Let it snow?

Happy Augtober! Did you have a great Juvember? If you live anywhere near my part of the world (Toronto) you may be wondering what happened to summer. Cool temperatures and far too much rain have been a cruel plague on us northerners that enjoy such a short summer to begin with. The upside? Great knitting/crochet weather!

No matter what the weather is producing outside, my mind fibre-wise seams to be stuck firmly in December. Last December, at the eleventh hour I thought; "Hey, wouldn't it be nice to crochet up a bunch of snowflake tree ornaments to include in my Christmas cards?". After finding a pattern and dusting of my crochet hooks, I came to the realization that a) my meager crochet skills would not make it through the pattern, b) I wouldn't have enough time to teach myself the new skills and c) who was I kidding, even if I had a p.h.d in crochet and learned to live without sleep there was no way in hell I would be able to make all of those snowflakes before Santa Claus was comin' to town.

Let it snow:

Snowflake_post_starch

Pattern: Flakes - free online pattern!
Yarn: Patons Grace in 62008 'Natural' (I probably should have used the white named 'snow', but it's a long story and not very interesting)

This year, as I seem to be having a love affair with crochet, I thought I'd take another stab at this snowflake business. Funny how six months and a little 'hooking' later, the patterns that had me scratching my head in the past are suddenly crystal clear. I feel like I learned a new language. Well, I suppose I'm not fluent yet:

Snowflake_w_tapemeasure

See that? Six inches! According to the pattern, the finished snowflake should measure approximately three inches. Hmm. Being an 'advanced beginner' crocheter I'm not sure what went wrong here. Am I the loosest crocheter in the west? Was my hook size far too big? I'm going to take another stab at it, but the accidental doily/flake gave me the prime opportunity to experiment with starching. If I wrecked the thing I wasn't going to be heartbroken.

Snowflake_starching

Is anyone else surprised that spray laundry starch is super-easy to find? Maybe it's my generation, but I don't know anyone that starches anything! Heck, just plain ironing is chore enough! The snowflake pattern recommends 'crochet thread stiffener' but seeing as I don't live near a big craft store, and well frankly, I really don't know what 'crochet thread stiffener that is', I figured good old-fashioned starch would do. I did a little research on starching doilies (and yes, as always, by 'research' I mean 'google'), and it appears there are a lot of different ways to go about this. Me? I took the easy route. I covered a scrap of cardboard in plastic wrap and sprayed the be-jeezus out of it with my laundry starch.

Snowflake_starching2

Oh yeah, and pins. Pinning is important! After a couple of coats the snowflake is stiff enough to keep it's shape, though still flexible. I think if it wasn't so ginormous it would be just fine, but the sheer girth of the thing means it wouldn't make a great tree ornament. Well, maybe if it were a giant tree...

Snowflake_post_starch2

I think with a little practice (and some serious down-sizing) my dream of whipping a bunch of these up for holiday cards will come true! Bonus - snowflakes are non-denominational!

-juliaknits

Comments

Very pretty. What a fantastic idea for small (quick?) holiday gifts for co-workers!

I made a couple of these last year! I used that super-thin crochet thread and stiffened it with some random Mod Podge glue-type stuff I had laying around. I find crochet thread kind of a hassle to work with, though - can't seem to grab it with my hook - your snowflake looks sturdier than mine.

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