Learn to Stiffen Crochet Snowflakes

Holiday gift giving has a way of growing exponentially. I've made a detailed list of parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces, etc. But even as I watch, it is expanding to include coworkers and close friends-and I'm sure many of you can add teachers, employees, and more.

 
Stellar Snowflake by Connie Lee Lynch  

This year I teamed up with Interweave Crochet's Assistant Editor, Sarah Read, to create a blizzard of crochet snowflakes-the perfect quick handmade crocheted gift. The Stellar Snowflake, a new favorite of mine, from Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012, is gorgeous, unique, and has just enough complexity to keep the crochet interesting. Here is Sarah to give you a few tips on stiffening the snowflakes once they are finished.

Stiffening Crochet Snowflakes

The Stellar Snowflakes, by Connie Lee Lynch are saving my holiday craft queue this year! They are the perfect bite-sized handmade project for gifting to friends and relatives without running yourself ragged in the process. The pattern is quick, yet challenging enough to keep you engaged, and the diagram makes it perfectly portable. The only tricky part? How to transform the crocheted squiggle into the beautiful star in the picture.

  Wet, unblocked snowflakes

When I finished my first snowflake, I was a bit daunted by the fact that it didn't look much like a snowflake. A quick survey of the office turned up "jellyfish," "spider," and "neuron" as possible guesses.

To block my squiggles, I soaked them in a bowl of water and no-rinse wool wash for two hours, put a towel over a foam blocking board, and exhausted my pin supply on all of those wee points. If you're planning to make a blizzard's-worth of snowflakes, I highly recommend picking up an extra box or two of pins. The four large ones I made used an entire box by themselves!

 
Pinned snowflakes  

I let the snowflakes dry a bit overnight, and then very carefully removed the pins. I took a square of plastic wrap and pinned that to the towel, placed the snowflake on the plastic, and with a paintbrush, applied some fabric stiffener to each part of the snowflake, being careful to preserve the shape of each point. Once it was dry, I flipped the snowflake and applied stiffener to the other side.

 
  Blocked Stellar Snowflakes

A bit of pretty ribbon threaded through one of the points, et voila! A lovely holiday decoration for someone special on your gift list. They're perfect for tucking into holiday cards or tying to wrapped presents, as well.

Enjoy making your snowflakes! And remember to share the pictures with us in the galleries; we love to see your work!

— Sarah Read

Whip up a blizzard of snowflakes this year as gifts or to decorate your own home. You will also find fabulous hats, shawls, scarves, and more-all of them lovely crochet gift giving ideas. You can purchase the Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012 issue in the Crochet Me Shop or download the magazine to start crocheting today, and don't forget to whip up a beautiful accessory for yourself.

Best wishes,

P.S. Do you have tips for stiffening crochet motifs? 

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