22 November 2010

Snowflake Monday

Northern Lights Snowflake
My grandmother always taught me the back of my embroidery and crewel needed to be as beautiful as the front. I'm so relieved Grandma can't see the back of this snowflake or the inside of this penguin!

Northern Lights SnowflakeThe snowflake patterns used in this piece of art are basically the same as the Turkey Flake pattern I shared last week. My Northern Lights Snowflakes have far more color changes and therefore many more knots and tons more ends to weave in when done. I waited until after the first round of stiffening to clip off stray and runaway ends. That way, there's no chance they can unravel.

The penguin in this pattern is basically a single crochet tube with two decreases at the neck and alternating row increases beyond that. The Arctic Sunrise Snowflake is worked with five points and one flat side, just like last week's layered flakes, and with six points in the harp seal version, with the sixth point stiffened over the side of my pizza box to form the iceberg shelf. Numerous color changes, often within rows, make this pattern difficult. For the penguin, I carried my thread across the back of my work (the inside of the penguin) as I would in intarsia knitting instead of tying knots at every color change.

Even though I would rate this pattern as difficult, this is my favorite snowflake pattern to date. (I know, I've said that three times before!) I loved working with different colors of thread. I definitely will be exploring different ways and reasons to incorporate color into snowflakes in the future. Except for the knots, my Northern Lights Snowflake was tons of fun for me.

Northern Lights SnowflakeI have not written the patterns for the polar bear, igloo or harp seal yet and probably will not have a chance to do so for a long while, but free patterns are available for similar creations in the Yahoo Thread Animal Group and on Crochet Pattern Central. My polar bear actually is not shown; he's still awaiting assembly. It's time to publish, and I've got snowflakes still drying! So the photos are not all final products. For my polar bear, I used antique white, and he will have black seed bead eyes and nose, and he won't be wearing a cute little bow. I also experimented with different colors for my northern lights in my third, fourth and fifth flakes, as Ti insists Alaskan night skies can have touches of red. Only a couple of my variations have been included in photos here. The rest are still pinned to pizza boxes, even though I tried speeding the drying process with my hair dryer!

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

Northern Lights Snowflakes
Finished Size: 9 inches from point to point
Materials:
Penguin: Size 10 crochet thread in white, black and golden yellow, size 8 crochet hook, 2 seed beads, fiber fill
Northern Lights Snowflake: Size 10 crochet thread in white, sage, myrtle green, ocean variegated, lavender, mint green and navy, size 8 crochet hook
Arctic Sunrise Snowflake: Size 10 crochet thread in pale yellow, peach, mauve, pastel blue, royal blue and navy, size 8 crochet hook

Instructions

Northern Light Snowflake Pieces
Northern Lights Snowflake, First Piece

With white, make magic ring; ch 2 (does not count as dc).
Round 1: 12 dc in ring; sl st in 1st dc. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 2 dc in each dc around for a total of 24; sl st in 1st dc.
Round 3: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 2 dc in same dc, 1 dc in next dc, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 10 more times for a total of 36 dc; sl st in 1st dc. Bind off and weave in end.
Round 4: Starting in any dc and working with sage, work 3 sc across 3 dc, *ch 2, sk 1 dc, in next dc work [1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc] (V-stitch made), ch 2, sk 1 dc, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc; repeat from * around 3 times but finishing final sc of 3rd repeat by joining white, pulling up sage loop through 3rd dc, yo with white to finish sc; bind off sage; working with white, repeat from * 2 more times but omitting final 3 sc for a total of 6 points; ch2, sl st in starting sc; bind off.
Round 5: With myrtle green, *1 sc in middle sc of first sage 3 sc group, ch 4, in next ch 1 sp work [2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc] (2 small shells made), ch 4; repeat from * around 3 times, join white, pull up myrtle green loop through next middle sc, yo with white to finish sc; bind off myrtle green; with white ch 4, in next ch 1 sp work 2 small shells, ch 4, 1 sc in middle sc of next 3 sc group, ch 4, in next ch 1 sp work 2 small shells, ch 4; sl st in starting sc; bind off.
Round 6: With ocean variegated, *1 sc over starting myrtle green sc in to middle sc of sage 3 sc group below, ch 6, in next ch 1 sp work [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] (2 shells made), ch 6; repeat from * around 3 times, join white, pull up ocean variegated loop through next middle sc, yo with white to finish sc; bind off ocean variegated; with white ch 6, in next ch 1 sp work 2 shells, ch 6, 1 sc in middle sc of next 3 sc group, ch 6, in next ch 1 sp work 2 shells, ch 6; sl st in starting sc; bind off.
Round 7: With lavender, *1 sc over ocean variegated sc into myrtle sc of previous row, ch 8, in next ch 2 sp work [2 dc, 1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr, 2 dc], ch 8; repeat from * around 3 more times; join white, pull up lavender loop through next ocean variegated sc, yo with white to finish sc; bind off lavender; with white, ch 8, in next ch 2 sp work [2 dc, 1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr, 2 dc], ch 8, 1 sc into next myrtle sc, ch 8, in next ch 2 sp work [2 dc, 1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr, 2 dc], ch 8; sl st into starting sc; bind off.
Round 8: With mint green, *1 sc over sc of previous row, ch 10, in next ch 2 sp work [1 dc, 2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr, 1 dc], ch 10; repeat from * around 3 more times; join white, pull up mint green loop through next lavender sc, yo with white to finish sc; bind off mint green; with white, ch 10, in next ch 2 sp work [1 dc, 2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr, 1 dc], ch 10, 1 sc into next lavender sc, ch 10, in next ch 2 sp work [1 dc, 2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr, 1 dc], ch 10; sl st into starting sc; bind off.
Round 9: With navy, *1 sc over sc of previous row, ch 12, in next ch 2 sp work [3 tr, ch 3, 3 tr], ch 12; repeat from * around 3 more times; join white, pull up navy loop through next mint green sc, yo with white to finish sc; bind off navy; with white, ch 12, in next ch 2 sp work [3 tr, ch 3, 3 tr], ch 12, 1 sc into next mint green sc, ch 12, in next ch 2 sp work [3 tr, ch 3, 3 tr], ch 12; sl st into starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends. Take a nice, relaxing break if needed and treat yourself to something you enjoy immensely. Take a deep breath, and get ready for the Arctic Sunrise Snowflake, which is easier than what you just completed because it has fewer rounds and therefore fewer color changes and knots.

Assembled Northern Lights Snowflakes
Arctic Sunrise Snowflake, Second Piece

With pale yellow, make magic ring; ch 2 (does not count as dc).
Round 1: 12 dc in ring; sl st in 1st dc. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 2 dc in each dc around for a total of 24; sl st in 1st dc; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 3: With peach and starting in any dc, ch 2 (does not count as dc), 2 dc in same dc, 1 dc in next dc, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 10 more times for a total of 36 dc; sl st in 1st dc; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 4: With mauve, starting in any dc, ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 2), sk 1 dc, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc, *ch 2, sk 1 dc, in next dc work [1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc] (V-stitch made), ch 2, sk 1 dc, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc; repeat from * around 2 times; ch 2, sk next dc, 1 dc in next dc, join white and bind off mauve; sk next dc, 2 sc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, ch 2; in same dc as starting ch 5 work 1 dc, ch 1; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 5. Bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 5: With light blue, working in first half mauve V-space, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same sp, *ch 4, 1 sc in middle sc of next 3 sc, ch 4, in next ch 1 sp work [2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc] (2 small shells made); repeat from * around 2 times; 1 sc in middle sc of next 3 sc, ch 4, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, join white and bind off light blue, ch 2, 2 dc in same sp, ch 4, sk 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 9 sc, sk next sc, ch 4, 2 dc in next V-space, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 6: With royal blue, working in first ch 2 sp between small shells, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, *ch 6, 1 sc in middle sc of 3 sc group 2 rows below, over sc in previous row, ch 6, in next ch 2 sp work [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] (2 shells made); repeat from * around 2 more times; 1 sc in middle sc of 3 sc group 2 rows below over sc of previous row, ch 6, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, bind off royal blue and join white, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, ch 6, sk next sc, 1 sc in each of next 7 sc, sk next sc, ch 6, 3 dc between next 2 shells; ch 2, st st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 7: With navy, working in first ch 2 sp between shells, ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 2 dc in same sp, *ch 8, 1 sc in middle sc of 3 sc group 3 rows below, over sc of 2 previous rows, ch 8, in next ch 2 sp work [2 dc, 1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr, 2 dc]; repeat from * around 2 more times; ch 8, 1 sc in middle sc of 3 sc group 3 rows below over sc of 2 previous rows, ch 8, in next ch 2 sp work 2 dc and 1 tr, bind off navy and join white, ch 2, in same sp work 1 tr and 2 dc, ch 8, sk 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, ch 8, sk next sc, 2 dc between next 2 shells, 1 tr in same sp; ch 2, sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4; bind off. Weave in ends. Take a well-deserved break and treat yourself kindly if you got this far with all the color changes. Pat yourself on the back, because you did well!

Penguin Amigurumi
Amigurumi Penguin

Note: I lightly stuff penguin as I go to make piece easier to work with and to make stuffing completed body easier. To make lower penguin body a little plumper, increase one stitch in black on rounds worked with 1 sc around after Round 11 instead of working 1 sc around, spacing increases so they do not fall directly above each other, finishing with about 24 sc in the final row. (Stitch total at bottom of penguin will not really matter, so don't worry if you don't have the exact amount, as long as penguin body looks good to you.)

With black and starting at tip of head, make magic ring.
Row 1: Working tightly here and throughout head and neck, 8 sc in ring. Work in rounds; do not join unless otherwise directed.
Round 2: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * 2 more times for total of 12 sc.
Rounds 3-5: 1 sc around.
Round 6: 1 dec across next 2 sc, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, 1 dec across next 2 sc, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc for a total of 10 sc around; attach golden yellow thread and draw up black loop in next sc; yo with golden yellow and complete sc. This method of color change keeps color changes clean, preventing tiny spots of color in the wrong place. Black thread does not need to be carried along this round, but do not cut it off.
Round 7: 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc; in final black sc; draw up golden loop, yo with black and complete sc. You should be back to 12 sc in the round now. Bind off golden yellow thread and stuff end inside penguin head.
Round 8: 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, attach white thread and draw up black loop in next sc; yo with white and complete sc; carrying black thread across back of work, 1 white sc in each of next 3 sc, draw up white loop in next sc, yo with black and finish sc; with black and carrying white across back of work, twisting threads every 2 or 3 st, 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc. You should have 14 sc in the round now.
Round 9: 1 inc each sc around, working white sc over white sc of round below and carrying color not being used across back of work. Twist thread every 2 or 3 st while working in black but not while working in white to prevent black from showing through on penguin belly.
Rounds 10-18: 1 sc in each st around, continuing color changing pattern and increasing 2 sc every 3 rounds, one in black and one in the center of the white, for a total of 18 sc at bottom of penguin and binding off white thread after completing row 18 white section (which should be 6 white sc). You should have about 18-20 sc when you finish this round, but exact count does not matter as long as you are happy with the shape of your penguin body.
Lightly stuff to desired plumpness.
Row 19: Work black sc across to final black sc before start of white belly and join golden yellow thread for feet; draw up black loop through final bl sc, yo with golden yellow and finish sc; working with golden yellow and carrying black across back of work, sl st in next sc, 3 dc in next sc, 1 sl st in each of next 2 sc, 3 dc in next sc; bind of golden yellow and draw up black loop through next sc and draw through golden yellow loop already on hook to make final foot sl st. Working in black through end of penguin, 1 sc in next sc, 1 hdc in next sc, 1 dc in each of next 8 sc, 1 hdc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc.
Bind off, leaving tail long enough to close opening. Close opening by sewing black thread end through front to back across opening. Weave remaining end inside body.

Wings (make 2)

Leaving an end long enough to attach wing to penguin body, ch 7. Sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch. Bind off. Leave long enough end to tie to body. After making two wings, attach and secure to penguin just below neckline. Weave ends inside body.

Baby Harp Seal Amigurumi
Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin flakes to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

Iceberg Snowflake
Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint both pieces with glue mixture. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflakes to dry at least 24 hours. Glue seed beads in place on penguin head for eyes. (Or sew them into place if desired.) Allow all pieces to dry. Remove pins. Gently peel pieces from wax paper or plastic wrap. Glue snowflakes together as shown and allow to dry.

After snowflakes thoroughly dry, glue penguin into position and allow to dry again. Pin if necessary.

Attach 10-inch clear thread to top of snowflake, weaving in end. This is one flake I'm not going to be twirling. (I don't want to show off the backside.) Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Substitute Polar Bear Northern Lights Snowflake

12 comments:

  1. These are beautiful..magical!!!

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  2. Your work continues to astound me. Just stunning!

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  3. That is so cute! A penguin! I love it!

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  4. Deborah, thanks for commenting on my blog. I love comments. I am new at this starching method but the
    push pins did not leave stains. I had dried my snowflakes after I washed them before I pinned them and put the white glue on. Any advice though is very welcome because I love making these snowflakes!

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  5. beautiful! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve for Christmas!

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  6. I love your work - each one is unique and very pretty!

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  7. Those are some amazingly complex and colorful snowflakes. Simply beautiful. And I adore your little critters!!!

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  8. Your stars are amazing!!!!!!!!
    Very beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. I found this on Ravelry and ... WOW!!!

    I just wanted to say that if you've ever read The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, I thought that your flake looked a lot like the ending in that book ... the character walking into the light... Then I looked closer and saw the penguin!

    Either way, I am astounded at your work and hope you continue to create such masterpieces!
    Jess

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  10. dear snowcatcher, I just cant tell you how beautiful your site is, my cousin lives in montrose and the veiw from the picture window is unreal. But are the snowflakes from your patterns, suppose to only be about 2-3 inchs? I am using #10 thread and a 6 needle, I am new to flaking,, But I love it, made my first one in blue, and it was so small, I glued it, and I hung it on a shelf, It is so cute,, but now I want to make them all,, and in different colors, but are they to be so small? I wish I could send you some pics of my area,,Western New York, It is so beautiful. Thanks snowy,, please let me know, pamtops@aol.com

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  11. I have never seen snowflakes as gorgeous as yours!!! I want to make one of each and hang them from my ceiling next Christmas. Thanks for sharing these wonderful designs.

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