I just finished this knitted Christmas angel. She actually looks very much like the angel candle I received on my First Communion Day many, many years ago. I'll have to take a photo of the candle to show you, but that's for another day, as the candle is at my parents' house on their mantle.
This felted angel can either be a free-standing, stuffed figure or you could omit the stuffing and the bottom base (which is felted separately) and use her as a Christmas tree-top angel. She was knitted on size US 6 DPN.
I was very unhappy with her hair! I used a sparkle thread and angora blend held together and rooted them individually into her head before felting. She came out with a felted blob! I had to cut it off, but the remaining hair on her head looks o.k. She needed some sort of hair. Not sure. Maybe next time, I'll felt her first, then root in the hair. It will be more difficult in the felted knit, but it may be worth it.
I also used the sparkle thread held together with Lopi lite throughout. I would recommend not to do this. You can't see the sparkle thread at all, anyhow, and it was a real pain to knit with it. It snaps and tangles easily.
The wings and the halo and the bottom of the angel were knitted with one strand of Glitterspun held together with the Lopi lite.
I am also working on a non-felted version, using much smaller needles and one strand of dk-weight yarn.
Knitted/Felted Christmas Angel
Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless
I used one strand of Reynolds Lopi Lite in white (it's kind of off-white, actually) and size US 6 double-pointed needles. You could also use one strand of regular Lopi, if you'd prefer. I think even Cascade wool would do fine. I would hold two strands of Cascade together, though. For the very bottom, you will also need gold Lion Brand Glitterspun yarn. You will cast on holding the Lopi and the Glitterspun together.
Begin by casting on 36 stitches.
Divide among the three DPNs by purling 12 onto each needle.
Knit for two rows more
Cut the gold thread and continue only with the white.
Knit 12 rows more
Start decreases to shape the body:
k2tog, k8, k2tog all around
Knit 2 rows more
k2tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2tog all around
knit 5 rows more
k2 tog, k3, k2tog all around
Knit 1 row more
k2tog, k1, k2 tog
knit 3 rows more
Join whatever face color yarn you'd like to use and cut the white.
increase in each stitch all the way around
Knit 7 rows
k2 tog all the way around.
Gather the remaining stitches onto an embroidery needle and pull a length of yarn through, gathering tightly. Bring your yarn through the top of the head and knot off. (So you won't see the knot)
HAIR: I used one strand of angora blend and one strand of glitter thread, cut about 4" in length and rooted them into her head with a crochet hook. This DID NOT WORK. The hair all felted together into a blog and had to be cut. I suggest waiting until the head is felted, and then you can attach hair at that point. However, if you would like, you could just root some white onto her head before felting and let it felt into her head, giving her just a little hair. I had really wanted long hair that I could pull up, softening around her face. I am going to try this next on my non-felted version.
HALO: Using one strand of Reynold's Lopi Lite Mustard and one strand of Lion Brand Glitterspun in gold, cast on 40 stitches. Leave a long tail. Bind off. I liked the gold strands that were left from the tail, so did not cut them. (I did cut the Lopi, though.) See photo.
WINGS (make two): Using one strand of Lopi Lite in white and one strand in angora blend, if you'd like (although you really don't notice it), and knitting back and forth, cast on 10 stitches.
Knit 5 rows
k2tog to last 2 stitches, then knit these together
k2 tog, k4, k2 tog
knit four rows more
I overstitched the wing sides/edges with gold Glitterspun.
Felt all pieces together in a lingerie bag. See my felting instructions. The angel body felted faster than the head (as they were different yarns), but when the body was felted to my liking, I removed the pieces. The halo didn't really felt very much, as the glitterspun does not felt and there was only one strand of Lopi. You wouldn't really even have to felt this piece, in my opinion. Since it's quick to knit up (only casting on and binding off), you could experiment and do one both ways to see what you like better. It is an advantage to have it thoroughly wet, so that it can be shaped. I did like that about having felted it.
Take the angel out and shape it. Some suggestions for molds while she's drying: a small funnel, a spritz bottle of the right shape, etc. Let it dry.
Place the halo on the head how you'd like it and criss-cross it at the back and tie it, letting the gold strands hang down.
Shape the wings by folding them in half and letting them dry like that, if you like sort of a fluttery look, as opposed to just straight, flat wings. Folding them while they dry gives them a more bent, in-flight look. Stitch them onto the angel body with gold Glitterspun.
Embroider the face, using three strands (or less) for her eyes and one strand for the mouth. I didn't put a nose on because I just didn't like any I tried! I also used one strand of pale yellow (because I didn't have any white, but I think white would be better) and just placed one stitch for inside her eyes. The mouth was stitched with straight stitches, one under the other, varying the length. Another option would be to paint on the face with a very fine paintbrush and acrylic paint.
For the Christmas Tree-Top Angel, do not stuff and do not make a base. Simply let dry on one of the mold ideas, and put on your tree top!
For a stuffed figure, add the following base:
Still using three, size US 6 DPN needles, Cast on 36,
Divide by purling 12 onto each needle. Place stitch marker.
Knit two rows more
Decrease by k2tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k2tog
k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k2
k2tog, k2, k2tog
knit 2tog all the way around
knit 5 rows more
Gather remaining stitches onto an embroidery needle and pull length of yarn through. Knot underneath.
Felt with other pieces.
Stuff the angel using polyester fiberfill. Be sure stuffing fills up head. You may need to use a knitting needle, chopstick or end of wooden spoon to push the stuffing all the way to her head.
Stitch the base onto the bottom, using gold glitterspun.
As always, if you run into anything troubling, please email me. I will figure it out! I hope you enjoy it.