27 September 2010

Snowflake Monday

Lanterne Rouge
Back on August 29, I was so convinced I’d make it to the top of Pikes Peak on my bicycle, I designed this pattern in my head while pedaling uphill — 24 miles — from 6,412 feet to about 14,020 feet — in a 30-mile-per-hour headwind. That’s right. Just 24 miles. I needed to go 24.5 miles. I didn’t make it to the top. But I never gave up!

About six miles from the top, I realized I was last, what they call the Lanterne Rouge in cycling. Back in the days of steam-powered locomotives, a red lantern placed on the caboose allowed the conductor to see on curves, particularly while going uphill, that none of the couplings had failed. All cars were still attached.

Green means GO!When the "honor" of being last in a bicycle race became a sensation long before my dad or I were born, riders not fast enough to keep up with the peloton would sometimes hide before crossing the finish line to assure their title of Lanterne Rouge. A battle for last place actually occurred more than once! Scandalous!

You earn big bucks and speaking engagements for winning or taking a spot on the podium, and being last might bring in one or both plus a little bit of blushing fame. There is no reward for being in the middle.

Nevertheless, I had never been last in any cycling event. I am slow, but my motto has always been "Don’t Sag, and Don’t Be Last." (SAG is an acronym for Support and Gear. SAG wagons assist cyclists with flats, mechanical failures, first aid and sheer exhaustion.)

So I was a bit discouraged when I saw, one by one, riders behind me turning back until I was... gag... number 262 of 261 riders who actually made it to the top. I didn’t want to be last! But I wanted to finish. Period.

I remembered the fabled Lanterne Rouge. My dad is a railroad fanatic, so I thought maybe I could design something he might like that also would blissfully commemorate my climbing success. Because, by golly, I was going to make it! I refused to turn back!

I didn’t make it to the top in the allotted time (and was swept by the "broom wagon" that cleans the course at the end of a ride), but I did come up with this great memento. So here’s to next year. Yuppers. I’m going to try again. I’m going to climb that mountain. And I may even have one of these dangling from the back of my bicycle seat for luck!

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!

lantern top assembly tools
Finished Size: 4.75 inches tall
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in red (or whatever color you deem fit) and white, size 8 crochet hook, LED tea light, unused tea light candle, 2-inch wide and .5-inch tall rounded lid such as the one found atop Oil of Olay and its knockoffs, 1-inch tall lid such as the one found atop Ocean eye drops or some nasal sprays, empty pizza box, graph paper, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, glue, water, glitter (optional – I did not use glitter), small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, LONG stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, and clear thread, fishing line, ribbon or Christmas tree hanger

LED tea lightsInstructions

Lantern Bottom

With white, ch 28, sl st into 1st ch.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), *1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 2 dc in next ch; repeat around for a total of 36 dc; sl st in starting sc.
Round 2: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), *working in back loop only, 1 dc in each dc around; sl st in starting dc.
Round 3: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), working through both loops again, 1 dc in each dc around; sl st in starting dc.
Round 4: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), working through both loops again, 1 dc in each dc around; sl st in starting dc; turn.
Round 5: Working in back loop only, *1 sc in next sc, sk 2 dc, in next dc work [1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dtr, 1 trtr, ch 3, sl st in top of trtr just made, 1 dtr, 1 tr, 1 dc], sk 2 dc; repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 petals; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

half a lanternIf desired, you may end here and make just a snowflake holder for the LED tea light, as shown.

If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Glass Panes
Make 6.

With red (or other desired color), ch 10.

Round 1: 1 sc in 4th from hook, *ch 1, sk 1 ch, sc in next ch; repeat to end for a total of 4 sc; ch 3, turn.
Round 2: *Sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1; repeat from * 2 more times; sc in ch 3 sp; ch 3, turn.
Round 3: Sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1; sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, sc in next sc, ch 1, sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, sc in ch 3 sp; ch 3, turn.
Rounds 4-6: *Sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1; repeat from * 3 more times; sc in ch 3 sp; ch 3, turn.
Round 6-10: *Sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1; repeat from * three more times; sc in ch 3 sp; ch 4, turn.
Round 11: *Sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1; repeat from * three more times; sc in ch 4 sp; ch 4, turn.
Round 12: *Sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1; repeat from * three more times; sc in ch 4 sp; bind off. Weave in ends.

Tip: Making the glass panes in one sitting helps maintain the tension throughout all six pieces, helping keep them the same size.

Lantern Top

With white, ch 2 tightly, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring. You may leave a long tail on this piece to use as a hanger if desired, or you may weave in the end and attach a ribbon, fishing line, invisible thread or a Christmas tree hanger when done.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 5 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in same ch, *2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 more times for a total of 12 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in same dc, *1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 18 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, *1 dc in each of next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 24 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 2 dc in next dc, *1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 10 times for a total of 36 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 6: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in same ch, 2 dc in next of next 2 dc, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc; repeat from * around 10 times for a total of 48 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in each of next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc, *1 dc in each of next 7 dc, 2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 54 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in each dc around for a total of 54 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 9: Ch 1 (does not count as sc), 1 sc in same ch, ch 1, sk 1 ch, 1 hdc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 hdc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, ch 1, *1 sc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 ch, 1 hdc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 hdc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, ch 1; repeat from * around 4 more times for a total of 6 scallops; sl st in starting sc.
Round 10: Ch 1 (does not count as sc), 1 sc in same sc, *ch 1, 2 dc in next hdc, ch 1, between next 2 dc work [1 tr, 1dtr, ch 5, sl st in 4th ch from hook, ch 1, 1 dtr, 1 tr], ch 1, 2 dc in next hdc, ch 1, 1 sc in next sc; repeat 5 times for a total of 6 petals, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of sc on final repeat; bind off. Weave in end.

To use long tail as hanger, weave end between double crochets into lantern top, knot and weave end in.

Lantern assembly

lantern bottomTape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Place tea light inside lantern bottom, and position tea light upside down on pizza box. Pin snowflake points to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

Place face cream lid on wax paper- or plastic wrap-covered box, and place eye drop lid on top in center of face cream lid. You may glue these lids together if desired, but the lantern top will hold them in place as much as they hold the lantern top shape. I did not glue my lids together. Fit lantern top snuggly around lids, pulling tight to pin. Pin snowflake points.

Note: I curved the snowflake tips up a little with my fingers a couple of hours after applying glue mixture to encourage them to curl.

pinned lantern top
Tape graph paper to top of empty pizza box. Tape wax paper or plastic wrap over graph paper. Position and pin glass panes so they are equal in size and shape.

pinned glass panes
Mix a few drops of water with a tablespoon of glue in small washable container. (I use the cleaned container the dipping sauce for our bread sticks came in.) Paint lantern bottom, glass panes and lantern top with glue mixture. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow pieces to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel crocheted pieces from tea light, lids, wax paper or plastic wrap.

Place LED tea light in lantern bottom, making sure you are able to turn light switch on and off. (You can use a toothpick if it is covered by the lantern bottom, and you may glue the LED tea light into place if desired.) Please do not use a real candle in a crocheted lantern. Crochet thread burns. Use only LED tea light.

assembling glass panes
Place narrow end of first glass pane between LED tea light and snowflake petal. Glue in place. Use pins as necessary to hold shape. (I waited for the first piece to dry before I attached the second, etc.) Glue next glass pane in place. Continue placing glass panes around LED tea light until all are in place. Dab glue atop glass panes and position lantern top over glass panes, making sure each makes contact. (I left one pain loose on top to allow access to tea light.) Allow 24 hours to dry. Remove pins if used.

Nearly done!
To hang if you are not using the long tail on top of lantern point, attach 10-inch clear thread or fishing line to top of lantern, weaving in end, or make a loop, if desired, and thread knot into lantern top so it doesn’t show. Secure with a dab of glue, if desired. OR weave color-coordinated narrow ribbon through top of lantern point and tie a bow, leaving space for hanging, if desired. Or, attach Christmas tree hanging hook. Lantern is now ready to hang on tree, doorknob, rearview mirror or plant hanger. I'm using mine as a centerpiece on an empty bookcase shelf. Turn on the LED, and enjoy!


Lanterne Rouge

17 comments:

  1. Goodness gracious! Your talents are many ... you finished! That speaks volumes. And your lantern is beautiful. Your generosity is appreciated in your sharing the pattern. Thank you so much, have a wonderful, blessed day.

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  2. Wow. I love this lantern! The red reminds me of Chinese lanterns. So pretty!

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  3. Oh wow, Deb. That is some kind of lovely. I sent my train loving brother to your father's blog back when you mentioned it. Now I can make conductor's lanterns for the tree that will have one of his trains running around it this Christmas. Thank you.

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  4. The lantern is BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern.

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  5. Loved your story. Amazing that people would fight to be last. Your lanterns are gorgeous and would make beautiful Christmas ornaments!

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  6. I found your blog through the patterns you posted on Ravelry. I love your snowflakes, and am going to try making some of them this weekend. Thanks for posting them!

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  7. This is so sweet! I'm making this right away... Maybe several for Christmas gifts! Thank you for sharing!

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  8. hope you dont mind i added your blog to stumbleupon. i just love it and think others should enjoy it too! :)

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  9. Hi,
    I am having a tough time with this lantern top. Round 2: I just can't seem to end up up with 12 dc, or 4 repeats. Can you please tell me what I am doing wrong.
    Thanks
    Neese

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  10. You weren't doing anything wrong, Denise; for some reason, I had Round 3 on the top twice but with the wrong total stitch count at the end. It's fixed now. Thanks for catching that. I can't believe no one else saw that until now!

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  11. Ohoooo! what a creativity! incredible. Awesome. Liked it very much.

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  12. Hello I just found your bog as i was looking for some things that would make great wedding decorations. I found this lantern pattern and just fell in love with it. I started working on it today and something caught my eye. On the glass panes it goes from round 6 to round 8-12 then you are given round 9 and round nine. Is this correct.

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  13. Hi, Trina

    In looking at the photos, there appears to be only 12 rows in the panes, so I will take a closer look at the actual lanterns when I get home and update the pattern. Thanks for letting me know it didn't add up!

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  14. Trina, the row numbers were incorrect, but the instructions are right. I've fixed the pattern. Thank you again for letting me know there was a problem!

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  15. Hello, I found Your pattern link on Crochet Paattern Central! This is a wonderful pattern and I will make some to go around our front porch! However my husband and I both faavour cooler colours as blues and greens and some purples. I will play around with the colours and send You a snapshot of the one we decide on and figure in a nice amount of red to honor YOUR PATTERn! :) Thank You for posting this splendid design!
    -THE GYPSYKIITTN

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