Caught In the Family Snowdrift

This winter, I’ve been hard at work in the evenings making crocheted snowflakes, a family tradition made famous many years ago by my grandmother and her sister. My grandmother was one of ten children, and I do believe the entire family tree is decorated with their crocheted snowflakes and angels every Christmas! As I struggle to get the hang of the tiny stitches, I remember how Grandma and Aunt Daisy could turn them out by the dozen, often making them up as they went along.

Grandma’s angel.

I’ve always loved to do things with my hands, but this year I’m especially savoring the chilly evenings by the fire and twinkling Christmas tree, working busily on something beautiful. No computer, no phone, sometimes an old movie and sometimes just silence – as the thread loops and twists, my thoughts straighten out into one long appreciation of the simple life. My ancestors didn’t have it easy, but they had a sense of fun, beauty, and family that holds us together to this day.

After decades of enjoyment, this year the old snowflakes are finally beginning to show their age, losing their stiffness and looking grimy from years of hands. Thanks to the modern connective threads of the digital age, cousins are exchanging a flurry of instructions for washing, starching, and blocking the snowflakes to restore their shape and sparkle. I like to think of all these cousins, each in their kitchens, carefully preserving our heritage. And I’m enjoying adding some of my own to the collection, hopefully in fine family style.


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3 Comments on “Caught In the Family Snowdrift”

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  • Jan Gish Says:
    December 30th, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I stiffened mine with Elmer’s glue. I did that in 1980-82, and they haven’t melted yet, or turned yellow.

  • Official Comment:

    Julie Day Says:
    October 23rd, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Thanks, Alice! Some of the patterns are old and yellowed copies that my grandmother had. But I also use a book called “99 Snowflakes” – I bought it at a craft store, or you can order it here:

    The book says to use a commercial fabric stiffener, but we’ve always made our own starch by boiling equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is fully dissolved. Then just soak the clean snowflakes for 5-10 minutes and block as directed.

    Have fun!

  • alice D'souza Says:
    October 22nd, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    how can I get the patterns for the snowflakes.
    They are very beautiful. Thank you.

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Caught In the Family Snowdrift