04 April 2011

Snowflake Monday

Purple Mountain in Winter
my commute bagThis snowflake was inspired by the bag I use for commuting during winter. Because the bag is purple, I decided the snowflake gets the name Purple Mountain. Which means I also had to make a purple snowflake!

I also got to play with beads for this snowflake (because the inspiration looks as if it has beads on the tips). Denise recently asked how I stiffen beaded flakes without getting glue on the beads or if I wait and bead after stiffening. I bead as I crochet, and I use a Q-tip to clean glue spots off my beads after painting the pinned flake with watered-down glue. If you have different words of advice, please share! We all benefit by pooling our techniques and preferences.

I have long wanted to climb a mountain near 12,958-foot Purple Mountain because of the name: Oh-be-joyful Peak, which stands about 500 feet shorter. Purple isn't a bad name, though. Purple Mountain shares its name with nearby Purple Peak, which is a mere 146 feet shorter.

Colors are treasured in this mountainous area, called the Ruby Range. There's also a Ruby Peak. From the top of Purple Mountain, views of the Maroon Bells and Cinnamon Mountain combine with Treasure Mountain and Treasury Mountain to demonstrate just how rich a visit to this string of high peaks can be, even though a descent may bring you to Poverty Gulch. However, a traverse of the Ruby Range ridge in the opposite direction will land you at the Paradise Divide.

When researching Purple Mountain, I had a difficult time coming up with information. The name Purple Mountain also belongs to a seemingly more famous mountain in Wyoming and a more well known mountain range in Ireland. Stick a number on the front of the name, and it looks like a street address, but it's actually the name of an asteroid belt, so named by the Purple Mountain Observatory in China.

Purple Mountain Snowflake InspirationPurple Mountain as a phrase probably is most familiar to Americans, however, when sung to the tune of "America the Beautiful," written with a different peak in mind. Katharine Lee Bates penned the verse in 1893 as a poem, "Pikes Peak," and the poem was first published two years later to commemorate the Fourth of July. Samuel A. Ward borrowed a friend's shirt cuff to write the music in 1882 that Bates' poem later was set to. He died in 1903, seven years before the poem and music were combined, so he never knew the status his "off the cuff" song would achieve.

I even found a discontinued yarn by the name of Purple Mountain! It also is the name of the 17th most popular Crayola Crayon color.

I love this snowflake, and I love my purple commute bag. Now that spring has sprung and it's almost Easter, however, I probably ought to use a different bag until November!

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!

Purple Mountain Snowflake
Finished Size: 4.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, 6 beads (I used different size beads for each flake, seed beads, 6 or E beads, 6mm beads and 8 mm beads), 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

Purple Mountain Snowflake Instructions

String 6 beads onto thread. (NOTE: If you prefer not to use beads, just eliminate this step, and do not to the ch st before and after the bead in the following instructions.)

Ch 144; taking care not to twist chain, sl st into 1st ch. 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 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of next 5 ch, *2 dc in next ch, [insert hook into middle loop of last dc worked and draw up loop as if to make a linked dc, yo and bring through both loops on hook] twice, 1 dc in same ch, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 3 dc in next ch, [insert hook into middle loop of last dc worked and draw up loop, yo and bring through both loops on hook], ch 1, slide 1 bead up to hook, ch 1, capturing bead in ch, repeat [ ] once, 2 dc in same ch (NOTE: squeezing 5 dc into 1 ch will pull the next ch tight; take care not to accidentally skip next ch so count will be accurate), 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 2 dc in next ch, [insert hook into middle loop of last dc worked and draw up loop, yo and bring through both loops on hook] twice, 1 dc in same ch, 1 dc in each of next 6 ch, dec across next 5 ch (meaning, [[yo and draw up loop in next ch, yo and draw through 2 loops]] 5 times, yo and draw through all 6 loops on hook, dec made), 1 dc in each of next 6 ch; repeat from * around, ending with dec across final 5 ch on final repeat; sl st across starting ch 2 into 1st 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. 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.

Purple Mountain Snowflake


  1. Very pretty.Humble one.

  2. Okay, I like the Purple Mountain Snowflake design but blue is my favorite color, so I especially like, no love, the white example with the blue beads on the end. Don't know how you keep coming up with a new design each week. Do you sleep?

  3. Grandma Beth... sleep? What is that? I don't believe I'm familiar with that word. :)

  4. My favorite color was green, but it is quickly shifting to purple. Jewel tone purple. Love purple flowers, and now purple snowflakes. I’m now working on a purple thread bear. Two actually, I tend to mass produce.

  5. Amazing shot at the top, it's humbling how large mountains can be!

  6. Love the snowflake....I loves purple cuz me eyes are green.
    I'm with Grandma Beth....how do you keep coming up with a new design each week? Amazing woman you are!
    I see you have biked some more miles, too! Gooooo, Deb!

  7. That is a really cool snowflake. No center!

  8. I love the purple flake!

  9. at school my students know that a fine way to rile me up is to say purple when describing something that is violet. Next thing you know I am ranting about color, wheels, bees. Anyway, on my computer I saw violet and green together, which is a combo that is close to blue green in my book.

  10. Love the names: Oh-be-joyful Peak, Purple Mountain, Ruby Range! And your snowflake is wonderful. I am picturing the two white ones layered one over the other, jigjogged so you see all of the points between each other (did that make any sense at all?) for a dense, dimensional snowflake.

  11. Very beautiful and unique. I just love the thicker lines. This is definitely a favorite for me.

  12. I just thought I'd let you know I experimented with plastic wrap instead of waxed paper, only because I re-used rather than threw away the waxed paper and sometimes they would stick to it and rip the paper.

    The plastic wrap works best for me and I use it over and over and over again!

    Next time I have to replace the plastic wrap I am going to try the plastic shopping bags.

    And I made this week's purple mountain and have not a clue how you come up with the patterns, what stitches to make etc.

    Good job btw on almost reaching your goal on your BikeMS fundraising. I just signed up for WalkMS here in Michigan again this year. I hope to top my last 3 years of fundraising!

    Thanks again for helping those of us with MS!

  13. You have probably seen this site but some ideas for 12-sided flakes.


    I love your beaded flakes but I keep forgetting to buy the beads when I get to the stores.


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