Saturday, July 14, 2012

An idea for Christmas Crocheting

This idea came to me a few years ago.  I decided that our new house, which has a lot (every room at that point) of paneling, would look ever so nice with Christmas tree type garland around each doorway in the kitchen (2 doorways), living room (1 doorway) and hall hall (3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a closet and the double wide opening between the living room and kitchen/dining area) and the plain non-branching garland around the ceilings of the hall, living room and kitchen/dining area..  All this was put up using cup hooks that never left the walls unless the walls were removed.  Some have been since that time.  It did look nice.  It also looked rather dark with all that wood, dark green garland and doors closed to keep heat where we wanted it and pets out of the rooms.  To remedy this I decided to add white snow flakes to each garland around each doorway and around the ceilings.

Each branched garland was 9 feet long and I had the bright idea to put a flake every foot on each one (to help brighten the dark areas).  Each garland around the ceilings was 50 ft each.  I lost count of how many feet of this I put up each year.  Needless to say, I started crocheting snowflakes.  I gave myself a year to make them all.  I was hoping to have around 300 I think at one point.  I really have no idea how many ever did get made.  It was a bunch.

I collected patterns from the internet the summer of 2005.  I bought snowflake crochet pattern books when I found them.  I wanted one of each pattern.  After all, snowflakes in nature are all different, so mine had to be too.  There are very large 12 inch flakes on down to 1 inch flakes.  Some are beaded.  Most are not.  Most flakes I tried to keep in the 3 inch - 5 inch diameter range.  I still have the printouts in a 3 inch binder and the books.  I got a third of the way through them.  Some day I will go back to them.

The flakes when done look absolutely terrible until blocked and starched.  The terribleness could have something to do with me crunching them up to stuff into the cardboard tube in the center of the white mercerized cotton thread.  To get them in the shape I wanted, I took a piece of foam core board and made 6 pointed shapes on them 6 inches long.  I covered this in waxed paper.  Now I could soak my flakes in glue and pin them out.  Each flake to a shape with really small ones in the spaces in between.  I have tried differing strengths of glue to water ratios, from 1/2 and 1/2 to full glue (white school glue).  The half and half gives a nice starched appearance but doesn't really hold up.  Points started drooping.  The full glue, depending on the brand, would give a look of plastic to the flakes, but they held their shape.

If I find the pictures again, I will post them.  A computer malfunction wiped out a lot of my pictures, I think I had some of these printed off.  However, every year since I started this, the flakes and garlands go up first thing.  The cup hooks remain in most places year round and have tarnished so that they blend in with the darker wood paneling.  In places where walls have been replaced, we opted for lighter and brighter wall treatments and sadly the flakes don't show up on these walls.

The snowflakes would also make nice package ties, ornaments for the tree or jewelry if you use the very small ones.  Some people I have heard about leave the flakes in the unstiffened state and lay them on the branches.  You could even use them to embellish some everyday wardrobe items with either a few stitches on the points to hold them on or use some of the tacky quilting spray to hold them on for just a night.