I’ll be visiting the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, in London, next week. As well as craft exhibitors selling everything that you could ever possibly want to buy, there will be workshops, talks, clinics and demos. One of my favourite parts of the show is the exhibition, which always features the most fantastic inspirational textile artists. I always come away from the show with my head full of ideas and a much depleted bank balance!
This year, for the first time, I’ve entered the show’s competition. Crafters have been invited to submit creatures, or their homes, for an enchanted wood. I decided quite early on that I would make a fairy but I couldn’t find any patterns that I liked so I put the project on the back burner. After quite a bit of pondering, and several hours on Pinterest, I found a few different patterns that I liked for particular elements of the doll. I mixed them all together and came up with Rose the flower fairy.
The body and shoes came from a By Hook, By Hand pattern. This was such a lovely easy pattern to follow.
I wanted my fairy to have a smaller head than the one in the instructions so I altered this. I knew that I wanted her to have wavy hair and loved the effect of unraveling the wool strands. I probably used a bit too much wool for her hair, which has made it very thick, but once I’d cut in to it, it looked better. However when she was finished I thought she looked better with her hair tied back.
The face. Oh, that face. Several hours were spent on this – I just couldn’t get it right. I crocheted eyes, I embroidered eyes, I beaded eyes, I French knotted eyes. Each time, Rose stared back at me looking like she might have inhaled a bit too much fairy dust. At one point she had eyebrows but these made her look really surprised so they had to go. I struggled with the mouth too. She started off with deep pink lips, then pale pink lips but, as you can see, ended up with red lips. The face was by far the hardest bit to get right but I’m reasonably happy with it now.
The wings were a bit tricky too. They came from an oak leaf pattern. I really wanted them to be firm so I tried starching them, but this didn’t work. I tried putting hairspray on them, but this still didn’t work. I ended up remaking them with a smaller hook and just left them as they were. The basket came from an adapted CraftSanity pattern.
I more or less made up the rest of her as I went along. Her dress was constructed from different sized leaf shapes stitched on to a bodice. She even has a pair of pink knickers on too!
I hope my little lady sprinkles some magic fairy dust on London.