Thursday, January 2, 2014

From the Yarn Basket, Holiday Edition: Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

With the days growing shorter and the nights growing colder, Cory and I couldn't wait for our first Dublin Christmas to arrive. Our traditions in Iowa included over-zealous decorating of our home and the baking of loads of Christmas treats. Although we have been fully able to find a plethora of Christmas treats, both familiar and new, it has been difficult to recreate our usual Christmas environs. Sadly, all of our decorating fare was left in boxes across the Atlantic Ocean, and we were left with very little to bring Christmas cheer to our humble apartment. Furthermore, despite our high northern latitude in Ireland, we stay fairly mild and green through the winter. Christmas was windy and rainy rather than snowy and white. 

Crocheting to the rescue! As you might imagine, there is absolutely no shortage of holiday-themed knitting and crocheting patterns to be found on the interwebs, so all I needed to do was choose one. I had been doing quite a bit of knitting in the last few months, which made me crave a little bit of crochet-hook action. This led me to choose the ideal decoration: snowflakes! 

After much consideration, making snowflakes to hang in the window was the perfect decorating solution, and it would serve two important purposes. First, I don't think there is a better way to exercise my crochet muscles--it's possible, but much more difficult to make (roughly) circular-shaped objects with knitting needles, making snowflakes are a great use of crochet. Crocheted snowflakes are small and quick to make, involving some lacy techniques that are fun and interesting to use. Second, it would bring us some pseudo-Midwestern-U.S.A. weather flair. 

I happened to have various shades and weights of cream-colored yarn lying around, including some Caron Simply Soft acrylic worsted weight in "off white", and the leftover I Love this Cotton that I used to make washcloths a few months ago. A quick search of Ravelry led me to more patterns than I could possibly use, so I won't link to all of them. Most of them are based around a chain stitch circle, with chains, double crochets, and picot stitches in various combinations to make the snowflake shapes.

Over the span of about a week, while Cory and I binged on all of the Christmas movies we could find in our DVD binder or on Netflix, I whipped up 18 snowflakes of various shapes and sizes. I used some gift-wrap ribbon and tape to display them in the window. 

Snowflake decorations hanging in the window
Snow? In Dublin?

Snowflake decorations hanging in the window
Oh no! It's really coming down out there!
Small crocheted snowflake
Close up of a cute little flake.

Large crocheted snowflake
One of the larger flakes
All things considered, it's actually a luxury that we don't have to deal with severe winter weather while we are living in Ireland. Travel plans are easier to make, and going outside is never painful. And there is nothing to stop you from using yarn to create a white Christmas!

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