25 February 2013

Snowflake Monday

Wrangler Loop photography by The Lizard, music "Rose of Cimarron" by Poco

The Wrangler Flake

Hi folks, Snowcatcher asked me to comment on some desert-themed snowflakes, manflakes if you will. Most of my comments pertain to an area I've spent time in during all seasons for the past 30-plus years. I never tire of it.

In 2008, the Wrangler Trail became the latest addition to the Kokopelli Trail system, which is an isolated 142-mile mountain bike route between Fruita, Colorado and Moab, Utah. The trail reached Moab in 1989, and numerous spur rides sprang forth after completion, Wrangler being one of them.

along the trail
Wild & Wooley!

Wrangler sits above the Colorado River on a colorful, somewhat terraced, fractured rock landscape. About 65 million years of geologic history (give or take a few million) comprise the sediments below and above the Wrangler Trail. The late Triassic, Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous formations also are rich in dinosaur fossils and several local dinosaur digs take advantage of this.

Aptly named, the area encompassing the Wrangler Trail has seen a few real wranglers in its day. The area has been used for winter grazing and calving since the turn of the 20th century. To the south, ancient Ute Indian trails descend from the highlands of Piñon Mesa. Many of these trails eventually were used by wranglers to drive cattle between summer and winter pasture. Grass, cacti and a sparse pinyon-juniper forest provide the ecosystem forage. Moreover, the Colorado River is the only reliable water source, depending on season. Winters are cold with some snow. Summers are brutally hot and mostly waterless; you can have the place to yourself during these months.

Kokopelli Lichen

As for mountain biking, Wrangler provides solitude on single-track and old deteriorated jeep track. The views aren't half bad either. As for snowflakes, when they're not dodging mountain bikes, they're running from coyotes, mountain lions and raptors. It's a tough place. Only a rugged flake will survive here.

Enjoy this high desert snowflake.

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!

Wrangler Snowflake

Finished Size: 4.25 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

Wrangler Snowflake Instructions

Make a wide magic ring. (I made mine around my thumb instead of finger for this snowflake.)

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 tr), * 1 dc in ring, 1 hdc in ring, 1 sc in ring, 1 hdc in ring, 1 dc in ring, 1 tr in ring, ch 8, sl st in top of tr just made, 1 tr in ring; repeat from * around 4 times, 1 dc in ring, 1 hdc in ring, 1 sc in ring, 1 hdc in ring, 1 dc in ring, 1 tr in ring, sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4; ch 3, 1 dtr in 4th ch of starting ch 4 to form last ch 8 sp. Do not pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: 1 sc in loop just made, * 1 hdc in same loop, 1 dc in same loop, 1 tr in same loop, ch 12, sl st in 9th ch from hook, ch 3, 1 tr in next ch 8 loop, 1 dc in same loop, 1 hdc in same loop, 1 sc in same loop; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc.
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: 1 sc in same st, * ch 3, 3 tr in next ch 8 loop, 3 dc in same loop, 1 hdc in same loop, 1 sc in same loop, 1 hdc in same loop, 3 dc in same loop, 3 tr in same loop, ch 3, 1 sc in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off; weave in ends.

To make this into a feminine snowflake, do not bind off. Work 4th Round instead:

Optional Round 4: Ch 9 (counts as1 tr and ch 5), * sk next 3 tr, 1 sc in next dc, ch 5, sk next 2 dc, sk next hdc, 1 sc in next sc, ch 5, 1 sc in same sc, ch 5, sk next hdc, sk next 2 dc, 1 sc in next dc, ch 5, sk next 3 tr, 1 tr in next sc, ch 5; repeat from *around 5 times, omitting last tr and ch 5 of final repeat; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 9; 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.

Wrangler Snowflake Rock

Wrangler Snowflake Rock

Wrangler Snowflake Rock

Wrangler Snowflake Rock

Warmer Days


  1. I always enjoy when you pop in Lizard! And I like your term 'manflakes'...now we just need to see YOU actually making one! Love and prayers to both of you.

    1. Thanks, Cara! I would like to see The Lizard make a snowflake, too! He did TRY to learn to crochet for my 50th birthday. He really gave it a good effort! He thinks the knitting machine will be much more his style, so I really need to get it set up one day.

  2. Arrrr. (That was meant to be a man-noise, not a pirate-noise. Mr. M does it much better than I.)

    Thanks, Lizard, for the very informative and interesting post, and to Deb for the stunning (as always) photos. I hear that people ride this trail in one fell swoop (the Kokopelli I mean). Are there way stations - places to get water - or do riders have to carry it all with them?

    On a purely technical crochet note, I'm fascinated by the changing dynamics of the motif once it gets wrapped around a rock. And I can easily see adding a few raptor talons to the outer round of the flat flake. :)

    1. Ha ha, Sue! I hear pirate noises, but my brother does a real good Tim Allen, so maybe that's what I should be thinking.

      Yes, there are people who do the Kokopelli in a day now; crazy beyond crazy. Lizard wants to do it. :O There are no services whatsoever anywhere along the trail proper; but sometimes riders will have Trail Angels who stash water for them. You cross rivers once in a while, too, so if you have a good filtering system, you can replenish. But mostly, it's carry your own.

      Raptor talons... you're inspiring me!!!

  3. Now I can look at these snowflakes forever. It's the real ones outside my house that I could bid farewell to!

    1. We have 15 inches now (FINALLY!) after this weekend, Karen, so I have a few real ones to look at now, too. Wish I could be taking pictures instead of sitting at a computer!!!

  4. Upon consultation with Snowcatcher, a plan has been conceived. A manly Lizard flake will be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

    Mrs. M., some real animals have completed the Kokopelli Trail in a day. Average non-race "tour" is 3-days.
    Completely self supported (no caches or help anywhere):
    Jesse Jakomait - 12 hours, 18 minutes
    Lynda Wallenfels - 15 hours, 03 minutes

    Jesse Jakomait also is one of only 3 who have ridden the 500-mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango in under 4 days. The Colorado Trail Race is another jewel of "underground" racing.

    1. Oh, I can't wait to see what you've got cooking, Lizard!!!

  5. I like the Lichen photo a LOT.

    1. Don't you think some of the colors in nature would make fabulous yarn and fabric, Neferi??? :)

  6. ManFlakes. Sounds like a breakfast cereal. Oy.

    1. Ha ha ha ha! Yes, filled with testosterone and all kinds of manly stuff to make them more competitive!!!


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