31 January 2011

Snowflake Monday

Sky Pilots, my favorite mountain wildflower, in front of Gemini Peak
This is the first mountain snowflake I’ve shared that is named after a mountain I’ve actually climbed.

twins on GeminiGemini Peak is not always recognized as an official mountain because the saddle between it and nearby 14er Mount Sherman drops only 171 feet between the two. To be official, a mountain’s connecting saddles must drop 300 feet between surrounding peaks.

I’ve climbed Mount Sherman twice, once in winter, my only winter 14er to date. The second time, I walked from Sherman across to both summits of Gemini. To me, I climbed that mountain, and it is as real a mountain as any I've climbed. Just try to tell me any different!

At 13,951 feet, Gemini Peak is the tallest thirteener in the Mosquito Range and tied with Mount Fletcher as the 59th tallest peaks in Colorado, making both centennial peaks. Centennial is the name given the high hundred peaks.

Yes, Mosquito Range is really what they call this group of mountains! I did not encounter any of the pests on either of my trips, thankfully. Legend has it a mosquito landed on a blank space upon a map while naming of area features was being contemplated, and Mosquito was as good a name as any for the mine, the mountain and the range where the pesky insect perched.

White Ridge and Gemini Peak in winter with Gemini Peak Snowflake
Now that you know everything you ever wanted to know about Gemini Peak, I probably better not forget to mention my first PDF snowflake pattern booklet is now available for a tax-deductible contribution to the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. There's a widget with links and a progress thermometer widget in the right hand column of this page, or you can read about my annual MS-150 fundraising drive here.

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!

Gemini Peak Snowflake
Finished Size: 3.25 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 11 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

Gemini Peak Snowflake Instructions

Round 1: Ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, *ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch; repeat from * 4 more times for a total of 6 points. Being careful not to twist work, sl st in starting ch of round, forming a circle. Roll points to inside of circle, and work next row on flat outer circle, with points pointing into the circle.

Round 2: 1 sc around ch sp below, *1 hdc in next ch, 3 dc in middle of next dc, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc around ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final 1 sc around ch 2 sp of final repeat.
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 3: *1 sc in next hdc, 1 hdc in next dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 2, 3 dc in same dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next hdc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc.

Round 4: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 sc in next dc; 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, *1 dc between next 2 sc, 1 sc in next dc; 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3; 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.

Gemini Snowflake Sunrise

27 January 2011

Project Blizzard, Part I

Love... land Pass
Tuesday was not a good day. Who am I kidding? It had not been a good week. In fact, this entire month has been an emotional challenge.

I struggled through two somber errands after work. I got home, expecting to see the light of day shining from My Lizard's soul because it was Triple Bypass drawing day. He's been on pins and needles since the beginning of the year after registering in the annual event's first-ever lottery, throwing his hat in the ring for the event's inaugural Double Triple. He made it through work all day and rushed home to check email.

One look at his face, and I knew. What a way to begin the cycling season -- being left out of your favorite event because you didn't get drawn. What kind of harbinger would this be for other ride lotteries we annually hope against hope for?

"Oh, well," he muttered at one point, between a couple of checking-email-one-more-time sessions. "The Silver Rush 50 is the same day. Maybe I can do that instead..."

He'd check Twitter (neither of us have Twitter accounts) and see that other riders had already joyously registered. He'd check Facebook (he doesn't have an account) and see that other riders had already ceremoniously registered. Then he'd check his email again, one more time, just in case.

Nothing.

Our house was so quiet that night. The mood was so solemn. I realized we need to come up with a Plan B just in case this happens again when Ride the Rockies lottery results are announced in March. We're too close to anniversaries that are difficult for both of us to take a chance on letting this winter moodiness seize our core.

bright and cheerfulFinally, it was time for bed. It would be a restless night. The Lizard wanted to check email one more time. Just in case. I was sitting on the floor, crocheting a pair of neon baby socks because bright colors sometimes cheer me.

"Be sure to check your spam folder," I softly suggested.

Quiet returned.

About six minutes later, the silence was punctured with the elation of a teenager who just busted into a secret realm in an electronic game.

"I'M IN!!!" The Lizard shouted! "I'M IN!!!"

Sure enough, his notification was in his spam folder. It had arrived at midnight Monday. If he had checked his spam folder before going to work, he would have known all day, and we wouldn't have wasted an evening being sad. But, as he says, now he appreciates being drawn even more. And he feels for all the riders who didn't get drawn. Because he knows exactly how it feels.

Tears spilled. But they weren't the kind of tears that have been falling all week. These were the tears I wish we could crystallize and hang upon my crocheted snowflakes in the windows so they can catch sunbeams and transform them into sensational prisms of rainbow shimmers. This was just the boost we needed to get us through the remainder of this winter!

Our cycling lotteries give us something to look forward to while we wait to find out if we've been drawn. Being drawn gives us motivation to get out there and ride, even if winter refuses to let go of our landscape. Big rides give us reason to seek the sun when short daylight hours and cumbersome work commitments keep us indoors.

I've been diligently seeking reasons to smile all month and coming up short more than I care to. The first-ever Double Triple is making me smile now. And I won't even be pedaling it!

The Triple is his favorite ride of the year. And this year, he is one of only 500 people who get to do it twice!
Double Triple Confirmation

24 January 2011

Snowflake Monday

Mountain snowflakes get a break this week. I wanted to design a snowflake in memory of my dear friend Shonna and to honor her valiant battle with ovarian cancer.

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!

A Snowflake for Shonna
Finished Size: 6.25 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 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

A Snowflake for Shonna Instructions

Ch 36; sl st into starting ch, taking care not to twist ch.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as dc); 3 dc in same ch, 1 dc in next ch, [yo, draw up loop in next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops on hook, yo, draw up loop in next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops on hook, yo, draw up loop in next ch, yo, draw through 2 loops on hook, yo, draw through all four loops on hook] (3 dc dec made), 1 dc in next ch, *5 dc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 3 dc dec across next 3 ch, 1 dc in next ch; repeat 4 times around; 2 dc in starting ch, sl st in 1st dc.
NOTE: Each time you work 5 dc in one ch, the next ch is going to be really tight. Take special care not to accidentally skip the tight ch after each 5 dc point so your count will not be off.

Round 2: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 3 dc in same dc, *1 hdc in dc, 1 sc in next dc, ch 3, sk next 5 dc, 3 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, ch 3, sl st in starting dc.
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 3: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 3 dc in same dc, 1 dc in next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, sk next st and ch sp; ch 4, *3 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, sk next st and ch sp, ch 4; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in starting dc.

Round 4: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 3 dc in same dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, sk next st and ch sp; ch 5, *3 dc in next dc, 1 dc each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, sk next st and ch sp, ch 5; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in starting dc.

Round 5: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 3 dc in same dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in next st, sk next st and ch sp; ch 6, *3 dc in next dc, 1 dc each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in next st, sk next st and ch sp, ch 6; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in starting dc.

Round 6: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 3 dc in same dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, sk next st and ch sp; ch 7, *3 dc in next dc, 1 dc each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, sk next st and ch sp, ch 7; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in starting dc.

Round 7: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 1 dc in same dc, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, sl st in top of starting dc, 2 dc in same dc as starting dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, sl st in next st, sk next st and ch sp; ch 8, *1 dc in next dc, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, sl st in top of starting dc, 2 dc in same dc as dc following ch 8, 1 dc each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, sl st in next st, sk next st and ch sp, ch 8; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in starting dc; 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.

21 January 2011

With love,





Dolls by Shonna Antonio
May 15, 1945 - January 20, 2011

20 January 2011

Hot off the Press!

NOTE: Fundraising for 2016 has concluded. I haven't decided whether to do another booklet for 2017 because we haven't decided whether we can afford to participate in another MS-150 in 2017. I'll announce our decision as soon as we make it.

pedaling up Horsetooth in 2010

I recently finished putting together a PDF booklet of the most popular snowflake patterns on this website, and after a couple of weeks, I finally received the correct link to join my team for this year's MS-150 (now called BikeMS). Then I decided to hold off on releasing the PDF booklet until The Lizard registered, hoping to help his fundraising efforts as well my own.

2009 MS-150 MedalI got to register early because I'm a Premium Pedaler, which means I raised in excess of $1,000 last year. My dear, sweet husband does not design patterns (yet!), and he doesn't have access to the wide variety of potential donors I do, so he has never been a Premium Pedaler and has sometimes had to donate money of his own when he has been unable to raise the required amount. Now both of us are registered, and we must each raise $400, although my personal goal is $2,000.

I began riding the MS-150 about ten years ago because a very close friend of mine invited me. I had no idea her sister was battling MS. By the time that first ride was over, I'd learned I work with two people who have MS, two people I work with have relatives with MS, and three more friends have relatives with MS. That was nearly a decade ago. Since then, I've found out about even more people in my circle who are afflicted with this disease, and now I'm married to someone who has two relatives with MS. Colorado has the highest incidence of MS in the country, and that's why I ride.

Team Great-West members relaxing after 2010 Day 1Yes, I love to ride. I love the hilly challenge of riding 75 miles a day twice in a row, back to back. I love meeting the volunteers (many of whom have MS), I love my team (Team Great-West; Great-West Life sponsors the Colorado ride), and I love meeting other cyclists who put as much effort into raising as much money as they can as I do. It's exhilarating knowing so many people care about something so important. And then I get to the finish line and find out some of those people who were riding right alongside me have MS, too, and they don't know how many more rides they'll be able to do.

That's why I ride.

The MS-150 is open to the first 2,500 people who sign up. The only requirement is to raise $400 by the first day of the ride. Because the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society depends primarily on donations to be able to serve the vast number of people affected by MS, there are numerous incentives to encourage people like me to raise more than just the basic $400. Businesses donate merchandise, bike tune-ups and other services that are then given as prizes to top donation collectors.

top team blue roomThe best prize, in my opinion, is being named a High Roller, which means raising $2,000. Those who achieve this don't have to wait in line at the portable toilets at rest stops. One stall is always reserved for the High Rollers. If you could see the line at some of the rest stops, you'd understand why that's always a goal of mine. One stall also is reserved at each stop for the team that raises the most money, which for the last couple of years has been the RawHinies. Some teams have most unusual names! Ain't Too Proud to Sag, Purple Steep Hill Eaters, Saddle Soar, Some Nerve, Are We There Yet?, Penguin Roadkill...

Humor aside, the MS-150 is where a big chunk of my heart lives. And sometimes where my heart breaks the most. To see a volunteer in a wheelchair who wasn't in one the year before...

My First Snowflake Pattern BookletSo, in an effort to try to raise as much money as I can to help put an end to this disease, I've put together my top 20 snowflake patterns (according to Google Analytics), two brand new, never-before-published patterns (Baker's Dozen and Buried Treasure), the Rainbows of Hope scarf pattern I designed to raise money last year and the Plarn Snowman pattern (because we all have way too many white plastic grocery bags, and the snowman is a great way to get rid of them). The PDF booklet is formatted to be spiral bound or three-ring hole-punched on the left side.

The Lizard typically does not have access to a computer during the day but checks his email each night, so when you donate in his name, you may not immediately receive your PDF booklet, but you should receive it by the following day. We typically do not have internet access on weekends if we're out taking photos, hiking, cross-country skiing or training for bicycle rides, so if you donate on a weekend, you may not hear from us until the following Monday, but you will hear from us as soon as we are able to respond. My email address is snowcatcher at att dot net if you have any problems receiving your PDF booklet.

Thank you for your interest in making life better for those who have multiple sclerosis!

inspirational

18 January 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Front Range Sunset
frosted
South Park Sunrise
ice falls
South Park Sunrise

Nailed it!

time for new toe warmers
Notice how that little number in the right hand column, the one announcing how many miles I've pedaled so far this year, exploded overnight?

I had Martin Luther King Day off. The Lizard did not. I noticed during our most recent ride up Waterton Canyon that he could use a new pair of toe warmers. I have needed new neoprene booties since about 2003, when the zipper on the right foot broke. For Christmas, my bosses, knowing I lost both derailleurs last year (mountain bike and road bike), gave me a generous gift certificate to a high-end bike shop where I don't normally shop. Not near enough for a new bike, and not near enough for the parts to rebuild the road bike into a 10-speed. Nevertheless, I could get bike-related stuff, and it most certainly would be used.

time for new bootiesI decided to ride to the bike shop on Monday to make our feet toasty warm again, since we're trying really hard to be ready for our big rides this year before they start in June, and we have a lot of cold-weather training before things start to green up in Colorado. The bike shop ride would be 30 miles each way.

I thought most of the 10 inches of snow we got last week would have melted by now, but that wasn't the case. I had to walk my bike three times during the morning ride to the bike shop and once during the afternoon ride home. Just a little adventure added to big mileage. For those who don't know, bike shoes have no traction on ice; might as well be wearing roller skates. Nevertheless, I did not take a spill. I stayed upright.

Also had a teenager pull right in front of me as he was coming out of a hairpin curve to get onto the bike path. I had no choice but to pretend I was Lance Armstrong in the 2003 Tour and take the muddy, snowy, off-road, obstacle-loaded detour. When I engaged similar tactics last year, I didn't fare as well. I landed handlebars first upon a grate, breaking my pinkie finger in the process and damaging one of my shifter hoods. I tried to remember everything the Lizard has taught me this time, chiefly: don't panic, and I tried to visualize my line as I zoomed into uncharted territory. Once again, I kept the bike upright. Got a cleat full of mud, but easily fixed in the snow. I didn't fall! I didn't break anything!

Every time I do it right, don't endo or crash when something unexpected happens, I gain just a little more confidence, and then I do a little better the next time.

time for a bathThe bike shop had the toe warmers I wanted for The Lizard, but the size of booties I need was sold out. Meaning I had some extra money. On a complete lark, I approached the parts and service counter and asked if by any chance they have or might be able to order a derailleur for an eight-year-old road bike that parts aren't made for anymore.

They had my part! In stock! High end!

I tell ya, I had one happy ride home, even though I was beginning to run out of steam at about 41 miles.

Last year, during the winter, I stayed above 30 miles on almost every ride. It made training so much easier when spring finally arrived! So my goal this winter was to stay above 40 miles. Then next winter, I wouldn't get below 50 miles. Then spring training wouldn't be such a bear, and maybe I wouldn't gain 20 pounds over the winter.

So my MLK ride was quite a big chunk for me, especially given that I had not done 60 miles in a day since (oh, gee, is this embarrassing!) the MS-150 last June. Amazing what a little derailleur adrenaline can do!

time for a napI did it! I did exactly 60 miles. I didn't even have to ride around the block to bring it to 60. I did a 60-mile ride, first time ever in January! Not bad for a 50-year old, eh?

This, of course, means I was too tired to work on my Denver National Quilt Festival piece de resistance when I got home, but, well, who cares!?!

After a little bit of surgery, The Lizard will have my eight-year-old road bike in good-as-new condition. And I still have $13 left on that gift certificate!

The very best part of riding 60 miles in a day in winter, of course, is that I didn't have to ride the trainer Monday night! Also must bask while I can. As of right this moment, I am 42.5 miles ahead of The Lizard for 2011. It won't last long, and it likely will never happen again. But for right now, yeah, there's a little bit of bounce in my step! Even with the 60-mile sore tush!

17 January 2011

Snowflake Monday

Mount Silverheels in winter
When you go to a restaurant, do you always order the same thing? Or do you sometimes try something new?

What about yarn and thread? Do you always buy the same thing, or do you try new things?

Mount Silverheels Snowflake aglowI go through periods of "white boredom" because of the number of snowflakes I make. Plus, I love rainbows and bright colors. Addicted to neon. Imagine my delight when I found
glow-in-the-dark Jelly Yarn...

I budgeted for three balls (because I wanted to try all three glow colors, blondly not thinking, um, do I really want to make yellow snowflakes???), but found an incredible sale going on when I made my purchase. Not only were the yarns on sale, the winter special Buy 3/Get 1 Free was too good to be true! I ordered my glow stuff, and I emailed Jelly Yarns to ask for a ball of silver as my freebie. Because silver snowflakes would be cool. And because I have at least a couple of silver mountains after which to name flakes.

Kathleen Greco, the brains behind Jelly Yarn, did more than just send me my free silver. She looked me up on Ravelry and immediately noticed that I love crocheting with thread. So she threw in two more free balls of her new thread-weight for me to try.

(Disclosure: I probably would have bought the thread-weight on my own once it was publicly released and likely will buy more because I LOVE it! But I did initially get to try it free. Kathleen did not ask me to write a review and did not ask me to give her any plugs or write any patterns. I'm doing this because I want to and because I like the way the thread-weight looks and feels, and the snowflakes I've made with it are, in my opinion, awesome.)

Jelly Yarn Frosted Ice Silverheels SnowflakeMy first Jelly Yarn pattern is simple and basic because I wanted to try different sizes of hooks and weights of Jelly Yarn, all using the same pattern, to get the feel of the yarn and what would work and look best. I started with the Frosted Ice thread-weight and a size B crochet hook. I then made a second flake with the second ball of clear Ice thread-weight and a size F hook, which is the size recommended for the super fine. I used a size G hook and the same pattern for the fine silver (sport-weight). Size H is recommended. I liked the way the silver flake turned out, so I used the G again with the Green Peppermint, my first glow-in-the-dark snowflake. I modified the pattern a bit to make the picots more defined and have included that modification below.

Online Jelly Yarn orders come with free beeswax and instructions to apply it to your hook and the yarn (the beeswax also can be used on your hands). Metal hooks are recommended. I tried the yarn with and without beeswax. I used only metal hooks. For me, the sports-weight glides more easily with beeswax, but is still workable without. I loved working with the stretchy thread-weight so much, it didn't matter whether I used beeswax or not.

Jelly Yarn Ice Silverheels SnowflakeOne thing I did notice is that picots need an extra stitch in Jelly Yarn. So if your picot calls for chain 3, chain 4 will get a little more of a point than a chain 3. That adjustment has already been made in the patterns below. Ends are much more invisible when woven in than with thread and yarn. Knots seem to be a bit sturdier; pulling a square knot tight, stretching and releasing is recommended, and I found that technique completely suitable. I tried both chain starts and magic ring starts, and I didn't like the chain start at all for this pattern. So instructions include only the magic ring.

Jelly Yarn works best for full, solid snowflakes and does not work as well on open, lacy patterns that require stiffening to acquire the shape.

The very best thing of all about using Jelly Yarn for snowflakes is... the snowflakes don't have to be stiffened!!! And you can block them with your fingers. You don't have to pin them! Finished crocheted snowflakes made of Jelly Yarn weigh more than flakes made of thread or yarn, but so do commercial snowflakes made of plastic, wood, glass or whatever.

Although I love playing with my glow-in-the-dark snowflake (trying to get the perfect glow photo) and my co-workers think it's just about the coolest thing they've ever seen, my favorite Jelly Yarn by far is the Ice (clear) thread-weight (super fine). To me, snowflakes made with it look real, and I love the way light comes through.

I don’t know yet how many snowflakes you can get out of a ball of Jelly Yarn, but it will be many. Unless you make HUGE snowflakes.

Oh, yeah, I am supposed to write about the mountain, too, right? Ha ha...

Jelly Yarn Silver Frosting Silverheels SnowflakeWhen I first decided to order Jelly Yarn, I thought I would be naming the first snowflake after one of our Collegiate Peaks. I had decided each of those mountains needs a snowflake with an educational flair. I've vowed to try something new for each of those mountains because they are named after Ivy League universities. When I saw that I could get a fourth ball of Jelly Yarn for free, I picked the silver specifically to make Mount Silverheels snowflakes.

Mount Silverheels is the 96th tallest peak in Colorado at 13,829 feet. South Park (yes, THAT South Park) sits at the foot of Mount Silverheels. In the Mosquito Range and between Fairplay and ski haven Breckenridge, Silverheels was named after a dance hall girl who, according to legend, nursed miners through an 1861 small pox epidemic and eventually contracted the disease herself. According to legend, she still walks the Fairplay cemetery, veiled in black to hide her scars, to lay flowers on the graves of the miners who died.

Mount Silverheels has been one of my perpetual winter goals since 2002. I made it to the top of Point 13,004 on New Year's Day four months before The Lizard and I began dating, and the mountain's gale-force winds have prevented a climb every winter ever since. If I finally make it all the way to the summit this winter, my Silverheels Snowflake will be in my pack! A good luck charm of sorts.

PS: I'm pretty certain that lemonade-colored glow-in-the-dark Jelly Yarn won't end up as snowflakes. I'm thinking gecko or chameleon...

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!

Jelly Yarn Silverheels Snowflakes
Finished Size: 2 inches to 4.5 inches from point to point, depending upon hook and yarn size
Materials: Fine or Extra Fine Jelly Yarn, recommended size H or F crochet hook , respectively, (although you may use whatever size feels right for you), clear thread or fishing line, optional Christmas ornament hanger or mini suction cup, depending upon personal hanging preference

Mount Silverheels Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring. (Tutorial here.)

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring, sl st in 1st dc. Pull magic ring as tight as desired, depending upon personal preference.
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 2: 1 sc in same dc as last sl st; *1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in same dc, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc, 1 hdc in same dc, 1 sc in next dc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final sc of repeat.

Round 3: 1 sc in same sc as last sl st, *1 hdc in next ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 hdc in same ch 3 sp, 1 sc in next sc; repeat 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final sc of repeat. Bind off. Weave in ends. Jelly Yarns recommends tying a square not, pulling tight and then releasing. I used a smaller hook than what I crocheted with to bury my ends, and this worked easily and beautifully.

Alternate Round 3 (green snowflake): 1 sc in same sc as last sl st, *1 hdc in next ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1, 1 tr in same ch 3 sp, 1 dc in same ch 3 sp, 1 hdc in same ch 3 sp, 1 sc in next sc; repeat 5 times, ending with sl st in starting sc instead of final sc of repeat. Bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Shape with fingers if necessary. Attach thread or fishing line or suction cup or ornament hanger, and that’s it!!! You’re done!!!


Silverheels Snowflake and sunrise on Mount Silverheels

13 January 2011

Redcloud Peak

Silver Sliver over Silver City
One of the reasons I started this blog a year and a half ago was so I'd have a place to republish my online trip reports when Geocities shut down. Then I found Wordless Wednesdays. I became a snowflake addict. I shared recipes. I shared photos. I shared stories. I did photo tutorials. And I never finished reposting my now dissolved trip reports. There weren't enough days in the week!

Now work and other commitments are preventing me from being as creative as I'd like. About 30 posts written in skeleton form, but I've had no time to polish them. I have about that many finished posts, but no time to shoot the photos to illustrate them.

Good thing I have all those old trip reports!

Unnamed Point 13,272
5-6 October 2005

If you don’t want to hear me whine, skip over this day.

We spent the night in a motel in Ouray. We wanted to stay in a specific campground, but it's closed for the season. We thought this place would be cheaper than a name brand hotel in Montrose. We thought we'd be able to shower, which is what we really wanted.

So, for half the price of a nice room in Montrose, we have no soap, no shampoo and no water pressure. I have a huge blister on the back of my heel. October 5 marks the 11-month anniversary of my surgery, and I had planned to walk on Sunshine. Literally. (Sunshine Peak)

I didn’t make it even halfway up Redcloud, the peak you have to climb to get to Sunshine. My back is so sore. It was extra sensitive to my pack and even the label inside my tights today. I do feel I am walking much better, but as far as nerve damage, there is no change since we climbed San Luis in July. The pain is the same.

It may not heal. I may be stuck with this. And I hate it.

The Lizard has been so good to me today. He wanted to climb a peak. He waited for me, knowing I would prevent either of us from getting any summit because I’m so darned slow and because I just can’t go downhill anymore. He held me when I cried. He apologized for what wasn’t his fault when I gave up. He took me wonderful places to get wonderful photos.

He took me to a place where he thought we’d be able to see the sunrise on Sunshine, but the morning fog obscured any light. We made up for it this evening with a memory card full of wonderful evening light shots, including a sliver silver moon.

I went looking for soap and/or shampoo in town. Nothing open but bars. So I asked the teenager running the hotel, who had shut the place up for the night. He gave us maybe three squirts of what looks like watered down Mountain Dew with a couple of suds on top in a used water bottle. We didn’t use it.

Where do people in this town buy groceries???

We slept in because the alarm clock at the motel didn’t work. But that’s okay because neither of us slept well. So much for our bargain price.

The Lizard wanted to do Courthouse Mountain on Day 2. My back was so sore, I was hesitant. He said we’ll wait for me to heal.

We took pictures along Owl Creek, got lunch and gas in Gunnison, then The Lizard did exactly what I hoped he might. He asked if I’d like to take Cottonwood Pass home instead of Monarch Pass. RTR revisited!

Autumn Color on Cinnamon Pass

11 January 2011

Wordless Wednesday

cockpit
at the top
Super Trooper
Photos by The Lizard

365

Bullwinkle
Nope. Not me.

I've seen some great ones. I've enjoyed visiting many who undertake
the project. Many friends and bloggers have done it and actually completed a year or more "Picture-a-Day" themes. Some of them have done such an outstanding job, all I can do is stand back in awe, eyes popped out of my head, and drool.

But nope. Not me. I will not do a 365. Period.

RockyI spent 14 years in the field of journalism. I spent many of those years being THE photographer or THE pre-pressman (actually, pre-presswoman, I suppose). I also spent a couple of years being an underling, vying for front page space on a daily basis. It was a HUGE feather in the cap of all editorial staff members to make the front page any day of the week. (Not just photos, either. Making the lead story was a gigantic continual goal.)

The first time I went out as a newbie, a seasoned and experienced pro saddled with the responsibility of training me, both of us assigned to shoot the very same assignment, an unvoiced competition emerged between us. I instinctively knew only one photo would actually see ink, as they said in those days, even though I'd never worked for a newspaper before. I remember the feeling when I saw the paper rolling off the press the next day with my photo four columns wide on the front page. I'll never forget that feeling. It may well be the highest I've ever soared, other than when I married The Lizard.

I was asked to train my replacement when I left that newspaper. My replacement had many more years under his belt than me, but he had never been a photographer for a newspaper. He was pretty green, another term they used way back then, and it didn't mean environmentally conscious or alien from another planet. He didn't know the first thing about processing film in chemicals, much less getting that film onto reels in the dark without kinking. He had no clue how to bounce a flash. And he didn't know why red came out as black in a black and white photo. (No one ran color way back then. We're talkin' days of the dinosaurs. Yes, I'm that old.)

I remember getting into the same mental competition with him as my very first front page shot. We were covering the same event, and I was his mentor. It would have been the right thing to do to let him win. Slack off and let him have the front page. I'd had my share by then. I wasn't going out on a sour note. We frequently received letters to the editor begging for more wildlife pictures. Everyone knew me. It wouldn't hurt me one bit to let him have that moment of glory.

New Mexico OryxBut what I lack on the bicycle, I definitely more than made up for behind a camera. I shot to kill, and I won, and I continued to win for the remainder of my two weeks as I trained him, and not one ounce of guilt crossed my platter. I wanted to go out with a bang. And I wanted to show my publisher what I thought of training a totally inexperienced replacement who was making, in his first two weeks, nearly double what I was making after eight years, because he was a family man and I was... childless. To heck with doing what was right. Back then, I just wanted to prove that I was worth what they were paying him.

If I had to relive that same experience today, the outcome would have been different. My attitude would have been different. I would be different. Front pages don't matter as much any more to me. My name in lights isn't the thrill it once was. And quite frankly, I can post any picture I want anytime I want because I'm my own boss and my own editor now. If no one likes it, no big deal. What matters is that I like it.

My, how I've changed.

And that's why you'll find no 365 here. I've done my time. I served my sentence. I even won my own self-imposed competitions.

There are enough deadlines, projects, goals and unreasonable requests in my life to keep my imagination and endurance active and churning. If my life had been different, if I hadn't spent 14 years trying to be "the front page," maybe a daily photo would be more of a challenge for me. Maybe I would be curious if I could pull it off. Maybe I would be just a bit more competitive.

Sometimes, when I'm shooting, for my own personal use, a big event that attracts hundreds of other aspiring photographers and wannabes, I still catch myself trying to outshoot. I still go into "front page" mode. I watch to see what angle everyone else is getting. I study their lenses. I try to make my shot different. I try to make my shot better.

But there's not a drop of competitive blood still flowing in my veins. Not a single molecule. Plenty of photo chemicals and newspaper ink still circulate through my core, but there's no ambition. None whatsoever. ;)


Porky

10 January 2011

Snowflake Monday

Mount Antero from Mount Princeton
Pattern updated as of 23 January 2011

If there's anything in Colorado we have more of than mountains, it may well be mines! Colorado has a rich history of mining.

Mount Antero, standing at 14, 269 feet, is the 10th tallest peak in Colorado. Because of the high concentration of state gem aquamarine, a dirt four-wheel-drive road climbs nearly to the summit of this steep monster. Antero is famous for the vast collection of gemstones within its soil, and it is blanketed nearly head to toe with assorted mining claims.

This peak was named for Ute Indian Chief Antero. South of Mount Princeton and Buena Vista, it is one of 14 14ers in the Sawatch Range. No, that's not a misprint! An annual footrace traverses this chain of mountains, aptly named Nolan's 14. The 88- to 106-mile race sees more than 44,000 feet of elevation gain in 60 hours or less. Fewer than 10 athletes have completed Nolan’s 14. Nolan's 14 is the only place in the world where runners can ascend 14 peaks reaching more than 14,000 feet in so few (few?!?!?) miles.

I have not yet climbed Mount Antero, but it's on my list. Because that rough dirt road scales this peak, I have wanted to climb it on my mountain bike for more than a decade. I've given it one try, and I didn't even reach treeline. Now, married to a powerful mountain biker who demonstrates tons of patience with my slow pace and lack of climbing stamina, perhaps 2011 will be my year.

One of Antero's most popular trailheads is near a ghost town named St. Elmo. St. Elmo also is an electro-luminescent corona discharge in the air during thunderstorms. This week's patterns include a treasure box in honor of the gems still hidden atop this mountain and a bonus pattern named after the ghost town that sits in the shadow of Mount Antero and which burned in 2002.

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

Mount Antero Snowflake Jewel Box
Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point, 4 inches tall
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, large bead, size 7 crochet hook, empty crochet thread cardboard spool (3.75 inches tall, 3.5 inches across), six pens or pencils the same size you don't mind covering with glue, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, empty plastic white grocery bag, cellophane tape, duct tape, Mod Podge if desired, glue, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing

Mount Antero Snowflake Instructions

Bottom Snowflake
Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 12 dc in ring; sl st in starting dc. Pull magic circle tight.
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 2: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 2 dc in same dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, *2 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times (18 dc), sl st in starting dc.

Round 3: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 1 dc in same dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in same dc, ch 1, *1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, 1 dc in same dc; repeat from * around 4 times (24 dc); sl st in starting dc.

Round 4: Ch 2 (does not count as dc) 1 dc in same dc, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in same ch 1 sp, *1 dc in each of next 7 st, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in same ch 1 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in each of next 6 st (54 dc and 6 ch 1 sp), sl st in starting dc.

Round 5: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 1 dc in same dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in same ch 1 sp, *1 dc in each of next 2 dc, [ch 1, skip one dc, 1 dc in next dc] 3 times, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in same ch 1 sp; repeat from * around 4 times, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc, repeat [ ] 2 times, ch 1; sl st in starting dc.

Round 6: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), sk 1 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, *1 dc in same ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in same ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in next ch 1 sp; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 4.

Round 7: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 1 dc in same ch, 1 dc in each of next 3 st, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in same ch 2 sp, *1 dc in each of next 13 st, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in each of next 9 st (90 dc), sl st in starting dc.

Round 8: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 1 dc in each of next 5 st, *1 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 3, 3 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in ch 2 sp of snowflake (foot/snowflake point made), 1 dc in each of next 6 st, ch 1, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in next st, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, ch 1, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in each of next 6 st; repeat from * around 5 times; 1 dc in each of next 6 st, ch 1, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in next st, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, ch 1, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in next st, sl st in starting dc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Mount Antero Snowflake Jewel BoxTop Snowflake
Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch2 (does not count as dc), 12 dc in ring; sl st in starting dc. Pull magic circle tight.
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 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same dc, *ch 3, sk 1 dc, 2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 3: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc between ch 3 and 1 dc of row below, 1 dc in next dc, *ch 2, 1 dc in ch 3 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc between 2 dc of row below, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 dc in ch 3 sp, ch 2; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 4: SSl st into 1st dc of row below, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same dc, ch 2, 2 dc in same dc, *sk next ch 2 sp ch 2, 1 dc in next dc, ch 2, 2 dc in middle dc of next 3 dc group, ch 2, 2 dc in same dc; repeat from * 4 times; sk next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc, ch 2, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 5: Sl st into next ch 2 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp, *ch 1, sk next 2 dc and next 2 ch, 5 dc next dc (shell made), ch 1, sk next 2 ch and 2 dc, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, sk next 2 dc and next 2 ch, 5 dc in next dc, ch 1; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 6: St st into next ch 2 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp, *ch 4, 1 sc in middle dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 4, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * 4 times; ch 4, 1 sc in middle dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 4; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 7: Sl st into next ch 2 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same ch 2 sp, *ch 2, 7 dc into next sc, ch 2, 3 dc into next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 7 dc into next sc, ch 2, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 8: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc into each of next 2 dc, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same ch 2 sp, 1 dc into each of next 3 dc, *ch 3, sc in center dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc of next 3 dc group (NOT in shell), 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 more times; ch 3, sc in center dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 3; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 9: 1 sc in same ch and in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dtr in same sp, ch 2, sl st in top of dtr just made, 1 dtr in same ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dc in same sp, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, *ch 1, 2 dc in next sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 4, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in same sc, ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dtr in same sp, ch 2, sl st in top of dtr just made, 1 dtr in same ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dc in same sp, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, 2 dc in next sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 4, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in same sc, ch 1, sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Box Bottom

Ch 82. Measure to make sure this chain will fit around empty crochet thread cardboard spool. If your tension is different than mine, you may adjust by making less or more chains, keeping a multiple of 2. Being careful not to twist, sl st in starting ch.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), dc in next ch and in each ch around. Once again making sure not to twist work, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.
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 2: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), sk 1 dc, *1 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk 1 dc; repeat from * around. Sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 4.

Round 3: Sl st into next ch 1 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 1 sp, 2 dc in each ch 1 sp around. Sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 4: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), *1 dc between next 2 2dc groups, ch 1; repeat from * around; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 4.

Rounds 5-10: Repeat Rounds 3 and 4 3 times or to desired box height.
Round 11: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each st around; bind off. Weave in ends.

Mount Antero Snowflake Jewel BoxBox Top

Ch 96. Measure to make sure chain fits around duct-taped end of empty crochet thread cardboard spool. If your tension is different than mine, you may adjust by making fewer or more chains, keeping a multiple of 6. (If 6 chains are too much of an increase or decrease, just even out the stitches in Round 2 by skipping 1 double crochet instead of 2, evenly spaced, such as one on each side if you need to adjust by 2 stitches or a third of the way around if you need to adjust by 3 stitches, etc., to make up for the shortage or overage. These tiny adjustments will not show in final project.) Being careful not to twist, sl st in starting ch.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), dc in next ch and in each ch around. Once again making sure not to twist work, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 2: Ch 1, 1 sc in same ch, sk 1 dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same dc (picot shell made), sk 2 dc, *1 sc in next dc, sk 1 dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same dc, sk 2 dc; repeat from * around (total of 16 picot shells if you ch 96 at beginning); sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

modified cardboard tube
plastic-wrapped cardboard tube
Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Cut 12-inch piece of duct tape in half, and place atop one another on thread spool as shown. Repeat 5 times until duct tape edge is a little wider than box bottom. Cover thread spool with plastic wrap.

pencil propped
box feet
Pin bottom snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap. Place pens or pencils beneath points as shown to form feet on box. Fold plastic grocery bag in half several times, squeezing out air, until it measures about two inches diagonal. Shape into slight dome and pin to box where top snowflake will be pinned. Gently place top snowflake over dome, allowing pins to come up through holes in snowflake. Pin snowflake as desired, shaping plastic bag and snowflake.

box top
top pinned
See that hideous red spot on the bag? Don't let any colors on the grocery bag show. I should have chopped the color off. During the stiffening process, the color transfered to the snowflake. Aaargh!

Slide box top onto thread spool over duct tape and straighten. Slide box bottom over untapped thread spool and straighten.

box top and bottom on cardboard tube for stiffening
top wider than bottom
Note: I used Mod Podge for this project to give it extra strength, and I stiffened the feet twice. If you use glue, you may not want to water the glue down for this project. I also did not use glitter on this project.

Top Snowflake fits over Box Top
Box Bottom glued to Bottom Snowflake
Glue may be smoothed out with Q-Tip.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflakes and box top and bottom with glue mixture. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow pieces to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel pieces from wax paper or plastic wrap and cardboard tube. Position and glue box bottom onto bottom snowflake. Position top snowflake onto box top as shown and glue. Glue large bead to center of top snowflake. Adorn with bling if desired. Allow to dry at least 24 hours. Box is now ready to use and may be filled with trinkets, jewelry, candy, potpourri or even wax fragrance bricks.

Bonus Project

St. Elmo Snowflake PomanderSt. Elmo Snowflake Pomander

This pattern is similar to the Snowflake Top pattern above. The patterns are interchangeable. For pomander, make 2 of the snowflakes below.

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point

St. Elmo Snowflake Pomander Instructions (Make 2 snowflakes.)

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch2 (does not count as dc), 12 dc in ring; sl st in starting dc. Pull magic circle tight.
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 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same dc, *ch 3, sk 1 dc, 2 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.
Round 3: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc between ch 3 and 1 dc of row below, 1 dc in next dc, *ch 2, 1 dc in ch 3 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in next dc, 1 dc between 2 dc of row below, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 dc in ch 3 sp, ch 2; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 4: Sl st into 1st dc of row below, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same dc, ch 2, 2 dc in same dc, *sk next ch 2 sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, 2 dc in middle dc of next 3 dc group, ch 2, 2 dc in same dc; repeat from * 4 times; sk next ch 2 sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 5: Sl st into next ch 2 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp, *ch 1, sk next 2 dc and next 2 ch, 5 dc in middle dc of next 3 dc group (shell made), ch 1, sk next 2 ch and 2 dc, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, sk next 2 dc and next 2 ch, 5 dc in middle dc of next 3 dc group, ch 1; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 6: St st into next ch 2 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp, *ch 4, 1 sc in middle dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 4, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * 4 times; ch 4, 1 sc in middle dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 4; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 7: Sl st into next ch 2 sp, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same ch 2 sp, *ch 2, 7 dc into next sc, ch 2, 3 dc into next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 7 dc into next sc, ch 2, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 8: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc into each of next 2 dc, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc into same ch 2 sp, 1 dc into each of next 3 dc, *ch 3, sc in center dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc of next 3 dc group (NOT in shell), 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 more times; ch 3, sc in center dc of next shell and pull tight, ch 3; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3.

Round 9: 1 sc in same ch and in next st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dtr in same sp, ch 2, sl st in top of dtr just made, 1 dtr in same ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dc in same sp, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, *ch 1, 2 dc in next sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 4, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in same sc, ch 1, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in next ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dtr in same sp, ch 2, sl st in top of dtr just made, 1 dtr in same ch 2 sp, 1 tr in same sp, 1 dc in same sp, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 1, 2 dc in next sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 4, sl st in top of dc just made, 2 dc in same sc, ch 2, sl st in top of dc just made, 1 dc in same sc, ch 1, sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

St. Elmo Snowflake Pomander assembly
St. Elmo Snowflake Pomander assembly
Pin and shape as directed for Snowflake Top above. Stiffen and allow to dry. Gently peel from plastic wrap. Fill half of pomander with dried rose petals or dried orange peels and cinnamon sticks or desired potpourri. Glue other half over fill as shown. Allow to dry. Embellish with dried flowers and ribbons if desired. Hang with ribbon tied in bow.

Winter Mount Antero Sunrise
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