31 July 2014



I'm often asked which snowflake is my favorite. I've often answered Cold Shivers. My original Cold Shivers Snowflake will always be special to me because of what it symbolizes. Hopefully I will never endure another traumatic experience such as what led to the day I came up with the design and the name inspiration.

More happy dance moments are always welcome, but no more tragedies to get me there, please!

Cold Shivers Snowflake

Many times people follow up the original question with another.

"Okay, you like Cold Shivers because of what it means. What about the one you think is prettiest? Which one is the best? Which is your favorite without the emotions?"

That's a trickier question to answer. I think the answer might always depend upon what mood I'm in when asked. Or the season. Or the day of the week. Or perhaps even what project I'm working on at the time of questioning.

Century Snowflake

The Century Snowflake is my most popular pattern on Ravelry. It isn't my most favorite snowflake, but I do like it a whole lot. Like Cold Shivers, emotional significance embodies the design of this snowflake. Although I didn't get to participate in the MS-150 the first time my readers elevated me to the level of High Roller, that achievement still remains as one of the highlights of my cycling life.

El Diente Snowflake

Generally speaking, I think El Diente has always been one of my favorite snowflakes because it was the first regular snowflake I ever designed to be made with two colors. At the time, using two colors for a single snowflake was a novel and eye-popping concept for me.

In my opinion, using a second color in a snowflake can make the most gorgeous snowflake even more beautiful. I'm not sure any of my bi-color snowflakes have ever hit me as deeply as my blue and white El Diente. It just doesn't get any better than that. And it sure takes care of white boredom...

Northern Lights Snowflake

Northern Lights is another favorite because it was my first amigurumi snowflake. Making things from crocheted snowflakes literally opened the floodgates of creativity in my head.


Of course, right behind Northern Lights comes the Peacock Flake. I'm still amazed I came up with that idea, and I'm still continually drawn to all things peacock. I love peacock blue, and I love peacock feathers. Before we bought our house, our apartment was right next door to a peacock haven, and after five years, I still miss their wake-up call every morning. Yes, I really do thoroughly enjoy their squawking! This snowflake captures the essence of my fascination with one of the loveliest birds.

Christmas Stocking Snowflake

The Christmas Stocking Snowflake has always been on my top ten, both in meaning and in appearance. The pattern for me symbolizes maturing as a designer and, although it wasn't the first, expanding my ability to create themed snowflakes.

Mount Sneffels Snowflakes

People often ask my favorite 14er. That's another tough question. Some are favorites because of the view from the top, some are favorites because of the views on the way up, some are favorites because of the wildflowers in summer or autumn leaves in September and October, some are favorites because of the mountain goats, and some are favorites because of whom accompanied me.

Some of my favorite 14ers are symbolized in my favorite snowflakes. I'm excited that some of the mountains I love could inspire snowflakes with love longevity. It's no secret I have designed snowflakes I just don't like. But some of those 14er snowflakes are BFFs. (Best Feats Forever, because it takes a lot of work to get up a 14er. Or a 13er. Or a 12er...)

Sneffels is high on the list of favorite 14er snowflakes. I love that one pattern made four different snowflakes. I haven't climbed Mount Sneffels yet, but I'm still hoping one day the peak will notch my belt. In the meantime, I've been to Yankee Boy Basin more times than I can count, but I haven't designed a snowflake to go with that trailhead yet. Yet. It is coming! I've been to Blue Lakes four times now with The Lizard, who introduced that trailhead to me. Blue Lakes and the wildflowers there are my second favorite area in all of Colorado. The Blue Lakes Snowflake is not one of my favorites, but shhhhh, don't tell anyone. It gives me the opportunity to break up this cotton blizzard-laden post with something warm and summery...

I guess that's why they call it the blues...

Longs Peak was my first 14er and to this day remains one of my favorite mountains to shoot, especially from Chasm Lake. Everything around Longs Peak inspires snowflakes and snowflake projects. I've done a series of Longs Peak snowflakes and snowflakes named after the mountains and lake at the base of this majestic peak, also featured on the Colorado state quarter, as well as projects based on these patterns. (The Storm Peak and Mount Lady Washington scarves are among my favorite non-snowflake patterns, I might add.) So far, I think I like the second Longs Peak Snowflake best of the series, but I've still got one more long-term Longs Peak project and at least two more easy Longs Peak snowflakes up my sleeve.

Longs Peak II Snowflake

Sometimes people ask my favorite place in Colorado.

Fire and Ice

Easy as a one-round snowflake (because pie is NOT easy): the gorgeous, spectacular, magnificent basin where The Lizard proposed to me.

THE Setting

I was able to capture the depth of my fondness in a series of patterns. The manipulated photo I included with the West Fork group of snowflakes also is one of my favorite photo collages of all time, too.

Valentine Wave II Snowflake

The Wave, of course, is one of my favorite places in the whole world (so far), and the second snowflake inspired by my first trip to Coyote Buttes is one of my favorite snowflakes, as well as one of the most fun once done. I have to say, weaving in all the ends from color changes is not my most fun use of time. But just like waiting to get into The Wave, the arduous process is worth the finished snowflake.

Pastel Lollipop Snowflake

The Lollipop Snowflake and hat have to be the most fun snowflake projects I've ever designed.

Wiggle Flower Afghan start

The Wiggle Flower Afghan is fast and fun, fun, fun, and I'll never forget the reaction of my little five-year-old neighbor when I presented her with one of the sampler projects for her birthday. She takes that afghan everywhere and loves poking her fingers through the holes as she wraps up in it.

I Heart You

I Heart You was another really fun snowflake to create, and I anticipate a few more themed versions of this particular pattern one day.

Feather Snowflake

The Feather Snowflake is one of my favorites because it just looks so darned cool.

Medallion II Snowflake

The Medallion II Snowflake in all the different color combinations I played with has to be my second most favorite in appearance. This was another groundbreaking snowflake for me because I still have not explored all the ideas brewing in my head when I look at this pattern.

Indigo Ice Snowflake

Indigo Ice is up there, too, though. Hmmm, maybe I like it more than the medallions...

The best snowflake I've designed so far, though, has to be Little Bear and Blanca Peak (which pattern is available only via donation to the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Fun to make, fun to play with and a terrific gift. This is one of my favorite ornaments on my tree each Christmas! It twirls on our tree when we walk by or when the heater kicks in on a cold snowy day. Makes the Little Bear almost come to life!

Little Bear Peak Snowflake

29 July 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Salvia Jungle

delphinium tower


Open Sesame Daisy

A New Breed of Bachelor Button

Jacob's Ladder

mint jungle and grasshopper haven

sleepy day lily

wide awake day lily

a new breed of larkspur

Cupid's Dart

Iron Will


Snowflakes are a never-ending addiction for me.

White crochet thread has been flying off my shelf like crazy while I whiz through my special project. I buy huge spools, usually in bulk and typically on clearance, and my big batches are too big to carry along on the commuter train I ride to and from work each weekday. So I wind off smaller portions I can carry in my purse.

Even though smaller portions are easier to transport, they are more difficult to manage when working on a large-scale project. I run out of thread at least once a week while I'm crocheting on the train!

So I started winding bigger portions.

Yes, I've used that much white thread...

I shape my snowflakes on used clean pizza boxes. I've been using the same boxes for about seven years now. Some were so pitted, it was difficult to get proper tension in snowflake stretching. Some of the boxes had warped due to all the years of moisture, too.

So we had to eat more pizza.

The Lizard didn't mind that.

Just not every night. After all, we're not teenagers anymore!

pizza box graveyard

But new boxes meant I had to build new "snowflake condos." I tape snowflake templates to the box bottoms, then cover the bottoms with cling wrap.

Of course, I ran out of cling wrap. I'd been using a couple of colorful rolls I'd bought about 150 years ago when my kids were still living at home and painting Easter eggs every spring. Because, you know, colorful cling wrap makes kitchen chores fun and makes school lunches edible. Or trade-worthy...

I ran out of tape, too, but I always keep four boxes of tape refills beneath our laptop to prevent it from overheating. I didn't have to buy more. Yet.

tape stash

The lengthy construction process got me behind on pinning. For this project, the snowflakes don't have to be stiffened, but they do still need to be shaped. This resulted in an evening of mega pinning. 28 snowflakes, I think!


So off to the store I went to buy more rust-proof pins. Then pinning resumed. It seemed to take forever.

pin away

The next day, I came home from work anxious to remove the pins and shoot my huge collection of snowflakes!

One lone surprise caught me off guard.

Darn it!

So now I have to remake my tweaked adaptation of Be Still My Heart. I also wanted to try to rescue this snowflake, if possible.

A cotton swab dab of bleach turned the entire snowflake point yellow, and you know how I feel about yellow snowflakes, right?

Rust started this problem, so perhaps rust could finish it. I've had a jar of rusty nails brewing for my natural dyeing for a little more than a year now. I gave the tainted snowflake an orange bath.

rust bath

The results looked promising...

...but did not hold.

Watch out where the huskies go; don't you eat that yellow snow!

I have a newer jar of rusty nails soaking so I will have enough fluid to cover thermal Henleys I plan to dye for The Lizard later this autumn. Rusty nails make bright, pastel and feminine colors "sad." The Lizard likes "sad" colors.

soon-to-be homemade iron mordant

I dipped the snowflake briefly in my osage orange dye pot, then gave it another bath in the newer rusty nails jar, hoping to achieve the chartreuse some natural dyers are able to obtain using yellow and then iron.

The results looked promising...

not bad

...but did not hold.

Back to the snowflake blocking board!

cotton blizzard

28 July 2014

Snowflake Monday

Long Drive Snowflake

This snowflake was inspired by my first trip to The Wave in February 2012, but I apparently was so enamored with my Valentine Wave II Snowflake, I never wrote the pattern for this one.

After publishing my first Lost Amigo Snowflake, readers began pointing me to a bevy of snowflakes for which I had neglected to write patterns, including this one. Since publishing that first lost snowflake, I’ve kept photos of other lost snowflakes on my phone for rare times when I have no inspiration and nothing pressing to do. During a recent trip to Moab, I thought I’d work up one of the lost babies, and today’s pattern is the result.

Rather than call this yet another lost amigo, I thought I could memorialize our very long drive to red rock paradise, an annual pilgrimage we never mind making. Not only does this snowflake symbolize the drive TO the red desert; the prototype snowflake memorializes God's artwork on rocks.

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!

Long Drive Snowflake

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

Long Drive Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: * 2 sc in ring, ch 10; repeat from * around 4 times; 2 sc in ring, ch 5, 1 trtr in starting sc to form 6th ch 10 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: 2 sc over post of trtr just worked, * ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 3 sc in next ch 10 loop; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same sc as sl st, * ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), ch 8, 1 dc in 8th ch from hook, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), 2 dc in middle sc of next 3/sc group, ch 3, 2 dc in same sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc and last ch 3 of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
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 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * 12 dc in next ch 8 loop, 2 dc in next ch 3 point, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), ch 6, 1 dc in 6th ch from hook, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), 2 dc in same ch 3 tip; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.
NOTE: Pastel version has a ch 2 picot at the top of the 12-rounded point. This is achieved by working 6 dc, ch 2, sl st in dc just made, 6 dc.

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.

Yes, of course I made a white one for my special project! Flourishes on the rounded points are included below.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * 6 dc in next ch 8 loop, ch 10, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 3 ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, ch 1, 6 dc in same ch 8 loop, 2 dc in next ch 3 point, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), ch 6, 1 dc in 6th ch from hook, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), 2 dc in same ch 3 tip; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Long Drive Snowflake

24 July 2014

Zero Blues

Blue Bedder

I wasn't counting, but I thought and hoped my 100,000th photo with my six-year-old Nikon D300 would be a spectacular sunset with my blooming blue bedder. But that was 19 shots later.

Spent Allium

Or the magnificent cloud colors with the still-clinging-to-life spent allium stalk. But that was 20 shots later.

Instead, the 100,000th shot captured the brief moment of joy as I left the house for work and discovered my very first chicory blossom! I'd planted several seeds last year because I love the powdery flowery shade of periwinkle, but I think I must have thought the seedlings were weedy dandelions or thistle, for I pulled each and every one, and no chicory blossoms appeared in my garden last year.

This year, I pulled no weeds until I was 100,000% sure they were indeed weeds, and to my utter delight, that tall dandelion-like growth in the midddle of the gone-to-seed blue flax produced two gorgeous chicory flowers, which turned out to last only one day. The bees must work fast!

So glad I paused to shoot before my train commute!

100,000th shot!
100,000 and still going strong!

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