|blocking: before and after|
I was at the fabric store shopping for table runner material when I spotted this: a spray bottle of "Stiffening Stuff" Reading the label more closely I see "Perfect for bows, lace doilies, silk flowers & crochet work". Isn't that exactly what these little snowflakes need?
Some suggested a sugar/water solution to stiffen it but I'm hesitant about that because I've heard that it can yellow within months and may need to be washed out and reapplied regularly. Many warned that laundry starch won't give enough stiffness to the work. I also considered thinning some white craft glue or modge podge but I've read that the spray stuff gives a better, less rigid and shiny result. So I thought I'd give this a try.
It's definitely stiffer. It also blocked out bigger with more defined points. That's the good news. But the side that I sprayed is left with a slightly crusty texture and there's stiffening stuff attached to the fuzzy fibres within the lacy holes. That's the bad news.
Gavin has agreed to make me a blocking jig for the snowflakes with wood and finishing nails - think nail and thread art. Today I have to make up a template for him so that he knows exactly where to position the nails. Once he's made the jig I'll fit a crocheted snowflake onto the nails, hopefully leaving it suspended above the base - allowing me to spray Stiffening Stuff on both sides. Then while the flake is still on the blocking jig I can use a blow dryer to dry it. With luck the blow dryer will clean out the solution from the lacy holes and leave it a bit fuzzier. I hope it works!