29 January 2010

Friday Funny

I don't drink beer, but this ancient commercial is hilarious.


And here is the link, in case you can't see the video above.

28 January 2010

Yarn Adventures

Noro LizardOkay, so I said I was going to whip up a rainbow of snowflakes over the weekend. I made a lizard instead. And The Lizard is quite pleased with our new pet!Curious Lizard

26 January 2010

Culebra Peak

Culebra2 October 2004

This trip actually began long before hitting the road at midnight. Culebra is Colorado's only (for now) pay-14er. You must pay to climb it. Many climbers say the heck with that and designate themselves "ABC"… All But Culebra.

For years, in order to be allowed to even pay to climb the southernmost 14er in the state, you had to be a (long-time) member of the Colorado Mountain Club, and you had to be patient while awaiting lottery results year after year until you finally get drawn. Most of the limited number of lottery winners during one or, on rare occasions, two trips per year had climbed all but one or two of the 52-59 highest peaks, depending upon how you count them.

At least 59 peaks in Colorado reach the magical 14,000 mark or higher. "Real" mountaineers don't consider a peak a genuine mountain unless the saddle connecting it to another mountain is at least 300 feet lower than the summit. By this reasoning, Colorado "officially" has 52 14ers. Speaking from experience, when you've climbed one of the "unranked" peaks from 9,000 or 10,000 feet, trust me, you don't care if the saddle is 299 feet or 794 feet. The mountain still poses a challenge, and the saddle has nothing to do with your ascent.

Unless the saddle connects to another 14er and you climbed both in one trip using that saddle. Then perhaps the climb isn't quite as difficult if you're dropping only 250 feet as opposed to 300. In most cases, though, you have to go back over the first 14er to get back to the trailhead from whence you came. To me, that's almost like climbing THREE 14ers instead of two!

As a result of this logic, I'm in the 59-count crowd.

Culebra lottery winners for many years were comprised mostly of people who had only Culebra left to climb. A few with one peak (typically Capitol because it is considered the most difficult) besides Culebra remaining were allowed to go so they save a special peak for their final peak.

Then some savings and loan scandal forced the owner of Culebra and its centennial neighbor Red Mountain to sell the property. The new owners wanted to allow climbers and hunters to use the land. Culebra finally was open to people who had not finished all but Culebra and maybe Capitol! The price was reasonable, and a big group from the mountain climbing club I enjoyed was planning a mass ascent, so The Lizard and I decided this would be a true adventure.

Arrangements were made several weeks beforehand. After we signed up, I began experiencing difficulty with my sciatic nerve. I thought at the time a nerve might be pinched, and I tried stretching, soaking in hot mineral baths, relaxing, anything I could do to try to relieve the pain. By the time our Culebra climb date arrived, I was not in too good of shape. I had sacrificed our September 11 memorial climb of American Peak because of the pain. But I'd paid to climb Culebra. That was motivation enough to give it my best shot.

We arrived en masse about three hours before the ranch hands would open the gate and allow us to begin our group climb. I took some pain reliever and tried to sleep but was not successful. Some climbers had tailgate parties of sorts, while others just packed gear and prepared for the day.

When the gate finally opened, The Lizard, Ferenc and Steve opted to begin their climb from the ranch instead of driving up the four-wheel-drive road to a distant junction called Four Way where the rest of us would start. My 4Runner filled with excited climbers, and I managed to get the car up to the higher trailhead, even though my pain was relentless.

Tim had accompanied me on my Mount Sherman trip, although we each climbed different peaks that day. An asthmatic, he claimed to be slower than me, so we decided to keep each other company while the rest sped ahead.

About two miles into our hike, The Lizard, Ferenc and Steve caught up to us. And I thought the group ahead of us was fast! These guys were motoring!

Ferenc and The Lizard could see through my pasted on smile and expressed concern that perhaps I was biting off more than I could chew. I still saw dollar signs, though, and I insisted I would be okay and shooed them along. They were out of sight in a flash.

About two hours later, Tim and I finally reached the ridge proper. From there, the summit is about a mile away along a long, snaky, rocky and on this particular day, icy snake-like ascending ridge, which is where the mountain's name comes from. Culebra means snake.

It was late in the season to worry too much about storms, but threatening clouds had gathered nonetheless. Some climbers were already beginning to make their way down the ridge toward us. I estimated the summit would take us at least another two hours, and the rocks were so slippery, I wasn't confident I could make it without falling and being really hurt. Tim was more concerned about the clouds than I was, and he convinced me we had completed a worthwhile ascent and should be proud to say we almost made it, given our physical conditions. The view, although misty, was breathtaking. Miranda Peak to the north and Red Mountain, Vermejo Peak and Purgatoire Peak to the south were all frosted with a fresh dusting of snow. Golden aspens to the west were the only color in the monotone landscape. We snapped a few photos and began our descent.

Before we reached Four Way, a group of climbers caught up to us and asked if I would take them to their cars back at the ranch. I accommodated them then returned to Four Way to pick up my Lizard and his two climbing companions.

Much to my surprise, these warriors did not want a ride back to the ranch. They wanted to extend their hike and keep walking! So back down to the ranch I drove, and I finally was able to catch a few winks while I waited all of about an hour for their return. These guys are absolute speed demons!

As it turned out, The Lizard also had worried about the clouds and opted not to join Ferenc and Steve for the ascent of Red Mountain after climbing Culebra. I was tearful when I told him I wanted to go back some time, even if I had to pay again, because I don't want to miss this mountain. I want to see the summit. I want to stand on the summit. The Lizard wrapped his arms around me and told me he has to pay again, too, because he still wants Red Mountain.

So, Culebra hasn't seen the end of us. We will be back. Some day.Migrating Sandhill Cranes take to the sky above Culebra and Red MountainNote: This trip report is a classic example of why it's important to keep a journal. My laptop computer gave up the ghost shortly after our Culebra adventure, and I had emergency back surgery a month later. When I finally had my senses once again (that is, IF I regained any sense!), I realized I'd lost several days' worth of journal entries when the laptop crashed. Because I was on heavy medication when I realized this, I didn't take the time to rewrite what would have been difficult to remember under such conditions anyway.

Some of the magic of this trip is lost forever because my computer crashed. I remember writing about listening to elk bugle while I waited for the guys, and I remember wanting to explore the valley more. I have no memory of why. I no longer have the words I penned (keyboarded?) that day. They are gone forever.

Who know how many more precious moments and memories were lost to that ill-timed blue screen of death? I was able to piece this together because others from our group wrote trip reports of their own. Other experiences during my missing days don't have the luxury of group reports I can peruse.

The moral of the story, aside from backing up every electronic kilobyte produced, is to write down the special moments while memories are still fresh. Just like that aggravating 404 File Not Found, reminiscing can be difficult to engage and/or interpret the more time passes without frequent replay.

25 January 2010

Snowflake Monday

This flake actually is the inside of a larger flake I designed. I was making a second flake from the large design to tweak a couple of things and decided I liked the center enough that it should be a flake of its own.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!Finished Size: 5 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

A Snowflake of Its Own Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as tr), 1 tr in center of ring, ch 4, *2 tr in center of ring, ch 4; repeat from * around 4 more times for a total of 6 spokes; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4. Leave magic ring opening kind of wide.

Round 2: Sl st into top of next tr, sl st into next ch 4 sp, ch 3 (counts as dc), 1 dc into same ch 4 sp, 2 tr into same ch 4 sp (odd-shaped shell made), ch 6, 2 tr into same ch 4 sp, 2 dc into same ch 4 sp, *2 dc into next ch 4 sp, 2 tr into same ch 4 sp, ch 6, 2 tr into same ch 4 sp, 2 dc into same ch 4 sp; repeat from * around 4 more times for a total of 6 points; sl st into 3rd ch of 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: Ch 1, sc into sp below between 2 odd-shaped shells, * ch 6, 2 dc into next ch 6 sp, 2 tr into same sp, 1 dtr into same sp, ch 10, 1dtr into same sp, 2 tr into same sp, 2 dc into same space, ch 6, sk 2 tr and 2 dc, sc into space between odd-shaped shells; repeat from * around 5 more times for a total of 6 points; sl st into 1st 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.

22 January 2010

Fingerprint Friday

All of God's creatures are Fingerprints to me, but I have always had favorites.

Eagles.eagle in winterTigers.high school mascotMountain goats.mountain goat kicking up dirt to cool offMoose.bull moose in the rainLizards.collared lizardBabies.scratch and sniffThen I started making bears. I can't say bears were ever on my list of favorite live creatures, although every time I've seen one in the wild, I've (unsuccessfully) done everything I could to try to get a photo. Making tiny bears for the last year and three months has opened a real soft spot in my heart.Beartown BearsNow comes word that Lily is expected to deliver, perhaps today, cubs! She's young, she's overcoming many typical barriers her same-aged counterparts have faced, and technology is making it possible for the whole world to witness this miracle! Birth is a Fingerprint, and so is the intelligence that brought us this marvelous technology.

I think today can be Pawprint Friday!Rose Bear
***

Steven Curtis Chapman sings:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with
The fingerprints of God


The Rusted Chain challenges bloggers each Friday to discover, recognize and see God's fingerprints and share them with the rest of the world. See instructions to join in here. Also check the other blogs linked there to see more great Fingerprints!

Friday Funny

I'm really diggin' this bird!

And in case you are unable to view the above, here is the link.

21 January 2010

Sock Heaven

feet personalityI’ve been wearing cycling socks almost exclusively since about 2003. Many organized rides offer commemorative socks, booths at rides typically offer irregular socks at discount prices, and some bike shops have great bargain bins full of discontinued cycling socks.
Day One
Cycling socks come in all sorts of unusual colors and patterns, they feature undeniable character, and they keep the feet warm in winter and cool in summer. Because they wick moisture, they dry quickly when you have to wash them in a nearby river or in a bucket of dishwater after 14 dusty miles of youth pioneer trekking, and you can wear them again the next day.

So I didn’t need to make a pair of socks. I didn’t need another pair of socks, period!
Day Two
But the colors of self-striping sock yarn are just so darned addictive. Sock-knitting is one of THE big things these days. Plus, it didn’t hurt that the most-sought-after imported sock yarn was on sale for 40% off...

I like to be different, though. So after rifling through scores of books of patterns, knitting magazines and websites, I decided my socks could not be knitted. They had to be crocheted. Just because.

I’d never made a pair of socks before, but I grew up making up my own patterns for knitted and crocheted booties because I couldn’t afford
Day Threepatterns way back then, when yarn was 47 cents a skein. I’ve also made my fair share plus a little more of bear legs, which are nothing more than miniature socks stuffed and sewed shut. Nevertheless, I thought crocheting a pair of socks for my own feet would be a fun challenge.

And fun it was! I finished the first sock in just four days of commute time. The second sock was finished a week later. And they fit!

My handmade socks are almost too pretty to wear. And they are 100% unique, even though I used a widely published pattern.

The yarn colorway I used included brown, and I decided I didn’t want brown in my socks. So I cut it off and wound it into tiny balls. Brown goes
Day Fourgreat on bears, so I could use up the undesirable sock color making stuffed animals, if there was enough. There was!!!

I also decided after finishing the top part of the first sock that I didn’t like the crocheted cuff in the pattern picture or the feel of it as I began the stitching. So unraveled the cuff ta da!!!and pulled out my double-pointed knitting needles. I knitted an improvised ribbed cuff on my crocheted lace socks. I think they look great.

I loved working with this yarn. I loved watching the color slip through my fingers. I kept hoping I would have enough left over to make a snowflake. A colorful snowflake?!? You bet! In fact, there might just be a rainbow-hued blizzard in Colorado this weekend!Noro Bear

19 January 2010

Handies Peak

Handies Peak3 July 2004

We arrived at the Handies and Redcloud/Sunshine trailheads on the Cinnamon Pass road by about 9 a.m. After healthy portions of day-old Cinnabon rolls smothered with fresh caramel frosting, we decided the weather looked promising enough to warrant a summit attempt.columbine

We were on the trail to Handies by 10 a.m., and I was on my second memory card before we reached the summit, thanks to prolific fields of alpine geraniums, sunflowers, anemone, globeflowers, marsh marigold, columbine, cinquefoil, monkshood, sky pilots, larkspur, Jacob’s Ladder, bittercress and gorgeous firecracker-like sprays of purple scorpionweed.

En route, we were passed multiple times in both directions by trail runners training for the Hard Rock 100. Their pace was awe-inspiring and discouraging at the same time.

Handies would be my 13th 14er, and I’d long planned to save that specific designation for a special peak because 13 is my favorite and lucky number. Wildflowers, playful marmots and glistening waterfalls made the impromptu peak special, but so did being able to hike again with The Lizard. He never complains about my lack of speed and how many times I stop to take photos.

gentiansAll that mushy stuff aside, imagine my surprise when upon the summit I had the pleasure of meeting in person Quade Smith, second oldest of the famed Climbing Smiths. Not only is this guy STILL climbing, he’s a photographer, too. !!!

In 1974, the Climbing Smiths (George and sons Flint, Quade, Cody and Tyle) climbed all the fourteeners in Colorado in 33 days. Tyle Smith had climbed them all in 1968 at age 8. Quade and Tyle went up all the peaks again in sixteen days in 1990. Their speed records have been shattered several times over since then, but at the time, their accomplishments were mighty. It was truly an honor to stand on a beautiful mountain peak with Quade and The Lizard.

After identifying surrounding 360-degree views of peaks partially obscured in smoky haze – Rio Grande Pyramid, Jones, Niagara, American, Sunlight, Windom, Eolus, Arrow, Vestal, the Trinities, the Wilsons, Sneffels and peaks of the Dallas Divide, Wildhorse, Coxcomb, Wetterhorn, Matterhorn, Uncompahgre, Redcloud and Sunshine – we headed back down, stopping to shoot yet more wildflowers and marmots.larkspur
marmot

18 January 2010

Back in the Saddle Again, I'm Baaack...

Typical Winter Mountain Bike Ride in ColoradoWe planned to ride to Golden on Saturday, but decided on the bike path to hit Deer Creek Canyon instead.

Good decision, too. There was some snow, sand and gravel. But the road was completely navigable. I knew I'd have to be super cautious on the descent because I don't have the skills or coordination to go fast on sand. But I felt strong, and I wanted to try.

During the first mile or so of open canyon, the temperature felt warmer than down in the Denver metro. Good sun and plenty of shelter from the breezy wind. But then we got into the narrows. I went around one curve and felt an immediate 20-degree temperature drop! This section of the canyon never gets any sun, year round. The snow was deep on both sides of the road, but the road was clear except for a bit of melt, sprinkles of sand and occasional baseball-sized rock falls. The river was ice. I was glad I didn't take off my gloves on the sunny section when I got hot.

I was passed a lot. But I made it all the way up to the goal I'd set when we began climbing. I had not done Deer Creek Canyon since June 13, which was my first time non-stop. I'd set a goal back in June to get to the 18-mile mark, and I made it. I was really, really excited because I'd never done an extended uphill bike ride non-stop before in my life. Ever.

The Lizard on New Year's DayI didn't do non-stop today, but I didn't stop to catch my breath. I had to stop to give my behind a rest. I haven't done more than 30 miles on my bike since November 29. I wasn't able to ride my bike at all in December. So I'm not discouraged that I had to stop twice today on the way up to stretch my legs and get out of the saddle for a few minutes. I'm really pleased I did 18 uphill miles on my second ride and first climb of the year after a 33-day bike absence! I was exhilarated to attain the turnaround point I'd hoped I could reach and then shocked when I looked it up in my calendar and discovered I hadn't done it in six months!

Of course, the hardest part of the ride was not going up. The most difficult part of the ride was coming down through the shadowed, narrow canyons over patches of sand, ice and melting snow and not being able to brake properly because my gloves were too thick. I had no choice. I had to take the gloves off so I could stay slow enough to keep myself upright in case I slid on a sandy curve. There is nothing in the world fun about sliding on gravely pavement at 20 or 30 mph. Even when you're wearing multiple layers, which I was.

I cruised another three or four miles and had to stop again because my fingers were absolutely frozen. I put them under my multiple jerseys against my tummy to try to thaw, and The Lizard offered to switch gloves with me. By this point, my knees were shaking, and my whole body was getting chilled. Just because of my hands! It's true what they say about keeping extremities warm to keep the rest of the body warm.

With The Lizard's gloves, I was able to operate my brakes properly, and I completed the descent without any problems. The Lizard said it was difficult to squeeze his hands around his brakes wearing my gloves, but he doesn't have to brake as often as I do. He can whiz down the canyon like a rocket. He's got balance, bike-handling skill and coordination I can only dream about. I love to watch him descend gnarly rocks and tree roots on his mountain bike because he's so smooth and never wipes out the way I would if I tried that.

This is NOT skinny tire territory!My elevation gain for the day is 3,498 feet. Way cool! You must gain 3,000 when you climb a 14er to have officially "climbed" it. So does this mean I can count today as a 14er?!? Hahahahaha!

Lots of riders today were sporting their Triple Bypass attire, including my Lizard. Registration opened at noon Wednesday (as opposed to the normal midnight start time) and was 3,500 riders full 45 minutes later. The Lizard got in. My Lizard got in!!! Woohoo! But lots of riders didn't. Many complained noon is much less convenient for this kind of thing than midnight. Sure, midnight has challenges of its own, but riders have been doing it this way for years, and it worked. I hope Team Evergreen goes back to the normal time next year.

Similarly TBP-decked riders today would hold The Lizard's pace for a minute or two and ask, "So, did you get in this year's race?"

"Yes. Did you?"

"No." Followed by various disheartening explanations. "I started the process at noon, but I kept getting booted." "I was in a meeting and couldn't break free." "I spent too much time trying to pick my merchandise, and registration was closed by the time I finished the transaction."

And then there was the one guy who said, "I registered my wife because she couldn't get to a computer at noon."

This will be The Lizard's triple Triple. I don't know if they give a special medal or something for that, but for us, this is a real treat. This is his favorite ride of the year, and I am VERY grateful he will get to participate.

Back at home, whole-wheat pasta with four-cheese tomato basil sauce capped off the perfect day. I'm 56 miles into this year's goal with nearly 11.5 months left to rack up 2,945 more!

Snowflake Monday

This is yet another flake that reminds me a little of bicycle spokes. It is one of seven variations I worked trying to duplicate an etched snowflake on a glass. I often keep doing the same flake over and over and over when I'm designing, with minor changes each time, until I get the pattern just right.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!
Finished Size: 5 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

Bicycle Wheel Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: 6 sc in rung. Sl st in 1st sc. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc in same sc, ch 10, *1 sc in next sc, ch 10; repeat from * around 3 times; 1 sc in next sc, ch 3, yo hook 5 times, draw up a loop through sl st at beginning of Round, [yo and pull through 2 loops] 6 times to form 6th petal of Round.
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: Ch 1, *3 sc into petal, ch 10, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook, tr in next ch of ch 10, dc in next ch, hdc in next ch, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, sl st in each of next 2 ch, 3 sc into same petal, ch 20, dc in 9th ch from hook, hdc in next ch, sl st in next ch, ch 5, skip 5 ch and sl st in each of next 2 ch, ch 1; working into next petal, repeat from * around for a total of 12 spikes, sl st into 1st 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.

15 January 2010

Fingerprint Friday

Today's sunriseSunrise a year agoSunrise last autumnSun pillars sometimes occur in not-too-photographic locations, and sometimes they occur when I don't have my camera (shameful!), but regardless, they always make me think of the Savior. Sunrises are a daily fingerprint for me.
***

Steven Curtis Chapman sings:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with
The fingerprints of God


The Rusted Chain challenges bloggers each Friday to discover, recognize and see God's fingerprints and share them with the rest of the world. See instructions to join in here. Also check the other blogs linked there to see more great Fingerprints!

Friday Fun


This is exactly the kind of game I like! Test your eyeball engineering capability.

For the record, I aced the circle twice, the convergence once and came darn close (.1) on the right angle. Important skills for a quilter and photographer!

Friday Funny



And here is the link in case you can't see the video above.

14 January 2010

Part Two

Christmas Day in Crested ButteThe second installment of my free weekly planner has been released!

This planner is chockfull of photos from all over Colorado. I hope you enjoy yet another little corner of my world.

For those who are taking advantage of this free offering on a monthly basis, that daily holiday feature is a bit more of a chore than I anticipated. I succeeded once again, but I'm finding my creative juices getting squeezed. Oh, well. When life hands you lemons, you make facial cleaner, right? (huge grin)

This calendar is being released in sections on a monthly basis (to spread out bandwidth usage throughout the year as opposed to one big server crunch).

The next installment will be available in February.

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.

12 January 2010

Trivia 2009

I guess today is link day on Snowcatcher. I couldn't resist sharing this one. Some of these are SO hilarious and so useless!

Mountain Biking in Cougar Territory

Read the prologue here, then see the amazing video here.

11 January 2010

Snowflake Monday

First Attempt

This is yet another flake inspired by a design on a snowflake fleece blanket I adore. As I was getting ready to post this pattern, I couldn't remember which flake this was. So I had to make another one. Which gave me a chance to fine-tune yet one more time, plus I also was able to try out the bamboo thread I received as a Christmas gift for the first time. So this is my first ever Bamboo Flake!

I am delighted to report bamboo thread is an absolute joy to work with. It doesn't split at all. It's almost too luxurious to use for snowflakes because the stiffening camouflages the supple texture of the thread. I now highly recommend bamboo thread for lace projects (collars, gloves, edgings, etc.) that will not be stiffened. I LOVE working with this stuff! I will be watching for sales, and next time I need to stock up, I'll likely stick with bamboo.

After I finished pinning my revised flake, I decided I liked the original better, yet the original still needed something. So I made one more flake with a few more adjustments. The photos of all three of these flakes effectively illustrate the evolution of a snowflake. This process is what I go through with every flake I design, although not all of them get so many re-dos due to the designer forgetting which of her crocheted children she gave birth to before they are photographed and numbered.

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!

Second Attempt, Bamboo Thread

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread (I used bamboo thread for the second and third flakes shown here), size 10 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

Bamboo Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc into ring, *ch 12, 3 dc into ring; repeat from * 4 more times for a total of 6 petals, ch 5, trtr (that's yo 4 times) into 1st dc (ch 5 and trtr count as final ch 12 loop). Do not pull magic circle too tight; leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat, with just a bit of ease.

Round 2: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and ch 4), dc into next middle dc, *ch 4, dc into next ch 12 sp, ch 2, dc into same sp, ch 4, dc into next middle dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 4, 1 dc into next ch 12 sp, ch 1, hdc into 3rd ch of starting ch 7 (ch 1 and hdc count as final ch 2 sp).
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: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over hdc post below, ch 5, skip ch 4, 1 dc into next dc, ch 5, *2 dc into next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc into same ch 2 space, ch 5, skip ch 4, 1 dc into next dc, ch 5; repeat from * around 4 times; 2 dc in same sp as starting dc, ch 1, hdc into 3rd ch of starting ch 3 (ch 1 and hdc count as final ch 2 sp).

Round 4: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc into same sp, ch 6, sk ch 5, 1 dc into next dc, ch 6, 2 dc into next ch 2 sp, *ch 2, 2 dc into same ch 2 space, ch 6, sk ch 6, 1 dc into next dc, ch 6, 2 dc into next ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times, 1 dc into 3rd ch of ch 3 (dc counts as final ch 2 sp).

Round 5: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc around post of dc just worked, ch 6, sc in 5th ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in sc, ch 5, sl st in sc (tri-picot made), ch 1, 3 dc in same space below, *ch 6, skip next two dc and ch 6 sp, 1 dc into next dc, ch 10, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each of the next 6 ch, ch 8, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each of the next 5 ch, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, ch 12, dc in 9th ch from hook, hdc in next ch, sc in next ch, sl st in next ch (forming point of branch), ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each of next 4 ch, working down opposite side of branch sl st in ch, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each of next 5 ch, sl st into next ch, ch 8, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and each of next 6 ch, sl st into next 2 ch and into top of dc, ch 6, **3 dc in next ch 2 space, ch 6, sc in 5th ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in sc, ch 5, sl st in sc, ch 1, 3 dc in same space below, repeat from * around 4 times, repeat from * to ** one time; sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch 3; 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.

Bamboo Snowflake

08 January 2010

Fingerprint Friday

Metro firefighters climb our stairs each year on 9/11.That. Was. Hard.

A group of us girls like to climb the stairs in our building, 60 flights, during our lunch hour a few times a week. Since the economy took a turn for the worse, it has been increasingly harder for some of us to get away in order to do our social and fitness thing. I personally had not been on the stairs since early December, and when I did it then, it was equally challenging because I hadn't done it in about six weeks.

I was discouraged when I first started up today because I had to stop to breathe every 10 flights. I like to go all the way up non-stop, and there was no way I could accomplish that after so many weeks of not climbing. I'm always amazed at how fast I lose my wimpish athletic prowess when compared to how long it takes me to regain the stamina when I get the chance to try again.

I also had stressed most of the morning because one of my new year's resolutions was to get on the stairs at least once a week. I was just hours away from breaking my first resolution of the year, already, in the first eight days of the year. That attitude doesn't make climbing easier.

I finally realized, on about the 42nd floor, I had to lift my spirits in addition to my heavy body up those stairs.

There are many who can't do one flight, let alone 60. Sure, my 60 was going to take my entire lunch hour, but at least I can do it.

It took me a couple of years to regain the ability to complete long bike rides after mandatory back surgery in 2004. It isn't taking me two years to be able to climb the stairs again.

And finally, I was blessed with the opportunity to climb. Why spend those fleeting moments discouraged and depressed when they should be a celebration? I got a lunch hour! I got to climb the stairs!

This wasn't my first blessing today. I'd already experienced a bit of a miracle before sunrise. My husband dropped me off at the park and ride (which is yet another wonderful blessing in and of itself) because the roads were icy. I'd placed a bag of groceries in the back seat for the canned food drive at my work. I had been meaning to bring that bag in since before Christmas. But life was flying at such a hectic pace then, I kept forgetting.

And sure enough, I accidentally left the bag in the back of the car when my husband dropped me off. Today was the last day for the group contribution. I could always take it independently. But I wanted to be a part of the group. I wanted the group contribution to be as big as it could be.

So I took off running after my husband. On snow and ice. Me, the biggest klutz in the world. The one who can best stumble if there is anything to trip on or slide on. If they had an Olympic event for falling down, I surely would be the reigning champ of the last century, and I'd be notching my belt for this new century just ten years young.

My husband did not see me. He kept going. I didn't catch him until he stopped at a red light. But I DID catch him! And I didn't fall down! Even as I walked back to the train stop carrying the bag of groceries!

Maybe one of my new year's resolutions needs to be: Quit whining about what I can't do and start being thankful for what I can do. I sure get farther when I have that kind of attitude!


***

Steven Curtis Chapman sings:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with
The fingerprints of God


The Rusted Chain challenges bloggers each Friday to discover, recognize and see God's fingerprints and share them with the rest of the world. See instructions to join in here. Also check the other blogs linked there to see more great Fingerprints!Metro firefighters climb our stairs each year to commemorate and honor those who died on September 11, 2001.
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