At the end of June, Mrs. Micawber traveled to Colorado to ride in the MS-150 (Bike MS) charity bicycle ride with me. Iris, her bike, sports sewup tires you can't really get any help with these days.
According to Sheldon Brown, bicycle mechanic, technical expert and author until his death in 2008, tubular tires or "sew-ups" differ from modern tires because they don't have beads. Instead, tire edges are sewn together around the inner tube. Tubulars are used on special rims and are held to the rims by glue. (I had to look that up because I didn't know anything about sewups other than Mrs. Micawber uses them.)
"Tubulars once were fairly common on high-performance bicycles, but now are an endangered species," Brown wrote. So Mrs. Micawber rides a 28-year-old bike equipped with a pair of endangered tires.
During our second day of riding, the back tire went flat. I watched Mrs. Micawber and a state police officer change the tire, my first experience ever with a sewup. I watched fellows from a small bike shop manning the next rest stop wince in pain when Mrs. Micawber requested assistance in taking the tire off again and getting it back on straight. (They refused to help. Shoot, they declined to even watch Mrs. Micawber attempt to remove and replace her back tire.)
I developed somewhat of a distaste for sewup tires. But then again, I don't really like any tires. I'm 100% girly girl. I don't like getting black gunk on my hands. I don't like getting dirt beneath my fingernails. I have no idea how to put the back wheel back on the bike without messing up the derailleur. And I don't like being held up on an organized ride by a merciless flat. I don't even like to get a flat tire on my 4Runner!
And yet, I do love to quilt and sew. You'd think sewup tires would be a shoe-in for me! Nope. I want no part of tire changing. Give me a tire to sew up, and I'll figure out a way to get that rubber to run smoothly beneath my presser foot. But flat tire out in the middle of nowhere?!? You can have that tire changing stuff!
Believe it or not, there is a mesa in Colorado (out in the middle of nowhere, I might add) named Sewemup! I believe a name like that deserves a snowflake. But then again, so does Mrs. Micawber for successfully taking care of her own flat tire mostly by herself... What a champion!
Sewemup Mesa is an isolated plateau nearly surrounded by thousand-foot-high cliffs of Wingate Sandstone located about 10 miles south of Gateway and adjacent Sinbad Valley. It lies near another mesa special to us because of its unique name – Atkinson Mesa. It's also close to Skein Mesa. Yes, that's a genuine place name in Colorado!
According to legend, the McCarty Gang removed owner cattle brands, sewed up the wounds and rebranded the stolen cows in this pristine hideaway near the turn of the 20th century. This gang introduced Butch Cassidy to banditry. Tom McCarty, Butch Cassidy and Matt Warner, the Invincible Three, robbed $20,000 from the First National Bank of Denver in 1889.
No cattle have ever grazed this mesa, no vehicles have ever traversed it, no bikes are allowed, and rock climbers often dot the cliff walls around the mesa.
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!
Finished Size: 5 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
Sewemup Mesa Snowflake Instructions
Make magic ring.
Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same st as sl st, * sk next dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 3, 3 dc in same dc; repeat from * around 4 times; sk next dc, 3 dc in same ch as starting dc, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form last ch 3 sp of Round.
Round 3: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc around post of dc just worked, *1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 10, 1 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 5, 1 trtr in 3rd ch of starting ch 6.
NOTE: Working ch 10 instead of ch 5 and trtr at end of Round 3, binding off and weaving in ends makes an attractive 2.5-inch snowflake.
Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc around trtr post, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, ch 6, * 1 sc in next ch 10 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, ch 6; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 sc in next ch 10 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form last ch 3 sp of round.
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 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc around post of dc just worked, * ch 5, sk next 3 dc, 1 sc in next hdc, ch 6, sk next sc and next hdc, 1 sc in next hdc, ch 5, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 5, sk next 3 dc, 1 sc in next hdc, ch 6, sk next 2 sc and next hdc, 1 sc in next hdc, ch 5, 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 6: Ch 6 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc just worked, * ch 5, sk next 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc, ch 6, 1 sc around next 2 ch 6 spaces of Rounds 4 and 5, ch 6, 1 sc in next dc, ch 5, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 5, 1 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 and ch 3 of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 6; 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.