A New Real Snowflake Pattern

Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time may remember when I collected a number of photographs of actual snowflakes and created crochet versions for seven of them. Patterns hereReal snowflakes to copyAt the time I decided that the snowflake in the top left of the picture would be too hard for me to make. (As an aside: I also decided that the eighth snowflake (bottom middle) was too textured to be able to do justice to it in three or four rows.)

This was for two main reasons.

  1. It would have to involve using picot type stitches and I had been unable to make satisfactory picots.
  2. I was afraid that the arms would end up floppy.

However since then I have discovered where I was going wrong and how to make picots that lie flat. I also saw some snowflakes with a similar style of points in this book: which gave me encouragement0192-bookand I have been making some snowflakes to be sold in a local charity shop using acrylic yarn and a 2.5mm hook and found that with that size hook, even acrylic snowflakes can end up very firm.

I started off using that size hook rather than a more obvious choice of 3.5mm because I had been given a Clover Armour hook of that size and was really enjoying using it , so was reluctant to use an ordinary hook. 0517-new-snowflakeAnd here is a comparison with the original photograph. 0517-comparison-with-real-snowflakeYou can see that even with my crochet not being 100% even it is still more symmetrical than the original!

For anyone who is interested in making one (or more!) here is the pattern.

Note that whereas the other snowflakes for which I created the earlier patterns all end up a similar size this one is necessarily a little larger. 0517-snowflake-comparison

Snowflake Pattern (UK terms)

I crochet fairly tightly so all I can recommend is that you chose a 2.5mm hook or even smaller, for DK (worsted weight) yarn depending on how loosely you crochet. For other weight yarn use a hook much smaller than you would normally use if you want the points to hold up under their own weight. This can mean that not all the yarn pulls through on a stitch sometimes and it has to be redone!

Start: With a magic loop or 4ch circle if you prefer (but I think that a magic loop is better as you can pull it really tight.)

Round 1: Work 6dc into the loop or circle and slip stitch closed

Round 2: 3ch (= 1sr tr) then into 1st dc work (tr, 6ch). Work 2trs followed by 6ch into each of the following 5dc of the previous round. Slip stitch into the third chain at the start of the round.

This last round creates the points and is the trickiest round. It is really a matter of making five picots but adding an extra slip stitch to hold both sides together on the last two. I think where you add the extra slip stitches is obvious as it is the hole at the bottom of the picot on the opposite side.

For anyone, who like myself, finds their picots don’t look right the answer I found was when slip stitching to use method two of my four ways to crochet into a chain.

Round 3: (The following is repeated six  times, you can omit the final slip stitch for the sixth repeat and just sew in the end.)

7ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook, 4ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook, 8ch, slip stitch into eighth chain from hook, 4ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook. Here you work an extra slip stitch into the same stitch as the stitch for the second of the earlier four chain picots. Then 4ch, slip stitch into fourth chain from hook, plus an extra slip stitch into the same stitch as the stitch for the first of the earlier four chain picots. 3ch and end by slip stitching into the second of the two trebles.

Then working into the 6ch loop. Dc, hdc, 2ch, dc, 2ch hdc, dc. Slip stitch into 1st tr of next pair.

Finish: Pull the centre tightly closed, if using the magic loop. Sew in the ends securely and then pull the points and loops hard until the snowflake lies flat and looks even. Or else pin out on a board and leave for a while. 0517-snowflake-pinned-on-boardAs always, I welcome any comments on the pattern, especially pointing out errors!

Here is a photograph of the snowflake suspended. As you can see the points really do stay stiff! 0517-hanging-snowflake

Making a snowflake cloth

Plan for rainbow snowflake spiral cloth as in photograph is at the bottom of the post.

Because there is a woman in my craft group whom I have been teaching how to make the snowflakes that I used for my spiral rainbow clothRainbow spiral clothas well as how to join the snowflakes together. I thought that I would put together a couple of tutorials. One on making the snowflake and another on joining two and then three snowflakes, just in case they would be of use to anyone else.

The woman in question wants to make a top for her daughter but the snowflakes could be used for anything really.

I joined them in a rainbow spiral but it is worth mentioning that the snowflakes look good when different coloured ones are next to each other.

For this three colours are both necessary and sufficient as in this diagram.3 colour hexagonsI have used the colours as I used for the tutorial, simply as they contrast well.

The original pattern is found in this post – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/snowflake-bookmark-pattern/

and the full tutorial – HERE

The tutorial for joining the snowflakes is HERE

I will eventually add these to the tutorials in the menu.

I originally gave a chart for how to join two snowflakes when using them for a bookmark.

Original snowflake bookmark joining chartThis can be enlarged if you click on it.

The stars in this chart represent replacing the central chain of the joining loops of the second showflake with a slip stitch into the adjoining loop of the first snowflake.

At the time it seemed the easiest way to show what needed to be done.

But now I have done some new charts.

[Please excuse the fact that as the charts get more complicated I have not always managed to have the slip stitch symbol as near the loop it is worked into as would be ideal.]

The first one shows joining two snowflakes together with slip stitches in the right places.Joining 2 snowflakes chartNote that you work the first four corners and join on the last two. You end with the four dcs. (US – scs) no slip stitch needed. Just sew in ends.

When you have a third snowflake to join this is the chart.Joining 3 snowflakes chartNotice the large blue spot in the centre. That represents a slip stitch worked by inserting the hook into the 7 chain loop of the second (red) snowflake and out of the 7 chain loop of the first (black) snowflake.

For the third snowflake you work three corners before starting the joined corners.If you continue joining snowflakes around the first snowflake you will find when you complete the circle that you have to join four corners. The second and third of these will involve slip stitching into two loops at once as in the chart above.Joining four corners chartThis time obviously, you only work two corners before having to think of joining.

As you can see from the charts, for every sequence of joining snowflakes the first and last loops are un-joined but every loop in between is joined.

I used DK weight (US – worsted weight) cotton and a 4mm hook but any suitable yarn and hook could be used.

If anyone finds any mistakes in the charts or tutorials or photographs please let me know as I know I made many mistakes along the way but think I have now corrected them.

Here is the plan I made for the rainbow spiral cloth.

Rainbow spiral cloth plan
This will enlarge if you click on it

For the edging I slip stiched into the loops at the points of the snowflakes and worked 3ch loops between adjacent loops and 5ch loops between corners.

My latest Rainbow project

This is a very special project that has been on my mind since the early days of my blog.

Once I was comfortable with crochet, I knew that I wanted to make something to go on my dining table. The early thoughts were actually fairly monochrome but one day I saw this rug – http://vi.sualize.us/pdf_pattern_hexagon_rug_available_in_english_and_spanish_yo-yo_spiral_crochet_stripe_picture_C1BQ.html – and I was inspired.

What could be better than something made up of hexagons that was also a spiral!

(I really like multiple spirals – Bedcoverviz. my bedcover my mother made for me.)

One thing that has always fascinated me is the fact that the rainbow that is essentially linear – longer to shorter wavelengths – is paralleled by the colour CIRCLE which goes round and round!

Here was a chance to use that since hexagons meant a six colour spiral and I have always considered the indigo to be a bit redundant.

And if the hexagon motifs were actually snowflakes! what could be better.

When I shared my new snowflake motif and my Snowflake bookmark pattern in January 2014 what I was planning was this cloth but I didn’t want to share the whole idea yet as I didn’t know when I would fit it in.

I had mentioned it earlier here – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/a-new-snowflake/

The size was largely determined by how many motifs I could get out of one ball of yarn.New yarnThis is the yarn I bought last October. Including one ball each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet and two balls of dark blue for the edge. I was going to make the central motif in white but I had that already.

I didn’t find time to start it till this February and it might have been finished before Easter if I hadn’t got distracted by other things!

A first I had terrible second thoughts as to whether it was going to look any good but by the time I had spent a week on it and it looked like this.After 1 weekI felt reassured.

Because I can and because I am so happy I will show you various stages in it’s developement.

The coloured spirals complete.Spirals completedThe dark blue (indigo!) edging added.Blue edge addedFinished off with a white chain edging.

Final rainbow spiral clothI wasn’t sure which way to put it on the table.Cloth parallel to sidesorCloth across tableNow recently the cloth I have had on the table has been this:Childhood tea clothwhich was the teatime cloth my mother made that was used when I was a child. (Just a bit of nostalgia!)

Aren’t the rabbits cute?Embroidered bunniesBefore that I was using this.Mother's crochet clothAlso made by my mother.

Which is now replaced by this.Rainbow spiral cloth

Everyone in my Friday craft group seem to just love this and there is a women in the craft group who wants to make a bolero for her daughter using these motifs (though all in the same colour). So in due course I was intending to supplement the bookmark pattern with further instructions on joining the motifs in case anyone else would also like to use them.

Some statistics:-

Yarn was Rico Essentials Cotton (DK) 50g balls. One each of: Red (02), Pumpkin (87), Banana (63), Grass-Green (66), Turquoise (33) and Purple (18) and two of Cobalt Blue (32), with small amount of white.

Size 4mm crochet hook.

21 motifs for each coloured spiral. 42 motifs for edge. Total of 169 including one white central one.

Finished size from side to side is about 30 inches (75cm) and 35 inches (87cm) corner to corner.

Time taken in the region of 50-60 hours including sewing in the ends. (Spread over about six weeks).

What I’m working on

Apart from my waistcoat and socks I am working on a couple of Christmassy ideas which involve making snowflakes.

I showed you this book I had bought last ChristmasSnowflake bookWell originally I had thought that I might work my way through the book and I had certainly started.

But this year, having made a couple more out of the book and not having liked them especially.

More snowflakes from book

I decided that maybe I shouldn’t try to make all of them but just make the ones I liked best. YES! I now understand why the second one wouldn’t lie flat! It is not a snowflake at all! It has seven points! Woops!

So that is what I have done.

I have made them in some of my rainbow colours crochet cotton and also silver and gold.

Snowflakes

They haven’t been ironed or stiffened, except the smaller silver and gold ones. I stiffened the smaller silver one with PVA glue and it is stiff as a board. For the smaller gold one I used spray starch and I preferred the feel of that one.

I have also been crochetting some more baubles.

Bauble shells

Now all I have to do is finish them off and work them into my special Christmas projects.

My aim is to pin out the snowflakes when I stiffen them. Like I did using the template below.

Template

But I want to make more templates and I have still to find my geometry set!

There was frost on the roofs this morning so maybe I should change to my winter background.

Snowflake bookmark pattern

I was thinking of sharing this anyway but as I have been asked about it, here is the details of how to make a snowflake bookmark.

0219-snowflakebookmark

Firstly the basic snowflake pattern that is a more lacey version of the second of my ‘Easy Real Snowflakes’.

Snowflake 2

Pattern (UK version )

I like to start with a Magic circle but you could use a six chain loop – work 6ch, ss into first chain. There is supposed to be a hole in the centre.

Round 1: 5ch (=1st tr + 2ch) then (2tr, 2ch) five times, 1tr, ss into 3rd ch at start.

Round 2: ss into gap, 6ch (=1st tr + 3ch) then 1tr into same gap, 2ch. Work into each of

following five gaps (tr, 3ch, tr, 2ch), ss into 3rd ch at start.

Round 3: Working all slip stitches into the gap below the 3ch of previous row.

ss, 5ch, ss, 7ch, ss, 5ch, ss,  then dc into tr of previous row, 2dc into gap below 2ch of previous row, dc into tr. Repeat all of this five times. No need to join, just sew in end.

Pattern (US version)

I like to start with a Magic circle but you could use a six chain loop – work 6ch, ss into first chain. There is supposed to be a hole in the centre.

Round 1: 5ch (=1st dc + 2ch) then (2dc, 2ch) five times, 1dc, ss into 3rd ch at start.

Round 2: ss into gap, 6ch (=1st dc + 3ch) then 1dc into same gap, 2ch. Work into each of

following five gaps (dc, 3ch, dc, 2ch), ss into 3rd ch at start.

Round 3: Working all slip stitches into the gap below the 3ch of previous row.

ss, 5ch, ss, 7ch, ss, 5ch, ss,  then sc into dc of previous row, 2sc into gap below 2ch of previous row, sc into dc. Repeat all of this five times. No need to join, just sew in end.

Here is a chart

0223-newsnowflakechart

Now for the

Bookmark

For my bookmark I used #10 crochet cotton and a 1.25mm hook. but you could make a daintier bookmark with #20 cotton and a smaller hook if you preferred

For the bookmark make one snowflake as above, then make another snowflake but on round 3 when working the trefoil loops into the last two gaps make a ss into the loops of the previous snowflake where they will touch, as shown in the chart below by the stars.

Joining chart

0223-snowflakebookmarkjoiningchart

Repeat this three times so you have four snowflakes joined together, then spray with spray starch and iron to stiffen or use other preferred stiffening method.

Take seven strands of cotton 9ins (22cm) long fold in half and working from the back of the bookmark, insert large hook into bottom gap, pull through the central loop and thread ends through to make a long tassel.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

I hope that this is clear but if not just let me know by adding a comment below.

A Lovely Surprise

Before Christmas is totally forgotten, I thought I would post this.

On Twelfth night I tidied away all the Christmas decorations except for my snowflake tree and the LED snowflake lights. The tree is intended to be something to mark the different seasons and I thought the lights would add a bit of colour in the evening till the days get longer.

But something that I received before Christmas but only opened with my other presents came from Pretty Little Things in a Box.

I knew she was sending me a pin cushion as part of her mega November Giveaway – http://prettylittlethingsinabox.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/a-little-christmas-spirit-winners-announced/

But when I opened it I found that there were other goodies.

0219-surprise

I have been wanting to try some cross stitch since so many other people seem to be doing it. (It will have to be quick, easy cross stitch mind you.) So I have added the threads to my embroidery thread collection which gives me an even better range of colours. And all I need to do now is to decide what to do and fit it into my already crowded list of projects to do this year.

I did love the pin cushion and it will be very useful and stop me getting pins all over the floor when I am sewing!

Not sure where to fit in the buttons and star shaped beads but I will put them in my bead and button drawer for now.

Now as you know I love giveaways and, although I am not ready to do another one, I decided that I would like to respond by sending something in return.

I decided to send a bookmark and something special in the embroidery line.

Since, from the little snowflake charm on the pincushion and the cut-out on the accompanying card, it looked like she liked snowflakes I decided to make a new snowflake bookmark.

I used my new snowflake design and joined four of them together with slip stitches where they touched and added a tassel.

0219-snowflakebookmark

I found some gold and silver embroidery thread in John Lewis

0219-metallicthread

and sent that as well.

I hope she likes them. I posted them off a couple of weeks ago so hopefully they should come soon.

Snowflakes everywhere!

My house seems to be full of snowflake decorations this year.

There is my snowflake tree. I think it would take more snowflakes and I may have more by next year. 🙂

0213-snowflaketree

There are gel snowflakes on the glass of the patio door,

0213-gelsnowflakes

a chain of snowflakes across the fireplace,

0213-mantlepiece

my snowflake wreath that I made last year,

Snowflake wreath on door

a couple of snowflake decorations for the Christmas tree

0213-treesnowflakes

and (this that was a bit of an impulse buy)

LED colour changing snowflakes.

0213-sittingroom

The great thing about these is that by hanging them against this internal window I can also see some of them when I am in the kitchen.

0213-inkitchen(Yes ! that is me in my apron taking the photo.)

And I have even found some snowflake tinsel that I have threaded between the banisters.

0213-snowflaketinsel

I must admit that although a little sprinkling of the real thing would be lovely; these days I am less happy when I have days of slip-sliding on ice afterwards.

A New Snowflake!

209-cottonsnowflake

The other day I had an idea for a new project! Yes I know I don’t really need another project to add to my list. 🙂

But this one has been in the back of my mind for a long time. It is to make a crochet cloth for my pine dining table. I have collected various ideas along the way but never really fixed on any of them. Then I had the idea, since I like hexagons patterns and snowflakes are six sided, to make a cloth based on snowflakes. However I felt that I needed a snowflake pattern that was lacy, quick and easy to make and had the classic trefoil snowflake points.

I couldn’t find quite what I wanted in my ‘100 snowflakes’ book, so I ended by working up a pattern based on the second of my ‘Easy Real Snowflakes’

Snowflake 2

About the time I devised the pattern I was travelling to Aylesbury to see my daughter and granddaughter performing in a pantomime, so I practiced joining the snowflakes together on the train.

209-trialjoining

I took the fine cotton because it was easy to transport.

After this I tried using a couple of scraps of my DK cotton yarn to make a bigger one. (Probably the size I will use) – that is the one at the top.

And yesterday I tried making a few for a garland in the Stylecraft ‘Special DK’ yarn while on the bus to Romsey.

209-snowflakegarland

As you can see: I can’t quite decide the best way to join the snowflakes. Whether to join opposite points or ones just two away from each other. The trouble with using opposite points is that since the centre of gravity is on the joining line rather than below they are in danger of flopping forward.

If anyone has done something similar I would be glad to know how you would join them.

Making them while on the train or bus makes me feel that they aren’t taking my attention from more urgent things like Christmas presents and the CAL blanket.

The trip to Romsey was to buy one more ball of the Stylecraft yarn to finish the border of the CAL blanket since the final edging I had devised was rather yarn hungry and I had almost run out when only half way round.

100 snowflakes

No I haven’t made 100 snowflakes but a few weeks ago I saw this book in a bookshop
0192-book

Now I’ve worked up a few snowflake patterns myself but there is no way I would have time to create 100 different ones.

The snowflakes in this book are all proper snowflakes with six sides and they are not excessively lacey like some I’ve seen which would make them too far from real snowflakes.

So of course I just had to buy the book.

Last Christmas I showed some of my snowflakes on my display tree.

0125-whitetree

But this year I wanted to make many, many snowflakes in crochet cotton. I had some variegated blue and white #10 crochet cotton so I decided to start with that.

So far I have made three from my patterns for ‘easy real snowflakes’

0192-mine

And four from the book

0192-frombook

I had intended originally to start at the beginning but I decided to take the cotton with me to make some while I was in Spain and photocopied a few pages.

0192-photocopies

But as I hadn’t wanted to press the book down too hard some patterns were easier to read than others, so I will have to start back at the beginning now I am home.

As they are made from cotton and some of the ones from the book are harder to shape than mine, I made a template to help me pin them out ready to spray with starch and iron.

0192-template

Annoyingly I couldn’t find my geometry set but I think this is good enough.

I think maybe I could have done better with the shaping but as I have noted before, real snowflakes are not perfectly symmetrical.

Unfortunately this is going to have to be a fill-in project to be done on the bus and in odd moments as I am trying to finish the border on my spectrum granny ripple blanket so I can use it.

0192-border

and have just started to join the CAL squares.

Sneak preview –

0192-preview

No! I am not blocking them. I will give it a careful iron when I have finished,