Hi, everyone! Once again, I am taking over the Saturday Spotlight this weekend with the recap of Watch-Learn-Create Challenge #52. It featured guest Evelin Milanesi, also known as @Evelindecora, and her signature Piped Crochet Technique developed in 2016.
A big thank-you to each one of you who participated in the challenge. We have seen cozy sweaters, stockings, and dainty baby sets, but also snakes, sharks, and 3-D cookie scenes. Some of you even applied this technique to contoured cookies (i.e., ornament and hat cookies), incorporating what you learned in both Challenges #51 and #52!
Although the Piped Crochet Technique may look easy when piped by Evelin, to master this technique, you need to take your time, get into a calm mindset, and use a royal icing consistency that is on point. Evelin explained everything in her demo, first on paper, then on acetate, and finally on cookies. Her demo was a true online class, and I can’t thank Evelin enough for sharing her knowledge with us! [EDITOR'S NOTE: Likewise! I watched Evelin's video for the third time last night and was just as impressed as I was the first time. Thank you, Evelin, for such wonderful instruction! ~JMU]
As you know, Evelin has donated one hour of her time to one lucky entrant who will have the chance to connect with her and ask anything cookie-related in a friendly Zoom chat. And the randomly drawn winner is, 🥁🥁🥁 . . .
. . . @MANUELA CANTÙ! Many congrats, Manuela! Evelin will get in contact with you through Cookie Connection to send you the link to the Zoom chat. Thanks again, Evelin!
Below is Manuela’s entry.
A Warm Winter by MANUELA CANTÙ
Manuela used the Piped Crochet Technique on jumpers (aka sweaters), gloves, a winter hat, and even on a snowflake. One difficulty encountered by Manuela, and shared in the comments under her entry, was that her stiff icing became creamy. Click on her entry (pink link above) to read the tips shared by Evelin about this issue.
Let's turn now to the top ten challenge entries that have trended the fastest over the last month. (Note: This top ten list is determined automatically by Cookie Connection site-trending algorithms. These algorithms use the rate of change in members' collective likes, comments, and reactions to each entry to determine the rankings shown here.)
#1: Let It Snow! by Elena Di Giacopo
This gorgeous challenge entry was Elena’s first post ever on Cookie Connection. Each and every cookie is so delicate, dainty, and flawless, and the royal icing crochet “stitches” are so tiny! Elena, we were impressed and hope to see more of your posts in future challenges and Cookie Connection clip feeds!
#2: Evelin Stars by Icingsugarkeks
Icingsugarkeks, aka Gabi, said in reference to her entry, “After the 19 stars, I soon found the pattern faster than even the dots on the other stars.” Practice makes perfect, and she surely mastered Evelin’s Piped Crochet Technique.
#3: Shark in Crochet Net by Sandy_S
Welcome to new Cookie Connection member @Sandy_S who stepped right into the challenge with this amazing first post! Sandy is “brand-new to cookie decorating", and this cookie is the first thing that she has ever piped. Well done!
#4: Evelin-Inspired Milk Snake by Stevie Jean
Who knew that Evelin’s Piped Crochet Technique could work so well as snake scales! What an impressive piping job by Stevie, especially because it's so much harder to pipe this pattern on a curved shape. A great entry showing great imagination!
#5: Warm Garden by Heather Bruce Sosa
Speaking of imagination, aren't Heather’s watering cans covered in crochet the cutest?
#6: Bébé Papillon by Dulcinea “Dool ceē neah”
Piped crochet and textured fondant work so well together in this dainty baby set.
#7: A White Dream by Petra Florean
This darling cookie was Petra’s third of four entries. Despite the difficulties she encountered at first with piping straight lines, Petra didn’t give up, and her piped crochet improved entry after entry.
#8: Guille’s Cot by Heather Bruce Sosa
Special congrats to Heather on her second featured entry! Look at the three different ways she was inspired to use the Piped Crochet Technique in this gorgeous 3-D cookie scene - for the rug, the blanket, and the girl's pinafore.
#9: Knit Stockings by EAC
EAC made some adjustments to her icing consistency and reduced her piping tip size to align more with Evelin’s instructions, as she explains in the first comment under her entry. And those adjustments appear to have worked - EAC nailed the Piped Crochet Technique!
#10: Baby Shower Crochet Set by Ira Varinia
Ira said she's never been a big fan of using piping tips, but she learned that using them is not as hard as she thought it would be . . . just look at these perfect stitches!
A special mention to @Zeena and @LisaF who combined the techniques learned in the previous challenge (about shaping and covering 3-D cookies with @Julia M. Usher) with those learned in Evelin’s challenge. They made some gorgeous contoured cookies covered in piped crochet: Crochet Bauble and Hats, Cats, and Scarves! You can also find all of the challenge entries under this link. I encourage you to check out the comments under each entry to find tips and tricks from each entrant about this learning experience. As we learn together, we grow together.
I leave you with a video that captures, from start to finish, the whole Watch-Learn-Create Challenge #52 with Evelin. You’ll see some timelapsed highlights from Evelin’s demo and a slideshow of all of the entries, including some work-in-process pictures posted by our entrants in comments under their photos. What an amazing feast for the eyes. Thanks again to all who participated!
The next challenge is in the works and will be posted very soon - if not by the end of next week, then surely by the end of the month. Stay tuned!
Manuela Pezzopane, affectionately called Manu by her friends and family, is the author of the blog feature Made by Manu, where each month she shares the method behind a magical cookie of her own making. In March 2022, Manu also assumed the role of host of our rebranded and reformatted Cookie Connection Challenges: Watch-Learn-Create Series, which debuted in a virtual video format in July 2022. A fan of everything handmade, Manu professes to have tried every possible hobby. However, it wasn’t until the end of 2014, when an American friend invited her to a Christmas cookie exchange, that she first discovered decorated cookies. In 2015, after watching Julia M. Usher's videos and signing up on Cookie Connection, Manu finally attempted her own designs. Since then, cookie decorating has become Manu’s passion, and her mesmerizing video shorts have earned her a large and loyal following throughout the global cookie community. Manu harks from Rome, Italy, where she currently resides. You can email Manu at email@example.com, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or explore her past challenges and large library of Made by Manu tutorials here on Cookie Connection.
Photo credit: Manuela Pezzopane