Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last minute gifts...

Snowflakes are my latest endeavor. They are perfect right now, quick and easy projects for instant gratification and much easier to put down when my hand/wrist gets grumpy. I have always loved crocheted snowflakes. My mother made some when I was younger and they always went on the tree or in the window. Watching her hands as she made the snowflakes magically turn into dainty beauties was mesmerizing. I tackled a few snowflakes last year, but I wasn't using crochet thread... I wasn't comfortable with it yet.

This year I needed four small gifts and I happened to think of snowflakes. Now, mind you, this was about a week ago that I had this brilliant idea. But as snowflakes go, they are quick and easy little projects and I finished tucking ends last night.

Then, with the help of my mother since I haven't stiffened crochet before, I tackled the next step.

The stiffening mixture is 3 parts water, 2 parts white craft glue and 1 part glitter. The mixture is mixed in a glass jar by shaking it until well mixed. You will need a surface to pin the snowflakes on. We used a large cardboard box and cut down the sides to make a tray. Then we put another layer of cardboard in for easy of pinning. Next, the tray was lined with wax paper.

The snowflakes are dunked into the stiffening mixture, then squeezed to get the excess out of the snowflake. Don't wring or twist them, or you may end up ruining it. Then the pinning begins. Use rust-proof pins. The goal of pinning is to straighten out all the picots and loops in the snowflake (or other details of the crocheted item). But remember, however the item is pinned that's what it will look like when it's dried! Let the snowflakes sit overnight and tada...

I have enjoyed working on these snowflakes. Not only has my love of crochet thread grown, but working on something homemade for someone is so very special. As you stitch away, thoughts of that person are interweaved in the work. That's ultimately why I picked up the hook for these to give away... I wanted to give something of myself to these four special people.

The patterns are mostly from 100 Snowflakes to Crochet by Caitlin Sainio (2012). I also used the Baby Snowflakes patterns at Snowcatcher. I used Size 10, Size 5, Size 3 crochet thread and Knit-Cro-Sheen made by Aunt Lydia's, Red Heart and unknown (from the stash I acquired earlier this year) as well as a BonBon by Lion Brand.

I hope all have a truly blessed Christmas and don't lose sight of the true Spirit of the Season.

Happy on the Hook!

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