As promised here is a separate blog post about the snowflake fun I have been having.
It started in a strange way, all at once three sets of people I am involved with starting talking about doing crochet snowflakes for different projects this year.
Not have the biggest budget in the world I went onto the internet for some inspiration and came across some amazing resources, wonderful crochet designers willing to share their patterns with the world.
I love Snowcatcher her patterns are amazing, she posts them for free but does ask for donations for her MS fundraising which is worth every penny.
I also love Sally V. Georges Patterns, again beautifully written and easy to crochet snowflakes on a smaller scale.
Ira Rott also has a lovely little collection too.
But my absolute favourite is this one from Rainbow Gallery, it produces the most beautiful sturdy snowflake that blocks and stiffens really well.
When they are first crocheted they don’t look much, the magic happens after they are blocked, you can get lots of hints and tips here I especially found the free printable snowflake blocking diagram useful.
There are several stiffeners you can use, I have used watered down PVA before and found it really messy and left the wool looking very plasticy. So I decided to experiment with Epsom Salts, I had read about it on a few tatters forums but was a bit concerned as I have been working these snowflakes in DK acrylic so are quite large that it wouldn’t be strong enough but as I didn’t fancy starching and ironing acrylic I thought I had nothing to lose.
There were a difference of opinions on the quantities to use so I went with equal quantities salt to Boiling water, I put them into a jam jar so I could shake the mixture and store it easily.
The first snowflake I tried I dipped the snowflake in the mixture and pinned it out, it came out ok but not quite as stiff as I would have liked so the next one I put into soak in the mixture for about an hour which definitely seemed to help.
I also found the drying time a bit deceptive as on some forums said that the snowflakes were drying quicker than they could pin them out, I can honestly say in the UK winter this is not the case, they take a few hours, and you have to make sure that they are completely dry as the underside can still be damp if the top is dry. I did manage on a couple to slide a few snowflakes flat onto the table as they were holding their blocked shape but still a little damp. so I could use the blocking boards more quickly.
I love the finished results, in fact I love them so much I have run out of white twinkly yarn and am having to do a few in pale green/turquoise.