26 September 2011

Snowflake Monday

Torreys Peak and Grays Peak from Cupid

Torreys Peak is almost always climbed in combination with neighboring 14er Grays Peak. But just like most of my 14er combinations, that's not how I did it. I climbed Grays first (which took me two tries, the first of which I climbed the wrong peak and accidentally bagged a high 13er), then returned the following year and climbed Torreys on the 4th of July via a different route.

This snowflake also was a second attempt. The prototype wouldn't lay flat, but I liked the design so much, I tried again, decreasing a few stitches on the flat sides and in a different color combination.

Torreys Peak Snowflake14,267-foot Torreys Peak is the 11th tallest summit in Colorado, and the main trailhead, just east of Eisenhower Tunnel, is an easy drive from the Denver metro area. The peak was named after botanist John Torrey, after whom Torrey Pines also get their name. Torrey was assisted during the research for his book, "Flora of North America," by one of his students, Asa Gray, whose name graces Torreys Peak's neighbor.

Torrey's father was appointed to the state prison in Greenwich Village, New York, when Torrey was but a teenager, and the youth gained an appreciation for the science of plants while being tutored by one of the prisoners where his father worked!

Amos Eaton was a lawyer when he was incarcerated on a charge of forgery, and he took up the study of botany and geology while in prison. He tutored many sons of the governors of the prison board and went on to become a revered scientist and educator.

The power of reformation!

Miners called Grays and Torreys the Twin Peaks. Indians called them Ant Hills. Grays and Torreys are the only 14ers over which the Continental Divide directly passes.

The most difficult route up Torreys Peak is Kelso Ridge, a knife-edged ridged named after one of three prospectors, William Fletcher Kelso, who climbed Torreys and Grays together, naming nearby mountains, streams, landmarks and towns after themselves. Jack Baker, another of the three, left his name upon what is now a ghost town and I-70 exit leading to the main Torreys and Grays trailhead, Bakerville, and a nearby peak, Baker.

Kelso is such a cool name, I think I'll add it to the list of potential snowflake names. The Lizard thought it would be funny if I name a snowflake after one of the ski descent routes on Torreys: Dead Dog Couloir.

Um, maybe not!

Torreys Peak is the only summit where my cell phone has been useful. The summit overlooks the villages of Keystone, Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne, as well as I-70. Atop the mountain, one of the hikers in another party mentioned it was her father's birthday, and she'd forgotten to call him. I checked my phone, had signal, so handed the phone over to her and invited her to call him in Albuquerque. And it worked!

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!

Torreys Peak Snowflake

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in two colors, 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

Torrey's Peak Snowflake Instructions

Ch 48. Taking care not to twist chain, sl st into starting ch.

Round 1: With main color, ch 1 (does not count as sc), 1 sc in same ch as sl st, *[yo and draw up loop through next ch, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook] 5 times, yo and draw through all 6 loops on hook (dec shell made), 1 sc in next ch, 3 sc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with 3 sc and omitting last sc on final repeat; sl st in starting sc.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as dc), 1 dc in each of next 4 st, *5 dc in next st, 1 dc in each of next 5 st (shell st made); repeat from * around 4 times; 5 dc in next ch; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off.
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: With contrast color, 1 sc in 5th dc of any 5 dc group (shell), *sk 2 st, 5 dc in next st (shell made), sk 2 st, 1 sc in next st, 3 sc in next st, 1 drop sc in bottom of 3/sc group of Round 1 below (over middle dc of 5/dc shell in Round 2), [3 sc in next st], 1 sc in next st; repeat from * around 5 times, ending with [3 sc] and omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off.

Round 4: With main color, 1 sc in any 3rd sc of 3/sc group left of 5/dc shell, 1 sc in each of next 8 st, *sk 2 st, 5dc in next drop st, sk 2 st, 1 sc in each of next 9 sc; repeat from * around 4 times; sk 2 st, 5 dc in next drop st; sl st in starting sc.
Round 5: *1 sc in each of next 7 st, ch 3, 1 dc in middle dc of next shell, ch 2, 1 tr in same st, ch 2, 1 dc in same st, sk next sc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc.

Round 6: *1 sc in each of next 5 st, ch 3, 1 dc in next dc, ch 3, 1 dc in next tr, ch 3, 1 tr in same st, ch 3, 1 dc in same st, ch 3, 1 dc in next dc ch 3, sk 1 sc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off.

Round 7: With contrast color, 1 sc in 2nd sc of any 5/sc group, 1 sc in each of next 2 st, *5 dc in next ch 3 sp, 4 hdc in next ch 3 sp, 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 4, 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, 4 hdc in next ch 3 sp, 5 dc in next ch 3 sp, sk next sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 3 sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; 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.

Sunrise on Grays Peak and Torreys Peak


  1. The pictures are so beautiful. Especially like the first one. The snowflake speaks for itself as well ... gorgeous. I always look forward to Mondays to see what you have created next, such a treat. Have a wonderful, blessed day.

  2. Your photos, your snowflakes...all are inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh I really like this one...I may have to try it on a stone :)

    Thank you!

  4. Such a pretty snowflake! Love it!

  5. Again, beautiful photos! Loving the snowflake.

  6. That first photo is simply magical! Love the crystal-snow glistening in the foreground and the monuments all wind-blasted into a window frame for the mountains beyond.

  7. Great snowflake! Very nice for a new snowflake dress... Kisses.

  8. Honestly, I think Lizard is onto a great marketing tactic... naming your lovely snowflakes after all sorts of death defying leaps! That first photo conjured up something I thought had waned. I'm ready for a powder day...

  9. Oh, the beauty of wind-sculpted snow...

    That snowflake is a stunner. The striking open center, the delicate leafy points (a nod to the botanical gentlemen?) - just beautiful.

  10. I don´t like the winter, but I love your winterpics.

    Lovely snowflake, too.

  11. Come On, Winter!! Your pictures truly take my breath away.....Torreys Peak Snowflake is beautiful!
    There you go again with the miles on your bike...3247! How are you going to beat that in 2012, eh?

  12. I love that first photo - what incredible snow sculptures and an amazing set-up for a photo! Actually, I'm betting that you had to work hard to find that view - but it was worth it!

  13. Wow that first photo is incredibly beautiful!

  14. The top photo is amazing, hard to credit it just happened. Who needs stuff when Mother Nature makes that all by herself? And I love how you mix the historical stories in with your knitting story, great read.

  15. AMAZING photographs! It must be awe-inspiring to live amongst all of this. I appreciate you sharing this with us all as we hardly ever see snow, much less beautiful sculptures of snow and ice with the sun beating down upon it.
    The snowflakes you created are beautiful. I was going to make a couple of snowflakes this year and now that I have found your site, I am going to have a very hard time narrowing it down to two or three! You do amazing work and again thank you for sharing all of this with us.


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