17 January 2011
When you go to a restaurant, do you always order the same thing? Or do you sometimes try something new?
What about yarn and thread? Do you always buy the same thing, or do you try new things?
I go through periods of "white boredom" because of the number of snowflakes I make. Plus, I love rainbows and bright colors. Addicted to neon. Imagine my delight when I found glow-in-the-dark Jelly Yarn...
I budgeted for three balls (because I wanted to try all three glow colors, blondly not thinking, um, do I really want to make yellow snowflakes???), but found an incredible sale going on when I made my purchase. Not only were the yarns on sale, the winter special Buy 3/Get 1 Free was too good to be true! I ordered my glow stuff, and I emailed Jelly Yarns to ask for a ball of silver as my freebie. Because silver snowflakes would be cool. And because I have at least a couple of silver mountains after which to name flakes.
Kathleen Greco, the brains behind Jelly Yarn, did more than just send me my free silver. She looked me up on Ravelry and immediately noticed that I love crocheting with thread. So she threw in two more free balls of her new thread-weight for me to try.
(Disclosure: I probably would have bought the thread-weight on my own once it was publicly released and likely will buy more because I LOVE it! But I did initially get to try it free. Kathleen did not ask me to write a review and did not ask me to give her any plugs or write any patterns. I'm doing this because I want to and because I like the way the thread-weight looks and feels, and the snowflakes I've made with it are, in my opinion, awesome.)
My first Jelly Yarn pattern is simple and basic because I wanted to try different sizes of hooks and weights of Jelly Yarn, all using the same pattern, to get the feel of the yarn and what would work and look best. I started with the Frosted Ice thread-weight and a size B crochet hook. I then made a second flake with the second ball of clear Ice thread-weight and a size F hook, which is the size recommended for the super fine. I used a size G hook and the same pattern for the fine silver (sport-weight). Size H is recommended. I liked the way the silver flake turned out, so I used the G again with the Green Peppermint, my first glow-in-the-dark snowflake. I modified the pattern a bit to make the picots more defined and have included that modification below.
Online Jelly Yarn orders come with free beeswax and instructions to apply it to your hook and the yarn (the beeswax also can be used on your hands). Metal hooks are recommended. I tried the yarn with and without beeswax. I used only metal hooks. For me, the sports-weight glides more easily with beeswax, but is still workable without. I loved working with the stretchy thread-weight so much, it didn't matter whether I used beeswax or not.
One thing I did notice is that picots need an extra stitch in Jelly Yarn. So if your picot calls for chain 3, chain 4 will get a little more of a point than a chain 3. That adjustment has already been made in the patterns below. Ends are much more invisible when woven in than with thread and yarn. Knots seem to be a bit sturdier; pulling a square knot tight, stretching and releasing is recommended, and I found that technique completely suitable. I tried both chain starts and magic ring starts, and I didn't like the chain start at all for this pattern. So instructions include only the magic ring.
Jelly Yarn works best for full, solid snowflakes and does not work as well on open, lacy patterns that require stiffening to acquire the shape.
The very best thing of all about using Jelly Yarn for snowflakes is... And you can block them with your fingers. You don't have to pin them! Finished crocheted snowflakes made of Jelly Yarn weigh more than flakes made of thread or yarn, but so do commercial snowflakes made of plastic, wood, glass or whatever.
Although I love playing with my glow-in-the-dark snowflake (trying to get the perfect glow photo) and my co-workers think it's just about the coolest thing they've ever seen, my favorite Jelly Yarn by far is the Ice (clear) thread-weight (super fine). To me, snowflakes made with it look real, and I love the way light comes through.
I don’t know yet how many snowflakes you can get out of a ball of Jelly Yarn, but it will be many. Unless you make HUGE snowflakes.
Oh, yeah, I am supposed to write about the mountain, too, right? Ha ha...
When I first decided to order Jelly Yarn, I thought I would be naming the first snowflake after one of our Collegiate Peaks. I had decided each of those mountains needs a snowflake with an educational flair. I've vowed to try something new for each of those mountains because they are named after Ivy League universities. When I saw that I could get a fourth ball of Jelly Yarn for free, I picked the silver specifically to make Mount Silverheels snowflakes.
Mount Silverheels is the 96th tallest peak in Colorado at 13,829 feet. South Park (yes, THAT South Park) sits at the foot of Mount Silverheels. In the Mosquito Range and between Fairplay and ski haven Breckenridge, Silverheels was named after a dance hall girl who, according to legend, nursed miners through an 1861 small pox epidemic and eventually contracted the disease herself. According to legend, she still walks the Fairplay cemetery, veiled in black to hide her scars, to lay flowers on the graves of the miners who died.
Mount Silverheels has been one of my perpetual winter goals since 2002. I made it to the top of Point 13,004 on New Year's Day four months before The Lizard and I began dating, and the mountain's gale-force winds have prevented a climb every winter ever since. If I finally make it all the way to the summit this winter, my Silverheels Snowflake will be in my pack! A good luck charm of sorts.
PS: I'm pretty certain that lemonade-colored glow-in-the-dark Jelly Yarn won't end up as snowflakes. I'm thinking gecko or chameleon...
You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!
Finished Size: 2 inches to 4.5 inches from point to point, depending upon hook and yarn size
Materials: Fine or Extra Fine Jelly Yarn, recommended size H or F crochet hook , respectively, (although you may use whatever size feels right for you), clear thread or fishing line, optional Christmas ornament hanger or mini suction cup, depending upon personal hanging preference
Make magic ring. (Tutorial here.)
Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring, sl st in 1st dc. Pull magic ring as tight as desired, depending upon personal preference.
Round 2: 1 sc in same dc as last sl st; *1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in same dc, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc, 1 hdc in same dc, 1 sc in next dc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final sc of repeat.
Round 3: 1 sc in same sc as last sl st, *1 hdc in next ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 hdc in same ch 3 sp, 1 sc in next sc; repeat 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final sc of repeat. Bind off. Weave in ends. Jelly Yarns recommends tying a square not, pulling tight and then releasing. I used a smaller hook than what I crocheted with to bury my ends, and this worked easily and beautifully.
Alternate Round 3 (green snowflake): 1 sc in same sc as last sl st, *1 hdc in next ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 hdc in same ch 3 sp, 1 sc in next sc; repeat 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final sc of repeat. Bind off. Weave in ends.
Finish: Shape with fingers if necessary. Attach thread or fishing line or suction cup or ornament hanger, and that’s it!!! You’re done!!!