03 October 2011

Snowflake Monday

Mount Hope Snowflake and Mount Hope
Mount Hope

I knew as soon as I learned Colorado has a mountain by the name of Hope, a special Mount Hope project would one day honor those who've faced a battle with cancer.

Mount Hope is located near 14er La Plata Peak and picturesquely above Twin Lakes between Leadville and Buena Vista. At 13,933 feet, it is a Centennial Peak, or one of the highest one hundred mountains in Colorado. I have not been able to learn how the mountain got its name, so I'll share some thoughts and memories relating to breast cancer instead.

Denver's Race for the Cure was yesterday. It is one of the largest in the country. Being surrounded by a sea of pink T-shirts (worn by women battling breast cancer and those who have survived) is one of the most powerful emotions I've ever experienced.

My grandmother's youngest sister died of breast cancer at the age of 43, long before the technology and medical advancements we enjoy now. She left behind a husband, a young teenage son and a preteen son. I have understood the threat of breast cancer almost as long as I have known what the words aunt, uncle and cousin mean.

While my kids were still pretty young, we participated in Denver's Race for the Cure each year because it was fun, a good cause and a great way to spend a morning with hundreds and hundreds of cancer survivors. We were in awe of their sheer will to live, to conquer.

One of my co-workers and closest friends always went with us because her kids were the same age as my kids. We looked forward to the event every year. We collected race T-shirts so I could make quilts we then would raffle at work to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Then my friend and her mom were both diagnosed with breast cancer. My friend made it; her mom did not. The next year, I decided instead of walking the race as I had done for years, I would run it. I wanted to run it in honor of my friend's valiant battle and in memory of her mom. I was not a runner. I had to train for several months. The first year I ran the race, I wasn't able to run non-stop, but I still felt as if I'd done something special for my friend, and she knew how hard I'd worked to try to run for her.

We got a team started at work. Each year, the team grew, and our team continues today. Each year, I did a little better on the run, and after about three years, I finally was able to run non-stop for my friend. And then she was diagnosed again.

She beat breast cancer again, and as of two months ago, she's the proud grandmother of her first grandchild. Because of a 2001 knee injury and my back surgery in 2004, I am no longer allowed to run. But I have never stopped supporting the cause. I can't. More and more women I know, including more co-workers, have raged battles with the disease each year. I will never stop fighting for them.

My co-workers not only annually participate in Race for the Cure, they will donate their lunch money this Friday on Lee Denim Day, a tradition we have carried on for as long as the day has been in existence. We'll also have a bake sale with all proceeds going toward the cause.

This snowflake was designed specifically for my friends who have endured battles with breast cancer. The design was inspired the the cover of a tiny little book I received as a gift last Christmas. The white flake with pink spots is my very own hand-colored thread. The pink flake is my very own hand-dyed thread. When The Lizard, he who loves white flakes, first saw the white and pink flake, he fell in love with it and knew immediately why I had done a flake in pink. "It looks really cold!" he commented.

If I participate in any craft shows this year, if any of my pink snowflakes sell, the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I'm sharing my idea because perhaps you might enjoy joining me in the fight for a cure.

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!

Mount Hope Snowflake

Finished Size: 4.75 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

Mount Hope Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as dc), 12 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight.
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 3, 2 dc in same st, ch 3, sl st in same st (petal made), 1 sc in next st, sl st in next st; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 3 dc in same st (3rd dc counts as final ch 3 and sl st).

Round 3: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and {ch 4}), [[ [1 dc in 3rd ch from hook], {{ch 3}}, *((1 dc in 3rd ch from hook)) ]], ch 1, 2 dc in 1st dc of next petal, 2 dc in next dc, {ch 4}; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting 2nd dc and ch 4 of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 7.

Round 4: *1 sc in next ch, 1 sc in base of next [dc], 1 sc in 1st ch of {ch 4}, ch 2, 1 dc in same ch, 1 dc in top of [dc], 1 hdc between [[2 dcs]], 1 dc in base of ((next dc)), 1 dc in 1st ch of {{ch 3}}, ch 2, 1 sc in same st, 1 sc in top of ((dc)), 1 sc in next ch, sk next dc, sl st in next dc (top of petal), ch 8, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, (((1 sc in next ch))) (one nib made), ch 4, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, [[[1 sc in next ch]]] (2nd nib made), ch 6, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in next sc (2nd nib), ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, st st in top of dc (3rd nib made), 1 dc in next ch (between two nibs), 1 dc in next (((sc))) (1st nib), ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in top of dc (4th nib made), 1 dc in 5th ch of ch 8 (beneath 1st nib), 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, sl st in next dc (top of petal); repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

NOTE: I did not glitter these flakes, but I might try pink glitter on the next batch.

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.



  1. finding the cure...we must all do as we can...my mother died of cancer as well...in January of 2008...a very sad moment in our lives...my children have carried on in trying to fight for the cure, and every year since then they all walk in the fight on Mother's Day....and others as well...Your snowflakes are such a beauty to behold....they just always seem to brighten my day! Thanks so much for that!

  2. Thanks for all you're doing,Deb. I know too many people with cancer. Sometimes it seems like everyone has it.

    I love that pepperminty-looking thread.

  3. It's perfect, Deb, and it's beautiful. You are one amazing superstar.
    Love your thread and The Lizard is cool, too.

  4. if I ever make it back to CO, you have to take me to that mountain named Hope.

  5. Awesome snowflake for the cure! My grandmother had breast cancer at age 40, and more friends than I want to count who have battled it as well.

  6. inspiring! thank you for sharing. :) as always, your work is gorgeous.

  7. This is a great design, I love it a lot... but unfortunately I find it very hard to follow round4 in the pattern :-( any chance of having it in a bit more straightforward manner? I had no trouble with your other patterns and they all turned out great...

    Thanks a lot for sharing! I will try a different one in the meantime.


  8. Thanks, Dora. I will see if I can work up a chart for this one this week, but the last one I did took a long time, so it may require more than a few nights, unfortunately! I'm not sure if a photo tutorial would help on this one because it is indeed complex.

  9. Deborah- i would like to ask your permission to use this design as my 2012 Christmas card to give to family and friends and as my craft fair snowflake to sell. i of course will not claim to be the designer, but i have looked at and tried several other patterns so far this year and keep coming back and looking at the one i already made with this pattern and it seems to be calling me! love and prayers dear one!

  10. Absolutely, Cara, and you don't have to ask. You may do whatever you like with the snowflakes you make. I think you couldn't have made a better choice!

  11. Deborah- I just took 64 photos of me making this snowflake pattern, just about every step...I was thinking of Dora's predicament...but now I don't know what to do with the photos! I don't have a blog to publish them on, and I don't know if they are of the quality you might want to share on yours...oh dear...good thing it's a digital camera and not 64 printed pictures!

  12. Wow, Cara, you are amazing!!!

    I snapped photos while making one shortly after Dora asked, and somehow, I forgot all about posting them, so thank you for the reminder, and perhaps I should set up a flickr group for this, too??? Not sure. I think I have 16 photos of the flake in progress. I guess I could make a web page specifically for that, too.

    In any case, thanks for bringing this back to the forefront. I can't even remember what was going on that caused me to forget!!!

  13. I realized I forgot to include the link to my flickr photos of this...

    hope it helps somebody!

  14. Deborah...I wrote a blog post about you and your snowflake...I hope you don't mind...

  15. Thanks, Cara! I'm going to pop over there right now and take a peek!!!


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