25 June 2012

Snowflake Monday

Mount Sopris provides the most stunning view on the way to Basalt.

Earlier this year, I challenged myself to create a snowflake a day for seven days straight. I was trying to build up my stash of patterns for cycling season, and I wanted to see if I could push myself into higher production.

The experiment was a joy, even when my job required more hours than normal. I ended up designing 11 snowflakes and writing 11 patterns in 11 days before other commitments put an end to the streak. (Today's snowflake is NOT one of the 11.)

Designing a snowflake might take me as few as 20 minutes or could require up to a couple of hours, depending upon complexity. Writing the pattern takes a couple hours more. If I think I need a photo tutorial for a complex pattern, that takes a few hours more, plus sometimes coordinating my schedule with my husband's so he can photograph my hands. (I position the crochet hook and shoot it myself if he is unavailable.)

Stiffening snowflakes takes overnight, and I photograph flakes the following day. Uploading one snowflake photo from slow dial-up at home takes up to half an hour. (A tutorial must be uploaded somewhere with better internet access than what is available in my neighborhood.)

The entire process is time-consuming. But I've been working through this routine once a week for coming up on three years this fall, so it doesn't feel like much of a time hog to me. It's refreshing, rewarding, challenging, inspiring and even fun. Yet it does require time. Sometimes, LOTS of time.

Imagine my surprise when one of my readers let me in on a little Icelandic secret during a rare moment of viable cell phone and internet signal while I was Riding the Rockies two weeks ago. Meli Bondre is designing a flower a day for 365 days and publishing the free patterns on her blog! Because of my daily goal earlier this year, I truly appreciate the commitment Meli has made, and I just can't imagine designing and writing patterns every single day for an entire year!!! Please check out her beautiful crochet patterns and let her know you appreciate what she is doing. (Thanks, Autumn, for sending me the link!)

Meli's project was introduced to me during a time when I've been considering decorating a stone a week with a snowflake, and today's pattern is the third in the series, although I've covered six stones now (not all with snowflakes, but all with the same ecru thread) and have not written and do not intend to write the patterns for the first three stones I covered. Our house came with an extensive rock garden that gets quite hot in the summer, so hot that the rocks reflecting the heat kill a lot of the drought-tolerant and drought-resistant plants (including Icelandic poppies) I've added to our landscape to beautify our surroundings. One day I wondered if crochet-covered rocks might cool down the reflected heat just a bit, while providing a highly unique brand of splendor to my little neck of the high prairie.

Basalt Snowflake

The goal has always been to make our yard the showcase of the neighborhood. I like to knock people's socks off, and this is my latest brainstorm to achieve the objective.

As I was trying to come up with a name for this snowflake pattern, the names Stone Snowflake, Garden Snowflake and Green Thumb Snowflake were tossed about. After a few Icelandic names suggested by The Lizard, I opted for Basalt, what most of Iceland is made of and also the name of one of the small towns I pedaled through during this year's Ride the Rockies.

worm

apple

wormhole

The winner of last week's drawing for a set of my cute, cuddly, tiny teddy bears in tiny socks greeting cards is Laurie Russo. We'll be riding the MS-150 this weekend, so there's time for one more drawing. Everyone who makes a tax-deductible contribution in The Lizard's name by noon Mountain Time on Friday, June 29, will be entered in another drawing for my infamous worm in an apple, which is going to be a painful thing to give away. I love this little guy, and I hope the winner will love him as much as I do. All donors will continue to receive a PDF copy of this year's snowflake pattern booklet, which features three amigurumi snowflake patterns that will not be published anywhere else. Read more about our 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!

Basalt Snowflake

Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or foil, 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

Basalt Snowflake Instructions

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

Round 1: Sl st into ring, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), *1 dc in ring, ch 1; repeat from * around 10 more times for a total of 12 spokes; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 4. 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: *1 sc in next ch 1 sp, 2 dc in same sp, ch 5, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 7, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, 1 tr in next ch, ch 2, sk 2 ch, 1 hdc in next ch, ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, 2 dc in next ch 1 sp in main body of flake, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around five times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or foil to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or foil.

A link to the blocking template I use is located here. That website has some of the most helpful snowflake information I know of. I also have a link to it on my sidebar to the right. I try to keep all the important links there so everyone will be able to find the information they need.

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 foil. 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.

Basalt Snowflake

11 comments:

  1. Oh, Thank you for the reminder. I was going to donate to the Lizard and forgot. Good thing I checked your blog today!
    I love your worm n' apple. I makes me think of possibilities...and promise. Did you know if a worm's tail is accidentally cut off (or, um, bitten off), it will regrow? I love the example of healing from something so huge. Gives me all sorts of hope.
    As always, love your blog!

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  2. Create a snowflake a day! Such a fantastic challenge (you are my idol for completing challenges by the way). I especially love the idea of having crochet covered rocks, they definitely add some beauty to the world. Beautiful work as always!

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  3. Crocheted worm, apple, crochet stuffed with rocks and that beautiful Basalt Snowflake.
    You definitely 'rock!', Deb!

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  4. I love the crochet covers for the rocks. I have done the same thing for little rocks. Some people I gave them too thought I had lost my mind. Others have treasured them.!

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  5. That little wormy guy is seriously cute! And the Snowflake rocks, well, they really rock! :)

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  6. Mr. Worm is so precious! But those rocks are just what I have to have now! So very cool!

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  7. I too believe in knocking socks off. It is a trait of those who want to make people smile when they are strolling through their neighborhood. I love to walk and see gardens and houses that are treated with love.

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  8. Hi Deb, it's Camelia from Meli Bondre http://www.melibondre.com. I just wanted to thank you for featuring my blog and 365Crochet Flowers project on your blog. So, you know what it means designing + make + photo process +edit pattern + write blog post + upload.... Oh, it's crazy. I don't know what I've been thinking! ;-))))but it's fun as well! I Don't think it will get any easier though... Love your snowflakes! Chat soon, Camelia

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    Replies
    1. Camelia, it's such a pleasure to "meet" you! Your flowers are truly gorgeous, and your undertaking blows me away! I love poking in to see what flowers you are making!

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    2. Nice "meeting you" too, Deb.
      I came accross your tiny teddies today. I love the photo with the coloured teddies prepared for assembly, and the one with teddies enjoying a mountain trekking day! So much fun!
      Keep in touch,
      Camelia

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