I wanted to climb a peak to commemorate the seventh anniversary of my back surgery, but snowstorms raged on all three peaks I'd picked. One of the main reasons I climb is for the view, and there is no view during a blizzard.
So The Lizard and I took a bike ride instead. During this windy, blustery and threatening-to-rain ride, I contemplated different edgings for my Fall Blaze Hat because I'd received multiple requests for a crochet rim instead of the knitted rim. While I was working out the stitches in my head, it occurred to me I could design a snowflake to match the hat, fingerless gloves and cowl.
Then I had to come up with a name for the snowflake. Our training ride doesn't have a formal name, but the route included sections of the Elephant Rock ride we do every June. I wasn't sure I liked Elephant Rock as the name of a snowflake, so back to the drawing board I went.
We were in Douglas County, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this month. There is a Douglas Pass, although it's way on the other side of the state. And I've been seriously contemplating a Douglas bike as a replacement when and if my bike calls it a day. During this particular training ride, the... what do you call it... bottom bracket kept... how to describe it... thudding? I don't know much about the mechanical aspect of bikes, but The Lizard knew what this meant ("too much play in the bearings, because your bike is getting old"), and he thinks he'll be able to fix it. So I may yet get another year out of my bike. (I'm not one who buys a camera, bike, car, phone or computer every time something new comes along. I use my stuff until it absolutely cannot in any way be fixed anymore.)
Douglas isn't just the name of a couple of Colorado places and a bike. Douglas is the name of the brother I lost coming up on ten years ago, and he would have turned 48 this week. Douglas is the perfect name for this snowflake.
Douglas County was named after Little Giant Stephen A. Douglas, famed orator, senator, and presidential and romantic rival to Abraham Lincoln. He briefly courted Mary Todd before she married Abe. Douglas believed the people should decide if slavery should be allowed or abolished, not the government (popular sovereignty).
Douglas Pass is located along a two-lane highway connecting Grand Junction to Rangely and Dinosaur, and one of the last times I saw my brother was a road trip we took to Dinosaur. Douglas Pass is not exceptionally high, at 8,268 feet, but it is not maintained at night, so winter driving in the dark can be an adventure. The pass, located in the Bookcliff Mountains (another very cool name), provides an exceptional view of the La Sal Mountains, right outside of Moab, one of my favorite places on earth. Once upon a time, a challenging mountain bike trail called Flight of Icarus, with nearly 4,000 feet of screaming downhill, began at the summit of Douglas Pass but was closed by the BLM in 2003. Nope, I never rode it; I'm not a downhiller on skis or bike. The Lizard never got the chance to ride Icarus, but would have if the trail had not been closed.
Douglas bicycle frames, named for Colorado Cyclist owner Doug Bruinsma, for many years were made in Washington state for the mostly mail-order bike shop in Colorado Springs. Bruinsma moved his mail-order bike shop from Estes Park to the Springs the year after I moved to Estes Park for an eight-year newshound stint. We probably crossed paths without ever knowing it. Douglas was an American-made, affordable and sturdy bike with top components and a special and sentimental name. Of course, now that I've decided I want one, they are no longer made. Figures. Maybe my limping bike will last another year.
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!
Finished Size: 5 to 6.5 inches from point to point, depending upon hook size
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7, 8 or 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
NOTE: I stiffened these flakes with spray starch and an iron on cotton setting.
Douglas Snowflake Instructions
Make magic ring.
Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as dc on this round), 12 dc in ring, sl st across starting ch 2 into 1st dc. Pull magic ring tight.
Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 2), *1 dc in next st, ch 2; repeat from * around for a total of 12 dc; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 5.
Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), *3 dc in next dc, ch 2, 3 dc in same dc, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around, ending with sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 instead of last dc of final repeat, for a total of 6 ch/2 points. (If desired, bind off here for a cute small snowflake.)
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 4: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc in same st as sl st, ch 3, *1 sc in next ch 2 sp, ch 3, sk next 3/dc group, 1 dc in next dc, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc, ch 3; repeat from * around, 4 times; sl st in next ch 2 sp, ch 3, sk next 3/dc group, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 6. (If desired, bind off here for a cute small snowflake.)
Round 5: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), 1 dc in starting ch 3 sp of Round 4, ch 1, *1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next sc, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next sc, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 4.
Round 6: Sl st into next ch 1 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc same ch 1 sp, 2 dc in each of next 2 ch 1 sp, *3 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 5, sl st in 5th ch from hook, 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, 2 dc in each of next 4 ch 1 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 5, sl st in top of dc just made, 3 dc in next ch 1 sp, 2 dc in next ch 1 sp; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 hdc), *1 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in next ch 5 loop, 3 tr in same loop, ch 6, 1 sc in 5th ch from hook, ch 6, sl st in sc, ch 5, sl st in sc (tri-picot made), ch 2, 3 tr in same loop, 1 dc in same loop, sk next 3 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in next st; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last hdc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; 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.