15 April 2013

Snowflake Monday


I asked my mom to put my hair up in pony tails on April 15, 1970. Mom wasn't home when I got home from school that day. She was at the hospital with a brand new baby girl.

From that point on, my mom always teased she would never put my hair up in ponytails again because she didn't want to come home with another baby. Of course, as we kids got older and began taking jobs, the joke morphed into the real reason Mom went into labor that day: She had to finish the family taxes before she went to the hospital!

booties by me

Just like April 1 isn't going to fall on a Snowflake Monday again until 2019, April 15 likely isn't going to see another Snowflake Monday.

I've designed a Snowflake for Shonna, a Snowflake for Janie, a snowflake for my brother, a snowflake for The Lizard's brother and even a snowflake for tiny Jaden, whom I never got to meet. It's about time I designed a snowflake for my little sister, Susan.

I think it was her second Christmas when my dad built me the coolest Barbie doll house I'd ever seen. Everything was built to scale, just like his train layouts. That two-story doll house was the envy of all the girls in my class. One day I was bringing home a gaggle of girls to play with my doll house, and Susie had cheerfully redecorated it for me. With a black permanent marker.

the best dollhouse in the world

The following year, I got a fiber optic lamp kit for Christmas. I spent hours trimming it, making it just perfect, and my parents let me keep it on all night every night of Christmas break. After Christmas break, I came home from school to find Susie had given my fiber optic lamp a haircut, and she was so proud of herself! "I designed it myself!" she jubilantly cooed. How could I possibly be mad?

She would sneak into my room at night when she had a bad dream. I would walk over to her day care after school to pick her up, and we'd walk home together, stopping on special occasions at Baskin Robbins to spend my babysitting money on sweet treats for both of us. Oh, how she loved grape ice!

best buds

While I was a senior in high school, I donated my hair to charity for the first time ever, and when I got home that day, Susie took one gasping look and ran into her room, slamming her door behind her. She swore she'd never speak to me again. (Long hair was the rage back then.) A week later, she stealthily got a haircut to match mine. "See, I can do it too," she smirked, swishing her gorgeous golden locks in front of me.

She was first chair of the flutes in band, and she was captain of the crossing guard.

kitty lover

After I grew up and moved out on my own, I was selected to direct a road show, which featured my little sister and two of my four brothers. I put my sister in charge of choreography, and one of my brothers landed the lead and performed solos. My other brother ran the lights and did some acting, too. All three of my siblings danced and sang. We won medals for best lighting, best music and best choreography. The show brought the house down.

We lost her on February 8, 1991. She was the baby of the family and the knot that tied what we called Our Braided Bunch together (sung to the tune of "The Brady Bunch"). My little sister loved purple, unicorns and heavy metal. She was fun, feisty and musical.

puppy lover

She was about ten years old when I got my very first 35mm camera. I used up a lot of film on her!

I never knew until after she died that my little sister wrote poetry, too, just like me.

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!

A Snowflake for Susan

Finished Size: 7 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

A Snowflake for Susan Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: * 2 sc in ring; ch 6; repeat from * 4 times; 2 sc in ring, ch 3, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 6 loop of round. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: 4 sc in loop just made, 7 sc in each of next 5 ch 6 loops; 3 sc in starting loop; 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 8, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 2, 1 sc in middle (4th) sc of next petal; repeat from * around repeat from * 4 times; ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 4 space of round; ch 3, 1 tr over body of tr just made to form 6th ch 6 loop of round.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 6 dc in loop, * ch 7, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 1, 13 dc in next ch 6 loop; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 7, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 1, 6 dc in starting loop; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 5: 1 sc in same st, * ch 6, 9 dc in next ch 6 loop, ch 6, 1 sc in middle (7th) dc of next 13 dc petal; repeat from * around 5 times, ch 3, 1 tr in starting sc to form final ch 6 sp of of round.

Round 6: 1 sc over post (body) of tr just worked, *ch 5, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 6 sp, ch 17, 1 dc in 10th ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 4, 1 sc in next ch 6 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

(For the rock, I did not bind off. I worked another round (instructions follow), then I worked basic mesh rounds of ch 5, 1 sc in next ch sp, substituting dc for sc to bring round low points even with round high points for the first 2 rounds, several times around to fit around the rock, then 1 round of 1 dc in each ch sp around to close the hole, finishing with a sl st and weaving in the end.)

Rock Round (or think of it as the heavy metal round...): 1 sc in same sc as sl st, * ch 5, 1 sl st in next picot, ch 5, 1 sc in next sc, ch 5, 5 dc in next ch 10 sp, [ch 5, 2 dc in same sp] 2 times, ch 5, 5 dc in same sp, ch 5, sk next dc, hdc, sc, hdc and dc, 1 sc in next sc; repeat around 5 times, omitting last ch 5 and last sc of final repeat, ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form last ch 5 sp of round.

NOTE: Alternatively, you may work omitted ch 5 and sl st into starting sc, bind off, and have an interesting variation of the snowflake. (The Lizard liked this version before I stretched it around the rock, so eventually I'm going to work one more purple snowflake using the Rock Round as Round 7 and then stiffen and hang. I'll add the photo to this post when it gets done.) (Oh, The Lizard likes this rock, too!)

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.

Susan Rock

A Snowflake Rock for Susan


  1. Love the cat pic and I think that is one of the biggest doll houses I have ever seen, if not the biggest. Sorry to hear she passed away, sounds like you had a wonderful bond.

    1. I think she was the coolest little sister in the world, Pat, and I don't think I'm biased at all. :) And yes, that was one big and wonderful doll house. What I'd give to have it back now!

  2. What a great way to honor your sister. Great memories.

  3. I have tears in my eyes and my hand is on my heart and a huge lump is in my throat. Such a loving and powerful blog post. Your Sister was so beautiful and I know she is so proud of you. One day you will see her again, and what a glorious day that will be in Heaven.

    Blessings dear friend, and hugs, too.

    1. Thank you, Stitchy. I do know I will see my sister, and my brother, too, again one day, and I look forward to that. Sometimes I imagine them making jokes about some of the stupid stuff I've done, rolling their eyes, shaking their heads... "My gosh, she hasn't changed a bit, has she?!?"

  4. In a private message, I sure can relate to the loss of your sister. My one and only sister, was 19 when she left us for heaven, and I was almost 12, and I miss her every day still. Thank goodness we had the moments and memories that we did, even though they were taken from us far too early. God Bless you.

    1. Wow, Karen, I had no idea. Yes, memories galore. And she's always in my heart, even though she's far away.

  5. Your posts are always so powerful. I know that Susan watches over you from heaven. So much in one's life, you've pretty much had it all. God bless you dear sweet girl. You always touch my heart.

    1. Thank you, Glor. My life is richer for having known her. And there have been a couple of times when I've been struggling when I could almost hear her voice, saying, "Don't you dare give up!"

  6. What love you all had for each other. Your words are beautiful and a testament to "the ties that bind". Oh, my. May you always find comfort in the memories of the love you shared. That beautiful Susan sounds as if she was such a special person..well, of course she was.
    Thank you for your sweet message on my spot today.
    With love, Ellen.

    1. She was awesome, Ellen. But all my brothers and both my sisters are and were. We have one pretty cool family, even though we've lost a couple of them too soon.

  7. what a wonderful story.

    1. Thanks, Neferi. It's kind of cool being able to share it.

  8. She's beautiful ... just like her big sister. Thank you so much for telling us her story.

    Hugs, dear friend.

    P.S. I know she would LOVE that her snowflake rock sits next to the hyacinths. :)

    1. Thank you, Sue. I hope she would approve of the entire front yard when we get it done. It's mostly purple flowers. :) (Yes, photos to come when they all start blooming!)

  9. I can only empathise with your pain, having lost a son 27 years ago - how your parents must ache at times...
    I've been reading your posts, enjoying them along with the gorgeous patterns you share - pieces of you, showing your inner beauty, and I don't normally post out of shyness, but I just had to post this to acknowledge the journey you're on, having lost precious people from your earthly life - it's just a blink of an eye til you're with them again, and as you say, you feel their presence daily, particularly when you need it most. xxxx

    1. Thank you, Caro, and I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. The ache never fully goes away, does it? Thank you for stepping outside of your comfort zone to share our common link. I hope you feel your son's presence when you need it most, too!


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