21 July 2014

Snowflake Monday


Last year I planted black hollyhocks because I also had seeds for black columbine and an iris bulb called Men in Black. This year I found seeds for black pincushion. I planted them all together in one area because... well, because I thought that arrangement would be cute.

The flowers, of course, are not truly black. They are deep, dark maroon and purple. So dark, they look black.

Men in Black


None of the black flowers bloomed last year. This year, grasshoppers devoured the black columbine leaves before blossoms could form. The pincushion may not bloom until next year, but hope remains for this year. This year, the iris bloomed, and the hollyhocks are going to town! I've been collecting the spent blossoms, of course...

first batch of hollyhock dye

the first hollyhock dye jar

ammonia vs. vinegar

The petals stain my hands violet. So the color has to stick, at least for a while, right? A couple of drops of ammonia turn the dye fluid blue. A couple tablespoons of vinegar turn it gorgeous purple.

Of course, I had to dye some yarn with my hollyhock juice...

my first hollyhock wool sock yarn

hollyhock steep

my first hollyhock wool sock yarn

And then some thread...

my first hollyhock thread

my first hollyhock thread

my first hollyhock thread

And of course, I had to make a Hollyhock Snowflake...

Hollyhock-dyed Hollyhock Snowflake

I think the little shell fans are shaped like hollyhock blossoms! Don't you?!?

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!

Hollyhock Snowflake

Finished Size: 5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Hollyhock Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, * ch 7, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 1, 2 dc in ring; repeat from * 4 times; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th sp of Round, ch 1, 1 dc through top of dc directly below to form 6th ch 6 loop of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc over post of dc directly below, * 7 dc in next ch 5 loop; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in next ch 5 loop; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc in same ch, ch 4, * 7 dc in middle (4th) dc of next 7/dc group, ch 4; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in sl st ending Round 2; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc in same ch, ch 5, * 7 dc in middle (4th) dc of next 7/dc group, ch 5; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in sl st ending Round 3; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
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 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc in same ch, ch 7, * 7 dc in middle (4th) dc of next 7/dc group, ch 7; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in sl st ending Round 3; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 6: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc in same ch,* ch 5, 3 dc cluster over ch spaces of previous 3 Rounds, ch 5, 1 dc in middle (4th) dc of next 7/dc group, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in same middle dc of 7/dc group, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc and last ch 3 of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 5; bind off. Weave in ends.

Yes, of course, I HAD to make one in white for my special project!

Hollyhock snowflake

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.

holly hollyhocks and sock yarn


  1. Wow! What beautiful flowers! The dye makes beautiful colored thread!

    1. Thank you, Charlotte! It's nice to be able to keep the memory of flowers alive after they are gone with thread that came out like this!

  2. Men in black you say, well those kind look nice and won't drag you to some unknown location never to see the light of day lol

    1. Yes, Pat, I'd rather have the kind of Men in Black in my garden I have instead of the movie kind!

  3. okay girl, I am sending a link to your site to my quiltart group. That hollyhock dye!
    LeeAnna Paylor

    1. Thanks, LeeAnna! The hollyhocks certainly made missing out on this year's vivid crop of thistle easier to swallow. The thistle would have been an experiment, with no guarantees. The hollyhocks... boy, I'll be doing this again next year or the year after, whenever I get more blooms!

  4. Your dyes turned out beautifully! I especially like the variegated look on the threads.

    1. Thank you, Norma! I loved the variegated look, too. This particular thread turns blue in starch stiffener, though, so I may have to continue experimenting...

  5. Wowie zowie, they all came out absolutely beautiful - yarn, thread, and snowflake. And yes, the clusters do look like hollyhock blossoms. :)

    P.S. Hey - I was there the day you plunked the flowers into the jar! It's great to see the gorgeous results here.

    1. Oh, and Sue, this is just the beginning. I got two gallons of dye fluid, and I'm on third and fourth exhaust dips on a couple of jars now. These flowers were so worth planting!

  6. I've only recently stumbled upon your LOVELY blog. I am absolutely in awe of your beautiful work! Thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. Even though I have done a lot of crocheting I've never done much with threads and now my aging hands may have an issue with the tiny stuff...but I'm hoping to start making some larger snowflakes once I find a suitable yarn. In my eyes, snowflakes are one of the most gorgeous parts of nature...and yours are exquisite! I'm anxious to try them.
    Thanks again for sharing!


    P.S. I got a giggle out of the photo of the hollyhock dyed thread. The blurry blossoms in the background looks like a Victorian lady in a big hat waving hello to everyone. :)

    1. Karen, thank you for the most perfect finish to 2015! I will go to work today with a smile on my face! I hope you are able to find joy in making snowflakes, even if not with tiny thread. I just recently finished making a couple with some leftover tea-stained size 5 thread left over from an antique repair project I did for a friend, and although the flakes are not tiny and dainty, they still look like snowflakes! Just very large and very old snowflakes. :)


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