04 June 2012

Snowflake Monday

Wilson Peak

When I first decided to name my snowflakes after mountain peaks, Mount Wilson and Wilson Peak did not seem like appealing snowflake names.

Then I came up with today's idea. The name fits. If you've never played any kind of ball and don't catch the drift, watch the movie "Castaway," although the "character" in the movie hails from a different sport.

14,246-foot Mount Wilson and 14,017-foot Wilson Peak are two of three fourteeners in the Lizard Head Wilderness. Although in my opinion these two mountain names are somewhat redundant, the pair lies a mile apart, with a county line in between, and each is the tallest peak within its respective county.

Mount Wilson is thought to be one of the ten most difficult fourteeners to climb in Colorado, and both peaks are creatively named after Allen David Wilson, who as chief topographer of the Hayden survey was among the first known white men to summit Mount Wilson. He was one of three men instrumental in exposing the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872, and he and other civic leaders organized Athenian Bank, which went on to be absorbed by Bank of Italy, which later became Bank of America.

The mile-long ridge connecting Mount Wilson to El Diente is considered one of four classic fourteener traverses in Colorado.

Wilson Peak is perhaps one of the most visually recognized landmarks within Colorado. Although the Maroon Bells are among the most photographed peaks in the state and Mount Sneffels from Dallas Divide often is considered one of the most photogenic landscapes in autumn, neither of these picturesque scenes grace the aluminum covering for a popular alcoholic beverage. Adolph Coors chose Wilson Peak to brand his beer in 1873. Interesting trivia: he couldn't drink his beer. He was allergic to beer.

Wilson Peak was at the heart of a major conflict between one of its landowners and the climbing community. The landowner, who had been subjected to increasing vandalism and acts of cruelty by those crossing his land to access the wilderness and who had charged $100 per head for hiking privileges, had long hoped to sell a portion of his land to the Forest Service and be free of the problems associated with the popularity of mountain climbing and threatened to begin mining operations again. The Forest Service, however, could not/would not afford the price or proposed land swap, and the primary Wilson Peak trailhead was closed in 2004. In a seven-year effort spurred in part by blind climber Eric Weihenmayer, a handful of corporations, foundations and individuals came together to purchase the disputed land and reopen the primary trailhead with an improved and rerouted trail to the summit.

I've named this week's snowflake after Wilson Peak because it's the easier of the two mountains to see from nearby roads. Mount Wilson is hidden and therefore lends its name to the bonus project I've included at the end of today's post. Happy Father's Day!

Roberta Overby is the winner of last week's drawing for the most recent edition of "Crochet Traditions." I'll announce our next drawing on June 18.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes and basketball hoops you make from this week's patterns, but you may not sell or republish the patterns. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Wilson Peak Snowflake Instructions

Ch 4, sl st into 1st ch OR make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc and ch 2), *1 dc in ring, ch 2; repeat from * 4 times; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 4. Pull magic circle tight.
Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), *3 dc in next ch 2 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 3, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * 2 times, omitting last dc of 2nd repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
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 7 (counts as 1 dc and ch 5), *sk next 3 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 5 dc in next ch 5 sp, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * 2 times, omitting last dc of 2nd repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 7.
Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), *7 dc in next ch 5 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 7, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * 2 times, omitting last dc of 2nd repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 5: Ch 11 (counts as 1 dc and ch 9), *sk next 7 dc, 1 dc in next dc, 7 dc in next ch 7 sp, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * 2 times, omitting last dc of 2nd repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 11.
Round 6: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), *9 dc in next ch 9 sp, 1 dc in next dc, ch 11, 1 dc in next dc; repeat from * 2 times, omitting last dc of 2nd repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), *1 dc in each of next 11 dc, 3 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 11 ch, 3 dc in next dc; repeat from * 2 times, working only 2 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 instead of 3 of 2nd repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
Round 8: To form 1st basketball hoop, 1 sc in same ch as sl st, *[ch 6, sk 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc] 3 times, ch 9, turn, [1 sc in next ch 6 sp, ch 6] 3 times, turn, [1 sc in next ch 6 sp, ch 6] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 9 sp, ch 9, turn, [1 sc in next ch 6 sp, ch 6] 3 times, turn, [1 sc in next ch 6 sp, ch 6] 2 times, ch 6, 1 sc in next ch 9 sp, ch 6, working down side of basket toward main body of flake, 1 sc in same sp, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 9 sp, ch 3, sk next 2 dc in main body of flake, 1 sc in next dc, sl st in next dc, 1 sc in next dc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 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.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. 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.

Use a strong adhesive to attach a non-functional CD or DVD as a backboard.

Finished Size: 5 inches tall and 4 inches wide
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 crochet hook, round plastic lid measuring approximately 4 inches in diameter and 12-13 inches circumference, awl or other tool to poke holes in lid, non-useable CD or DVD, adhesive suitable for plastic (we used Loctite; Super Glue or Krazy Glue probably would work, too), spray bottle of water, clothes hangers, school glue, packing tape OR suction cup with metal hanger OR Velcro to attach DVD backboard to surface when project is complete
NOTE: I used the lid of a small container of ice cream and easily poked the cardboard center away from the ring. If your lid is all plastic, you will need something sharp to remove the center.
WARNING: Both the awl and any tool used to cut plastic are sharp and can cause serious injury.

Mount Wilson Basketball Net Instructions

Carefully use an awl to poke holes in rim of plastic ring, about an inch apart.

Carefully use the awl to poke holes in the plastic ring about an inch apart, all the way around. I poked my holes too close together, less than an inch apart, and the net is a little too wide, but I creatively blocked it when done to pull it down and make it more narrow.

Carefully push the crochet hook through each hole to make it easier to bring thread through the holes when you begin making the net.

Round 1: Make a slip stitch, then work one single crochet into any hole in the plastic ring. *Ch 10. 1 sc in next hole. Repeat from * around until no holes remain. To form final ch 10 loop, ch 4 and 1 trtr into starting sc.
Rounds 2-6: 1 sc in ch4/1 trtr space just made. *Ch 10. 1 sc in next ch 10 loop. Repeat from * around to final ch 10 loop. Ch 4, 1 trtr into starting sc.

Adjust net length as necessary by adding or subtracting rounds. Net length should be about 1/5th longer than diameter of hoop. So if your ring is 4 inches wide, the net should be about 5 inches long. A 3-inch hoop should have a net about 4 inches long, and a 5-inch hoop should have a net about 6 inches long.

When net is appropriate length, bind off and wave in ends as best as you can. A dab of school glue on a thread end will keep it in place and prevent unsightliness.

I used clothes hangers on the shower curtain rod to shape the net after lightly misting it with water.

Use clothes hangers to weight the net overnight.

I allowed the net to dry overnight. We used a very small dab of Loctite Glue (applied with a cotton swab) to attach the basketball rim to a lemon DVD that would not record in our computer. We allowed the adhesive to dry overnight. I attached the DVD to our kitchen counter with packing tape. The Lizard enjoyed shooting trash wads into the garbage can, even though he was never that interested in basketball until now!


  1. ahh..the traditionalist in me says I need to make the snowflakes pointy but you have changed me somewhat, I will make one your way and then one my way! And I love the basketball hoop, now I need to find some basketballs or hmmm...make my own. I do have orange thread. I could put the team's logo on it!

    Thanks again for an interesting, fun and creative Snowflake Monday!

  2. I love how you shaped the net. What a brilliant idea.

  3. Hi, Where do you buy your Crochet Traditions magazine? I looked for it at 4 places. Thanks for a great blog. I enjoy reading your stories and love the snowflakes.

  4. Thanks, Brenda, Giggles and Anonymous! Brenda, I think I really like your idea of crocheting a basketball. We should share pictures when we get them done!!!

    Anonymous, I buy my Crochet Traditions at my local grocery store and have seen it in all the bookstores, but the one I just gave away was a 2011 issue. I'm not sure how often they publish, but it might be only once or twice a year. I looked it up, and it's still available here.

  5. You are such an amazingly creative person :)

  6. Very creative, indeed :).

  7. I Love it! I might need to make one of those basketball nets for my office!

    I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of incorporating your "heart" technique (used in your Century flake) into my very first snowflake pattern! I'd love it if you would have a look and critique it!


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