10 October 2011

Snowflake Monday

In 1989, as a newspaper journalist, I wrote about the crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City. Of 296 people on board, 112 died. One resident of the town where I then lived died in the crash, and a young married couple with two small children, also residents, missed the flight. A sad story, and a story with a happy ending. It feels as if I've come full circle in researching the mountain for which today's snowflake is named.

13,852-foot Crystal Peak is the 82nd tallest mountain in Colorado, making it yet another Centennial Peak. Located in the Tenmile Range, the rounded peak is visible from I-70 along Vail Pass. Francie's Cabin, a 10th Mountain Association Hut, is located on the trail to Crystal Peak. The cabin was built in 1994 in memory of Frances Lockwood Bailey, who also died in that 1989 plane crash. Francie, a resident of Breckenridge, tried to shield her two sons when the plane crashed.

Finding information about Francie was easier than finding information about Crystal Peak. Francie's three-year-old son Spencer Bailey became a symbol of survival of Flight 232 after a journalist took a picture of a member of the National Guard carrying the toddler to safety with billowing smoke from the crash in the background. Spencer now is a journalist with Surface Magazine. The cabin named after his mother is one of the most popular huts in Colorado.

The Tenmile Range features ten peaks near Breckenridge, creatively named Peak 1 through Peak 10, and was named for the ten numbered peaks that span nearly ten miles. The Tenmile Range once was home to a mining camp called Kokomo, which also is the name of a song I enjoyed when I was much younger.

The 10th Mountain Division trained in the Tenmile Range to prepare for World War II combat in the harsh winter environment of Italy. While in Colorado, the division actively participated in mountaineering skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, and sleeping in snow without tents. Many 10th Division veterans later were key pioneers of establishing skiing as a recreational activity in the United States. The Lizard is a huge fan of 10th Mountain Division history.

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!

Finished Size: 5.75 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


Diamond Picot

Ch 8, 1 tr in 5th ch from hook, 1 tr in each of next 2 ch, ch 3, sl st in next ch.

Crystal Peak Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in ring, * ch 4, 3 dc in ring; repeat from * around 4 more times; ch 2, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 (counts as final ch 4 sp). Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same sp, 1 hdc in same sp, * 1 hdc in next ch 4 sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, 1 hdc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 hdc in starting sp, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of starting ch 2 (counts as final ch 3 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.
NOTE: While making a white version of this snowflake in 2023, I discovered binding off here makes an adorable little snowflake!

Even more adorable with a bead in the center!

Round 3: Ch 10 (counts as 1 sc and ch 9), * 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 9; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 1st ch of starting ch 10.

Round 4: * In next ch 9 sp work (2 sc, 3 hdc, 3 dc, 3 hdc, 2 sc); repeat from * around 5 times; 1 sc in starting sc.

Round 5: 1 sc in next sc, * ch 1, sk 1 hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, ch 1, sk 1 hdc, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, in next dc work [1 tr, ch 1] 3 times, 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next hdc, 1 hdc in next hdc, ch 1, sk next hdc, 1 sc in each of next 4 sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc.

Round 6: Sl st in next sc, * in next ch 1 sp work (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc) 2 dc in each of next 2 ch 1 sp, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, 2 dc in each of next 2 ch 1 sp, in next ch 1 sp work (1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc); repeat from * around 5 times; sl st tightly in starting sc.

Round 7: * Ch 9, in next ch 2 tip work (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 diamond picot, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc), ch 9, sl st in middle of next 4/sc group; repeat from * around 5 times; bind off. Weave in ends.

And here's the full-size white version!

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. This snowflake is so pretty! I love it!

    Btw, I was, um, a tiny babe in 1989. Makes me feel really young.

    1. You are really young, YuLian! Enjoy it while it lasts! :)

  2. How interesting that you used to write as a journalist! Very cool....although that way of life will always follow you, ha ha. My father had a time where he missed his navy ship because of a car accident, and although he had minor injuries he was in the hospital for a brief time, and his ship that left without him, sunk! So yes there can be some bittersweet to every sad event can't it. Lovely as ever your photos...! thank you !

    1. Thanks, Karen, and thanks for sharing that bit about your father. Sometimes the bad experiences do lead to good things down the road. If we're only patient enough to work through the difficulties...

  3. "Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama..."

    Guess what's stuck in my head now? :)

    What a gorgeous shot at the top. Anything with VIOLET skies will grab me, but it really is spectacular, as is the snowflake. I love the little diamonds on the points. That lilac/pale green/blue yarn is just perfect for it.

    What a touching story about Francie.

    "Sleeping in snow without tents" would make a great blog name or rock band name.

    1. I couldn't believe I had not responded to any of the comments on this post, and then I had to go back and read it to figure out the Bermuda, Bahama piece... And now I have to find a band looking for a name because I agree with you! Maybe I could write them some songs, too... HA HA HA HA!

  4. I love your photos and stories about Crystal mountain. I always read your snowflake posts to learn about new mountains!

    I've never been to the Ten-mile range but it sounds like I should go!

    1. Aaaah, you have been TO the Tenmile Range, but you've driven through it without knowing it! It's along the interstate en route to Aspen!

  5. What incredible photography! I found your blog thru a crochet website, and I'm so thankful. I'm not an outdoorsy person, but you really make me want to be with your beautiful photos. Thank you so much for the wonderful snowflake patterns. I'm just getting back into crochet, and I'm thrilled to start making some of these for gifts.

  6. first time i tried one of your beautiful snowflakes, i made it in DMC thread, the multi pastel colors, it came out just gorgeous. thank you for the wonderful patterns you are sharing, my daughter will love them

    1. Thank you, Judy! I would love to see your multi-pastel snowflake. I love variegated thread in just about every project!


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