08 November 2013

Of Snowflakes & Starch

I honestly cannot believe how long I've been offline. I do sincerely apologize for that! I would blame it on the sinus infection I had at the same time my daughter had pneumonia, and my husband was at the beginning stages of a sinus infection, buuuut . . . that only lasted one week, and the rest of the time, well, I've just been lazy.

My latest endeavor is to make a bunch of pretty ornaments to post in the Etsy shop. Crochet snowflakes are some of the prettiest ornaments; perhaps even some of my favorites ever. You know, "girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes," for you Julie Andrews fans out there. So far, I've made some granny stars, and a few pretty little snowflakes. I'm also making a couple pairs of tiny snowflake earrings. I'm stoked!

One of my bigger pet peeves in the crochet world is the amount of folks who just don't know about starch. It seems that every photo of a doily depicts one that is extra floppy. I'm not saying they should be super duper stiff, but it seems more evident in my snowflake ornament research that more folks know to starch the ornaments than others. It just makes sense that if an ornament has to be starched, then so does a doily. They're both made of crochet thread. They're both used in decorations around the home and need to stand up to some use. If you want them to stay pretty, they should have some help keeping their shape, right?

So, my ornaments/earrings (just like my doilies after I've made them) have been hanging out in a cup full of starch all day. This is what I had to do to keep my lovely family out of the little cup they were in:

After hanging out there, they were stretched out ("blocked") on a piece of cork "bulletin" board with push pins. (It's so evident these were taken at different times of the day, because both were taken in the same area. Eep.) Here's a photo of the ornaments:

Aren't they pretty? I'm so excited about these little darlings! I'm even more excited to getting around to making even more! They make perfect gifts for those folks y'all just don't know how to shop, or even make for.

For a lovely little size comparison, here's a photo of one of the doilies I made for the centerpieces at my wedding back in June:

The ornaments ALL fit on one little 12x12 board. For the doily, I had to kind of tape the four together and fit it in the middle.

The solution that I used for both the ornaments and the wedding doilies is about 1:1. I wanted the wedding centerpieces to be stiffer than your average doily, since I made them months in advance, thus needing them to be able to stand up to the move and storage. Some of them even went to homes in California and Maine, so they needed to additionally stand up to the travel post-wedding. For a normal doily, I would use a solution of 2:1, water:starch.

Look for more photos of "my favorite things" that will be added to the shop soon!

Happy Stitching! xo

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