Introduction: Crocheted Fairy Wings
Last year for Gen Con when Mr. Fruppi wanted to dress up as Captain America, he convinced me that I should dress up too. After giving a lot of thought as to what on earth I could wear, I finally came up with the idea for these wings. I eventually made a whole fairy outfit, but the wings are definitely the best part. Read on to learn how I did it!
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn in olive
Small amounts of yarn in whatever other colors you might have handy
Size I (5.5 mm) crochet hook
2 wire hangers
Tape to hold them together (I used electrical tape) A more advanced crafter might join the wire in a more sophisticated way. (Soldering? I've never done it!)
Pliers (because some of us lack the hand strength to effectively bend wire hangers)
A yarn needle
Scissors (I have one pair here for cutting my electric tape and one fancy and more portable pair for my yarn)
A sketch of what you want your wings to look like
Step 2: Taming Your Wire Hanger
Start by untwisting the join. Then use your pliers to bend that sucker into shape. I managed to put the corner of the hanger where the corner of the wing needed to be. Where I joined parts together, I used electrical tape to hold it in place. A more sophisticated crafter should feel free to join the wire together in any way that is plausible. The electrical tape was a tad difficult to cover with crochet later, so any way you could come up with to make the joins a little smoother would probably be pretty cool.
Size could, of course, be adjusted for the wearer. These wings are made from one coat hanger each and looked pretty proportionate on me...but I'm 5'0" so if you're any taller, you may want to adjust the number of coat hangers used. Smaller or partial wire hangers might be more suitable for anyone shorter than me.
Step 3: Covering the Wire Frame
Choose a spot on the frame and join your yarn. I believe I just tied the yarn onto the frame with an overhand knot. From there, single crochet around the frame. I tried to get fancy with the corner and did a half double crochet, then a double, then a triple on top of which I put a picot, then a double, half double and back to single crochets again. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing that because the crochet will naturally want to twist around as the wings move (especially once you start attaching the insides) and I didn't feel it was really worth the effort.
Cover all the wire that's showing with single crochets. I can't give you an exact number of scs, just cover both wings.
Step 4: Filling in the Wings
This part is the most difficult, but the most rewarding. I would strongly encourage creativity and improvisation here, but again, a sketch helps a lot. I'm a huge fan of the swirl motif, so that's the treatment my wings got. I'm sure the wings would look equally cool with other motifs. For instance, if you're not me (a minor arachnophobe), perhaps a spider web would look cool.
My first step was to join the yarn into one of the single crochets around the frame. I made a very long chain, holding the yarn in place to simulate the swirl as I went. Again, I can't tell you exact numbers, but just make it look cool! When I decided the chain was long enough, I went back and put one double crochet in each chain. Once that was done, I made a series of short chains to hold the big swirl in place. Again, numbers will vary according to your needs. I joined each chain onto my line of double crochets as I felt was appropriate, then chained a small number to hold the swirl where I thought it ought to go, then ended off and used the tail to sew that chain to the single crochets around the frame.
Each subsequent swirl was made in the same fashion. Where one swirl joined another, I just started the chain for the swirl in what I deemed was the appropriate place in the previous swirl.
I suck at Photoshop, so the picture here was done in MS Paint. I approximated my stitches with symbols here to help explain what's happening. The numbers aren't accurate. To find my symbols (and to help you if you're not familiar with them) I used THIS website.
Step 5: Harness
This part could use some improvement, so if you have better ideas, please let me know! I'm going to give you instructions that are different than what I did, because my idea did not turn out as well as I hoped. I'm going to recommend chaining 15 or so, then triple (or treble) crocheting into each chain. Use a turning chain and crochet rows of triple (or treble) crochets until your piece is tall enough to lie between your wings. Sew this strip onto the straight sides of each of your wings. To make straps for the thing, chain 8 or so, then triple (or treble) crochet in each chain, and make rows of triples (or trebles) until you have a respectable-looking strap. Make two of these, then attach them to the top of the strip running between your wings. You will use these to tie your wings on backpack-style. I would recommending looping your straps through one of the gaps in the bottom of your wings, then tying them at the back. Not the most elegant of solutions, but they'll stay on.
Step 6: Optional: Finishing Touches
You don't need to do this step. You can call it quits after making the harness (and you might want to!). I, however, wanted to be a flower fairy...and a flower fairy with no flowers is pretty lame. For my flower pattern, I went with my absolute favorite flower pattern in the world, found HERE. I use it almost any time I need flowers for something and I totally have it memorized now. I made a bunch of these flowers because I wanted some for my wings, some to put on my outfit, and some for a headband. I made all of my centers chocolate brown (for uniformity) and used whatever yarn I had around to make them colorful. When I finished them, I sewed them on both sides of the wings (so they would look pretty from the front AND the back!) and voila! You're finally done! Enjoy frolicking and spreading mischief throughout the world (or whatever else fairies might do in their free time).