30 April 2012

Snowflake Monday

Cast Off Snowflake

The cast is off! And this is the first snowflake I designed with my right hand free once again!

While I was pinning my Castaway Snowflake, The Lizard asked if I could make another snowflake just like it, but with chains long enough to pull from the center all the way to the outer ring of the snowflake. His request, combined with fancy new colors of hand-dyed thread that arrived in the mail before my bike wreck and have been patiently waiting to inspire me for more than a month now, resulted in the creation of this week’s Cast Off Snowflake.

I was so excited to finally crochet with thread again and to be using brand new colors of thread, I, um, messed up yet again by somehow not noticing the extra point in the cherry chocolate-hued snowflake until the final picot of the final round. I couldn’t bear unraveling the entire flake! I’m thinking my prototype snowflake might be a great thing to send to my mom, the mother of seven kids. It would be a one-of-a-kind gift! And I won’t have to tell her it’s a booboo.

oops

I’m getting a little better at setting up groups on Flickr, and I managed to fix the settings on our Castaway Snowflake pool so everyone may see it, although you still have to be a member to add photos. Membership is free, and I’d love to see interpretations of this week’s snowflake, too, so feel free to celebrate with me by adding your snowflakes to our same group 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!

Cast Off Snowflake

Finished Size: 6.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 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
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.
Special Stitches
dc cluster: yo, [bring up loop around all 5 chains below, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 3 times for a total of 4 loops remaining on hook, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook

Cast-off Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in ring, * ch 28, 3 tr in ring; repeat from * 5 times; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: Sl st into next tr; ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in same st, ch 22, * 3 tr in middle tr of next 3/tr group, ch 22; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4.

Round 3: Sl st into next tr; ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in same st, ch 16, * 3 tr in middle tr of next 3/tr group, ch 16; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4.

Round 4: Sl st into next tr; ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in same st, ch 12, * 3 tr in middle tr of next 3/tr group, ch 12; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4.

Round 5: Sl st into next tr; ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 2 tr in same st, ch 8, sl st in top of tr just made, turn, ch 12, sl st in top of tr just made, turn, ch 16, sl st in top of tr just made, 2 tr in same tr in main body of flake, ch 8, 1 dc cluster around all chains below in center of ch sp, ch 8, * 3 tr in middle tr of next 3/tr group, ch 8, sl st in top of tr just made, turn, ch 12, sl st in top of tr just made, turn, ch 16, sl st in top of tr just made, 2 tr in same tr in main body of flake, ch 8, 1 dc cluster around all chains below in center of ch sp, ch 8; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4; bind off. Weave in ends.

Chain 8, slip stitch in top of double crochet just worked, turn.
Chain 8, slip stitch in top of double crochet just worked, turn.

Chain 12, slip stitch in top of double crochet just worked, turn.
Chain 12, slip stitch in top of double crochet just worked, turn.

Chain 16, slip stitch in top of double crochet just worked.
Chain 16, slip stitch in top of double crochet just worked.

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.

Cast Off Snowflake

27 April 2012

Friday Funny

This really made me giggle.

26 April 2012

Gone with the Wind

One of my friends sent me a link to a news story about Simon Beck's snowflake artwork drawn in snow with snowshoes. I immediately became a fan, and I learned about another artist who attempted to create the largest ice installation on earth in Siberia. His masterpiece literally was blown away in what was deemed a Devil Wind. DVDs of the work disappeared as quickly as the icy crop circles, darn it. This is one video I would have cherished.

23 April 2012

Snowflake Monday

Windom Peak, Sunlight Spire and Sunlight Peak

Continuing with my quilt theme, this snowflake is one of three designed specifically for my still in-progress snowflake quilt. (Thank you, Marigold, for your "Snow Dream" name suggestion; I’m playing with it!)

14,082 Windom Peak is one of three 14ers in the Needle Mountains of the Weminuche Wilderness. This 14er is named for Senator and Secretary of the Interior William Windom, an advocate for railroad regulation. He sought nomination for the office of president in 1880 but received only 10 votes. Not enough. James Garfield was nominated instead, and he eventually became president. (A mountain or two plus a county were named after Garfield, as well, not the feline cartoon character, as some might mistakenly believe.) Windom’s grandson by the same name is a well-known actor who appeared in, among a host of other shows, "The Twilight Zone," which is not to be confused with the currently popular novel and movie series by a similar name. (We have a Twilight mountain, too, and it wasn’t named for any of the above.)

Most climbers ascend Windom Peak together with 14ers Sunlight Peak and Mount Eolus, fondly known as a triple-bagger by peak baggers. Windom is considered the easiest of the three summits, and I harbor high hopes of attaining its summit viewpoint one day.
The 500,000-acre Weminuche Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in Colorado. The name Weminuche was the name of one of seven bands of Ute Indians who once called this rugged area home.

Just east of Windom Peak, at the top of Grizzly Gulch, lies the fourth highest lake in the United States, Windom Lake, at 13,100 feet. In the early 1900s, the tiny pile of rocks in the middle of Windom Lake was identified as the highest island in the country.

Most climbers reach the Chicago Basin trailhead for these three peaks via a ride aboard the Silverton-Durango narrow gauge train. That’s how The Lizard climbed this set of jewels.

Not me. I wanted to see these mountains from the other side, the back side, the trail less taken. Although I still have not accomplished my goal of shooting the sunrise reflection of Sunlight Peak in Sunlight Lake, I did trek into the Weminuche Wilderness via Hunchback Pass, which I thought quite appropriate after my emergency back surgery, and I was able to view the Weminuche 14ers from Vallecito Creek. I've also viewed the group from Highland Mary Lakes, another of my favorite Colorado destinations.

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!

pin heaven

Windom Peak Snowflake appliquéd and ready to be pieced

Windom Peak Snowflake

Finished Size: 3 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, 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
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Windom Peak Snowflake Instructions

Ch 4, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, * ch 6, sl st in top of dc just made (picot loop made), 2 dc in ring; repeat from * 4 times; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2, ch 2, 1 dtr in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th picot. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in picot loop, * 2 tr in picot loop, ch 8, sl st in 8th ch from hook (picot loop made), 2 tr in same picot loop, 2 dc in same picot loop, 2 dc in next picot loop; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), * 2 dtr in next picot loop, 2 tr in same loop, 2 dc in same loop, 1 hdc in same loop, 1 sc in same loop, ch 3, 1 sc in same loop, 1 hdc in same loop, 2 dc in same sp, 2 tr in same loop, 2 dtr in same loop, 1 dc in sp between next 2 2/dc groups; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

NOTE: This snowflake holds its shape well without being blocked, although blocking adds a bit of class and style. Also, multiple snowflakes in this pattern work up nicely into a joined project. To join, instead of a chain 3 picot on the final round, chain 1, slip stitch into chain 3 picot of already finished snowflake, chain 1 and continue with pattern as written above. To join in a grid, join each snowflake to two points on a neighboring snowflake. To join a third snowflake, join at the joint of two already-joined snowflakes. To join in a single strand, such as for a skinny scarf, join just one point on each snowflake.

Windom Peak Snowflake

Windom Peak Snowflakes

Windom Peak Snowflakes

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.

Sunlight and Windom Peaks

19 April 2012

The Tiniest Tree

happy, happy baby trees

Not quite a year ago, I received 20 clove seeds direct from Hawaii. I didn't expect many of them to survive at my altitude, and I didn't know if any would survive the winter. I planted them indoors, some in direct sunlight, some in indirect sunlight, and two with a little of both. I didn't know how much light they would need, and I wanted to give all of them as much chance as I could to survive, to thrive.

Sixteen of the seeds sprouted. Fifteen grew. I gave one away. One couldn't decide if it wanted to grow up. I moved it into direct sunlight, then I moved it again to provide maximum sunlight. Last November, it still couldn't decide if it wanted to grow.

not dead yet

The day after I broke my wrist, the tiniest clove sprouted a leaf! Over the next few days, a second leaf appeared.

tiny clove tree

In the meantime, one of the seedlings suddenly and inexplicably withered.

one happy, one sad

All of the seedlings seemed to go through a dormant stage during winter. I moved all of them into direct sunlight and provided a grow light during December and January. I used a space heater to keep the babies warm when the central heating couldn't quite combat our multi-day blizzards alone.

In March, almost all the survivors began sprouting new leaves. Maybe these tropical kiddos will adapt to Colorado after all!

tiny tree

Growing taller!
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