Snowflake roundup, my favorite flakes to make without using stiffener

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Here is a review of my favorite snowflakes to make when you don’t want to use starch or glue as a stiffener.

This year I am all excited about re-imagining the traditional crochet snowflake. Rather than use cotton thread, I decided on Loops and Threads Payette yarn from Michaels. It’s an acrylic sport weight yarn with metallic threads and tiny sequins strung on a fine thread running through the yarn. After some experimenting I found that a size C, 2.75 mm, hook was the smallest I could use with this yarn without hanging up on the sequins. Notice that I picked the “sterling silver” color just to mix things up.

Using spray starch did not improve the look of the yarn, so I decided not to stiffen them. After scouring Ravelry for snowflake patterns I tried out a bunch that I thought would work well with this yarn. I avoided patterns that had a lot of chains and tried to find ones that had more structure so the flakes would hold their shape without stiffening.  I steam blocked all of the flakes using a steam iron held above, but not touching, the yarn.

TIP: To make weaving in the ends easier, take a small scissors and carefully cut in half the sequins on the tails to be woven in. Be careful not to cut the thread that the sequins are strung on, just cut open the sequin and pull it off the thread.

After trying many patterns here are my favorites. All of these patterns are available free at the links provided.

First, a collection of well written patterns for snowflakes, including good charts. I  recommend Assorted Snowflakes  designed to be made with Lily Sugar & Cream yarn. These work well with the Payette yarn. This is “snowflake C” in the collection (not a traditional snowflake since it’s 5 sided).

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If you are comfortable reading charts, I would recommend Snow flake motif by Chinami Horiba. This is a Japanese site, there is a photo and partial chart. It holds it’s shape pretty well and is fancy looking . I did this one in white (icicle color).

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Next is another pattern with charts. I don’t even know what language this site is in, but the patterns are quite attractive. I really like the 1st and 8th pattern on the webpage because they have a lot of structure and hold up well without stiffening. There are also some pretty ones that would need to be stiffened to hold their shape. I will call these the Klubka snowflakes. This is the first snowflake on the web page.

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Special shout out to the Crochet Snowflakes Group on Ravelry. I enjoyed seeing the snowflakes group members made and also their links to snowflake patterns on the web. It’s a good resource if you’re looking for information about flakes.

Another site to check out is snowflakepatterns.wordpress.com. This blogger has many interesting snowflake patterns with clear written instructions, no charts.

And although the patterns weren’t appropriate for the yarn I was working with, check out the Snowflakes by Sally V. George from the botherthebirds blog. If you scroll down the page you’ll eventually find the link for snowflakes, click to download the pdf. Her patterns feature beautiful hand drawn illustrations, so retro! The written instructions are clear, no charts included.

This is Sally’s snowflake #4, beautiful, but I will need to use it as an applique rather than a hanging ornament.

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You can see the rest of my snowflakes, including the ones that didn’t work as well, on my Ravelry project pages.

I hope you’ll try making a few flakes this winter, just for the fun of it. They make a great take along project and you can hand one to a friend as a sweet gift.

 

 

 

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