Crochet designer Caitlin Sainio is the first of our guest bloggers that I don't know personally. When her publicist contacted me about her though, I knew she was the perfect artist to feature this month! I love the idea of a wintery session of snowflake crocheting, and Caitlin's new book is jam-packed with beautiful patterns so we can "make our own snowdrifts". To get you started, she's been kind enough to share one of her book's patterns for free here on this blog. Read her post, crochet her snowflakes, be merry! -- Vickie
The holiday season is here, and there's no better way to get in the spirit than by filling your tree and your home with lacey crochet snowflakes. This is especially true if your holidays – like mine – tend toward the noisy and hectic: crocheting is a restful break, and even a free half-hour is time enough to finish a snowflake or two. Hang your finished pieces as ornaments, use them to decorate cards or embellish clothing, give them as gifts... the uses are endless, and so are the excuses to make more. The pattern below is from my new book, 100 Snowflakes to Crochet: Make Your Own Snowdrift – to Give or to Keep (St. Martin's Press). Whether you use this pattern over and over, or make all hundred in the book, I hope that these snowflakes will be a beautiful addition to your holidays.
by Caitlin Sainio
Finished diameter: 3-3/4 inches (95 mm)
Bernat Handicrafter Crochet Thread (7 yards / 6.4 m)
US size 5 / 1.90 mm crochet hook (or similar)
Heavy starch or fabric stiffener
Blocking board (if you don't have a blocking board, you can use these instructions to make one, or check out this post for makeshift blocking tips.)
Rnd = Round
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
Foundation ring: ch 6; join with sl st in first ch.
Rnd 1: ch 1 (counts as first sc). 11 sc in ring; join with sl st in initial ch 1.
Rnd 2: ch 5 (counts as tr). *ch 2. tr in next sc. Repeat from * 10 times. ch 2. Join with sl st in 5th ch of initial ch 5.
Rnd 3: sl st in ch 2 space. ch 1 (counts as sc). 2 sc in same ch 2 space. *[2 sc, ch 2, 2 sc] in next ch 2 space.** 3 sc in next ch 2 space. Repeat from * 4 times, and from * to ** once more. Join with sl st in initial ch 1.
Rnd 4: sl st in 1 sc. ch 1 (counts as sc). *ch 4. dc in next ch 2 point. ch 7, and sl st in 6th ch from hook to form picot. ch 8, and sl st in 4th ch from hook. ch 3, and sl st in 1st ch of ch 8. ch 6, and sl st in 6th ch from hook. sl st in 1st ch of ch 7. dc in same ch 2 point as last dc. ch 4.** Skip 3 sc, and sc in 1 sc (halfway between points). Repeat from * 4 times, and from * to ** once more. Join with sl st in initial ch 1. Finish off; weave in ends.
Blocking: Soak the snowflake with the starch or stiffener of your choice, lay it out on the blocking board, and press it to shape, so that it's straight and symmetrical. Secure it with straight pins, and allow it to dry completely before removing it.
Bio: Caitlin Sainio originally trained as a mechanical engineer, and has combined her interest in engineering with her lifelong love of thread crochet to become a freelance crochet designer. 100 Snowflakes to Crochet is her first book.