18 April 2011
This colony of bunnies came about via frustration as I e-filed my state taxes online via a prehistoric computer and turtle slow dial-up connection. I needed something constructive to do while I rebooted my computer. Three times!
I've named this snowflake after Rabbit Ears Pass because, well, because the snowflake has bunny ears and because the champagne powder that falls in and around Steamboat Springs, just west of Rabbit Ears Pass, is renowned among winter sport enthusiasts. Snowflake heaven! The snowflakes are lighter than those in any other area of Colorado. Champagne powder intensifies the feeling of floating, which skiers and snowboarders alike claim is the ultimate perk of snow sports.
I can't believe the only photos I have of Rabbit Ears Pass are autumn photos of radiant golden aspens. I have no photos of the mountain that gives the pass its name, but an illustrative photo and background of the area may be viewed here.
The jagged peaks comprising the not-quite-twin towers of Rabbit Ears Peak are remnants of a large volcanic plug. Rabbit Ears Peak doesn't favor bunny ears as much now as it did 100 years ago, before large sections of the east "ear" fell. (Oh, and I've never seen it, but there is a Rabbit Ears Mountain in New Mexico!)
Rabbit Ears Pass, which is the most-used highway into Steamboat Springs, is a popular cycling training climb because the western side of the mountain is one of the steepest paved grades in the state, and the climb (or descent) is long and straight, with a good, roomy shoulder. I have wanted to ride Rabbit Ears Pass since the day I first discovered it, way back in about 1990, and had my chance with this year's Ride the Rockies, but we opted in February not to enter this year's lottery because only two of the six days were rides we wanted to do.
The meadows surrounding Rabbit Ears Pass provide ideal snowmobiling and cross-country skiing during winter, and cross-country skiing the Pass is another thing I hope to do one day. In all the ski trips we've done, we've never skied one of the most popular areas in Colorado!
When US 40 was extended over Berthoud and Rabbit Ears Passes, the road became the first transmountain/transcontinental highway providing year-round travel, although Rabbit Ears Pass can be temporarily closed during lingering heavy winter mountain storms.
The snow of Steamboat Springs and Rabbit Ears Pass have combined to make the area one of the best training grounds for winter athletes. Steamboat Springs has produced 84 Winter Olympians since 1932, more than any other town in the United States.
My interest in Easter goes far beyond rabbits, eggs and baskets of candy. May this Holy Week be meaningful and spiritual, and may we have time to contemplate why we celebrate this glorious time of year.
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 9 crochet hook, seed beads for eyes if desired, 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
Rabbit Ears Pass Snowflake Instructions
Ch 60, taking care not to twist chain, sl st into 1st ch.
Round 1: Ch 1 (does not count as sc), 1 sc in same ch, *1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, [yo and draw up loop in next ch, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook] 4 times, yo and draw through all 5 loops on hook (4/dc dec made), 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 2 sc in each of next 2 ch; repeat from * around for a total of 6 half-moon slivers, ending with 1 sc in same ch as starting sc at end of final repeat after next-to-last 2 sc in ch; sl st in starting sc.
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: Ch 1 (does not count as sc), 1 sc in same sc as sl st, *hdc in next st; [yo and draw up loop through next st, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook] 3 times, yo and bring through all 4 loops on hook (3/dc dec made), 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in next st; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with 2 sc in final st] of last repeat; sl st in starting sc.
Round 3: Ch 1 (does not count as sc), *1 sc in same st as sl st, sk next hdc, 5 dc in next dc, ck next hdc, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with 1 sc in each of next 5 sc on final repeat instead of next 6 sc; sl st in starting sc.
Round 4: Ch 1 (does not count as sc), 1 sc in same st as sl st, *1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 3 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with 1 sc in each of last 5 sc on final repeat instead of 6; sl st in starting sc.
Round 5: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 1 dc in same sc as sl st, *1 dc in each of next 3 st, (making 1st ear) ch 11, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 2, ch, bring up loop through middle of dc just worked, [yo and bring through both loops on hook (dc inc made; this is equivalent to working 1 sc in middle of dc and similar to linked dc or ldc)] 3 times (equivalent of 3/dc increase but preventing large hole in ch due to so many st), 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in last ch, sl st in top of last dc made before beginning ear (1st ear complete), 1 dc in same st as dc with sl st, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc (top of head made), (making 2nd ear) ch 14, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 4/dc dec across next 4 ch (see 4/dc dec in Round 1), 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in final ch, sl st in top of last dc made before beginning 2nd ear (2nd ear complete), 1 dc in same st as dc with sl st, 1 dc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in next st, sk next st, [1 sc in next st], sk next st, 1 hdc in next st; repeat from * around 5 times, sl st across starting ch 2 into starting dc; bind off. Weave in ends.
If using seed beads for eyes, they may be sewed on or they may be glued in place during stiffing. Experiment with eye position before securing beads; eyes lower on the head (halfway point) tend to make critters appear more lovable and endearing; eyes higher on the head (3/4 point) ten to make critters appear more humorous and cheerful.
NOTE: I did not glitter this flake.
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.