23 October 2017

Batflake Monday


Today's snowflake was more challenging than a corn maze!

The pattern went through several iterations as I attempted to get the bat shape correct. After one particular fail, I was inspired by The Lizard's comment: “Those wings must be really difficult to make.”

I'd been trying to fit the wings to the snowflake. Lizard helped me realize it might be easier to fit the snowflake to the bats. I immediately crafted the first half of a rainbow of bats.


The next flake was successful!

Next, I had to come up with a name. I could call it Bat Flake. Like Bat Phone and Bat Mobile. But that seemed too... easy. Especially given the effort designing this flake had required.

We were driving along the Black Canyon of the Gunnison as I toyed with different Colorado mountain names aloud, causing The Lizard to chuckle and roll his eyes.

Mount Batbert. La Bata Peak. Batstone Peak. Grizzly Bat Peak. Mount Silverbats. Mount of the Holy Bat. Bat Mountain.

I jokingly suggested Bat Canyon of the Gunnison. Lizard chimed, “Bat Canyon is perfect!”

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: 4.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 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


Bat Instructions

Because the bat wings are created in a non-typical snowflake fashion, let's start by making one bat, and then perhaps the final round of the actual snowflake won't be as difficult to explain.

Chain 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (wingtip picot made), [ch 4, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook] 4 times.


1 hdc in sc just made.


3 dc over next ch between picots.


1 dc in next picot.


3 dc over next ch between picots. Ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (1st bat ear made), [yo 2 times, draw up loop through next wingtip picot (or same wingtip picot in repeats), yo and draw through 2 loops on hook 2 times] 3 times, yo and draw through all 4 loops on hook (tr cluster and bat body made). ( SPECIAL STITCH: TR Cluster st used but not described in snowflake pattern!)


Ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (2nd bat ear made).


1 sc in top of 3rd dc of last 3/dc group made (bat head/neck shaping).


3 dc over next ch between picots. 1 dc in next picot. 3 dc over next ch between picots. 1 hdc in last picot. Bind off. Weave in ends.


Bat Canyon Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in ring, * ch 3, 3 dc in ring; repeat from * 4 times; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), * 1 tr in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 tr in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 tr in next ch 3 tip, ch 2, 1 tr in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of tr directly below, * 5 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 3, 5 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times, 5 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 4: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dtr), * 1 dtr in next ch 3 tip, ch 5, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (first wingtip made), [ch 4, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook] 4 times (remaining 4 wingtip picots made), ch 3, 1 dtr in same ch 3 tip of main flake body; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last dtr of final repeat; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4.
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: * Sl st in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in next picot, 3 dc over next ch between picots, 1 dc in next picot, 3 dc over next ch between picots, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (1st bat eat made), tr cluster in next picot (see tr cluster instructions and photo tutorial in bat instructions), ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (2nd bat ear made), sc in top of 3rd 3d of last 3/dc group made (refer to photo in tutorial above) to shape bat head and neck, 3 dc over next ch between picots, 1 dc in next picot, 3 dc over next ch between picots, 1 hdc in next picot, sl st in next 2 ch; repeat from * around 5 times; 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 snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.





19 October 2017

Deep Blue


Making progress! Finished boy quilt number Three of Nine! (Or Quilts for Christmas number Nine of Fifteen!)

This baby was created from Jelly Shelly leftovers, Arctic Skies leftovers and some choice leftovers from friends' projects, exchanged during my Snowflake QAL last summer! Once again, even the batting is crafted from leftovers.

What is super thrilling for me about this particular quilt is that my grandson and Jo's grandson will each grow up with a quilt containing some of the same sea fabrics. The two boys will have common threads even before they know they have common threads!


During my Snowflake QAL, in which I finished a quilt for one of the girls on my Christmas list, I realized I had nearly enough blue leftovers to make a second charm square quilt for a boy. I put out a call for an exchange... asking if readers had any blue charm squares suitable for boys they'd like to trade for snowflake squares for the quilt-a-long.

I hadn't yet considered an ocean theme for the boy quilt, but the exchange resulted in just enough sea life blocks to finish my boy quilt. Three panels leftover from another project provided visual as well as geometric interest because they were larger than five inches. I used blue strips left over from Owl Be Striped to make the panels big enough to equal four joined charm squares.


While auditioning the squares, I decided a vertical light-to-dark placement might create a visual ocean wave. Before I began assembling, The Lizard studied my layout and said this is his favorite so far of all the kid quilts I've made because of the wavy light-to-dark effect. What an absolute thrill!


While cutting the Jelly Shelly jelly roll strips, I often found myself wishing I'd bought enough of the seashell fabric to make a dress, too. This fabric is so gorgeous. While making today's quilt, I wished once again I'd bought another four yards of this luscious fabric.


Rather than piece the back of the quilt, I bought two yards of dark blue global ocean maps and crafted the backing.


Once I finished the straight-line quilting, I planned to use one of the uncut blue Jelly Shelly remnants for the binding. But none of them was big enough! So I pulled out my blue Kona stash and selected a navy blue which hadn't made it into any of my other quilts. It was the only blue solid big enough to make a binding!

After I finished the binding, The Lizard walked around the neighborhood with me helping snap some awesome autumn shots before all the brilliant leaves are gone. What a great way to finish off this project!








Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

17 October 2017

Wonder the Radar


What an amazing time to have camera in hand!!!



















16 October 2017

Snowflake Monday


I took off an extra day in September to go leaf-hunting with Lizard. We crossed the Grand Mesa in a snow storm, then traversed the north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison en route to home.

My first trip along the north rim was before I knew much about the Black Canyon. I had taken my then six-year-old pre-adoptive son on a weekend autumn leaf-hunting road trip, and we discovered the Maroon Bells together for the first time ever. Oh, my heavens!!!


I used a very old handheld Cokin filter (because I never did buy the mount for the filter, much less any other Cokin filters) to capture the sunrise on the peaks on 35mm film. We later left Aspen and turned at Carbondale just to see where the road went.

We detoured into Marble, just to see what was there, having no clue the famous Crystal Mill stood between us and Crested Butte, which I also didn't know existed at the time. Probably a very good thing, given Schofield Pass is considered one of the most dangerous four-wheel drive roads in Colorado. Definitely not the kind of place a young mom and her little son would want to get stuck. Or worse.


I vaguely remember my little six-year-old, affectionately and appropriately nicknamed Taz by my relatives because he was the perfect human rendition of the cartoon Tazmanian Devil, climbing the marble statues on the lawn in front of the tiny Marble country store, but back then, I had no clue about the history of the area. I didn't even realize I'd been there before when I traveled to Marble again in 2003 after my first Ride the Rockies.


We returned to the McClure Pass road and continued through Hotchkiss and Crawford before reaching the north rim of the Black Canyon. I remember thinking for the first few miles that this landscape was nothing compared to the Grand Canyon and Flaming Gorge. I don't think we even stopped at the classic Curecanti rest stop and viewpoint, which was among the highlights of my first Ride the Rockies.




Now, Lizard and I have been to the Black Canyon many times in all four seasons. I drove the north rim alone in June while Lizard and the rest of Ride the Rockies pedaled the south rim.


The snow had stopped by the time we reached the north rim together last month, and the autumn color was phenomenal. Daylight hours were quickly waning, though, so we couldn't spend as much time as I would have liked. I could have stayed there a couple more days! But Lizard had to be at work early the next morning.

It may be a while before we get back to the North Rim again, so the few photos we shot along the way will have to feed the craving for a while.


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: 4.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 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

North Rim Snowflake Instructions

With white, make magic ring.

Round 1: 18 sc in ring; sl st tightly into starting sc; do not pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in same sc as sl st, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (starting popcorn stitch made), * sk next sc, 5 dc in next sc, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made), ch 3, 1 popcorn st in next sc; repeat from * around 4 times; sk next sc, 1 popcorn st in next sc, ch 1, 1 dc in top of starting popcorn to form 6th ch 3 tip 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 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (sc picot made), 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
NOTE: Binding off here makes one heck of a cute little flake.


Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 10, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 tr in next ch (fat picot made), ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch (skinny picot made), ch 14, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 6, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 tr in next ch, 3 dc in same ch 3 tip (spoke completed); repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.


Same pattern with minor alterations: ch 5 instead of 3 for Round 2 snowflake tips,
hdc instead of ch between fat and skinny picots on Round 4.



alternate blocking

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.

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