24 October 2011

Snowflake Monday

The Spider and The Fly from Piney Creek
The Spider and The Fly

Eleven months of the year, I'm somewhat of an arachnophobe. I know spiders are our friends; they eat bad bugs that would otherwise destroy our gardens. But I'm also 100% girly girl, my persona captured in the words of Jim Stafford: "I don't like spiders and snakes..."

Until October. Spiders are scary. Some are poisonous. They bite. And did I mention they are scary? That makes them perfect Halloween decorations at my house. I even sport live ones from time to time, although not necessarily by choice.

When I am old, I shall wear purple.

my bike nightlight

The Gangly Gang

Believe it or not, we have a mountain in Colorado named The Spider. The 12,692-foot sharp peak lies in the Gore Range, Gore being an appropriate Halloween word not only for its common meaning but also for the sport-hunting spree Sir George Gore undertook in the 1850s.

While researching The Spider and the Gore Range, I found a number of articles expressing disgust over the Irish baronet's name being plastered all over a treasured mountain range and everything from libraries and churches within the area to the mountain pass and creek within this section of the Rocky Mountains. One reader comment left on an editorial by longtime Colorado journalist Ed Quillen seconding a name change is worth noting:

"Many things in our world are named for men and women who had greatness accompanied by a sometimes terrible character flaw based upon our contemporary sensibilities, but when we try to eliminate them, tear down the monuments and remembrances of those people, good and bad, we condemn ourselves to an amnesia which will not serve us."

I was unable to learn how The Spider came by that name, although Robert Ormes is credited with some wonderfully creative unofficial mountain names throughout Colorado. I will venture out on a limb and suggest perhaps The Spider is one of Ormes' monikers, perhaps a tip of the hat to the first group to successfully climb the North Face of the Eiger, via a route featuring a traverse of The White Spider, named for snow-filled cracks radiating from an ice field and giving the appearance of a giant spider web. A similar feature is found upon Spider Mountain in the Cascades. It is entirely possible our own Spider has such a trait engraved upon its rocks, but I've yet to climb anything in the Gore and have viewed The Spider only from afar on warm summer afternoons, when no snow is visible to the naked eye.

A 12,550-foot subpeak of The Spider is known as The Fly, which gives me even more reason to believe Ormes bestowed the names.

Special thanks to The Lizard for providing photos of the Gore Range Spider for this blog post.

You may do whatever you'd like with amigurumi and snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


The Spider

Finished Size: 5 inches tall and 10 inches wide when standing
Materials: Worsted yarn, size F crochet hook, stuffing, tape measure, sewing thread to match yarn, sewing needle, 2 6mm beads

TIP: Plastic shopping bags are appropriate stuffing for some amigurumi projects; a terrific way to recycle and keep the earth free of needless waste. Cotton from pill bottles also makes excellent stuffing. Some crafters have successfully used old sheets, pillowcases, towels, socks (CLEAN!) and even clothing by shredding them into strips and cutting into desired size for insertion. Stuffing the same color as or close to the same color of the project is ideal.

Instructions

Cheese!

Spider Body

TIP: When making amigurumi, select a smaller size hook than you normally would use for the size of fiber being used and work stitches tightly to prevent openings where stuffing will show through. Experiment if necessary to achieve proper tightness.

Using worsted yarn and size F crochet hook, starting at spider derrière (where spinnerets would be), make magic ring.

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 1: 8 sc in ring; do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, 3 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc; do not join. Use a stitch marker here to mark beginning of round if desired.

TIP: When using any stitch larger than sc in amigurumi, link stitches to prevent openings where stuffing will show through. For example, when using dc, insert hook through bottom loop of previous dc and draw up loop for 1st yo, then bring up hook through next stitch as normal for 2nd loop.

Round 3: 1 dc in each of next 2 sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in each of next 7 sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 1 dc in each of next 3 sc.

Round 4: Yo and draw up loop through next dc, yo and draw through 2 loops, yo and draw up loop through next dc, yo and draw through 2 loops, yo and draw through 2 loops (dc dec made), 1 hdc in each of next 2 sc, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, [2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc] 7 times, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st.

Round 5: 1 dc dec across next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 14 st, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in each of next 3 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st.

Round 6: 1 dc dec over next 2 st, 1 dc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in each of next 3 st, 1 sc in each of next 17 st,1 hdc in each of next 3 st. New Rounds don't start directly above stitch marker now; you didn't count wrong. Just keep following the instructions.

Round 7: 1 dc dec over next 3 st, 1 dc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 18 sc, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st.

Round 8: 1 dc in each of next 6 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 20 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st.

Round 9: 1 dc in each of next 5 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 25 st.

Round 10: Move st marker to here. 1 sc in each st around for a total of 29 st. If your count is off a bit, no worries. If the body of the spider is shaped a bit like Snoopy's head, you're doing fine. If the body does not look like the abdomen of a black widow, adjustments may need to be made. Do not stress about stitch count. This project is a toy and should be fun, not heartache. Trust me; no one is going to count your stitches when you are done. They'll be too busy oohing and aaaahing at the marvel you've created.

Round 11: 1 sc in each st around.

Round 12: 1 sc in each st around.

Round 13: 1 sc in each st around, dec 4 st evenly spaced for a total of 25 sc.

Round 14: 1 sc in each st around, dec 4 st evenly spaced for a total of 21 sc, taking care not to place dec directly above dec in Round below.

Round 15: * 2 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 dec sc across next 2 st; repeat from * around until you reach a total of 16 st. Lightly stuff.

TIP: Use the flat end of crochet hook to shape, move or adjust stuffing in tight places.
Round 16: * 2 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 dec sc across next 2 st; repeat from * around until you reach a total of 12 st. Stuff again until you achieve desired plumpness.

Round 17: 6 sc dec around. Complete stuffing.

TIP: If you are using dark-colored yarn and light colored stuffing and the stuffing gets caught in the stitches, run your finger or hook along the inside of body to dislodge stuffing from stitches. Use a smaller crochet hook to pull out any stragglers.

Round 18: 1 sc in each st around.

Round 19: To begin head shaping, 2 sc in each st around for a total of 12 sc.

Round 20: [2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc] 5 times, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st.

Rounds 21-24: 1 dc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 10 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st.

Round 25: *1 dec sc across next 2 st, 1 sc in next st; repeat from * around until a total of 12 st remain. Lightly stuff. Use wrong end of crochet hook to push a bit of stuffing into joint between head and body. A larger size crochet hook works perfectly for this step, such as an H or J.

Round 26: 1 dec sc across next 2 st all the way around for a total of 6 sc remaining. Insert more stuffing if needed.

Round 27: Sl st in next st and bind off, leaving a long tail. Weave tail through each of 6 remaining st and pull tight. Weave end into head.
TIP: If you have holes in your work where the stuffing shows through, cut a piece of yarn about 3 or 4 inches long and weave in and out of stitches to cover holes. Weave ends into project.

I hate my annual doctor's visit.

Long Spider Legs

TIP: If crocheting legs is too difficult, use thick pipe cleaners bent into C shape for legs instead. Twist 2 or 3 pipe cleaners together for each leg for added strength if desired.

Make 2.

Make magic ring.

Round 1: 6 sc in ring. Do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc in each sc around.

Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 3 inches long.

Leg Joint Round: 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st. TIP: It is not necessary to link hdc st and dc st in this piece because it will not be stuffed.
Repeat Leg Joint Round.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 6 inches.
Repeat Leg Joint Round twice.

TIP: It is not necessary to count Rounds or stitches on this piece. Succeeding Leg Joint Rounds should be started on the same side as previous Leg Joint Rounds, dc stitches linearly above previous dc stitches, so leg bends line up forming a J or C shape, regardless of Round starting points. If marking Rounds makes amigurumi easier for you, mark 1st hdc on 1st Leg Joint Round on each leg joint, and after working even around until piece measures appropriate length, run your finger straight up the leg from stitch marker to current round, and begin next Leg Joint Round there.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 10 inches.
Repeat Leg Joint Round twice.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 13 inches.
Repeat Leg Joint Round twice.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 16 inches. Sl st in next st. Bind off, leaving a long tail. Weave tail through each of 6 sc of final Round and pull tight. Weave ends into leg.

finished leg measurements

Short Spider Legs

Make 2.

Make magic ring.

Round 1: 6 sc in ring. Do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc in each sc around.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 2.5 inches long.

Leg Joint Round: 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st.
Repeat Leg Joint Round.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 5 inches.
Repeat Leg Joint Round twice.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 9 inches.
Repeat Leg Joint Round twice.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 11.5 inches.
Repeat Leg Joint Round twice.
Repeat Round 2 until piece measures 14 inches. Sl st in next st. Bind off, leaving a long tail. Weave tail through each of 6 sc of final Round and pull tight. Weave ends into leg.

pull yarn through legs

tie knot here

just needs body

Assemble spider: Cut strand of yarn about 15 inches long. Stack legs, long, short, short, long, and using crochet hook, bring end of yarn through center of all four legs. Insert hook into legs again one row over from 1st insertion and bring other end of yarn through. Tie yarn as tight as possible without breaking. Using yarn ends, attach legs to underside of head and upper body. Weave in ends. Sew bead eyeballs into place.

looks like hourglasses, eh?

The Spider Snowflake

Finished Size: 1.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, sewing thread to match snowflake and sewing needle OR craft glue

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

Round 1: * Ch 2, 1 dc in ring, ch 2, sl st in ring; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 2 dc in ring. Do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), * 2 dc in 2nd ch of next ch 2 in next petal, sk next dc, 2 dc in 2nd ch of next ch 2, ch 3; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with 1 dc in same dc as starting ch 5 instead of last 2 dc of final repeat and omitting ch 3; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 5.
Round 3: * 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 sc in same sp, sk next dc, 1 sc in each of next 3 dc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

There, there, nice Spider...

Finish: Pin and block snowflake and spray lightly with water if desired. (I did not block my snowflake.) Allow to dry. Either sew snowflake into place on underside of spider abdomen or glue it into place and allow to dry thoroughly. I was tempted to place the snowflake on the top of the abdomen so it would show, but I wanted my spider to be anatomically correct, so to speak. If desired, hang spider upside down using fishing line. Or just let spider sit on your desk and make funny faces at you.

Happy Halloween!

The Spider and Friends

12 comments:

  1. That is so awesome! The spider has a snowflake too! I don't really like spiders, but I'm not exactly scared of them either, especially when my friends are the ones screaming about them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so cute! I am not terrified of spiders, but I don't want them crawling on me! I seem to find their spider webs in the mornings.:-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Um, I don't have a love of spiders. I can leave them alone outside, unless they're right at my front door. Think I'll have to skip this one. :) However, the light up one on your bike is very cool. My boys would love that, if you can share where it came from.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Yulian, Charlotte and Shirley!

    Shirley, my bike light is a Tirefly. They have skulls, butterflies and aliens, too. Excellent for commuting in the dark. Great to decorate the bike for Halloween, too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The best part is the red snowflake!!!
    A friendly spider...Kisses!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Now that is one awesome and darling spider all in one...he could live at my house anytime!Actually, I try to leave spiders alone....they tend to take care of other bugs we'd rather not see...and so far the spiders have been good to me...now if you want to talk about ants, well I got bit by one in the desert of Arizona once and that really hurt! thanks sharing how we can make a spidy for ourselves!

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  7. I love that bike light too.

    I don't like spiders AT ALL, but I have learned to trap them and take them outside instead of just reflexively killing them.

    Yours is awfully cute though. And huge! Love the mountain names too. Somebody had a sense of humour.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the heads up on the bike lights! Those will definitely be in the Christmas stockings!

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  9. Very cute...our spiders here in Finland are very cute too and they don´t bite, so I don´t scare them :).

    Thanks for the lovely photos..

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Ane, Karen, Sue and Neferi!

    Shirley, you will have some very happy Christmas stocking recipients!

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  11. Fun stuff and the black spider tutorial is wonderful. Happy Halloween!

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  12. This is such a great spider! My brother loves spiders and I have been searching for a good pattern to make a gift for him for a while. This is definatly on my to-do list!

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