31 October 2011

Snowflake Monday

Lollipop Snowflakes

Ever since I first saw a multicolor spiral granny square last winter, I’ve wanted to learn the technique. Of course, I wanted to see if I could translate this new craze into snowflakes. Which would mean learning something new, trying something new, a new Collegiate Peak snowflake!

After I finished my first prototype spiral snowflake, though, I decided it needed a cuter name than Yale or Columbia. The first sample reminded me of lollipops my little brothers and I used to yearn for when we were pre-schoolers, and that’s a cute enough name for this snowflake AND hat! Yes, look what you can do with this pattern and worsted yarn, with a few modifications!

Lollipop Snowflake Hat

Snowflakes that followed as I worked up the pattern look like peppermints we use to build candy trains at Christmas time, but I still like the name Lollipop. It’s different, and it has a ring to it.

My Lollipop Snowflakes came at a time when I was forced to learn yet another new technique: making my own homemade glue. The last 200 or so snowflakes I’ve stiffened all have unacceptable residue on the back, and it doesn’t wash off. I tried turning the snowflakes over and applying a new coat on the back, hoping that would soften the shiny residue that looked... bad. I tried washing flakes with warm water and soap. I tried industrial-strength cleaners. I changed the plastic wrap I’ve been using all year long. I tried different drying surfaces.

After unsuccessfully trying everything from adding more water to the glue to dunking the snowflakes in bags of glue instead of painting them, nothing worked. Nothing helped. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, and I’d never had this problem until the most recent purchase of glue.

sticky stuff
I was so frustrated, I vocalized a degree of discontent. The Lizard overheard and came to my rescue. First thing he noticed was the label on the glue, something I’d not seen, even though I bought the bottle myself just a couple of months ago. I also had not noticed it is not "school glue." That may make a difference, too.

New and improved. Stronger Formula. And not appropriate for snowflakes. They don’t include that last phrase on the label. They should.

The Lizard suspects Elmer’s has added silicone to the formula, which he says is water-resistant.

After learning this, I purchased a few bottles of various generic school glue brands and researched recipes for homemade glue, which is how my grandmother stiffened snowflakes when I was a wee tot. I even found a bottle of clear Elmer’s Glue and decided to give that a try, too, just in case. When you’ve ruined 200 snowflakes, just about any option seems worth a try.

Cinnamon Swirl Lollipop Snowflake

I found many web pages devoted to blocking doilies and a few for snowflakes. In my opinion, the most complete list of methods for blocking and stiffening on the internet is available at Crochet Memories. I did not try everything they’ve listed, but I did try a few of new things I’d never considered before. Such as hairspray...

In my opinion, hairspray works great for doilies but is not strong enough for snowflakes that will hang, and I beg to differ with anyone who thinks unscented is truly unscented. (Choke, choke!) Spray starch works well with small flakes, and the lavender-scented version is more tolerable than hair spray. Modge Podge works fine and leaves no residue, but snowflakes hung in the window will warp with continual sunshine. They can be reshaped, but that takes time. Some generic school glues work fine, and some seem to be Elmer’s in a cheaper bottle. I'm going to experiment with the clear Elmer's, Epsom salt and homemade glue next, and I'll report my findings. I'm not going to try sugar. I don't want to encourage the field mice who frequently attempt to take up residence inside our abode during winter.

As in most aspects of life, different people will like different things, so it may be best to experiment for yourself, or to change nothing if you haven’t been having any problems.

Christmas Mint Lollipop Snowflake

If multicolor spiral motifs seem intimidating, check out the tutorial at Interweave. Other tutorials are available, although I did not find one on YouTube. I asked The Lizard to photograph my hands while I made a worsted weight yarn spiral and am including the photos below.

The most important thing I learned in experimenting with this technique is to make sure I don’t catch threads or yarn not being used in current stitches. I think the spiral method works best if you are able to do the piece in one sitting so you don’t have to untangle balls of yarn or spools of thread after moving around. I also found that rotating my work one time counter-clockwise each round helped me keep the six strands of yarn or thread separate and not tangled.

Some people like to use stitch markers to hold the loops of the strands not currently in use. For thread, I think that might prove burdensome. I left large, over-sized loops each time I changed color, and the process worked fine. I did do each of my projects in one sitting, however. I don’t think it would be quite so easy if I’d had to put the project away and come back to it. I may even have resorted to cutting off the project and starting over again!

an all-single crochet version

To make this project easier, I made small balls of yarn and thread and worked with those instead of full skeins, hanks or spools. Balls of fiber are like teenagers, however. If you are sitting in a very comfortable chair with three balls on either side, working away, one of the balls WILL find a way to roll off onto the floor, make a quick getaway and commit the unpardonable sin. It will find and pick up the renegade hair the vacuum cleaner always misses, and it will attempt to hide it deep inside your project, particularly if the project will ever be magnifying glass judged. Cats exacerbate the problem.

In most hat patterns (or any in-the-round projects other than snowflakes, stars and round ripple afghans), increases are not be worked directly above increases in the row below, maintaining a round shape instead of angles where increases are stacked. In these projects, however, the increases are intentionally lined up to maintain the hexagon snowflake shape. If you want your project to be circular instead of hexagonal, keep your increases evenly spaced apart, but don’t place them directly above one another.

The snowflakes may be made larger by adding more rows and increasing the number of stitches in between increases by one on each round. The hat, which I sized for my 2-year-old neighbor, may be made smaller or bigger by ending the increases earlier or maintaining increases longer. Generally when making a hat, you make a flat round piece until the piece is about 2 inches smaller than the diameter of the head. The hat will begin to take shape after two or three rounds of no increases. The length of the hat may be altered by working fewer or more rounds without increases. The hat also may be made without earflaps, ending the two earflap points the same as the other four instead of working earflaps.

You may do whatever you'd like with hats and snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Pastel Lollipop Snowflake

Lollipop Snowflake

Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, glue, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: With pink, 2 sc in ring. With peach, 2 sc in ring. With yellow, 2 sc in ring. With green, 2 sc in ring. With blue, 2 sc in ring. With lavender, 2 sc in ring. Do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

With pink, make magic ring.  2 sc in ring.
With pink, make magic ring. 2 sc in ring.

With peach, 2 sc in ring.
With peach, 2 sc in ring.

With yellow, 2 sc in ring.
With yellow, 2 sc in ring.

With green, 2 sc in ring.
With green, 2 sc in ring.

With blue, 2 sc in ring.
With blue, 2 sc in ring.

With lavender, 2 sc in ring.
With lavender, 2 sc in ring.

Round 2: Continuing with lavender, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With pink, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With peach, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With yellow, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With green, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Continuing with lavender, 1 sc in 1st pink sc.
Continuing with lavender, 1 sc in 1st pink sc.

Continuing with lavender, 2 sc in 2nd pink sc.
Continuing with lavender, 2 sc in 2nd pink sc.

Continue working 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, changing colors after each 2 sc inc, around.
Continue working 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, changing colors after each 2 sc inc, around.

Round 3: With blue, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With lavender, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With pink, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With peach, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With yellow, 1 sc in each of next 2sc, 2 sc in next sc.

With blue, work 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc.
With blue, work 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Continue working 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, changing colors after each 2 sc inc, around.
Continue working 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, changing colors after each 2 sc inc, around.

Round 4: With green, 1 hdc in each of next 2 sc, 2 hdc in next sc, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With blue, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With lavender, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With pink, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With peach, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sc, 2 hdc in next sc.

Round 5: With yellow, 1 hdc in each of next 3 sc, 2 hdc in next sc, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With green, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With blue, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With lavender, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With pink, 1 hdc in each of next 4 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 6: With peach, 1 dc in each of next 4 hdc, 2 dc in next hdc, 1 dc in each of next 5 hdc, 2 dc in next hdc. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 5 hdc, 2 dc in next hdc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 5 hdc, 2 dc in next hdc. With blue, 1 dc in each of next 5 hdc, 2 dc in next hdc. With lavender, 1 dc in each of next 5 hdc, 2 dc in next hdc.

Round 7: With pink, 1 dc in each of next 5 hdc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With peach, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With blue, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc.

Round 8: With pink, 1 dc in each of next 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With peach, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc. With blue, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc.

Round 9: With lavender, 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 5, sl st in top of dc just worked, ch 8, sl st in same dc, ch 5, sl st in same dc (tri picot made); bind off. With pink, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc; make tri picot; bind off. With peach, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc; make tri picot, bind off. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc; make tri picot; bind off. With green, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc; make tri picot; bind off. With blue, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc; make tri picot; bind off. Weave in ends.

Ocean Waves Lollipop Snowflake (named by The Lizard)

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap. NOTE: I did not glitter these flakes.

A link to the blocking template I use is located here. That website has some of the most helpful snowflake information I know of. I also have a link to it on my sidebar to the right. I try to keep all the important links there so everyone will be able to find the information they need.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Lollipop Snowflake Hat

Lollipop Snowflake Hat

Finished Size: 5 inches high, not including braids or earflaps; 3.5-inch long earflaps, head circumference 22.5 inches
Materials: Worsted yarn in six colors (I used pastel pink, lavender, blue, green, yellow and peach), size H crochet hook

If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: With pink, 2 sc in ring. With peach, 2 sc in ring. With yellow, 2 sc in ring. With green, 2 sc in ring. With blue, 2 sc in ring. With lavender, 2 sc in ring. Do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Continuing with lavender, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With pink, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With peach, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With yellow, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc. With green, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Round 3: With blue, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With lavender, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With pink, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With peach, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With yellow, 1 sc in each of next 2sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Round 4: With green, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With blue, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With lavender, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With pink, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With peach, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Round 5: With yellow, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With green, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With blue, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With lavender, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With pink, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Round 6: With peach, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With yellow, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With green, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With blue, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With lavender, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Round 7: With pink, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With peach, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With yellow, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With green, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc. With blue, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc.

Round 8: With lavender, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With pink, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With peach, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With yellow, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sc, 2 hdc in next sc. With green, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sc, 2 hdc in next sc.

Round 9: With blue, 1 hdc in each of next 7 sc, 2 hdc in next sc, 1 hdc in each of next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With lavender, 1 hdc in each of next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With pink, 1 hdc in each of next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With peach, 1 hdc in each of next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc. With yellow, 1 hdc in each of next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc.

Round 10: With green, 1 hdc in each of next 8 hdc, 2 hdc in next hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With blue, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With lavender, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With pink, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With peach, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc.

Round 11: With yellow, 1 hdc in each of next 20 hdc. With green, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With blue, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With lavender, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc. With pink, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc.

Round 12: With peach, 1 hdc in each of next 10 hdc, 1 dc in each of next 10 hdc. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 10 hdc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 10 hdc. With blue, 1 dc in each of next 10 hdc. With lavender, 1 dc in each of next 10 hdc.

Round 13: With pink, 1 dc in each of next 10 hdc, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With peach, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With blue, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc..

Round 14: With lavender, 1 dc in each of next 20 dc. With pink, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With peach, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 15: With blue, 1 dc in each of next 20 dc, ch 5, sl st in top of dc just worked, ch 6, sl st in same dc, ch 5, sl st in same dc (picot made); bind off. With lavender, 1 dc in each of next 10. With pink, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc; make picot; bind off. With peach, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc; make picot; bind off. With yellow, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc. With green, 1 dc in each of next 10 dc; make picot; bind off. Making first earflap, with lavender, *1 dc in each of next 11 dc, ch 2, turn, 1 dc in each of next 11 dc, ch 2, turn, 1 dc dec across next 2 dc, 1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 1 dc dec across last 2 dc, ch 2, turn, 1 dc dec across next 2 dc, 1 dc in each of next 5 dc, 1 dc dec across last 2 dc, ch 2, turn, 1 dc dec across next 2 dc, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc, 1 dc dec across last 2 dc, ch 2, turn, 1 dc dec across next 2 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc dec across last 2 dc (earflap tip made); bind off. Repeat from * with yellow to form 2nd earflap. NOTE: Earflaps may be worked in pink and green or blue and orange instead if desired. Weave in all ends.

Finish: For braids, cut six 40-inch strands of each color. Fold first color of strands in half, pinch near fold and pull fold through top of one earflap tip dc with crochet hook. Insert hook through fold loop just created and pull strand ends through loop. Pull tight. Repeat for each of next 5 colors, placing one strand group in each earflap tip dc. Braid strand groups on each side, tightly tie with 6-inch piece of yarn matching one of the colors in the braid. Trim braids and ties evenly.

Lollipop Snowflake Hat

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for the cute projects, I can't wait to get started.

    and just a suggestion, I use plastic bowls to keep balls of yarn from rolling away. I have never used this many colors but I'm going to try this with this project. Just small bowls in my lap or on the table should help.

    Thanks again for all you great snowflakes and other patterns.

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all, congrats on an absolutely adorable pattern! Can't wait to go get some different yarns to try this. So, I have a couple of probably goofy ideas, but thought I'd throw them out there. For the runaway yarn, would it work to put the little balls into an empty oatmeal container, and hole punch spots for the yarn to come out? Second, on the glue subject~in beading, Mop and Glo is used to stiffen some beadwork pieces. I don't know if it would work on yarn or not, just wanted to make the suggestion. Thanks so much, and have a wonderful week!

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  3. Deb, have you tried the matte version of Mod Podge? Some people like that finish better. Also, I'd steer clear of hairspray. We use Aqua Net to power our potato gun - it's a powerful fuel. ;-)

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  4. Thanks for sharing your pattern and your pictures. Great tutorial!

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  5. Thanks for the tutorial.

    Also, how do you keep your yarn from getting tangled? ANy hints?

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  6. If you can find old fashioned starch, that is what I have ALWAYS used for Snowflakes. Sometimes I will mix in a little water, sometimes I use it straight. Either way, they look good and crisp.

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  7. Wow, Deb! You go from strength to strength. These are amazing, and that hat is priceless.

    I hear you on the hairspray issue! (Unscented is never truly unscented.)

    I have had good luck with sugar solution in the past (specifically for snowflakes). Although I shared your concerns about mice, it hasn't been a problem yet.

    Thanks for the tutorial pics, and the great rotation tip for detangling! As for runaway yarn balls, mine invariably find and pick up entire dust bunnies. If I have just one ball of yarn, I leave it on the floor in an empty tissue box. Then I can just haul up a few yards at a time while the ball bumps around in the box.

    That hat is just right for the snow tiger.

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  8. Thanks for sharing all this, beautiful snowflakes and the tutorial.

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  9. Oh I think the possibilities are limitless!

    I am in awe of your talent and creativity. Thanks for sharing your patterns!

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  10. your patterns are wonderful. i am going to make the snowflake coaster for an elderly lady that always has a glass next to her . thank you for sharing !
    happy and blessed autumn

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  11. Lollipop, lollipop, ooo lolly lolly lolly, lollipop! VERY cute :'). I'm so sorry to hear about the 200 snowflakes of doom :'O! I hope you find a method you like... why do they have to go improving things that work just fine? Humph!

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  12. cool snowflakes... it gave me a few ideas to use for my 3 yr olds bedroom... instead of the little points just make them all circular- just like a lollipop... and also use pastels for them...thanks for sharing...

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  13. Thanks, everyone, especially those who've shared their stiffening techniques. I really enjoy this pooling of ideas and experience. I think in the long run, it helps everyone, including me!

    Anonymous, I hope you will share photos of your decorated room. I think that will be awesome!

    Marikamum, you cracked me up! I'll be singing that song all day now!

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  14. I love these snowflakes - thanks for sharing your pattern. :)

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  15. Hi Snowcatcher, thank you so much for your beautiful patterns! I've been crocheting like crazy since I discovered your blog this past summer. I wanted to tell you about something I always used to stiffen my crocheted angels (and also snowflakes). It's called Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid. The only problem is I can't buy it locally any more, have to order online. Another product, almost as good that I can get locally is Crafter's Pick Fabric Stiffener. I use both full strength for both angels and snowflakes. Thank you again for posting your patterns! My windows and Christmas tree wouldn't be the same without your snowflakes!

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  16. Thank you, everyone! This was one fun snowflake, and an even more fun hat! I can't wait to get a photo of my little neighbor wearing it. (She has it already, and I've been assured it fits, but I leave before she gets up in the mornings, and she's usually in bed by the time I get home in the evenings.)

    Thank you, Cathleen. I thought maybe the Aleene's was no longer being made because I haven't been able to find it. I've used it only once before, and it left no residue, just was a bit more expensive than I could afford back then. I also hope to try the cornstarch method, maybe this weekend. Fingers crossed...

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  17. Hello! I know I found this a bit late (end of April), but I love it and your other snowflakes! I hope to be able to make them when I learn to crochet this year.

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  18. my mom stiffened tatted snowflakes with liquid starch. we can still get it from the Menonite and Amish ladies. Sometimes they have homemade kinds.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anonymous. I'm using liquid starch now, too, unless I have so many beads that starch won't hold the weight. I've also made my own starch with cornstarch, and I really like that, too.

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  19. I linked to your amazing tutorial on my blog: http://www.mazkwok.com/2013/11/gorgeous-and-whimsical-snowflake-free.html
    Thanks alot for sharing this! Love your snowflakes :)

    ReplyDelete


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