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For many years I have loved the delicate intricacies of crocheted snowflakes, but felt a little intimidated to attempt to make one myself.  This year I finally summoned the motivation to try it, and I have been amazed and encouraged by my results.  If you are unaccustomed to the small size of #10 crochet cotton and a microscopic (almost) steel hook (I use size 6, most patterns recommend the even smaller 7) it may take a little time to get comfortable with it.  Even if you do a lot of handwork, you may find that they cause your hands to cramp more than usual, but I’ve found that it’s not nearly as difficult as I always thought.  I followed the step by step pattern shown on this video tutorial. . . IMG_1626

. . .and this one–although it was a little more difficult to follow, since I don’t speak Russian.  It was so beautiful, though, that I persisted and was very pleased with my final product.

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I played with a few techniques I learned from the videos, including the “magic circle” and a few different ways to make picots, and have come up with a couple of my own slight variations.  For me, a snowflake is just not a snowflake if it has more or less than six geometric sides.  So I will continue to play with them and come up with original designs based on other crochet techniques and pictures I’ve seen online, including these stunning photos of real snowflakes.

If you’re interested in learning how to graph a design for your own crochet snowflake, click here.  To see a tutorial on how to sugar harden your snowflakes, click here.  If you are like me, and prefer a visual pattern rather than a written one, you may be interested in learning the technique of charting crochet patterns, as seen here.

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My long term goal is to decorate a tree almost entirely in crocheted snowflakes for The Festival of Trees next year in honor of my dad.  The Festival of Trees held in Salt Lake City is unlike any Christmas celebration you’ve ever seen!  There are other tree festivals throughout the world, I suppose, but this has been dubbed the “granddaddy of them all.”  The money raised benefits Primary Children’s Hospital.  My family and I have been indebted to them for helping to work miracles of turning stressful times of worry into peace and hope, with happy, healthy children on more than one occasion.  We have made a tradition of going to the festival annually on the first weekend of December.  We know we’ll find the true spirit of giving and gratitude and a healthy perspective of our blessings.  We always take a pocket full of tissues.  Many of the trees are donated in honor of–and dedicated to the memories of–children who have suffered and struggled at Primary Children’s Hospital.  Others are made in honor of adults who have left us and are missed (like my daddy who lost his battle with Alzheimer’s this year.) We cry–for sorrow for those who have lost their battles, and for the families who are left behind–and for joy for the many children who have come out triumphant and carefree.  We always leave feeling better connected as a family and feeling grateful to be alive.  I’m excited to use my new found talents and resources to contribute to such a worthy cause!  I’ll post on my progress as the year goes by, so be sure to check back for updates!

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