Saturday, December 1, 2012

Guest Post: It's Snowing Sugar Flakes!

I am just delighted to have Kristen of KristenMakes back for my holiday hiatus.  Kristen is a gifted crafter and exceptional knitter.  Long-time readers will remember our Newbie and the Knitter knit-a-long, in which Kristen was experienced knitter and wonderful teacher.  It's thanks to her that I can now call myself a knitter!  For more knitty goodness, be sure to follow Kristen on Ravelry.

Today Kristen is here to show us how to make these beautiful crocheted snowflakes for your own tree to to give as gifts.  It involves glitter, so you know I'm happy!

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Hi all!  Kristen here of KristenMakes!  I was so chuffed when Sarah asked me to contribute and be a Gift Shift Guest Blogger!  If you’ve followed my blog past through a Christmas, you probably recall I’m a big fan of homemade holiday decorations – specifically of the knitted ilk.  There is nothing more cheery than knitted stockings, fairy lights, garland, and some wee homemade decorations.  Today for you, however, I’m stepping away from the knit and moving into crochet territory.

I must tell you, I had a blast making what I’m going to share with you today: starched crochet snowflakes!  I’ve hardened knitted/crocheted things before with sugar but have not yet had the chance to do it properly in my opinion.  I experimented with a few versions to see how fun it could get.  It was indeed, lots of fun!  Here’s what you’ll need:

Fine Cotton yarn (I used Rowan Siena 4-ply)
Crochet hook (appropriately sized to the weight of yarn)
2 parts sugar
1 part water
Glitter (optional)
Peppermint oil (optional)
Ornament hooks


First, crochet up some lovely snowflakes!  I used Four Tiny Snowflakes by Christine Blair for inspiration.  After the first few I began to have fun making my own variations on the pattern.  Scroll down to the end of this post for more free crochet pattern ideas.  Weave in and trim off the tails and ends from the snowflakes.

Next, measure out your sugar and water.  I used 1 cup water and 2 cups sugar – which was WAY too much!  You could probably half it and still have more than enough.  Boil the water, add the sure, and stir occasionally until all sugar is dissolved into a syrupy mixture.

Mix up your cocktails of choice:  I used a ramekin for gold glitter and a ramekin for silver glitter plus I added a few drops of peppermint oil to each.  NOTE:  I also experimented with a mixture of red glitter with some drops from a tube of red watercolour.  I don’t think I mixed it enough because the end result was pretty goopy.  I’m sure it could be done right though – just not by me this time round!

One at a time, dip a snowflake into the cocktail.  Poke it all round so all the air bubbles escape and the glitter is mixed all through.  Flip it over and mix some more.  Pick up the wee snowflake and squeeze out the excess liquid (trust me, you want to do this step or else the wee beasty will take days to dry and be really thick).  Move the snowflake to a nice place to dry – like a cookie rack or a plate that it will not stick to. 

If you’re doing multiple versions (such as my gold and my silver) I suggest you do all the one style then all the other style or else you’ll be making constant trips to the sink so as to avoid cross-contamination amongst the cocktails.  Ok, so now let the little guys dry – all the way!  When nice and stiff and dry, affix a hook and find a lovely place to hang the thing…

…such as on the tree!

Or on your Christmas bunting…

Or on some garland…

So remember that time that we put on A Very She & Him Christmas Album, sat back with a mug of mulled wine, and revelled at our crocheted snowflakey, pepperminty goodness!   That was great….
And now for some more crocheted ornament ideas… (click image for pattern link)


Alessa said...

Aww, those are lovely! And I love the peppermint&glitter idea!

Meg the Grand said...

Ooooo .. these are all so lovely!!! I love adding glittery things to my tree!!

Marilyn623 said...

Gorgeous! You may have to make some for your mum! (in your spare time of course...)