October 8-11, 2015, and many of them will be in costume! With this event fast approaching, we would like to share our own take on costuming – which features yarncrafting, of course!

When I’m not in the office assisting Lion Brand’s President/CEO David Blumenthal and writing about our staff’s favorite places to explore in the neighborhood, I like to design whimsical knitted pieces for costume parties. Read on for a peek into my design process and photos of my winged superhero costume!

To begin my design process, I looked first to the costume party’s theme: glow-in-the dark superheroes. I researched images of female superheroes online, and found myself drawn to a figure with wings attached to her headpiece. Once I figured out that my muse was named She-ra Princess of Power, I knew I had found the right inspiration – after all, I already know one fabulous Shira, our very own Brand Ambassador! Why not design something inspired by another? The wings on She-ra’s headpiece were my jumping-off point.

Next I chose the yarn. The “glow” element meant there would be lots of blacklights at this costume party, and so I brought a blacklight flashlight to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to test out the yarns. Most whites and neon colors were UV-reactive. I chose Vanna’s Glamour in Diamond – the sparkle adds the perfect touch of glitz to any costume!

I started knitting the wings on a US 2 needle, and soon realized that my deadline was approaching far too fast for comfort to be working at such a fine gauge. Especially since I was designing these on the fly, I wanted to leave plenty of time to mess up and reknit! I ripped out my work and held three strands of the yarn together instead, working on a US 8 needle.

Over the course of a week I knit the first wing, taking notes along the way. Those notes then became my pattern for knitting the second wing. I embroidered lines onto the wings using Unique® in Circus.

Once the wings were stitched, I had to figure out how to keep them upright on my head. At nine inches tall, this was no small feat! First I tried pipe cleaners and jewelry wire, but these weren’t sturdy enough for the task. A piece of cardboard did the trick. I traced the wings onto a rigid mailer, drew an outline about an inch smaller all around, and cut out a template to insert into the wings. I then stitched the seam closed to keep the cardboard securely in place.

A white headband wrapped in more Vanna’s Glamour served as the base for my headpiece. I stitched the wings to the headband tightly.

Next time I wear these wings (and yes, there will be a next time!), I’ll add a length of fishing line to connect the tops of the wings to each other. I think this extra brace will help prevent the wings from flopping sideways, and will give my head more freedom of motion.

For the rest of my costume, I took the trusty UV flashlight to my closet and costume box and chose the items that shone brightest. I added a string of lights to my hair for even more glow. Here’s the finished ensemble!

Have you ever knitted or crocheted something for a costume? Tell us all about it in the comments, we’d love to hear!

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  • I made a stole for a twenties era party. I made it with lion brand moonlight mohair. I found an antique pin that went beautifully. Sorry i don’t have a better pic. I’m second one on the left.

  • I crocheted a hooded vest and mitts one year for a demon costume, and a collared capelet another year for a witch costume.

  • I once crocheted an ankle length tail for a cat costume, complete with long strands of black yarn to make it fluffy. I used the basic “bookworm” pattern, added full length fringe, and attached it to a tie belt.

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