13 June 2011

Snowflake Monday

Dad News Bears
This snowflake is by request. After last week's Six Golf Clubs for Dad, teakaycee on Crochetville said the men in her life love baseball. I'd actually tried working out a baseball bat and ball pattern last year, but never finished them. Saturday we had thundershowers, which doesn't make for safe cycling, so I wrote the snowflake, baseball bat, hat and baseball patterns.

For fun, I toyed with naming this snowflake after one of my favorite baseball teams, especially since one particular team is named after my favorite place in Colorado. (Rockies, in case my clue was too vague.) But I also love the Mariners, and I didn't want to play favorites or make either team jealous, so this snowflake will get yet another goofy name: Six Baseball Bats for Dad. Or Hubby. Or Brother. Or Son. Or Boss. Hey, did you know the acronym for Dear Husband is the same as Designated Hitter?!? Six Baseball Bats for DH. (HUGE grin!)

Dirty Thread in the makingThis snowflake was a lot more fun for me than the golf club flake because I love baseball and actually played softball for many years until emergency back surgery in November of 2004 derailed much of my limited athletic prowess.

This snowflake also gave me a chance to use up some of my Dirty Thread, which I previewed in last week's Snowflake Monday. (Thanks for this week's inspiration, Tam!) I've been working on a surprise snowflake project since April that requires more shades of white, off-white, ecru, natural, eggshell and antique than I have been able to find commercially. (Let this be a clue to start stocking up on whites for a future snowflake pattern!) I began tea-staining thread the same way my grandmother did more than 44 years ago to achieve the variety in hues I wanted.

Everything was going just fine until I left a batch of cranberry apple, pomegranate, orange spice and wild berry tea-stained thread to dry on the wrought iron shelf where my indoor flower seedlings are attempting to get a head start on life. I didn't know the wrought iron would further enhance my self-dyed thread...

Dirty ThreadInitially, I was devastated, but after I wound the mini hanks into tiny balls, I decided I would find or design a way to use the thread anyway, because it wasn't all that bad looking once I got accustomed to it. I even decided to find ways to multiple stain one or two balls with an assortment of additional colors so I can make some fun animal amigurumi after cycling season. (Yes, the bear and lizard patterns are coming – eventually.)

Lucky for me, one of the wrought-iron damaged thread shades is just the perfect color for a baseball bat, and I've been wanting to craft a bat for one of my tiny thread bears for more than a year now. In my opinion, the baseball bat, hat and baseball are perfect standalone ornaments for any sports lover. I think they would make great sports snowflake danglies, too, but not on the flat baseball bat snowflake.

naughty wrought iron
I wanted to see what it would look like to make a 3D baseball bat snowflake, so I let my imagination go wild on that idea, as well. The 3D baseball bat snowflake would be strong enough to support the weight of danglies.

Six Baseball Bats for Dad
You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes, baseballs, hats and bats you make from these patterns, but you may not sell or republish the patterns. Thanks, and enjoy!

Baseball Love
Finished Size: 4.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 9 crochet hook, small amount of stuffing for 3D bat and ball, red sewing thread and needle or red permanent marker for baseball marking, 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

NOTE: The first snowflake is not worked in the round. The rest of the projects ARE worked in the round. You may use larger thread or even yarn to make the 3D bat or snowflake, but use a smaller hook than what you normally would use with the size of fiber you choose to prevent stuffing from showing through the stitches. The amigurumi bat and ball are worked very tightly. Also, I did not glitter these snowflakes. They might look cool with glitter the colors of your favorite baseball team...
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Flat Baseball Bat Flake

*Ch 20, 1 2c in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in each of next 4 ch, 1 hdcc in each of next 5 ch, 1 sc in each of next 4 ch, sl st in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch; repeat from * around 5 times; taking care not to twist work, sl st in starting ch; bind off. Weave in ends.

You also may make 6 or 12 individual flat bats by binding off at the base of each bat and then stiffening bats individually before gluing them into desired snowflake shapes.

Play ball!
3D Amigurumi Bat

Make 6 for Snowflake. Make one (or desired number) to hang individually.

Round 1: Make magic ring. 9 sc in ring. Pull magic ring tight. Keep tail on wrong side of work so it will be inside bat when you are done. I use the crochet hook to stuff the end of the tail inside the amigurumi as I work.
Rounds 2-6: 1 sc in each sc around. (Or work 56 sc, if it's easier for you to count stitches than rounds on something so small.) Stuff lightly as you go.
Rounds 7-10: Dec 1 sc in each round, taking care not to work decs directly above each other, for a total of 5 sc in Round 10. (If it's easier to count stitches than rounds, work 1 dec, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, 1 dec, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 1 dec, 1 sc in each of next 7 sc, 1 dec, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc, and you should have a total of 5 sc remaining.) Stuff lightly as you go. I use the crochet hook to insert the stuffing into the narrow opening.
Rounds 11-18: 1 sc in each sc around (or work a total of 40 sc if it's easier for you to count stitches than rounds). I did not stuff this section of the bat.
Round 19: 2 sc in each sc around for a total of 10.
Round 20: 1 sc in each sc around. Bind off, leaving a 3-inch to 4-inch tail. Weave tail through each st in Round 20 and pull tight, taking care not to break thread. Pull thread into bat to hide end. If making the 3D baseball bat snowflake, leave a long tail on the sixth bat, and use it to string all six bats together (for strength, make two passes through each bat) before tying a strong knot and weaving the end into a bat.

Finish Snowflakes: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. If making flat baseball bat snowflake, pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap. If making snowflake from individual bats, stiffen bats first and allow to adequately dry, then pin as desired in snowflake shape again and repeat stiffening process.

To stiffen: Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter (optional). 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 snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to light pull, chandelier, doorknob or cabinet handle.

3D Amigurumi Baseball

baseball stitchingem>Round 1: Make magic ring. 9 sc in ring. Pull magic ring tight. Keep tail on wrong side of work so it will be inside ball when you are done.
Round 2: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc next sc; repeat from * around for a total of 15 (you're actually going one stitch beyond end of round).
Round 3-5: 1 sc in each sc around (or 45 sc if it is easier for you to count st than rounds).
Round 6: *1 dec, 1 sc; repeat from * around for a total of 6 st (or work a dec every other st until 6 st remain). Stuff lightly as you go.
Round 7: *Draw up loop in each of next 3 sc, yo and bring through all 4 loops on hook; repeat from * 1 time; sl st tightly in next sc, bind off, leaving a 2-inch tail. Weave tail into ball. Using red sewing thread or red permanent marker, make pinched circle/disconnected figure 8 on ball for baseball marking.

Ready to Play3D Baseball Hat

Round 1: Make magic ring. 9 sc in ring. Do not join. Pull magic ring tight.
Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around for a total of 18 sc.
Round 3: 1 sc in each sc around. Ch 1, turn.
Round 4: 1 sc in each sc around. Ch 1, turn.
Round 5: Working in the opposite direction, 1 sc in each of the next 16 sc. Ch 1, turn.
Round 6: Working in opposite direction of previous round, 1 sc in each of the next 16 sc. Ch 3 using foundation ch (ch 1, pull up loop through under side of ch, yo and bring through both loops on hook, pull up loop through under side of 2nd ch, yo and bring through both loops).
Round 7: Sk 2 sc opening left by previous 2 rounds and 1 sc in 1st sc of Round 6. (You've just made the opening in the back of the baseball hat.) 1 sc in each of next 5 sc. Working in front loop only for next 10 st, 1 hdc in next sc, 2 dc in same sc, 2 tr in next sc, 2 tr in next sc, 2 dc in next sc, 1 hdc in same sc. (You've just made hat brim.) Working in both loops again, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, sl st in next sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

All-American Bear

3 comments:

  1. So there's ONE kind of weather you intrepid Coloradans won't ride in! Now I don't feel like so much of a wimp.

    Love the baseball bat snowflake - also reminds me of a sea creature.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such cute little things :)
    I played in an online editing program called Sumo Paint :)

    ReplyDelete


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