In the Holiday 2015 edition of the Vogue Knitting KnitNews, we asked readers to submit an original fairy tale based on the designs of Nicky Epstein’s Enchanted Knits for Dolls. You can read the winning stories below. Thank you to everyone who submitted!
Grand Prize Winner: The Flower Fairy’s Tale
By Jada Kowers
Once upon a time, the Floral Fairies’ Academy held a test. The three best students would be awarded an extra set of wings. Four winged fairies are the most admired fairies.
The rules were simple. The fairies had 24 hours to perform acts of kindness, usefulness, and creativity. Using magic, cheating or getting dirty would disqualify any fairy.
The contest started on a cold, windy day. Some of the bigger fairies, who had competed before had back packs or iPads to help them. Many of the younger fairies had no extra help.
The tiniest of the flower fairies was named Farah. When the contest started with: Ready, Set, Fly, Farah was frightened and wished she was flying home instead of competing.
Since Farah had no idea of what to do, the wind blew her about. Soon her hair became tangled with flower fluff. On her way to land and tidy up, Farah saw a chick stuck in the mud. She got muddied and broke her wand rescuing the chick.
Farah was now so bedraggled, the fairy spa didn’t believe any fairy could be so dirty. They refused to let her in! She sat outside the spa and cried while detangling her hair with her broken wand.
After grooming herself as best as she could, Farah picked up a handful of hair fluff. As the fluff rolled around in her hand, it twisted together into string. She gathered up the string and tied it to her wand pieces.
Flying back, the wand seemed wiggly and the string seemed to get wider. Amazingly, upon arriving, the string had turned into a blanket!
The fairies all gathered to hear and tell about their adventures. It was time for the winners announcement.
Fairy #3 brought back fragrant perfume.
Fairy #2 came home with delicious honey.
Fairy #1 returned with a knotted blanket.
Farah couldn’t believe her ears.
“Stop!” Farah cried. “I didn’t make the blanket. My wand did. I can’t lie and cheating isn’t allowed. Besides, I was messy.”
The headmistress held up her hand.
“This is all true, Farah. You did something more important: you saved the chick’s life without thinking about winning. Your broken wand had enough magic left to create something wonderful which reflected the goodness of your heart.”
Everyone started cheering. Soon the fairies were smelling the perfume, tasting the honey and getting two magic wands to knot string into blanket.
In the excitement, the secretary misspelled knotting. That’s how knitting started and why it is always magical.
First Runner-up: The Princess and the Mermaid
By Sarah McFarland
Recently, and quite close by, there lived a golden princess named Ruth. Ruth enjoyed wearing a beautiful gown and a crown, but she really loved two activities: Dancing and reading. You wouldn’t think those hobbies would go together, but Ruth carried a book everywhere. She danced with almost every step she took, and when she got tired, she would rest and read.
One afternoon, Ruth was dancing along the bank of her favorite lake. She paused to study the water, and as she looked down into it, ripples formed around her reflection. She saw her face twist and shimmer until its colors changed. Her hair appeared to lift and float around her head. Her crown sparkled blue instead of gold. She stared at her changing reflection, until she realized it wasn’t a reflection at all. She was looking at another face!
It’s a mermaid, Ruth thought, and she wasn’t afraid, because she had read about mermaids, and wanted to meet one. Ruth had a lot of questions about life underwater.
“My name is Martha,” the mermaid said. “I am a blue princess, and I have a lot of questions about life on the land.”
The girls talked and talked. Ruth walked and Martha swam along the lake’s edge. Ruth showed Martha the book she was reading, about pandas in a forest. Martha showed Ruth the book she was reading. It was written in squid’s ink on light green seaweed pages, and it was about the clown fish in the sea.
Martha showed Ruth how mermaids dance. As she watched Martha twirl and spin, Ruth thought it was beautiful dancing, like flying in slow-motion. When it was Ruth’s turn to dance, Martha thought how wonderful it that Ruth’s feet moved so quickly and she clapped her hands in time to her steps.
That afternoon ended, but it was not the last time Ruth and Martha met. On many days they would find each other at the edge of the lake. They shared stories, and jokes, and snacks, but that was just once, because it turned out that pretzels are not good underwater, and sea crunchies melt away in the air.
Sometimes they would sing together, and learn each other’s songs. Ruth knit Martha a long, long scarf that twirled into a spiral in the water. Martha knit Ruth a blanket that floated like a cloud, but was heavy when Ruth lifted it from the lake. “Just let it dry,” Martha said, and Ruth did, hanging the blanket from a long tree branch. It dried into a light blue blanket of gossamer sea silk, and it was the warmest, lightest blanket Ruth ever had. Sometimes she wore it as a cape over her golden gown and twirled to let it fly out around her. Both princesses learned a lot from their friendship. You don’t need feet to dance, nor fins to swim. You do need one thing to be a good friend, though, and that is a sharing heart.
Second Runner-up: Daisy the Flower Fairy
By Anne Powell
Daisy the Flower Fairy was a little cross.
Her second wand was NOT doing very well at all. All the colors were wrong.
It was Daisy’s job to fly around the world coloring all the flowers and the leaves just before the plants bloomed in springtime. The world is a very big place, with lots of different types of plants. With a wave of her wand, Daisy could color many plants at once. If she had to color each bud and leaf one by one, well! She would never be done.
Daisy’s first wand had been with her for ten years and had just retired. The world is very big and coloring all the flowers and all the leaves used a lot of magic, so Daisy’s wand wore out more quickly than other wands.
Daisy and her first wand had had a wonderful time together and had gotten quicker at it every year. Sometimes Daisy didn’t have to speak, her wand just knew what colors Daisy would want.
Her new wand could not have been more different. She didn’t do what Daisy wanted and the plants were not the colors they should be.
“Wand, why have you made red roses blue? Leaves should be green, you have made them pink. Lavender flowers should be purple, you have made them yellow.
“I am sorry, Daisy” said her wand. “I thought I was doing what you asked.”
Daisy waved her wand again, but the wand made the sunflowers purple. We are not getting anywhere, thought Daisy. “We will go home,” she said. “We are both tired and a rest will do us good.”
Once she was home, Daisy told her mother (Poppy, the previous Flower Fairy) her troubles.
“You must give your wand some time to learn,” her mother said. “You have forgotten, I handed down my Flower Wand to you—she was already trained when you got her. What is your new wand’s problem?
“She’s not sure which colors are which. I ask her to color the red roses and she made them blue. She made the leaves yellow—imagine! What can I do, if she can’t even color the leaves correctly? I can’t do them all by myself.”
“So, your wand knows the colors, just not their names,” her mother said. “That’s easily fixed.”
So Daisy’s mother, Poppy, knitted Daisy a new dress, all the colors of the flowers and leaves—blue, green and lilac on the skirt, dark lavender (color of the lavender flowers) with pink and blue rosebuds. She added a yellow butterfly, the color of daffodils.
“All you have to do is point to the color on your dress,” her mother said. “That way, your wand will know what color you want.”
This worked perfectly, and Poppy and her second wand were soon off around the world, coloring ALL the flowers and ALL the leaves the right colors.
Second Runner-up: The Forest Bride and the Flower Fairy
By Jocelyn Peters
Brynne awoke to golden light filling her small bedroom. The sunlight streamed through the leaves outside, creating a frolicking dance of light and shadow on her opposite wall. As she blinked her eyes and enjoyed the last few moments in her cozy bed, a sweet thought came to Brynne: tonight she would marry her true love. Soon they would be feasting and celebrating in the forest glen with their family and friends. Brynne peered across her room at her filmy silver gown.
Brynne chose to spend her last maiden morning among all of her favorite forest haunts. She arose, dressed, and skipped out to the stable to greet her horse, Philomena. Philomena was a stunning white mare, and Brynne loved to brush her shiny mane.
“Good morning, dear Philomena! Do you know what today is?” Philomena lovingly nudged her mistress’s shoulder. “Tonight I become David’s bride, but this morning we ride.”
Brynne climbed atop the mare, and they set off into the forest. “Let’s visit the pool in the beech wood.” So off Philomena carried her lovely friend. The maiden described all the wonderful things she loved about David, then began recounting the adventures she had shared with Philomena.
As they neared the pool, Brynne was relating one favorite memory from that very beech wood. Suddenly Brynne could see the lilac glow of a flower fairy by the water. A large grumpy toad stood guard nearby. She realized the fairy must be the toad’s prisoner. There was no way she could rescue the captive unseen by the toad, so she decided to free the poor pixie by force.
Brynne climbed down beside the lilac glow, stooped low, and scooped the fairy out of her prison. The toad shouted in protest. Brynne asked why the flower fairy was being held captive.
“She was dismantling my lily pads, my favorite spots to rest on the water,” he growled.
“I was not!” a tinkling voice replied. “I was simply trying to make room for prettier water lilies!”
“Sir toad, why don’t you let this fairy finish her business? She would have prettier flowers, and I’m sure she could make you better lily pads for your enjoyment!”
The disgruntled toad eyed Brynne and then the fairy. “Can you do this?”
The purple flower fairy flew out of Brynne’s hand and swept over the water. As she passed, large beautiful water lilies—with accompanying luxurious pads—sprang from the water.
The new friends left a much happier toad at the pool and headed toward Brynne’s forest cottage so she could prepare for her wedding. After Brynne put on her silver wedding dress, the flower fairy flew circles around her, and a long flowered cloak and crown appeard upon her head and shoulders.
“You look beautiful!” the flower fairy exclaimed. Brynne was delighted with her raiment.
The small happy party glided outside to the glen where the sweet Brynne married her beloved amidst a bower of newly-blossomed flowers.