05 September 2011

Snowflake Monday

Tabeguache Peak from Mount Shavano

One Saturday this month, The Lizard and I are hoping to climb Tabeguache Peak with our good friends Mike and Mike, who have climbed several 14ers with us. The four of us haven't done a peak together since Humboldt in 2008, and Tabeguache has eluded three of us at least two times each.

Tabeguache, pronounced Tăb-ĕh-wătch with the accent on the first syllable, is connected to another 14er we've each climbed at least twice: Shavano, pronounced Shă-vă-nō, accent all three syllables. The two summits are separated by a half-mile-long narrow saddle ridge that isn't necessarily dangerous or difficult, but typically extremely windy. Each time we went up 14,229-foot Shavano, we hoped to bag 14,155-foot Tabeguache too, but The Lizard is the only one of us who had the energy and necessary speed to tag both summits in one trip. By attempting this dual summit again in September, we're hoping weather won't be a threat as it traditionally is throughout thunderstorm-prone summer months.

Tabeguache is a Ute word meaning People of Sun Mountain. The Tabeguache Ute Indians nomadically wandered central southwestern Colorado. They incorporated the name Tava, which means sun and also referred to Pikes Peak before it was named by white man. The Tabeguache Utes annually migrated to high elevations in summer and returned to lower elevations in fall, just like the elk. Many of the routes they used are now highways. The Utes knew Colorado well and knew which mountain passes were best for long-distance travel.

Tabeguache also is the name of a primitive 142-mile trail connecting the cities of Montrose and Grand Junction. The trail begins in Shavano Valley and weaves through canyons, mesas, and highlands of the Uncompahgre Plateau before ending in No Thoroughfare Canyon, which The Lizard and I have hiked together.

The Tabeguache Trail is dotted with highly photographic red beds, sedimentary rocks including sandstone, shale and siltstone characteristic of the Canyonlands of Utah. The rocks get their red hue from ferric oxides. Because I am photographically addicted to red rock, I had to make one of these snowflakes in Sara's Colorwaves colorway by the name of "redbeds."

After working up the prototype of this snowflake, I decided I wanted the second row to be a little fancier, so I incorporated a few changes. After pinning and stiffening both flakes, I decided I like the original better, so I'm including both options in this pattern.

The multi-snowflake Pikes Peak project is still forthcoming; it's just taking a while. Just like the mountain...

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!

Tabeguache Peak Snowflake
Original Version

Tabeguache Peak Snowflake
Second Version

Finished Size: 4 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

Tabeguache Peak Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), *1 dc in ring, ch 1; repeat 10 times for a total of 12 dc, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 4. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2, original version: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 1 sp, *ch 4, 2 dc in next ch 1 sp; repeat from * around 10 times; ch 2, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (dc and ch 2 count as final ch 4 sp).

Round 2, second version: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch 1 sp, *[ch 3, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1], 2 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 4, 2 dc in next ch 1 sp; repeat from * around 4 times; repeat [ ] one time, 2 dc in next ch 1 sp, ch 2, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (dc and ch 2 count as final ch 4 sp).
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), 1 dc in same sp, *ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, sk next ch 4 sp if working original version, 2 dc in next ch 4 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st into 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in next dc, *ch 3, 1 dc between next ch3/1dc cluster (photo 1), ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 2 dc in top of next ch 3/2dc cluster (photo 2), ch 4, sl st in top of dc just worked, 1 dc in same st as previous 2 dc, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc between ch3/2dc cluster and next ch 3/1dc cluster (photo 3), ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 2 dc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st into 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

1 dc between ch3 dc cluster
Photo 1

2 dc in top of next ch3 2dc cluster
Photo 2

1 dc between ch3 2dc cluster and next ch 3 1dc cluster
Photo 3

Special thanks to The Lizard for photographing my hands for this tutorial.

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.

Tabeguache Peak Snowflake


  1. Such a pretty snowflake. I think I like the blue one the best. =]

  2. That sounds like a fun climb! I love your photo, from the top of Shavano, I assume. We were in the area this summer... but we didn't climb either peak.

  3. Just as I was thinking "How in the world do you PRONOUNCE that?" your handy accented explanation came up in the text.

    I can't decide which version I like best. The original is definitely best for that gorgeous Redbeds yarn, but the modified looks great in blue.

  4. I would like an easy way to print these snowflake patterns. It is interesting to see your climbing and racing stories but all I want are the patterns.

  5. Anonymous, instructions for printing dark background blog text are located in the sidebar. Also, there is a pdf pattern booklet available for a charitable, tax-deductible contribution, and information about that is in the sidebar, too.


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