30 April 2010

Trailing Along

Longs Peak from Bear LakeSome of my best ideas have come during long training rides, tranquil cross-country skiing, grueling 60-flight stair climbs and while hiking Colorado's fourteeners.

Bears at Bear LakeOne of my most fun ideas involves fourteeners but came to me on the flanks of a much shorter peak, an otherwise unlikely destination with an awesome name (which is precisely why we hiked it). I'd been naming my crocheted bears and lizards after trailheads we traveled to while making the yarn critters. Along the golden aspen flanks of a molehill called Tater Heap, the inspiration to tote my bears up peaks hit me like a bolt of lightning. Stuffed animals have accompanied me on every hike since.

December BannerSnowcatcher came to me as we attempted to summit a pair of rocky peaks called Payne and No Payne, no kidding, on the third anniversary of my unplanned and life-changing back surgery. Surgery occurred in November, and the upper elevations of the Lost Creek Wilderness typically are encrusted with razor-sharp, crunchy snow that time of year. I didn't reach the mountaintops the year Snowcatcher was born. But my first Snowcatcher website was up and running by the following year when I tagged both Payne and No Payne on the fourth anniversary of my surgery. Two celebrations in one!

The design mechanism in my head is always running, even when my fingers can't be creating. When I'm not driving, my fingers are flying.

I write poetry, crochet, knit, quilt, embroider and even occasionally retouch photos while in transit. Much of my handiwork has been accomplished aboard public transportation, but quite a bit is done en route to trailheads and on the way home from same, too, because my Better Half doesn't mind doing all the driving. I have been known to knit and crochet aboard a bike on a trainer. I have created bears in tents and while being chased by smoke around campfires. I even have nearly an entire set of lighted crochet hooks so I can keep going after nightfall.

My darling, charming and attractive husband dreams of riding the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. (He begged me to take the word "sexy" out of that first sentence, so I replaced it.) He once asked if I would accompany him on a tandem bike (and informed me the record time so far, as if I'd ever be able to keep up if that was the goal). I shudder at the thought of portaging a heavy bicycle built for two loaded with supplies, camera and lenses as well as the latest pair of socks in progress over unrideable sections of trail, but I'll bet I could crochet while he steers during the actual journey. Hmmm... maybe I'll have to give the proposition some serious thought!

Nature inspires and invigorates me. Going to and being in nature empowers me. Hopefully, everything I create reflects the beauty around me.

Friday Funny

Because this is Knit and Crochet Blog Week at Snowcatcher...

29 April 2010

Never Too Old

ToyotaI love what you do for me...Something I've been wanting to learn for a long, long time, since another life a very long time ago, is how to use my knitting machine.

I bought the Toyota (the one I haven't driven) used for a GREAT price in about 1998 from a graduating and moving-on university student. I wonder if she would regret parting with this wonderful piece of equipment if she knew it has been in the original box since that day.

My father-in-law has promised to make a sturdy table so klutzy me can safely use the machine without knocking it over and ruining it, which has been my biggest knitting machine fear. This coming winter might be THE winter I pop out my first machine-made sweater.

I wonder if this Toy will get the mileage my 4Runner has seen once I learn the basics...
I Love My Toy!

28 April 2010

Brazilian Snow

Ane's SnowflakesAnemarie Vogelaar Scherrer crochets snowflakes because that's as close as she can get to the real thing in Brazil.

"Snow is a very rare phenomenon in Brazil," she said.

Ane's SnowflakesI heartily agree with Ane when she says crocheting snowflakes is addictive. She made her first one four years ago.

“It is like eating popcorn. If you start, you can’t stop!” she said.

Snowflakes are just one common interest Ane and I share. I find myself drawn to people who nurture the same passions as me, and never could I have imagined another person existed on earth who treasures all things snowflake as fanatically as me.

As you can see from her photographs, Ane loves more than just crocheted flakes. But crocheted snowflakes have become a part of her life now. She's whipping up a snowstorm of her very own in Brazil!

Ane's SnowflakesHer daughter one day suggested Ane try selling her flakes, and she did. Now, in what Ane calls natural evolution, she is beginning to pass on her talent and passion to others.

"This week I will teach crocheted snowflakes for the first time," she said. “It is nice to see my flakes crocheted by other hands. I am very happy!”

I asked about the most difficult thing she’s ever made, and she said she can’t remember anything particularly difficult.

“Maybe some snowflakes are difficult,” she said. “Especially 3D ones. They are funny to me because I don't think 3D snowflakes exist in the nature.” I think I need to send her pictures of some of the huge, heavy, moisture-laden snowflakes that fell here in Colorado last weekend! Alas, my snowflake photography does not match that of masters such as
Wilson Alwyn Bentley, Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Fred Widall, Mark Cassino, and Pam Eveleigh.

My Snowy Colorado TulipAne’s mother taught her to embroider. Her Aunt Helena, from the land of snowy Dutch tulips, taught Ane to crochet, knit and sew with while Ane was young, perhaps 10 years old. Aunt Helena moved with her family (including Ane’s father) to Brazil in 1950 but now lives in Spain.

Ane says she loves all kinds of needles and pins. She is inspired by magazines, books and the internet. She especially likes to see what other people make, then create her own projects and patterns.

“My favorite thing is a portable Christmas tree,” she said. “I sewed a green velvet cone (80cm height) and attached (with lentejoula or bead glue) 36 crocheted snowflakes. I cut out parts from some snowflakes and replaced with embroidery using beads and metallic thread. I can carry the portable tree flat, then fill it with crushed pages of old newspaper.”

Portable Christmas TreeWhat an inspiration. Not only does the portable tree allow her to keep a holiday item ready all year for whatever need might arise, but she also can easily take it to her classes and demonstrate to her students just one of the many ways crocheted snowflakes may be used.

Ane says she likes to make snowflakes and crocheted flowers.
“Yarn or thread, it doesn't matter.”

Her snowflakes are made with Coats Esterlina size 10, 100% cotton, and number 4 (1.25mm) hook.

“When I need a super challenge, I use Esterlina size 20 with a 0.6mm hook.”

I’ve used one of those micro hooks and can attest to how difficult it is to see stitches that tiny. I don't know why we thread crochet lovers force our eyes to work so hard, unless it's just how cute and adorable itsy, bitsy, teensy, tiny things are when done.

Ane, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you better. I enjoyed making your snowflakes!
My interpretation of Ane's 2007 Snowflakes

Wordless Wednesday

Pastel Skies
Recovery Snowflake
Sunset Snowflake
My 2010 SnowMon Badge
Snowflake Sunset
Spring Snowflake Sunrise

27 April 2010

What Dreams are Made of

Weminuche WildernessSome people dream of European vacations, week-long cruises, tropical beaches or rubbing elbows with movie stars. I dream of alpine wildflowers, stalking wildlife, pedaling over mountain passes while listening to streams trickle and songbirds sing, and hiking beneath towers and arches of crimson rock.

We are FamilySome people dream of winning the lottery, winning a seat on a game show, touring the golf courses of the world, shopping the malls of the world, playing Guitar Hero or rubbing elbows with rock stars. I dream of writing novels, publishing calendars, designing things and making the things I design.

Throughout my life, there have been times when I've wondered if I dream too big. Sometimes, I feared I could never attain what I wanted most because what I wanted most was so darned big.

For instance, I want to design and crochet a Gunne Sax-inspired wedding dress. No, not for me. Not anymore, anyway.

I did actually make my wedding dress; it just didn't fit.From the time I was about 16, I wanted to make my own wedding dress. A teenage wallflower, I didn't think I'd ever actually attract a Prince Charming, so there seemed no point in the time-consuming task of creating the dress of my dreams. When I finally found my Rider in Shining Bicycle Armor at the ripe old age of 45, I didn't want to delay my big day for six years while I crocheted with thread the dress in my head.

So that dress is still trapped in my noggin, just waiting to be made. I will make it one day. But not today.

I want to weave my own fabric with yarn I dye myself to make a one-of-a-kind quilt (that yes, I already see it in my head, too). This idea is another treasure I hang onto because I will accomplish it one day. The fantasy part of the dream that might not ever come to life is winning honors in the Denver National Quilt Festival. Quilt judges can be... harsh. But you did NOT hear me say that. Especially if you are a quilt judge.

ICK!A dream I need to put priority on is a filet crochet panel, perhaps with a lizard design, for this window, which came with the house. As is. Because just about anything would look better than this.

My First Handmade SocksI've become somewhat of a sock monster ever since my first pair of crocheted socks back in January, so it's only fitting that one day I make a pair of monster socks. That's the trendy thing to do with sock leftovers – make a pair of Frankenstein-like socks using only odds and ends. The only thing keeping me from starting this right away is that I've been using my leftovers to create little bears, little bunnies, little flowers, little beads and little hearts. Monster socks begin with the very next batch of leftovers!

Lovey Dovey Sock LeftoversI'd really love to finish all the UFOs I've stashed away throughout the years. One by one, I'm slowly chipping away at the list. During the Ravelympics earlier this year, I learned how rewarding and satisfying it can be to unravel a project that sat stale too long and use the yarn (or fabric) to make (and FINISH!!!) something new.

I have a three-page list of ideas I hope to create one day. I hope to create everything on the list, but I also hope the list keeps growing. I hope it never stops!

Five of SixSome dreams do come true. From the time I first learned to print pictures in a darkroom, I wanted to make my own calendars. For six years, I did! The economy stole that dream from me this year, but I'll never give up hope it can be resurrected one day.

From the day I made my first snowflake, I fantasized about a leaflet of my own snowflake designs. It brings a smile to my face now to realize some forms of publication are better than printed paper leaflets. My snowflake dream is taking on a life of its own right here, amidst these electronic waves. Maybe one day I'll have an entire book of snowflakes! One week at a time...Just Flakey!

26 April 2010

Another Link in the Chain

Grandma's broomstick, crochet hook and hairpin toolMy paternal grandmother was born in 1911 in a place then called Grasscreek, Utah. We would have celebrated her 99th birthday this year if she was still here with us.

Her father was born in Wales and immigrated to the United States. Her mother was born in the United States, but my maternal great-grandparents immigrated from England. Undoubtedly, they all spoke English, but I wonder if life here was a series of adjustments for these young families, and I wonder what talents and skills they brought here with them.

I love Irish crochet!Because my grandmother taught me to crochet, knit and just about every other form of needlecraft under the sun, I wondered who taught her. I wondered if this treasure was passed down from generation to generation. I wondered if I had a little bit of Irish crochet in my family tree.

So I asked my dad. I wasn't quite expecting his answer.

My grandmother's mom did not teach my grandmother to crochet. She wasn't a crafty soul, although she sometimes did "some kind of needlework" while watching television. A specific form of television. Definitely not something ancestral that came to America aboard a big ship. My dad said my great-grandmother was (gasp) a fan of wrestling, and that she'd often holler at the electronic participants and even throw pillows at them. Wow. Whodathunk?!?

My grandmother, however, was total opposite. She was crafty from the start.

Right now, I'm feeling mighty grateful that's what she passed on to me, because I like crafts a whole lot more than wrestling or even television. But maybe some of my great-grandmother's sport passion trickled down in the form of bicycles. I like love to watch the Tour de France on TV. I hope to be there in person one day, but that's another blog post for another day.

Grandpa, Dad and Grandma, 1937My dad said Grandma was "big into ceramics and Plaster of Paris figurines. She would go to a craft shop to buy molds. She also made her own molds. The craft shop would fire her ceramic figurines in their kiln. They let customers use their kiln at specific times at no charge once a week. I would mix and stir the plaster for her, early on before your uncle was born."

After the family moved to Texas, Grandma had to take up different hobbies because the Lone Star State at that time wasn't too crafty a place. My dad said none of the neighbors did any of the hobbies my grandma did. He said he thinks she learned needlework at a very young age, probably at church, and it became her solace in the land of Blue and Silver (think football) where kilns and shelfy knickknacks were yet to exist.

After my dad started a family of his own and moved us to the desert, we kids would take turns spending a week or two with Grandma each summer. (Because dumping all six of us on her at one time probably would have sent her to her grave early!)

Grandma's broomstick, which Dad doesn't remember her using for needlework, only for chasing him around when he was mischievous...I cherished that one-on-one time with Grandma because I knew each year she would have something new up her sleeve. We sewed, we made beads out of used wrapping paper, we made 3D scene frames from used greeting cards, we made jewelry with safety pins and beads, we cross-stitched, we crewelled, we tatted, we Battenburged, we made jewelry from gum wrappers, we cathedral windowed, we yo-yoed, we log cabined, we braided fabric scraps into rugs and bags. We even dyed white yarn with grape juice one day!

And then Mom and Dad announced a new little sister would be arriving soon. Grandma taught me to crochet so I could make clothing for our new little bundle of joy. We couldn't afford patterns, so Grandma taught me to make up my own. She made an entire tablecloth while I made one tiny little pair of booties.

She later gave me one of her stitch books because I was the only one in the family who showed an interest. I decided to learn every stitch in the book. After several pages, I reached a page that called for a second hook. Well, at the time, I didn't notice the second needle wasn't a hook, so I just kept right on hooking. The process was awkward, but it worked, and it made Tunisian, the next chapter in the book, really, really easy!

Next time we visited Grandma, I showed off my long and jagged Swatch of Many Stitches, and she informed me the two-hook mess actually was knitting, not crocheting, so that's the next thing she taught me. I soon had a whole new set of tools, and the following year, she advanced me to cabling and lace.

Grandma's size LOREAL crochet hookMeanwhile, my mom was trying to earn extra money while she stayed home with the new baby, and she asked if I would put an edging on a bunch of plain pillow cases after she finished embroidering designs. Next thing I knew, I was infatuated with thread crochet, a passion that still burns deep inside, even though aging eyes don't make it too easy these days.

Mom also ignited my love of sewing. She asked my dad for a sewing machine for her birthday one year, and she shared. She made pink strawberry overalls for me to wear to my first sock hop, and as best I can remember, I'm the only kid who got a homemade outfit from Mom. She had to go to work shortly after that, and between housework and houseful of kids, there weren't many after hours left for creativity. Mom later trusted me to keep her sewing machine in my bedroom as long as I wouldn't use it in the middle of the night. (Actually, I did; I just turned the wheel by hand instead of using the foot pedal so I wouldn't wake anyone.) Mom also allowed me take her sewing machine to work while I was pulling a graveyard shift at a switchboard the summer before my senior year.

All these memories make me wish I had a daughter to pass the tools and techniques along to. (Okay, okay, I'll write it grammatically correct: a daughter to whom I could pass along the tools and techniques. There. I hope the preposition police are satisfied.) I did adopt an eight-year-old girl once upon a time a very long time ago in a different life who asked me to teach her to crochet and knit. To her credit, she did try. She didn't take any crafty hobbies with her when she prematurely left the nest, but maybe one day she'll slow down enough to remember her crafty adoptive roots.

And if not, I've come to realize I am passing along my passion, right here, on this very blog. It will never be the same thing as teaching a grandchild of my own something my grandmother taught me, but there are people out there I may never meet in person who hopefully have been inspired or at least entertained by my attempt to leave a little piece of me behind as I spread a little fiber fantasy all over the world.
Come on, Eyes, don't fail me now!

Snowflake Monday

This is the second flake inspired by a crowded train ride and the first flake I'd designed in about three weeks. This was in December, and I had to get some Christmas presents done. So flake making had dropped off a bit.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 4 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or foil, cellophane tape, glue, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Light Rail Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 9 (counts as 1 dc and ch 6), 1 dc in ring, * ch 6, 1 dc in ring; repeat from * around three more times for a total of 5 petals; ch 3, dc in 3rd ch of ch 9 to form 6th petal. Pull magic circle tight.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: 1 sc over dc post directly below, * ch 16, 1 dc in 6th ch from hook, ch 10, sc around same dc post below, ch 8, sc in next ch 6 sp; repeat from * around ending with sl st in first sc following final ch 8. Weave in ends.

Light Rail Snowflake Instructions, British terminology, courtesy of Bishibarnibee4t

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 9 (counts as 1 TR and ch 6), 1 TR in ring, * ch 6, 1 TR in ring; repeat from * around three more times for a total of 5 petals; ch 3, TR in 3rd ch of ch 9 to form 6th petal. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 DC over TR post directly below, * ch 16, 1 TR in 6th ch from hook, ch 10, DC around same DC post below , ch 8, DC in next ch 6 sp ; repeat from * around ending with sl st in first DC following final ch 8. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or foil to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or foil.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or foil. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

23 April 2010

Friday Funny

And here is the link to what I think is the original video if you are unable to view it above.

22 April 2010

Head's Up!

Playboy BunnyJust found out about Knit and Crochet Blog Week, which starts next week. I had been working on a post about some of the tools I inherited from my grandmother and how she and my mom taught and inspired me, and along comes this block party.

So I've decided to stow away on this party barge, and I hope you do, too, because it's open to everyone who wants to participate. The more the merrier. I'm looking forward to what YOU have to say about knit and crochet!

Quite Contrary

strawberries from seedHow does my garden grow?

I don't think I could be considered a green thumb, but I love being able to eat or cook and bake with things I grow myself from seed.

little green onionsMy grandmother grew the most wonderful tomatoes when I was a child. We could make a sandwich, and one slice of Grandma's tomatoes would cover the entire piece of bread. Just homemade whole wheat toast, butter, a tiny bit of salt and pepper, and a thick slice of oversized, fresh-out-of-the-garden tomato. Still my favorite sandwich of all time to this very day.

My parents tried their hand at a vegetable garden once, and we dined on some of the food we grew, but that's about all I remember. I vaguely remember Mom learning to can pickles, and I remember eating them and wondering why they weren't the same color as pickles in the grocery store. So I suppose we grew at least cucumbers. I also remember eating fried green tomatoes. And loving them.

When I planted my first garden, back in about 1986, in the heart (and heat) of the New Mexico desert, people driving by would laugh at me. "You'll never get anything to grow here!" they'd chide.

Two months later, those same neighbors would drive by and ask, "How did you get that garden to grow?"

Magic. Pure and simple.

Actually, the tenants before me had raised rabbits, and I planted my garden right where the rabbit cages had been. Voila!

cornLast year, I planted seeds indoors in containers, hoping to be able to transplant them into our own garden if we were able to buy a home. We bought a home. I transplanted the mature plants. They died.

Turns out we don't exactly have soil where I live now in Colorado. We have clay. Clay heavily seasoned by numerous big dogs who for years inhabited the landscape before us.

As a result, we signed up for a plot in the community garden this year. Winter in the Rockies *might* be over now. My little seedlings are getting just enough roots. I'm confident we'll be able to move them to their new homes soon. Oh, and I cheated. I bought a bundle of infant red onions, seedling strawberries and baby bushes of blueberries and raspberries. Everything else is from seed. Sunflowers, corn, sweet peas, green beans, beets, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, carrots, green onions, spices and even kohl rabi. Only the four varieties of chili peppers have neglected to sprout so far. So last weekend, I planted another batch in a different kind of store-bought soil.

I wonder if people will drive by and laugh. "You're trying to grow a weedless garden while you're busy training for six or eight weeks of intense summer cycling events?!? Ha ha ha ha ha! You're NUTS!" (Because, you see, we'll probably be stopping at the community garden at the end of our training rides, and we probably won't bother to remove our helmets while we touch things up.)

And all I can do is hope, with fingers and toes crossed, that come August, I will be knocking on their doors with surplus produce to share.

I don't have a green thumb. But maybe I can inspire some green envy...

20 April 2010

Rainbows of Hope

Rainbows of HopeI've been cranking out the midnight oil trying to figure out a way to raise money for the MS-150, which I'll be participating in this June. I have to raise $400 just to ride, but I've set a personal goal of $2,000 because, well, if I raise that amount, I don't have to stand in line at the porta potties at rest stops when I do this ride again in 2011. Selfish, I know. But that's a HUGE perk!!!

As they say, necessity is the mother of all creativity. Or something like that. I designed this scarf specifically to help raise money for the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis. This pattern is included in my first (2011) snowflake pattern booklet benefiting the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Association.

My pattern is illustrated with color photographs, and the scarf is made using chain stitch, single crochet and double crochet, with increases, decreases, slip stitches and yarn overs. I have written the pattern so anyone who can read and who knows the basics should be able to make this scarf.

Just like my snowflake patterns, you may do whatever you'd like with what you make with this pattern. If you are able to sell what you make using this pattern, I'm delighted to help stimulate your budget. You may not, however, sell the pattern. Last week I read in Ravelry, "Trying to sell a pattern that is not yours is just plain tacky." Isn't that a great quote?

And, if you can't crochet, I have this very scarf available in my Etsy shop, and all proceeds benefit the Colorado Chapter of the NMSS.

Why do I do this every year? I work with people who have MS. I have friends who have MS. Some of my friends have relatives who have MS. And one member of my husband's family has MS. I do all I can to support many good causes, and this is one of them.

Colorado has one of the highest incidences of MS in the nation. The Colorado Chapter of the NMSS serves 76,000 each year affected by MS – enough individuals to fill Invesco Field.

Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system by disrupting the flow of information from the brain to the body. Symptoms vary from person to person depending on where the central nervous system is affected, making it hard to diagnose. MS generally strikes in the prime of life — ages 20-50, and 73% of those diagnosed are women.
Rainbows of Hope

19 April 2010

Snowflake Monday

I found this unusual flake marvelously photographed by Fred Widall and just HAD to crochet a replica. Plus, when I designed this flake, I was still heavily embedded in Ravelympics. I had planned to design only three flakes during the Olympics, but I couldn't resist crocheting another competitive one. I can hardly ever resist crocheting just one more snowflake!

I call this my Molecule Flake.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Molecule Snowflake

Finished Size: 3.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 11 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or foil, cellophane tape, water-soluble glue, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Molecule Snowflake Instructions

Ch 4, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in ring, ch 3, 3 dc in ring (shell made), ch 3, 3 dc in ring, ch 1, dc into 3rd ch of starting ch 3. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc across dc post just made, *ch 1, 1 dc in middle dc of shell below, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same ch 3 sp; repeat from * 1 time, ch 1, 1 dc in middle dc of shell below, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: Sc in same ch, *[ch 10, dc in 6th ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 2, sl st in sc], sc across next 8 st (into last 2 dc of shell below, into ch 1, into dc, into ch 1 and into each of next 3 dc of shell below); repeat [ ], 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, sc in next dc, repeat from * around 2 more times, ending with sl st in starting sc on final repeat instead of sc in next dc.

Round 4: *[2 sc in ch 2 sp of next spoke, ch 1, sl st in sc just made, 1 sc in same ch 2 sp, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 1, sl st in sc just made, 3 sc in same ch 5 sp, ch 1, sl st in sc just made, 3 sc in same ch 5 sp, ch 1, sl st in sc just made, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc, 2 sc in next ch 2 sp, ch 1, sl st in sc just made, 1 sc in same ch 2 sp], 1 sc in each of next 8 sc across; repeat [ ], 1 sc in each of next 3 sc; repeat from * around 2 more times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or foil to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or foil.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or foil. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

16 April 2010

Friday Funny

See this precious video here if you are unable to view it above.

15 April 2010

Even More Free Months

Crestone Needle from Lower South Colony LakeHere we go again. It's income tax day, so you deserve more than one month of summer. Too bad we can't all take vacation today, right?

Here are the next two months of the free weekly planner...
July and August. Enjoy!

The next installment(s) will be available in May.

Of course, strings are attached... you know, all that legal mumbo jumbo. This calendar is copyrighted and provided by Snowcatcher Photos. You may print the calendar and share the calendar via link back to this site. You may not under any circumstances sell the calendar or any of the images therein. Modification or republication of the calendar or any of the images therein without prior written consent of Snowcatcher is strictly prohibited.

Escape from Single-Track

THE setting3 July 2005

We pondered destinations. The Lizard had planned to take me to Oh Be Joyful before Ferenc and Andrea decided to join us for San Luis. Now The Lizard was eyeing that locale again.

Cimarron Fork in AutumnI thought it might be a good place, too, but because the range had received so much winter and spring snow, I didn’t think the wildflowers would be ready yet. I also suggested going back to the La Garita Wilderness, maybe to a different trailhead, to look for moose again. Just saunter around the ponds at a relaxing pace. My biggest and most favorite hankering, however, was for the Cimarron forks. I had fallen in love with the area the first time The Lizard took me there, back when the aspens were golden.

The Lizard seemed disappointed to not be going to Oh Be Joyful, but he seemed excited about the Middle Fork. He kept asking if I was sure that’s where I wanted to go.

We hiked about a mile or so up the trail before The Lizard realized he had forgotten to pack his rain pants. Turned out he didn’t need them, but if he hadn’t gone back for them, we surely would have been caught in a drenching downpour.

Coxcomb and RedcliffBefore he headed back, he dropped to his knees in a beautiful green meadow and asked me to marry him. I didn’t think he would ever ask! I kissed him. He stashed his pack, kissed me again, and headed back to the car while I plowed on ahead, thinking about nothing but what it would be like to be able to share a bed with him instead of separate bedrooms, and then, suddenly, realizing my Lizard is from an age when guys like to try out girls before they make a commitment... What if he doesn’t like me???

Mosquitoes soon robbed me of all my wandering thoughts, and then the trail became progressively more challenging. I hit a stream crossing The Lizard had warned me about. It also served as junction for another trail. The Lizard hadn’t specified which trail I should take, even though I knew which one I was supposed to follow. So I crossed the stream and started looking for scrap wood to leave him a message to let him know I'd gone the right way.

In mid-thought, I realized I had not given him an answer. I couldn't believe it! Here was the moment I had waited for, and I had not verbally agreed to be his bride!

I decided not to leave a silly message telling him I’d made the right choice. Well, not a trail choice, anyway.

Instead I left a big wood “YES!!!” right in the middle of the trail, complete with arrows and a cryptic “Did U C it?” at the end so he would be sure to look for it if he wasn’t looking at the ground when he crossed my answer. Then I took pictures of my stick masterpiece.

My AnswerI passed two sets of hikers in the next couple of miles and asked them please not to step on my message. Then I hit THE valley, and I absolutely had my breath sucked out of me. It was gorgeous!!! The view was better than I could possibly imagine. I dropped to the stream to shoot a bright pink flower with Coxcomb in the background, and when I stood, The Lizard was right behind me. He dropped his pack and dropped to his knee again and apologized for not being very romantic the first time around. He proposed again, and this time, I sang a resounding "Yes!" that seemed to echo off the majestic tall peaks.

The First RingI asked if he’d seen my message and if it had warmed the cockles of his heart, and he smiled. He said he’d wanted to ask me at Oh Be Joyful, but I’d ruined that.

The Lizard took off for Red Cliff, and I followed for a while, until I couldn’t handle the terrain anymore. I shot some pictures of Coxcomb and made my way back to the trail that would take me up to the Heisshorn/El Punto saddle. It was a long way up, but I made it, and I was rewarded with what a hiker after me said may well be the finest view in all of Colorado. I may have to agree.

Uncompahgre, Matterhorn and Wetterhorn all but reached out to touch me. I wish there had been more wildflowers, but what I got was outstanding.

This place is as good as any to morph from single-track to... a bride-to-be!!! This is a spectacular setting, and I’m the happiest girl in the world!
The Best Trail Register Entry Ever
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