Thursday, November 1, 2007

8 hour Tinkerbell Costume

DH was supposed to be making a Butterfly costume for my daughter this year, so I was resting easy thinking I was off the hook for Hallowe'en! Woo hoo!

But things kept getting put off. Which worried me. 2 days before Hallowe'en, I brought home a pair of white wings I'd found at the thrift store for $2 -- thinking DH could use them to build the costume instead of starting from scratch with the straight wires he bought. Just to save time, since it was getting so close. But he rejected this idea, (with no little scorn,) and DD saw the wings and declared them fairy wings and started wearing them.

1 day before Hallowe'en, DH started work on the costume and it became clear after hours of his labor that it wasn't going to work out the way he had intended. The wire turned the fabric into a tangled mess and trying to repair it became hopeless.

Luckily, we still had the fairy wings and DD was content to be a fairy. But she wanted to be Tinkerbell. What to do??

Last month, she and I had Kool-Aid dyed some Aran weight merino green so that I could knit a mermaid tail for her. This was no longer necessary because a friend of ours has offered to sew her a tail (for Christmas,) and we accepted.

So I grabbed the green yarn and started knitting.

The first pass of points I knit 4 of and didn't like them. They were beaded and they had yarnovers in them and they were far too fussy. So I ripped them out and started over with plain stockinette points with no beads.

I worked until 2AM and got up to where I thought the waist should be. I started doing ribbing in the back because I was hoping it could be strapless just like Tinkerbell's.

The next day I was still struggling to get the dress to stay up on its own (which, had I only known, was pointless,) and I went down 3 needle sizes in the back with the ribbing. I did some short rows in the back to compensate for the change of height in the fabric (which was silly of me.) Did a few little short rows at the bust to give it a little sweetheart shape, which I liked.

Between the ribbing and my struggling with changing needle sizes and increasing and decreasing the # of stitches trying to find a way to get it to stay up... and of course feeding and entertaining my daughter all day... it took the whole day to finish the dress! But I did an i-cord bind off all the way around and then went off to find little bells to sew onto the bottom of the dress.

As I should have realized, the dress would not stay up. I forgot to factor in 3 year old wiggling!! So, I crocheted a cord to fasten it up around the neck, halter-style. Which made me regret that I didn't just do the whole thing in stockinette. It would have been much faster and the ribbing is bulky.

But she can't see the ribbing and she doesn't care and she LOVED wearing the dress on Hallowe'en! She shook her bottom so the bells would jingle and told us that "that is how Tinkerbell says 'trick or treat.' " She'd march up to people at their door and stand there and shake her booty. It was pretty cute (and often scored her gales of laughter and an extra piece of chocolate goodness!)


Pattern -- totally improvised. Basically 8 triangles all joined together and knit stockinette in a tube, decreasing as necessary up to the bustline. (There was ribbing, but it shouldn't have been done so why talk about it?) Short rows at the bust to make a small heart. Crocheted thread around the neck. Bells on the bottom points. C'est la!

Needles -- Sizes 9, 8, 7, 6. Next time I'd do it all on size 9s.

Yarn -- Recycled (reclaimed, really) 100% Aran weight Merino. Dyed green with Kool Aid.


Devon said...

Holy super speedy knitting Batman!

You are officially, the Best Halloween Mom Ever.

You inspire me.

Any time you start to feel guilty, just remember this. It is amazing!

rachel said...

Love it! She's adorable!

Laura said...

Great job! I bet she was a vision of happiness. :)

lara said...

Super cute!!! I am totally impressed with the quick crafting. and how did I not realize you have a knitting blog???