02 July 2012

Snowflake Monday

Mother's Day Snowflake Variation Shawl

This project, which initially was going to be a sweater or vest, began in April, after I designed this year's Mother's Day Snowflake and loved the pattern so much, I wanted to create a join-as-I-go motif project. I had to alter the pattern, which modified instructions were included with the Mother's Day flake.

Most of this project was completed solely aboard public transportation, before and after work on the days when I didn't ride my bike. However, the key construction took place in the car en route to the funeral of The Lizard's grandmother. The piece was big enough to begin shaping, but I was in a car and unable to work up a shape without a paper pattern to go by, so I decided to make it into a shawl instead. A simple triangle wouldn't be too difficult to shape while in a moving vehicle.

45 motifs later (all centers in different colors, I might add, no two alike), I'm DONE!!! I'm celebrating the 4th a little early this year! Multiple reasons to celebrate, too: The Lizard and I mark our seventh wedding anniversary this month, and seven years ago tomorrow, he dropped to his knee in one of the most beautiful high meadows in all of Colorado to pop the question.

unblocked and blocked

Mother's Day Snowflake Variation

Ocean colorway

Mother's Day Snowflake Variation Shawl

The feeling of finishing a thread project that took three months to complete made me so giddy, I made one more snowflake with yet more variations, and then I decided mid-stream to wrap it around yet another rock. Which meant I then had to make yet one more snowflake to hang. I decided it's too pretty to call it a variation of a variation, and I'm still hoping my giant dahlias might still bloom one day this summer, so that's the name I tacked onto this 3D beauty.

After working the plain snowflake, I worked yet a couple more with fancier edgings, and the final rounds of both are included here as bonus patterns.

I recently read about a crocheter who was making a yarn afghan with rose motifs, and she ended up not using the rose motifs because she didn't like the back of the rose.

Simple fix for snowflakes! Either work up a solid disk to glue onto the back, or make another snowflake the size of the rose and glue that over the back. This cover-up actually would work for yarn projects, too, simply by stitching or crocheting in easy
disks or flower shapes over the backs of the roses. An industrious crocheter could even make a second identical rose for the back of each square, making the afghan fully reversible.

a second dahlia

duel sided

Even though my Mother's Day Variation project was time-consuming and I grew tired of white during the last couple of weeks, the process of watching this piece grow and grow was fun. PURE fun. Every time I took the nearly complete shawl out of my bag to join a new motif on the train, I'd capture the attention and admiration of all the passengers around me who could see it. Nothing spurs you on quite like day after day of gawkers oohing and ahhing over something you are creating. Especially when it's something you designed.

As I mentioned in the Mother's Day Snowflake post, my Mother's Day Variation project requires a great deal of blocking. I didn't have a surface big enough to block the completed project, so I blocked it on our spare bed, and yes, I did indeed spray water on the bed! (Typically I would put a sheet or two over the bed to do this, but in my excitement this time around, I forgot.) The comforter dried, nothing ran, and all is well.

I tried to illustrate in photos how important blocking is while finishing up this project. The look and shape are not anywhere near as beautiful (or professional) prior to blocking.

Dahlia Snowflake

A couple of readers have asked how I size and attach snowflakes to rocks. I realize some stone coverings are worked only for a couple of rounds on the back side, until the covering is tight enough to not slip off or be pulled off, but I like the entire rock to be covered. So here's a rough draft of how I finish my covered stones. First I make the snowflake, without binding off, and I pick the rock based on the size of the snowflake. I then use a simple mesh stitch around the snowflake, several times, until the covering fits snuggly over the rock. This is where a lot of covered stones end, but I keep going. The most difficult part of the process for me is closing up the hole on the back if the rock is heavy. The rock really tends to get in the way of the crochet hook!

The mesh stitch I use is 1 single crochet, chain 5, 1 single crochet, chain 5, and so on around and around. It doesn't matter at this point whether you do individual rounds or one continuous round. I skip chain 5 spaces as necessary to close up the hole. The back of the rock doesn't have to be as pretty as the front of the rock, in my opinion, but I do try to make each look somewhat planned and not too random. I've often said my grandmother raised me with the mantra: The back of your work needs to look as beautiful as the front. I do try to adhere to that, in honor of her.

rock back

Chris Williamson is the lucky winner of my wormy apple. Thanks to all who participated in the drawings, helping The Lizard get up and over the required donation amount before our MS-150 ride last weekend. The snowflake PDF booklet will continue to be available as long as the MS donation site is active, but I won't be pushing for donations now because both of us have raised the required amount, and both of us are tickled pink to have helped our team draw near its fundraising goal just halfway into the year.

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

Dahlia Snowflake, antique rainbow colorway

Finished Size: Dahlia Snowflake, 5 inches from point to point; Giant Pink Dahlia Snowflake, 7.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in two colors, size 8 crochet hook, size H crochet hook (or whatever desired larger size hook you choose), empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Dahlia Snowflake, antique rainbow colorway

Dahlia Snowflake Instructions

With flower color, ch 4, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring.

Round 1: * Sl st in ring, 3 dc in ring (petal made); repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 petals. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: Ch 1; working in same direction but along back of flower, *sl st through 2 bottom middle loops of next 3 dc (catching 1 thread from 2 dc), ch 3; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sl st.

Round 3: * Sl st in next ch 3 sp, 5 dc in same sp, sl st in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times.

Round 4: Ch 1; working along back of flake, * sl st in bottom two loops of middle 2 dc of next petal (catching 1 thread from each of middle 2 dc), ch 4; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc of this row.

Round 5: *Sl st in next ch 4 sp, 7 dc in same sp, sl st in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times.

Round 6: Ch 2; working along back of flake, * sl st into back 2 bottom middle loops of next 7 dc petal, ch 5; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sl st.

Round 7: *Sl st in next ch 5 sp, 9 dc in same sp, sl st in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times.

Round 8: Ch 3; working along back of flake, * sl st into back 2 bottom middle loops of next 9 dc petal, ch 6; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sl st.

Round 9: *Sl st in next ch 9 sp, 11 dc in same sp, sl st in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times; bind off. Weave in ends.
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 10: With white, sl st into back 2 bottom middle loops of any 11 dc petal, *ch 8, sl st into back 2 bottom middle loops of next petal; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sl st of final repeat and sl st into starting sl st instead.

Round 11: *1 sc in next ch 8 sp, 3 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, 3 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st into starting sc.

Round 12: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and ch 5), *2 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 dc between next 2 sc, ch 5; repeat from * around 4 times, 2 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same ch 3 sp, ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 7 to form final ch 5 sp of round.

Round 13: 1 sc in same sp (over tr just worked), *ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last ch 3 and sc of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in starting sc to form final ch 3 sp of round.

Round 14: 1 sc in same sp (over dc just worked), *ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last ch 3 and sc of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in starting sc to form final ch 3 sp of round.

Round 15: 1 sc in same sp (over dc just worked), *ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Giant Pink Dahlia Snowflake

Giant Pink Dahlia Snowflake (same instructions as above, different 15th Round, new 16th round)

Round 15: 1 sc in same sp (over dc just worked), *ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 8, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in next ch, 1 dc in top of next dc, 1 dc in bottom of same dc, sl st in next ch (at base of heart; heart made), ch 2, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 12, sl st in 12th ch from hook, 5 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last ch 3 and sc of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in starting sc.

Round 16: 1 sc in same sp (over dc just worked), ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 12, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 10, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp (over heart), ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 3 sc in next ch 12 loop, 3 hdc in same loop, 3 dc in same loop, ch 3, sl st in top of last dc just worked, 3 dc in same loop, 3 hdc in same loop, 3 sc in same loop, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Reversible Patriotic Dahlia Snowflake

Patriotic Dahlia Snowflake (same instructions as Dahlia Snowflake above, new 16th Round)

Round 16: 1 sc in same sp (over dc just worked), ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 2 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked, [2 dc in same ch 5 sp, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked] 2 times, 2 dc in same sp, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp , ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 2 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, sl st in last sc worked, 2 hdc in same sp, ch 3, sl st in last hdc worked, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked, 2 dc in same loop, ch 3, sl st in dc just worked, 2 hdc in same sp, ch 3, sl st in last hdc worked, 2 sc in same loop, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; 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. If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. 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.

NOTE: When stiffening this snowflake, I used a crumpled up wad of clear plastic wrap under the flower to round it out and maintain the plump 3D effect. I've used plastic grocery bags to shape pieces before in the past, but if I'm not careful, ink on the plastic will transfer to the project. I don't have that problem with clear plastic wrap, and the wad may be used over and over.

Giant Pink Dahlia Snowflake

11 comments:

  1. Oh dear, what a stunning shawl.

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  2. The shawl is magnificent ... as is the giant dahlia snowflake. How do you do all you do??? Have a wonderful day.

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  3. That shawl is absolutely beautiful! Well done! I especially love the colorful roses, it gives the shawl something so unique and wonderful! Love this!

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  4. Wow, Deb. It's absolutely breathtaking. So beautifully blocked too.

    Happy Anniversary to you two dear people!

    P.S. Love your cute little dress in the top photo!

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  5. I have never seen that kind of decoration for stones before. Different and very pretty :)

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  6. What a gorgeous shawl! It reminds me of stained glass windows for some reason!

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  7. I love the shawl! Thanks for sharing your excitement! And, congratulations on your anniversary.

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  8. Your shawl is just beautiful. I am in awe of your crocheting skills!

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  9. Your talent knows no bounds. Phenomenal!

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  10. Your shawl is a work of art. It is stunning with the colors . Thank you so much for posting the patterns. I am a crocheter but have never used a smaller thread for work. You inspire me to try. Thank you again.

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  11. You are a constant inspiration. Thank you!

    Dora >^..^<

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