14 March 2011

Snowflake Monday

Rainbow Falls Snowflakes
Ten and a half months ago, El Paso County purchased Rainbow Falls for $10. What a deal, right?!? A waterfall for the price of a couple of burgers, fries and a shake. The formerly corporate-owned landmark had become an eyesore, and with the help of an organization aptly called MECA, El Paso County is hoping to restore beauty to this section of Fountain Creek.

The Falls are right beneath Highway 24, which I rode up last August in an attempt to climb Pikes Peak on my bicycle. I had no clue I was riding over the inspiration for today's snowflake.

Rainbow Falls was a popular recreation destination for tourists back in the early 1900s. After the Highway 24 access bridge was built across the canyon leading to Rainbow Falls, the entire area fell victim to erosion, trash and vandalism. Contrary to logical thinking, the Rainbow Falls name came long before dappled paint covered the landscape’s rock walls.

El Paso County and Manitou Springs are working to restore and revitalize Rainbow Falls so it once again will be a haven for picnickers and school field trips. (Each reference to Rainbow Falls will open a different photo of the Falls in a new window.)

hand-colored threadMeanwhile, I have graffitied a snowflake in honor of the upcoming rainbow-filled holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. I have experimented with coloring crochet thread with fluorescent highlighters. I allowed the ink to dry overnight before using the colored thread and didn’t have any problem stiffening the initial project I made (tiny flower basket and flowers) a week or so later. That worked well, so I tried my hand using the same process to create some colorful snowflakes.

For the first flake, I colored six-inch sections of thread with alternating colors, making no effort whatsoever to cover all the white. I wanted a spotty, blotchy effect. For the second flake, I made a white flake and then colored each of the six points in a different color, again not attempting to cover all the white. For the third flake, I drew a rainbow on a white flake. For the fourth flake, I used what I consider snowflake-appropriate colors, coloring the thread randomly before crocheting with it.

Hand-coloring my own thread was so much fun and so unique, I think I may try a peppermint-striped snowflake for Christmas!

graffiti toolsI used common, inexpensive highlighters in bright colors for this project. I also have a set of pigment markers I bought from Dharma, but I have not used them yet. When gluing, I used straight glue, not watered down, and I dabbed the paintbrush gently so as not to spread or bleed color, but the color seemed to stay put all on its own without too much effort. It did not transfer to the paintbrush.

This was a great experiment, once again breaking up white boredom and bringing new dimension to crocheted snowflakes. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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!

My favorite Rainbow Falls Snowflake
Finished Size: 3.25 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, 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

Instructions

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

Rainbow Falls Snowflake in winterRound 1: 12 sc in ring; sl st in starting sc. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.
Round 2: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and ch 4), *sk 1 sc, 1 dc in next sc, ch 4; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 7.
Round 3: *1 sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 2, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc.
Round 4: *1 sc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 1, 1 dc in same sp in ring (point made), ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

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

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 plastic wrap. 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.

Rainbow Falls Snowflakes

8 comments:

  1. Hey, that's a pretty good idea! I'll have to try that someday.

    Yup, what happened to Japan is sad. =/ In the face of nature and God, we are but the dust...

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  2. Love the snowflake and love the coloring idea.

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  3. They are fabulous.

    BTW, Easter egg dye creates lovely yarn if you use it on a cotton yarn.

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  4. These are great!

    It's hard sometimes to comment on huge events in web-spaces that aren't really about that, it is awful what is happening - I'm sure everyone feels that.

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  5. Perfection! Love the color trick.

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  6. I'm glad you opted to keep Snowflake Monday intact. Sharing beauty and inspiration doesn't detract from the global view of things; it offers peaceful sanctuary.

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  7. Rainbow Falls is such a beautiful name and coloring your own yarn is such a fun idea. Love it!

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