08 August 2011

Snowflake Monday

El Diente and Dolores at Sunrise
Are you ready to go back to thread snowflakes? Boy, I sure am!

I designed this snowflake several months ago but wasn't entirely satisfied with it, so I put it on hold. At the time, I planned to use it as a challenge, asking snowflake crocheters to put their own finishing touches on it. I thought it needed something more.

One of my readers, Dolores, liked it just the way it was when she found the original blue flake in my snowflake gallery. She asked when I was going to publish the pattern. I had been stocking up for cycling season, and I told her this one likely would be named after 14ers Quandary or Conundrum as part of a challenge. She has patiently waited all these months for this pattern to be published.

Dolores Peak SnowflakeI'm now less than 20 days away from the most difficult ride of my life (so far), so I still don't have time to do a challenge, but feel terribly guilty for making Dolores wait so long. She recently emailed again, asking if I'd forgotten about her. To give you an idea of how long she has waited, this was my 77th pattern; I'm currently working on #103.

This snowflake has been a learning experience for me. I've discovered that by stepping away from a snowflake for a few months, I might feel differently about it when I pick it up again. Although I still hate my "Ugly Flake," I've become very fond of my 77th pattern. I plan to decorate a few future versions with beads after cycling season, and I may even try working a round or two with a variegated thread, as I did with El Diente, but for now, I really love this snowflake just the way it is.

That means it needs a new name. I'm reserving the names Quandary and Conundrum for challenges I plan to run sometime in the future.

Lo and behold, we have a mountain with just the perfect name for this snowflake. 13,290-foot Dolores Peak is on the westernmost edge of the Lizard Head Wilderness. The peak was named after the Dolores River, as were the county, town and canyon sharing the same name.

The name Rio de Nuestra Señora de las Dolores came either from explorer Juan Maria Antonio Rivera during his 1765 expedition from Santa Fe or from Spanish traders who frequented the area before that. The English translation is River of Our Lady of Sorrows. I was unable to find why the river may have received that name, although the translation alone invites vivid speculations.

The Dolores River originates on Lizard Head Pass and circles around Dolores Peak before eventually dumping into the Colorado River near Dewey Bridge, a historic landmark that burned to the ground a few years ago.

I have a few photos of Dolores Peak and the Dolores River, but I'm using photos by The Lizard today because his photos are so much more dramatic than mine. In particular is his photo of El Diente and Dolores (above), together in one photo, at sunrise. (Which motivates me to shoot my El Diente and Dolores Peak snowflakes together, in one shot! At sunset!) The Lizard's photo is featured in my 14er quilt, a photo of which is featured on the El Diente Snowflake pattern page.

Dolores Peak Snowflake and El Diente SnowflakeA rich and fascinating history of the Dolores area is recorded here.

I have known we have a mountain by this name for nearly a decade, although I have not climbed it yet. Yes, that does mean I'm planning to one day. Back in about 2002, before I met The Lizard, the women of the mountain climbing club to which I belonged decided, following many notable ascents by groups of men only, we needed to do a chick hike, girls only. We never could work out our schedules, but among the summits we considered was Dolores Peak. If you guessed we were trying to pick a peak with a girly name, you're absolutely right.

While researching Dolores Peak, Dolores River, Dolores County and the Town of Dolores, I learned a climber can stand atop Dolores in winter snow (it's an easy mountain) and view the wide expanse of red canyon country in Utah to the west, often free of snow. I may just have to climb this baby in winter to shoot that awesome view!

I blocked my white Dolores Peak Snowflake but did not stiffen or glitter it. I pinned the snowflake and sprayed it with water, allowing it to dry before removing the pins. I currently am making about 20 white snowflakes that won't be stiffened or glittered for a project to be featured sometime this month. So if you'd like to be ready, block but do not stiffen or glitter a dozen or more of your favorite snowflakes and set them aside for Pikes Peak...

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!

Dolores Peak at Sunrise
Finished Size: 9.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 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

Dolores Peak Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, *ch 4, 2 dc in ring; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (ch 2 and dc count as final ch 4, and you will be working over the dc in the next round). Do not pull magic circle too tight; leave small opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over dc post below, *3 dc in next ch 4 sp, ch 4, 3 dc in same ch 2 sp; repeat from * around 4 times, 3 dc in same sp as starting 2 dc, ch 2, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (ch 2 and 1 dc count as final ch 4, and you will be working over the dc in the next round).

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over dc post below, *1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, sk 2 dc, 1 sc in next st, 1 hdc in next dc, 3 dc in next ch 4 sp, ch 5, 3 dc in same sp; repeat from * 4 times; 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next dc, sk 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc, 3 dc in same sp as starting 2 dc, ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (ch 2 and 1 tr count as final ch 5, and you will be working over the tr in the 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 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc over dc post below, *1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, sk 2 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 st, 1 hdc in next st, 4 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 25, 1 dc in 15th ch from hook (TIP: ch 11, mark 11th ch, ch 14, work dc into marked ch), ch 5, sk 5 ch, sl st in next ch, ch 4, 4 dc in same ch 5 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting final 4 dc of 5th repeat and working sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 instead.

Round 5: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of next 2 dc, *1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, sk 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in each of next 2 st, 1 dc in each of next 3 st, 2 dc in next ch 4 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 sc in same sp, ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sk ch 5 sp, in top loop work [3 sc, 3 hdc, 4 dc, ch 7, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in next ch, 1 tr in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, ch 1, 4 dc in loop, 3 hdc in same loop, 3 sc in same loop], ch 5, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sk ch 5 sp, in next ch 4 sp work [2 sc, 2 hdc, 2 dc], 1 dc in each of next 3 st; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting final 3 dc of 5th repeat and working sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch 3 instead; 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.

Dolores Peak at Sunrise


  1. The snowflake looks great and I love the mountain pics, too.

  2. Such beautiful work and incredible photos!

  3. Such a pretty snowflake!

  4. In the upper photo the points look like little cupcakes with candles on them. In the lower photo like little churches or one-room schoolhouses with steeples.

    Wow, didn't realize Pikes Peak was so close! I'm excited for you and can't wait to see what you do with the snowflakes.


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