28 November 2011

Snowflake Monday

Longs Peak from Chasm Lake14,255 feet

I began this snowflake pattern, which includes four distinct variations, back in April. It has taken a long, long, long time to get a little more than halfway done with each of the four variations. So of course, that means this pattern gets the name Longs Peak!

Longs Peak is a sentimental favorite of mine because I spent eight years in its shadow when I first moved to Colorado. It also was the first 14er I climbed. Not having any clue what I was getting myself into when I began the hike at 3 a.m. that took a full 17.5 hours to complete, I decided back then Longs Peak got its name from the long, long, long trail leading to the summit!

Of course, that's not how the mountain got the name, but even my condensed trip report is long, long, long! Everything about this mountain is LONG!

Longs Peak was named after Major Stephen Long, an explorer with the US Army and topographic engineer who never set foot atop the mountain. Until doing research for this post, I never knew my dad might be interested in Stephen Long, who served as a consultant engineer for many railroads. (Hear that, Dad?) (My dad's life revolves around railroads the way mine revolves around needlework, photography and writing.)

Stephen Long led the first scientific exploration up the Platte River, which leads to near what later became metro Denver, where Longs Peak may be seen from almost any viewpoint. Stephen Long may have been one of the first white men to see Longs Peak, and he gave the peak his name. He also is responsible for naming the Rocky Mountains.

John Wesley Powell, for which Lake Powell was named, led the first successful non-native climbing party up Longs Peak in 1868. With one arm! Powell lost an arm in the 1862 Battle of Shiloh, and the severed nerve endings gave him problems and pain the rest of his life, but he never quit exploring and discovering. Having climbed Longs Peak with both legs and both arms, I cannot imagine ascending it with a missing limb.

At 14,255 feet, Longs Peak is the 15th tallest mountain in Colorado, the northernmost of the state's 14ers and the only 14er in Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain's western face graces the Colorado quarter.

This snowflake is full of diamond shapes, and Longs Peak is best known for The Diamond, the dramatic 2,000-foot eastern face overlooking photogenic Chasm Lake. The view of Longs Peak from Chasm Lake is about my third favorite view in all of Colorado. I never tire of seeing the sun hit the very tip of the peak and slowly melting down The Diamond like liquid gold.

I keep returning to this snowflake pattern just like I keep returning to Chasm Lake, too. Each of the four different versions will be featured over the next few weeks. One, by request, is specifically for sock yarn! Think afghan!

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this Shades of White piece. When I began it last spring, I planned to make a purse. As the piece grew, I fell more and more in love with the patchwork hues, and I thought it would make a splendid vest or shawl. When I held the piece up to our hotel room window for a photo on Saturday, I wondered if this lace might make the perfect covering for the window of our back door, which came with UGLY blinds I have wanted to replace ever since we moved in. If I quadruple the size of this piece (currently 10x21 inches; the window measures 23x38 inches), it would be big enough to hang over that window! I could trash the trashy blinds! I'll share photos of whatever my Shades of White grows up to be when I'm done.

I've included photos of this piece blocked and unblocked, not only because I had no way to properly block or photograph it as I continued working on it while on the road over the long weekend, but also to demonstrate why blocking is important in needlework, especially a crocheted lace piece. The character of the lace completely changes once blocked. Blocking is not something to be intimidated by; it is a finishing step that makes the difference between something handmade and something handmade that looks professional.

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!

blocked
blocked

unblocked
unblocked

Longs Peak Snowflakes blocked and unblocked
blocked and unblocked

all blocked
all blocked

Longs Peak Snowflakes

purse layout
purse layout

shawl layout
shawl layout

Blocked Longs Peak Snowflakes

Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread (I used every shade of white, ecru, eggshell, natural, chai and latte I could find plus my own white thread tea-stained for varying amounts of time to achieve gradients), size 9 crochet hook

Special Stitches:
dc cluster: [yo and draw up loop, yo and bring through 2 loops on hook] 3 times, yo and bring through all 4 loops on hook
tr cluster: [yo twice and draw up loop, yo and bring through 2 loops on hook, yo and bring through 2 loops on hook] 4 times, yo and bring through all five loops on hook

If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Instructions

Ch 3, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, ch 3, *2 dc in ring, ch 3; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 6 spokes; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic ring tight.
Round 2: Sl st in next ch 3 sp, make loop on hook nearly the size of a regular dc and twist twice (does not count as dc), work dc cluster as instructed above in Special Stitches into same sp, ch 4, work dc cluster into same sp, *work dc cluster into next ch 3 sp, ch 4, work dc cluster into same sp; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 12 dc clusters, sl st across starting dc cluster into next ch 3 sp.
Round 3: Ch 2 and make loop on hook length of ch 2 (counts as start of 1st tr of tr cluster), work next 3 tr of tr cluster as instructed above in Special Stitches in same sp, ch 9, tr cluster in same ch 4 sp, *tr cluster in next ch 4 sp, ch 9, tr cluster in same ch 4 sp; repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 12 tr clusters; sl st in top of starting tr cluster, sl st into next ch 9 sp.
Round 4: 2 sc in same ch 9 sp, *2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp, [2 sc in same sp], 2 sc in next ch 9 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with [2 sc in same sp] and omitting last 2 sc in next ch 9 sp of final repeat, sl st in starting sc.
Round 5: Pull loop to near size of dc and twist twice, work dc cluster between sl st and last sc of Round 4, ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook (shell made), ch 1, *6 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1, 1 dc cluster between next 2 2/sc groups, ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1; sl st in starting dc cluster.
Round 6, First Flake: Sl st in next ch and into top of next shell, 1 sc in same shell, ch 5, *1 sc in 3rd sc of next 6 sc group, ch 5, 1 sc in next sc, ch 5, 1 sc in next shell, ch 5, 1 sc in next shell, ch 5; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 sc in 3rd sc of next 6 sc group, ch 5, 1 sc in next sc, ch 5, 1 sc in next shell, ch 5, sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
Round 6, Joining Flakes: Sl st in next ch and into top of next shell, 1 sc in same shell, ch 5, [1 sc in 3rd sc of next 6 sc group, ch 2, sl st into any corner ch 5 sp of first flake, ch 2, 1 sc in next sc of current flake, ch 2, sl st into corresponding ch 5 sp of first flake, ch 2, 1 sc in next shell of current flake, ch 2, sl st into next ch 5 sp of first flake, ch 2, 1 sc in next shell of current flake, ch 2, sl st into next ch 5 sp of first flake, ch 2, 1 sc in 3rd sc of next 6 sc group of current flake, ch 2, sl st in next corner ch 5 sp of first flake, ch 2, 1 sc in next sc of current flake], *ch 5, 1 sc in next shell of current flake, ch 5; 1 sc in next shell, ch 5; 1 sc in 3rd sc of next 6 sc group, ch 5, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around 3 times; ch 5, 1 sc in next shell, ch 5, sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
After first row of snowflakes, work second row of [ ] joinings the same except joining flakes on two or three sides, as applicable. In corner ch 5 spaces where two flakes are already joined, sl st into join.

And here is an option for a regular snowflake, to be hung instead of joined. I have several versions of this I plan to share in upcoming weeks, also.

Individual Longs Peak Snowflake

Round 4; Individual Snowflake: 2 sc in same ch 9 sp, *2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 5, 1 sc in 5th ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in sc, ch 4, sl st in sc, ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 3 dc in same ch 9 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, [2 sc in same sp], 2 sc in next ch 9 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with [2 sc in same sp] and omitting last 2 sc in next ch 9 sp of final repeat, sl st in starting sc.

Finish: Continue working snowflakes and adding onto main piece to attain desired shape and size.

Pin, in sections if necessary, to shape flakes as desired and spray lightly with water. Allow to dry. Unpin and wrap up. Have a wonderful evening in your snowflake garment!

Longs Peak Snowflakes

11 comments:

  1. The last photo is so beautitul, all you need is snowflakes :)

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  2. As usual, you didn't let me/us down. This is beautiful! I like it both as a snowflake or a motif to be joined to make something larger. When I was scrolling down the page I was attracted by the center of the design and was thinking how I could use it if I didn't want the motif design and you, of course, beat me to it and had already designed a lovely snowflake. You are the clever one! Thanks for all your hard work. I see a doily made up of seven (like your design) for the center of my table.

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  3. Just finished devouring (and savoring) your trip report from your summit of Longs Peak. Wowwwwwwwwwww... :)

    If I had any breath left, I'd still be stuck at wow.

    You sure know how to take on a challenge and finish it, no matter what. Excellent, excellent trip report. Thanks for linking it- I love how your posts always have something for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Longs Peak! Been there done that! :)))

    PS: Happy Belated Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  5. PS!
    I'd like to purchase your quilted quakies greeting card - as a pdf - to be used as a Facebook holiday card. Do you allow that sort of thing? Please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. always amazed at the effort you put into these fine posts. Love the history provided.

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  7. What a gorgeous motif! It will look stunning over that window.

    That mountain shot just made me feel warm all over - such a toasty shade of ochre.

    Hope you're enjoying all your travel time!

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  8. Absolutely beautiful crochet work! Blocking really does make it look professional. I love what you did with the placing of the motifs. I am back into making Xmas snowflakes this week. You always.inspire me!

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  9. Your crochet work is absolutely beautiful. I love the placing of the motifs. I will be starting my Xmas snowflakes soon!

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  10. Thank you for the beautiful photo of Longs Peak reflected in Chasm Lake. I've never climbed it (and probably can't - that's too much hiking for my back) so I love seeing your view.

    I didn't know about Powell being the first non-native climber of Longs Peak. That's a very cool story!

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  11. I love the interconnected patterning!

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