Once again, I'm celebrating Snowflake Day/Make a Snowflake Day, this time with a project of epic proportions, in every sense of the word. Yes, I know. People want to ban the word "epic." And for good reason. But none of the synonyms (i.e., ambitious, classic, impressive, grand, marathon, etc...) carry the same weight for what my husband and I have built.
One of the favorite things my siblings and I loved to sneak off to do when we were very young was climb onto the top shelf of the closet in the boys' room, where we would color with crayons on the turned-on bare closet light bulb and let the melted wax drips splash onto paper on the floor below. As we gained experience balancing on the closet shelf, we'd hold the paper right below the light bulb and blow on the wax for a splattered look.
Mom caught us one day, probably because we were being way too quiet, a deadly thing when you have seven kids under the age of 12 in the house.
The lecture we got from Mom was enough to keep us from playing with light bulbs ever again. Then Dad got home from work. Dad is an electrical engineer. We were in BIG trouble.
I've been afraid of light bulbs as toys ever since!
I've been enamored with the crocheted lamp globes I've been seeing around the internet for more than five years. One of my readers, Susan, even crafted one for me of my own snowflake patterns several years ago. I've been afraid to put a light bulb inside it. Yet I love it!
Flash photography has forced me to become a little more comfortable working with lights. LEDs seem to be a safer light source than the light bulbs of my childhood. Even I enjoy light painting with fiber optic LEDs!
According to Matt, crochet and lights may indeed be safely mixed. Matt's glorious flower lamp inspired today's project. THANK YOU, MATT!!!
I give you fair warning: this is a pricey project. The IKEA lamp I ordered (because I didn't want to brave Christmas shopping crowds in November when I first decided to make this lamp) is not cheap, and postage was practically outrageous. (But far better than spending a winter Saturday on crowded highways, in a crowded and likely snowy parking lot, wandering a Christmas-shopper-crowded store and standing in line at that crowded store to pay for one lamp.)
So, an expensive project, yet whenever I look at this gorgeous lamp, it's worth every dime that went into it. I might even have to make another one with blue snowflakes. Maybe I'll even make one with my crocheted flowers...
Another warning: This is not an overnight project. Although snowflakes work up quickly, they need to be stiffened, and this project requires a whole lot of them.
When I first began this project, before I ordered the lamp, I thought I'd need 84 snowflakes because Matt used 84 flowers.
I didn't know my lamp is bigger than what Matt used to make his project. My lamp required 157 snowflakes!!! That's nearly double what I'd expected! At one point, I realized I had to make at least 20 snowflakes a week to get this project done in time for today. Oh, did I mention today is the second annual Snowflake Day? Happy Snowflake Day!
Feel free to join in Snowflake Ball activities at Sisters of the Snowflake!
I had to make far more snowflakes than what I expected, but just look at this lamp now. Don't you think it was worth every single crochet loop???
One last word of warning. This project requires assembly, and lots of it. Perhaps if you buy the lamp in the IKEA store, you can get one already put together. I don't know because I've never been inside an IKEA. Assembly really didn't bother us, but I acknowledge there are crocheters who don't want to stiffen snowflakes, much less build a lamp that sometimes pretends to be a slinky or sporadically auditions for the role of a bunch of skinny tangled knitting needles.
By the time I glued on the final snowflake, this project had taken me nearly three months start to finish. But again, just take a look at it. This is the best thing my husband and I have ever built. So far. I think it was more than worth everything we put into it. Don't you?
If we ever sell our house, this baby comes with us!
Today's snowflake pattern is the final flake I crafted specifically for our lamp. I needed 20 more snowflakes for the top rounds, and all needed to be small. We were driving home from cross-country skiing up Mill Creek, and I wanted to be done with snowflakes and with white for a good long while. I made all 20 snowflakes in that one four-hour drive!
This is my favorite of that joyous snowflake cramming session. I'm not sure there is a word to describe the joy I felt as I bound off this snowflake!
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: 2.75 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
Blissful Snowflake Instructions
Make magic ring.
Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (popcorn stitch made), * ch 3; 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made); repeat from * 4 times; ch 1, 1 dc in top of starting popcorn to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 7, sl st in3rd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 3 dc in same ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.
Please go here to see the original.
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.
If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. 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.
Lamp Assembly: Assemble and hang lamp as directed in manufacturer's instructions, but don't snap the paper flowers into place. Remove the plastic snap centers from the paper flowers. Glue one snowflake to each snap center. (I used Elmer's Glue-All, NOT the water soluble school glue.) Allow glue to dry thoroughly. (I let each set dry overnight.) Snap snowflakes onto lamp. (I started at the bottom and worked my way up. My sleeves often would catch on the lower snowflakes and dislodge them as I snapped upper snowflakes into place, resulting in another night of gluing and drying before reapplying. Working from the top down might be a smarter way to complete this lamp.)
After you finish snapping snowflakes into place, make sure you have a lot of room on your camera's memory card, because you're going to need it! More photos next Wordless Wednesday!