20 June 2011

Snowflake Monday

NOTE: This year's fund-raising has concluded; a new donation page (and snowflake pattern booklet!) will be available in about December.

Independence Pass

This year's MS-150 (Bike MS) is almost here! To celebrate, I've designed a special snowflake in honor of the upcoming holiday as well as loyal readers who have contributed a total of $2,685 to support the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

This snowflake takes its name from 12,095-foot Independence Pass, the highway connecting Aspen, Colorado, to Twin Lakes, Colorado, and the highest paved mountain pass in the US. (Three paved roads in Colorado are higher, but they cross mountain summits instead of shoulders between high peaks, and two of them end at the top.) Independence Pass, originally known as Hunter's Pass, gets its name from the ghost town three miles west of the pass, where legend has it a rich vein of silver was struck on July 4, 1879.

Closed Independence PassIndependence Pass is one of my favorite cycling training rides while it is being plowed in spring and not yet open to vehicles. Some portions of the narrow and curvy road are not wide enough for two vehicles, much less two vehicles and a bicycle. Independence Pass also is the location of one of my sentimental favorite photos, which I shot two days after September 11, 2001 (top photo). Independence Pass provides some of the most stunning autumn gold in the state, and the road winds beneath the slopes of La Plata Peak, Colorado's 5th tallest 14er (which I climbed alone in 2003), and Colorado's highest summit, Mount Elbert (which I climbed alone in 2001).

Independence Pass was a dirt road until I was seven years old! Now that highly scenic paved and improved but still narrow and steep road will be featured in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge this August just a few days before I attempt to climb Pikes Peak on my bicycle. (Pikes Peak has the second highest paved road in America. Mount Evans is the tallest. Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is third highest but the highest continuous paved road in the US. I've climbed both Evans and Trail Ridge on my bike, and I've climbed Evans on foot, too.)

I wanted to name this snowflake after Independence Mountain, but when I learned the peak's altitude is lower than the Pass, I changed my mind because of what I want this snowflake to symbolize. I want this snowflake to represent the top, the highest, the best. Gratitude, courage, freedom, independence. And a sprinkling of love.

and the rocket's red glareThe United States of America will celebrate 235 years of freedom and independence just two weeks from today. A number of snowflakers have requested more star patterns, and stars are symbolic of our Fourth of July as well as Christmas. I have a few Super Stars of my own. They are the people who have helped my husband and I raise money for multiple sclerosis this year. I am just $130 away from being a High Roller for the first time, and The Lizard is just $185 away from being a Premium Pedaler for the first time. The money raised will provide people with MS a greater degree of independence than they would be able to achieve without the NMSS. When you make this snowflake, I hope you will remember the emotion behind it. I hope it will mean something to you, too.

Just about any snowflake pattern may be converted into a star with minimal adjustment simply by eliminating the sixth point during construction. With this pattern, I am providing instructions for both the five-pointed and six-pointed versions. (The only difference is the number of points.) I'm also sharing the tutorial I used while learning how to dye my own thread, plus a few other helpful links, because I made several versions of this snowflake and starflake with red, white and blue thread I dyed myself.

In addition, I plan to test posting photos from my iPhone directly to my blog this week, hoping, if it works, I can take you along with me this weekend as I pedal 150 miles in support of two family members and eight friends who have MS as well as countless contributors who have MS or who also have loved ones with MS. (If all goes as planned, my Wordless Wednesday will be posted via my iPhone!)

aspen on Independence PassHere is the tutorial I used the second time I tried dyeing yarn as an adult.

Pea Soup

And here are a few more helpful links:

Crochet Uncut

Dyeing with Plants

Dyeing with Shaving Cream

I’d dyed yarn with grape juice in Brownies back in the '60s. My first attempt as an adult failed because I didn’t know about acrylic yarn or mordant. (Thanks, YuLian!) Super Saver yarn does not dye. I’ve heard cotton doesn’t hold color well, but I’m using cotton thread. Sometimes the colors don’t come out as intense as I’d like, but I’ve had no problem tea-staining my cheap white thread with or without mordant. Powdered drink mix and food coloring do require the thread be presoaked in vinegar.

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!

Red, White and Blue Independence Pass Starflakes with Danglies
Finished Size: 7 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 10 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

Five-Point Independence Pass Snowflake Star
Five-Point Star

Ch 2, OR make magic ring.

Round 1: In ring (or first ch) work 5 sc; sl st in starting sc. Pull magic circle tight.
Independence Pass StarflakeRound 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same sc, *ch 3, 2 dc in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (counts as final ch 3 sp).
Round 3: Ch 1, 1 sc over post of final dc of Round 1, *ch 4, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 12, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 4, 1 sc in same sp as starting sc, ch 6, 1 tr in starting sc (counts as final ch 12 sp).
Round 4: Ch 1, 6 sc over post of tr just worked, *ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 2, 6 sc in next ch 12 sp, ch 12, 6 sc in same ch 12 sp; repeat from * around 3 times; ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 2, 6 sc in same sp as starting 6 sc, ch 12, sl st in starting sc.
Round 5: Ch 1, 1 sc in same sc, *ch 4, sk next 5 sc and next ch 2, 1 sc in next sc, ch 4, sk next ch 2 and next 5 sc, 1 sc in next sc, 3 sc in next ch 12 sp, ch 5, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 10, 3 dc in same sp, ch 15, 3 dc in same sp, ch 10, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 5, 3 sc in same sp, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around 4 times ending with sl st in starting sc instead of last sc of final repeat.
Round 6: *5 sc in next ch 4 sp, 5 sc in next ch 4 sp, 3 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 4, 3 hdc in next ch 10 sp, ch 5, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 3, [yo and draw up loop in 3rd ch from hook, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, yo and draw up loop in same ch, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, yo and draw through all three loops on hook] (dc shell made), 3 dc in next ch 15 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, ch 6, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, [[1 dc in next ch]], ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, 1 dc in top half of next [[dc]], 1 sc in same ch as [[dc]] (heart snowflake tip made), ch 1, 1 sc in same ch 15 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, work [dc shell] in 3rd ch from hook, 3 hdc in next ch 10 sp, ch 5, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 4; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Six-Point Independence Pass Snowflake
Six-Point Snowflake

Ch 2, OR make magic ring.

Round 1: In ring (or first ch) work 6 sc; sl st in starting sc. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same sc, *ch 3, 2 dc in next sc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (counts as final ch 3 sp).
Round 3: Ch 1, 1 sc over post of final dc of Round 1, *ch 4, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 12, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times; ch 4, 1 sc in same sp as starting sc, ch 6, 1 tr in starting sc (counts as final ch 12 sp).
Round 4: Ch 1, 6 sc over post of tr just worked, *ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 2, 6 sc in next ch 12 sp, ch 12, 6 sc in same ch 12 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 2, 6 sc in same sp as starting 6 sc, ch 12, sl st in starting sc.
Round 5: Ch 1, 1 sc in same sc, *ch 4, sk next 5 sc and next ch 2, 1 sc in next sc, ch 4, sk next ch 2 and next 5 sc, 1 sc in next sc, 3 sc in next ch 12 sp, ch 5, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 10, 3 dc in same sp, ch 15, 3 dc in same sp, ch 10, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 5, 3 sc in same sp, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times ending with sl st in starting sc instead of last sc of final repeat.
Round 6: *5 sc in next ch 4 sp, 5 sc in next ch 4 sp, 3 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 4, 3 hdc in next ch 10 sp, ch 5, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 3, [yo and draw up loop in 3rd ch from hook, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, yo and draw up loop in same ch, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, yo and draw through all three loops on hook] (dc shell made), 3 dc in next ch 15 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, ch 6, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, [[1 dc in next ch]], ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, 1 dc in top half of next [[dc]], 1 sc in same ch as [[dc]] (heart snowflake tip made), ch 2, 1 sc in same ch 15 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, work [dc shell] in 3rd ch from hook, 3 hdc in next ch 10 sp, ch 5, 3 hdc in same sp, ch 4; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Independence Pass Starflakes with Danglies
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.

Independence Pass from La Plata Peak
Independence Pass from high on La Plata Peak

5 comments:

  1. It's always a pleasure looking in on your blog and seeing all the lovely flakes and pretty pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely beautiful. What a nice tribute. :-)I think I have a favorite flake or picture until the next post and that changes. <3
    Fingers crossed this will post.
    De'Anna~ Unique2wh0ataoldotcom

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your linkies to tutorials are not working, but your link back to me works fine.

    Tea-dying works on both wool and cotton, but Kool-aid dying only stains the cotton and eventually fades. -Shrug-

    By the way, lovely colors! And snowflakes!

    ReplyDelete
  4. YuLian, thank you so much for the head's up. I'm speechless because the links were correct when I hit "publish" over the weekend, and I've fixed them now, but they were entirely gobbledygood, and I have no clue how that happened. Blogger's burping again, I see...

    Still can't leave comments on most blogs...

    Grrr!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I must be tired, but I can't seem to wrap my head around a pass being higher than the peak of the same name...but typing it out like this made me suddenly visualize it so never mind!

    Can't wait to see the photos from MS-150! Thanks for the links - they worked for me.

    Gorgeous snowflake / star.

    ReplyDelete


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