29 July 2014

Iron Will

passion

Snowflakes are a never-ending addiction for me.

White crochet thread has been flying off my shelf like crazy while I whiz through my special project. I buy huge spools, usually in bulk and typically on clearance, and my big batches are too big to carry along on the commuter train I ride to and from work each weekday. So I wind off smaller portions I can carry in my purse.

Even though smaller portions are easier to transport, they are more difficult to manage when working on a large-scale project. I run out of thread at least once a week while I'm crocheting on the train!

So I started winding bigger portions.

Yes, I've used that much white thread...

I shape my snowflakes on used clean pizza boxes. I've been using the same boxes for about seven years now. Some were so pitted, it was difficult to get proper tension in snowflake stretching. Some of the boxes had warped due to all the years of moisture, too.

So we had to eat more pizza.

The Lizard didn't mind that.

Just not every night. After all, we're not teenagers anymore!

pizza box graveyard

But new boxes meant I had to build new "snowflake condos." I tape snowflake templates to the box bottoms, then cover the bottoms with cling wrap.

Of course, I ran out of cling wrap. I'd been using a couple of colorful rolls I'd bought about 150 years ago when my kids were still living at home and painting Easter eggs every spring. Because, you know, colorful cling wrap makes kitchen chores fun and makes school lunches edible. Or trade-worthy...

I ran out of tape, too, but I always keep four boxes of tape refills beneath our laptop to prevent it from overheating. I didn't have to buy more. Yet.

tape stash

The lengthy construction process got me behind on pinning. For this project, the snowflakes don't have to be stiffened, but they do still need to be shaped. This resulted in an evening of mega pinning. 28 snowflakes, I think!

AND I RAN OUT OF PINS!!!

So off to the store I went to buy more rust-proof pins. Then pinning resumed. It seemed to take forever.

pin away

The next day, I came home from work anxious to remove the pins and shoot my huge collection of snowflakes!

One lone surprise caught me off guard.

Darn it!

So now I have to remake my tweaked adaptation of Be Still My Heart. I also wanted to try to rescue this snowflake, if possible.

A cotton swab dab of bleach turned the entire snowflake point yellow, and you know how I feel about yellow snowflakes, right?

Rust started this problem, so perhaps rust could finish it. I've had a jar of rusty nails brewing for my natural dyeing for a little more than a year now. I gave the tainted snowflake an orange bath.

rust bath

The results looked promising...


...but did not hold.

Watch out where the huskies go; don't you eat that yellow snow!

I have a newer jar of rusty nails soaking so I will have enough fluid to cover thermal Henleys I plan to dye for The Lizard later this autumn. Rusty nails make bright, pastel and feminine colors "sad." The Lizard likes "sad" colors.

soon-to-be homemade iron mordant

I dipped the snowflake briefly in my osage orange dye pot, then gave it another bath in the newer rusty nails jar, hoping to achieve the chartreuse some natural dyers are able to obtain using yellow and then iron.

The results looked promising...

not bad

...but did not hold.


Back to the snowflake blocking board!

cotton blizzard

17 comments:

  1. Never knew about the pizza boxes, can have lunch and stock up too haha I'd imagine you'd run out of everything fast

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    Replies
    1. Yes, still running out of thread, Pat! But 50 done! One quarter of the anticipated number of snowflakes I will need!

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  2. Wow! What do you do with all these snowflakes? Hope the rusty one works out.

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    1. A top secret special project Charlotte! Need about 150 more...

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  3. Love that you show your experiments. I think that is how creativity works. Am amazed at your wide variety of snow flakes.

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    1. Thanks, GJ! I've always been one to try to make lemonade when life pitches lemons at me...

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  4. I always enjoy how your mind works! Very cool.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! Good to know the mind is still working. Sometimes I wonder... :)

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  5. Love all the snowflakes. Call me crazy but I don't block my flakes to shape, I like to force them with the old iron!

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    1. Ooooh, Michelle! I did that once, and I scorched some, so I haven't tried that technique again yet.

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  6. Oh is that a snowflake tree in the last shot? I love it! Dang on the rusty spot on the snowflake...but I do like how you tried to dye it...It looks kind of cool, like an ecru color. ((hugs)) to you sweet friend. :)

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    1. It does make a nice ecru/eggshell, Stitchy. Now I know how to make that color if I ever run out of the thread I'm using to crochet around rocks for my garden!

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  7. I don't know how they do against rust, but I use T-pins for my blocking. I found that they bend less than the rounded push pins that I had, plus they are easier on my thumbs if I'm doing a lot of blocking at one time.

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    1. I think every set of pins I've ever had has sprung at least one rust spot, Krista. I do like how much easier the T-pins are to push in...

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  8. Not sure what was more fun about this post - seeing all those awesome flakes, or reading about your rusty trials and tribulations!

    Gee, where did that P*zza H*t box come from? ;)

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I do wonder from where that pizza came! But I know where it went! ;)

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  9. Having rusty water in the past helped me when I first started pinning snowflakes because I knew just the product to help me out of a rusty situation. Whink, rust stain remover. Might want to keep some on hand. Just a drop and rust magically disappears. Can't wait to see this finished project. I'm hoping it is the largest snowflake mobile ever made.

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