07 February 2011

Snowflake Monday

Torreys Peak from the winter alient summit of Cupid
snowflake inspirationI have two heart-themed snowflakes this week. Both are named after treasured Colorado landmarks, and one was inspired by a drinking glass that inspired another flake more than a year ago.

Loveland Pass is the middle mountain pass of the Triple Bypass, a 120-mile bicycle tour that scales three mountain passes (10,000 feet of climbing) in a day. I've never participated in the Triple Bypass, but I've trained with The Lizard as he prepares. I've ridden the other two passes of the Triple, but not Loveland, the most difficult.

Loveland Pass, as well as the city of Loveland, which sits nearly across the state, did not get their name from anything romantic; both were named after William Loveland, late 19th century president of and one of the founders of the Colorado Central Railroad.

Nevertheless, you can send your valentine cards in a package to the town of Loveland, where they will be postmarked with the famous cancellation stamp and cachet. Or you can climb 13,117-foot Cupid, which was intentionally given the fabled name to take advantage of romantic potential offered by the names of the pass and ski area.

Loveland Pass Snowflake KeychainAt 11,990 feet, Loveland Pass is the second highest paved pass in Colorado (105 feet lower than Independence Pass) and the highest mountain pass in the world that stays open most of the winter. On the east side of the pass is Ski Loveland. Prior to the completion of Eisenhower Tunnel in 1973, Loveland Pass was the primary auto route over the Continental Divide via Colorado's Rocky Mountains.

Loveland Pass is popular with backcountry skiers and snowboarders. In heavy snow years, trailhead parking becomes limited when plowed snow piles up to 10 feet high on the road's shoulder.

Cupid SnowflakeOverlooking the pass, Cupid, a ranked 13er I've climbed in winter, sits upon the Continental Divide and is the 555th tallest peak in Colorado. That doesn't sound like much, but it's taller than the highest points in 41 other states. Its summit provides gorgeous views of popular Front Range 14er Torreys Peak. (That shot of Torreys Peak up above was taken by me from atop Cupid as close to Valentine's Day as I could get, on March 5, 2005, on the four-month anniversary of emergency back surgery that changed my life.)

On the MS-150 front, I've been totally amazed by the generosity of crocheters (and stained glass artists!) who've opened their hearts to help me raise money for the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. As of last Friday afternoon, my team, which isn't even fully formed yet, is 12th best in fundraising so far among 38 teams registered to date, and I'm also nearly halfway to my personal goal of $2,000. That's because of YOU! The Lizard has been tickled yet shocked that anyone who reads my blog would contribute in his name, so an extra special thanks to those of you who have been bumping up his thermometer!

I've also been overwhelmed by the number of readers who have written to tell me they have MS, especially those who are struggling with the symptoms but keep crocheting because they want to make as many snowflakes as they can while they still can. You've touched my heart deeply. I hope I can keep designing flakes, and I hope what we do helps make it possible to find a cure soon!

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

Cupid Snowflakes
Cupid Snowflake

Finished Size: 6.25 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, glue, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Cupid Snowflake Instructions

Ch 12, sl st into 1st ch.

Round 1: Ch 1, 1dc in same ch as sl st, 1sc in same ch, *1 sc in next ch, [1 sc, 1 dc, 1 sc] in next ch; repeat from * 4 more times, 1 sc in next ch, 1 sc in same ch as starting 2 sc; sl st in starting dc.
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 2: Ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), 1 dtr in same st, ch 2, sl st in top of dtr, 1 tr in same st, 1 dc in same st, *1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in next st, 1 tr in same st, 1 dtr in same st, ch 2, sl st in top of dtr, 1 tr in same st, 1 dc in same st; repeat from * around 4 more times; 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 dc in same st as starting ch 4; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4.

Round 3: Sl st to top of picot point, ch 9 (counts as 1 dc and ch 6), *sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, ch 3, 1 dc in next snowflake tip (lower heart top made), ch 6; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 9.

Round 4: *Ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 10, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, [1 dc] in next ch, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, 1 dc in top of [1 dc], sl st in 5th ch of ch 10 (heart made), ch 4, sl st in 1st ch 10, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, sl st in body of snowflake in top of dc/ch 3 that counts as dc, ch 15, sl st in 2nd and 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, ch 6, sk lower heart top, sl st in next dc; repeat from * around 5 more times for a total of 6 hearts and 6 spokes; 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.

Mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture. 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.

Loveland Pass Snowflake Keychain
Loveland Pass Snowflake

Finished Size: 4 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 0 hook and fine Jelly Yarn; optional carabiner

Loveland Pass Key Chain Instructions

Ch 36. Taking care not to twist work, sl st in starting ch.

Round 1: Ch 1, 1 sc in same ch as sl st, *1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 tr in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 3 sc in next ch; repeat 5 times, ending with 2 sc in same ch as starting sc instead of 3 sc in next ch on final repeat; sl st in starting sc. NOTE: Work will be curly this round but will straighten out during next 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 2: Ch 2, 1 dc in same sc; *1 tr in next hdc, 1 dc in next dc, 1 sc in next tr, 1 dc in next dc, 1 tr in next hdc, 1 dc in next sc, ch 2, [sl st in next sc], ch 2, 1 dc in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with [sl st in next sc on final repeat. Bind off. Weave in ends.

NOTE: I made a ch 6 loop before binding off to make a loop for a key chain.

This heartflake key chain will not need to be pinned, blocked or stiffened. If it is a little curly when finished, just leave it between two heavy books overnight, and it will be flat the next morning.

Loveland Pass Snowflake Keychain


  1. Beautiful ... I love the pinks.

  2. "cupids" look beautiful. And I like the winterphoto ♥.

  3. I love the cupid snowflake. I'm trying to crochet it now, but somehow at the end of round 2 I wound up with 5 points instead of 6. I'm sure it's something I did, since this is only my third snowflake I've tried to crochet. Guess I'll have to wait until my daughter's second nap to fix it.

  4. They're both so beautiful! I love the cupid snowflake. =]

    Love the snow pictures... Wishing it would snow, and the weather is getting warmer but coats and sweaters are still on the brain. Bah.

  5. Ok, my daughter had her second nap and I was able to finish the second round just in time for her to wake up. This time I have 6 points! Looking forward to bedtime tonight so I can hopefully finish it.

  6. I cannot imagine riding a bike up those passes let alone walking!
    I absolutely LOVE the Cupid Snowflake!

  7. The snow picture looks like a sparkling ice-cream! Yummy! Lovely snowflake! Brazilian tropical kisses.

  8. Simply beautiful ... that photo is absolutely breathtaking! Just WOW! Your snowflakes are so sweet. Love, love, love the Cupid! And congrats on your fundraising efforts. So far, so good!!! Love my awesome Snowcatcher Snowflakes pattern book! Geez, could I have used more exclamation points???!!!!!

  9. Even though I'm not a snowflake maker, I have to visit every Monday to see the gorgeous mountain photo that goes with your snowflakes. This week's was artistic and amazing. Thanks.

  10. Beautiful snowflakes as usual. Just wonderful.

  11. Beautiful. More creative than patterns I find in other books. Thanks for the inspiration! Do you have patterns for 5-pointed stars, or their multiples? They're hard to find, and that's what I like to give at Christmastime. Thanks.

  12. Thanks, Diane! I do have one five-pointed star published, but most of these flakes could be made into five points just by doing five points instead of six. Some would need extra chains (or other appropriate stitches) to lay flat, but most would work as written. I will try to include five-point versions on at least some of my future flakes.

  13. Hello, have to say I adore your flakes but have one question, being English I have got my head around the slight difference in terminology but the hook sizes has me a tad confused. Depending on what chart I use a 7 can be a 1.5 mm/imperial 2.5 or a 4.5mm/ imperial 7, I would guess 1.5 to go with the thread but what's with 2 different size charts?

    1. Thank you, Tracey!

      I really don't understand why we have to have two different terminologies and then two different size charts to boot. I'm so glad you are able to get through the pattern translation because I screw up when I try to convert it. I can tell you my size 7 hook says 1.65 mm on it, if that helps. I think my size 8 hook, which is the next size smaller for me, is 1.5 mm. I hope this is helpful. If not, there is a conversion chart here.


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