Sunday, August 7, 2011

Great Glowing Fireflies, Knitters!

Here is one of my favorite bugs of the summer: the firefly!

The back:

I had been mulling over this idea for some time, wondering how I would do it. I looked at photos of fireflies, chased a few and caught them to study them. I learned that there are several varieties around the world, some famous for their synchronized display! While they are complex little creatures indeed, I decided to keep it simple and made the following drawing as a guide for what I would knit:

To make the body: Using Red Heart Cherry Red and Black yarn, and the pink straight loom, starting with a drawstring cast on I knit 9 rows of 1 over 1 stockinette stitches on 14 pegs (including loom clip and corner peg). For the black yarn, I knit 24 rows. The white yarn I knit 14 rows (more details on the white yarn later). The white yarn was a thinner gauge than the Red Heart, so I had to double strand it. The body measures 12".

For the wings I used the Red Heart Black yarn and Caron Simply Soft Bone yarn, knitting a flat panel 1 over 1 stockinette stitch on 6 pegs for 33 rows. Then, by switching to all Bone yarn and moving the yarn from the outer pegs to the inner pegs 1 row at a time, I made the tapered end of the wing. Each wing measures 7.5 inches. I knew I didn't want to knit the wings so long that they covered the white yarn completely, so that's why they are a little short.

For the eyes I simply sewed the yarn 3 times over and underneath one stitch on the head., and knotted the black yarn on the inside of the head.

Fireflies are more flat than round, so instead of regular batting I cut 2 pieces of foam batting and stuffed them inside. After that I cinched the firefly's head shut.

The antennae and legs are simply braided bits of black yarn that I sewed on in the appropriate places. And I also sewed the wings on at the top under the head, and all the way down his back until I reached the white yarn, where I wanted the wings to flap freely a little bit. And voila! It's done! Here's a closeup of the bottom part of the firefly:

Oh, I almost "forgot"... it wouldn't be a firefly if it didn't GLOW!!!

The "white" yarn is actually Bernat Glow in the Dark Glow White yarn! You place it under a light for 5 minutes, and it will glow for 5 minutes in the dark! Imagine having a few fireflies hanging in your child's room! Perhaps it would be just enough of a distraction to keep him/her in bed after you turn the lights off at bedtime!


  1. This is fantastic! I am going to make several for my older kids for a fun Christmas stocking stuffer!!! Thank you for sharing and for your amazing creativity!!!

  2. I love it! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. I used to sit outside in my backyard when I lived in Wisconsin and watch them on summer nights (and then left when the mosquitoes started attacking!). That glow in the dark yarn was such a great idea...I may have to make one of those when my daughters are a bit older.

  4. Great idea. The glow in the dark yarn will be a hit also.

  5. Can I share your pattern on my blog? I'll credit you for sure!

  6. Thanks everyone! Sure Linda! Send me a link to your blog too!

  7. I love the fireflies Greg!! I will have to make some of these. So cute!

  8. I need to by a scarf with fireflite for a student photo shoot I am doing ASAP. Please contact me: Thank you!