21 November 2012

Care and Feeding of Your Handmade Snowflake

You have purchased a one of a kind handmade snowflake, and with a little love, it will last for many, many years. In fact, barring some kind of destructive incident, this is the kind of stuff that paleontologists dig out of the remains of collapsed civilizations centuries on. Obviously, Step 1 is, don't let civilization collapse!

As long as that is in order, snowflake husbandry is pretty clear:

Keep it dry, keep it flat. Keep it in the sleeve it came in whenever it is not hung up on display.

Failing those, things go pear-shaped fast. Moisture is the #1 enemy of this thing, so you'll want to keep it indoors, and not hang it in the shower. It is possible with larger snowflakes that just gravity and time will pull the arms down out of place, this is perfectly normal.

There are all kinds of ways to get a snowflake back into shape, such as gently ironing it, pressing it in the pages of a book (preferably between sheets of wax paper, or in an envelope), or going all out and blocking it over again.

Blocking is the thing I did to change it from a curled-up ball of knotted string into the snowflake you now have, and requires water, some kind of stiffener (such as glue, and I added superfine glitter to most of my batches), and a lot of pins. The simplest snowflake generally requires at least a dozen pins, and the complicated ones can get up toward 4 dozen!

The basic idea is, carefully wash the snowflake and get most of the water out of the thread, and then put the stiffener on it, so that it gets into the fibers. Finally, you pin it out in the shape you want, and let it dry overnight, or as long as it takes to be 100% dry. When you remove the pins, your snowflake should be ready to hang up somewhere, or tuck back into its envelope, or use it for a bookmark -- whatever it is that you would like to do.

If that all seems like too much trouble (check out the pictures of pinned-out snowflakes in this blog if you want to see what you're signing up for), just shoot me an email, and most likely I will tell you that you can simply mail me your snowflake to put back in order. No charge, just whatever postage costs you to send it, which should not be much. I will send it back to you as soon as it is repaired.

See that forest of pins? There are only 7 snowflakes here!
It goes without saying that if you should wish to get some more of my hand-crocheted ornaments, I will be happy to talk to you about a custom order.

Thanks for supporting my little foray into the snowflake business!

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