29 October 2012

Snowflake Monday


I loved the song "Crocodile Rock" while I was growing up. Susie was my youngest sister's name. (We lost her in 1991.) This fun song plays in my head now every time I see a crochet project featuring the crocodile stitch.

This snowflake is inspired by the crocodile stitch, also known as the Mermaid Stitch. (Mermaid actually sounds like a more beautiful name for a snowflake, to me, but then I wouldn't be able to tie in the old Elton John jingle.)

I began designing this snowflake back in July, using thread I'd dyed myself. I measure 50-yard hanks of thread for dyeing. I began this project with a pastel mint, sky blue and lavender colorway I still to this day love, even after all the heartache and frustration this pattern has extracted during the last four months.

better than store-bought

Crocodile in the Making

I had to redo the center four times until I came up with a plan that fit the first round of scales just perfectly. The next two rounds worked up rather well, but then I ran out of thread! I had to dye more. Like the blonde I was born to be, I dyed only 50 yards again. I began working on the flake again a couple of weeks later, and I had forgotten how I'd planned to end the flake. And then I ran out of thread again.

One more batch of thread was dyed, along with 12 hanks of cotton yarn, my first attempt at yarn since I was in Brownies in 3rd grade, when we used grape juice. I got so excited about the vivid hues I'd mixed from primary shades, I didn't pick the snowflake back up again for quite a while.

color me a rainbow

eye poppers

By the time I decided to finish the Crocodile, I'd forgotten the second ending I'd planned. I had to rip the final three rounds back four more times before I finally came up with something that worked and looked good. This time, I had approximately 10 yards of thread left over when I finished. And then, when I was pinning the prototype snowflake, I noticed I'd made a mistake on the final round.

I decided to let it fly. I didn't want to have to undo it again. I could make the second flake perfect. (And then I ended up working regular picots into all the points on the second flake just to see what it would look like.)

Crocodile Snowflake Variation

In essence, you might say I was hopping and bopping doing the Mermaid Rock, the Long Drawn Out Rock, the Insufficient Thread Rock, the Airhead Rock… or better yet, the Crocodile Rock. Well, Crocodile Crocheting is something shocking when your fingers just can't keep still...

Because this snowflake pattern requires so much thread and the final project is so big and heavy, I opted to make mine into doilies instead of tree decorations. Instructions for blocking a doily are included at the end of this pattern, as well as traditional stiffening instructions.

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!

Crocodile Snowflake

Crocodile Detail

Finished Size: 10.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Approximately 150 yards size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water, clean spray bottle, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing; for stiffening, if desired, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, clear thread or fishing line

Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: * 2 sc in ring, ch 6; repeat from * 4 times for a total of 5 petals; 2 sc in ring, ch 3, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th petal. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1st dc of 5/dc cluster), [yo and draw up loop through petal below, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 4 times, yo and draw through all 5 loops on hook, *ch 6, yo and draw up loop through next petal, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, [yo and draw up loop through same petal, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 4 times, yo and draw through all 6 loops on hook (5/dc cluster made); repeat from * 4 times; ch 6; sl st in top of starting cluster.

Round 3: Ch 17 (counts as 1 trtr and ch 1), * 2 trtr in top of next 5/dc cluster, ch 11; repeat from * 4 times; 1 trtr in same cluster as starting ch 11, sl st in 6th ch of starting ch 17.

Round 4: Ch 2; working down the chains below sl st (which chains counted as starting trtr on Round 3), 11 dc around ch, 1 sc in next ch 6 sp; working up next trtr, 11 dc around trtr post, ch 3, sl st in dc just worked; * working down next trtr, 11 dc around trtr post, 1 sc in next ch 6 sp; working up next trtr, 11 dc around trtr post, ch 3, sl st in dc just worked; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in top of starting dc; ch 1, sl st into back of crocodile scale just completed.

11 dc around chain

11 dc around chain

11 dc around chain

11 dc around chain

Round 5: Sl st into joint between 2 ch 11 sp on back side of crocodile scale, ch 13 (counts as 1 dtr and ch 8), working from right side of snowflake again, * 2 dtr in next ch 11 sp, ch 11, 2 dtr in joint between 2 ch 11 sp on back side of next crocodile scale, ch 11; repeat from * 11 times; sl st in 5th ch of starting ch 13.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

11 dc around chain

Round 6: Ch 2; working down the chains below sl st, 9 dc around ch, * 1 sc in next ch 11 sp (which has been halved by 2 dtrs); working up next dtr, 9 dc around dtr post, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked; working down next dtr, 9 dc around post of dtr, 1 sc in 2nd half of ch 11 sp; working up next dtr, 9 dc around post of dtr, ch 3, sl st in dc just worked; working down next dtr, 9 dc over post of dtr; repeat from * around for a total of 11.5 scales, finishing with 9 dc around final dtr post of Round 5 to complete 12th scale; ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked, sl st in top of starting dc; ch 1, sl st in back of crocodile scale just worked.

Round 7: Sl st into joint between 2 ch 13 sp on back side of crocodile scale; ch 12 (counts as 1 tr and ch 6), working from right side of snowflake again, * 2 tr in next ch 13 sp, ch 6, 2 tr in joint between 2 ch 13 sp on back side of next crocodile scale, ch 6; repeat from * around 23 times; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 12.

Round 8: Ch 2; working down the chains below sl st, 7 dc around ch, * 1 sc in next ch 6 sp (which has been halved by 2 trs); working up next tr, 7 dc around tr post, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked; working down next tr, 7 dc around post of tr, 1 sc in 2nd half of ch 6 sp; working up next tr, 7 dc around post of tr, ch 3, sl st in dc just worked; working down next tr, 7 dc over post of tr; repeat from * around for a total of 23.5 scales, finishing with 7 dc around final tr post of Round 7 to complete 24th scale; ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked, sl st in top of starting dc; ch 1, sl st in back of crocodile scale just worked.
Round 9: 1 sc into joint between 2 ch 6 sp on back side of crocodile scale; ch 5, working from right side of snowflake again, * 2 dc in next ch 6 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in joint between next 2 ch 6 sp, ch 5; repeat from * around 23 times; sl st in starting sc.

Round 10: Ch 1, *1 sc into 1st half of next ch 6 sp (halved by 2 dc in Round 9, NOT ch 5 sp from Round 9); working up the next dc, 5 dc around dc post, ch 3, sl st in dc just made; working down next dc, 5 dc around dc post, 1 sc in 2nd half of same ch 6 sp; repeat from * around 23 times; sl st in starting sc.

11 dc around chain

Round 11: Ch 8 (counts as 1 dc and ch 5), working behind scales, *2 tr in next sc between next 2 crocodile scales, ch 5, 2 trtr in next sc between next 2 crocodile scales, ch 5, 2 tr between next 2 crocodile scales, ch 5, 2 dc between next 2 crocodile scales, ch 5; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with 1 dc instead of 2 and omitting last ch 5 of final repeat; sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch 8.

Round 12: Ch 2; working from right side of snowflake, working down chains below sl st, 5 dc around ch, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch sp (NOT in Round 11 ch sp), 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 7 sc around next tr post, ch 3, sl st in top of dc just worked, ch 4, sl st in same dc, ch 3, sl st in same dc, 7 dc around post of next tr, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 11 dc around next trtr post, ch 14, 1 dc in 11th ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, sl st in next ch, 11 dc around post of next trtr, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 7 dc around post of next tr, ch 3, sl st in dc just worked, ch 4, sl st in same dc, ch 3, sl st in same dc, 7 dc around post of next trtr, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 1 sc in next Round 9 ch 5 sp, 5 dc around post of next dc, ch 3, sl st in dc just made, 5 dc around post of next dc; repeat from * around 5 times; omitting last 5 dc of final repeat; 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.

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.

To shape and use as a doily, spray lightly and allow to dry thoroughly. Remove pins and gently peel from wax paper or plastic wrap.

To stiffen and use as a decoration, if using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. If using other stiffening method, dilute stiffener as desired. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter if desired. 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.

Crocodile Snowflake and Pink Friday Christmas Tree

Crocodile Detail

Crocodile Snowflake

21 comments:

  1. Another beautiful snowflake! I am finishing up a dog sweater for my grandpuppy but as soon as I am done with that there will be snowflakes on my hook! And this one just may be the first one there! I have some ideas for this one. I love the doily but I love the idea of the crocodile stitch for one of my smaller snowflakes so I think I will try working with a smaller thread that I have on hand. And then trying less rounds than what yours calls for and added picot to the last round that I choose to do! But I will first do the original as it is here for a doily. Thanks again! You never cease to amaze me.

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    1. Thanks, Brenda! You'll have to share photos of what you come up with on your own variations. I'd love to see what you do.

      I've actually got another crocodile flake up my sleeve, and it is smaller, but I'm working out spacing once again...

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  2. Beautiful snowflake doiley. I have 3 trees done, which have been adopted by the grandchildren. One is pink. Will have to do this one once I get 20 angels done for neighbor gifts. LOve you and all you do.

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  3. Another beautiful project. I have made 3 trees and one of them is pink. They grandkids have adopted them and I don't see them much right now. Once I get the last dragon done and 20 Christmas angels to finish I will give this one a try! LOVE IT and you!

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    1. Cool, Susan! I hope you will share photos of your trees! I'd love to see them! Well, and the angels, too... A picture of all of them would look like a heavenly choir!

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  4. The snowflake is beautiful - especially in the mint, blue and lavender colorway. How frustrating to run out of yarn! You certainly are persistent. :)

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    1. Persistent... I think I like that word. :) Thanks, CameraGirl!

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  5. Those are all just awesome! And the colors you created are stunning. Of course I like the turquoise and blue ones. :) That one kind of reminds me of an ice cream cone that someone dropped on its head.

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    1. Ooooh! Ice cream... I think you just inspired a new color of thread!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Good to see you back here again! Hope you are feeling terrific!!!

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  6. I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will. Lordy mama! Those Friday nights - when Deborah kept her stitches tight, and Crocodile Crocheting was-a outta out of-a si-yi-yi-yi-yi-yight. Naaaaaaah, na na na na naaaaaaaah....

    Okay, guess what song I'LL have running through my head for the next three days? :)

    This is an amazing flake. I never really liked the crocodile stitch (until now that is) - but put it in the round as you have, and it makes an amazing pattern. And the one with picots look so lush and dense - they remind me of Battenburg lace.

    Love the shots of your hand-dyed rainbow! And the lavender-mint-blue colourway is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Sue, for one of the best comments ever! I'll be singing the new words to the song for the rest of the year now!!!

      I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but you're right; there is a Battenburg flair stuck in there!

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  7. :), you have finnish SISU :) = we never give up...

    Lovely, lovely colors.

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    1. I like that! Never give up. I think I can live with that as a motto! Thank you!

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  8. enjoyed visiting your place...lovely crochet beauties, and pictures....thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Faith! I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Hope I keep coming up with stuff you enjoy!

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  9. I absolutely LOVE this!!! I love the way it looks in the color fade yarn. My mother taught me to crochet when I was little. I lost her when I was 23, but she always awed me with her talent. I'm almost 40 now and wish I could make some of these myself, but the last couple of years of chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant, have left my hands so shaky and vision so bad that I can't work with a small size hook. So now it's only larger hooked projects for me. But, I happened across your patterns and wants to thank you for your wonderful talent and creativity! I may not be able to make these beautiful snowflakes, but I enjoy looking at them very much! I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

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    1. Thank you, Dayna, for touching my life today. Thank you for being a survivor and for having such a wonderful attitude after going through such a difficult trial. If I knew how to contact you, you'd have a snowflake in the mail to you right now.

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    2. Thank you so much for your incredibly kind offer! I hope you didn't think I was asking for anything by my comment. I'm just a firm believer in that if you appreciate someone's hard work, you let them know. Perhaps it comes from years of working in customer service. Where, to me anyway, you too often hear complaints and rarely see praise offered for a job well done. I try to remember this in my daily life and have been known to seek out a manager when an employee has been particularly kind or helpful. Whether it's the bagger at the grocery store or the kid working the drive thru, everyone likes to be appreciated for their work. :) I don't know if you have a Facebook or not, but mine is https://m.facebook.com/?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F&_rdr#!/dayna.chandler.1?__user=503523626 I have been posting pictures of my latest projects on there. The most recent ones have been a crochet cowboy boot and hat set for one of my chemo nurses and an adorable gingerbread man Beanie. All were from free patterns I found online. Please feel free to stop by and take a peek sometime. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful creations with all of us! Have a great weekend!

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    3. No, Dayna, I didn't think that at all. I just wanted to do something to show you I appreciate you taking the time to make me smile. Yes, compliments are so much better than complaints! Really make a difference, especially in winter when I struggle with SAD anyway!

      I do indeed have a facebook account, but I'm not on there often. Forbidden at work and painfully slow dial-up at home. But I am going to look you up next time I do get on there.

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  10. I just discovered your blog and love the patterns....I would love see other patterns that you have made as well as the patterns. I have only been able to see the snowflakes patterns (which are beautiful!!), but would love to see your teddy bears, apple and the worm. Most of all I would really like to have the pattern for the Christmas tree....I LOVE that tree!! Could you please tell me how I can gain access to these?

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    1. Thank you, Louella, and welcome! The tree pattern is located here. I wrote the pattern for one little bear in last year's MS-150 fundraising snowflake booklet. The apple and worm were made while my husband drove us to Colorado Springs for a ride up Pikes Peak, and I didn't write any pattern as I made them. I may have to make them again one day and write a pattern because many have asked...

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