30 April 2019

The Birthday Adventures of Snowbow

"Just hook me up," Snowbow says with a grin
Hording yarn in an April fool spin.
So many colors, so little time;
Not willing to share... "It's all mine!"

14ers are calling,
And temptation is sprawling.
A ski route might be a go,
Setting Snowbow's imagination aglow!

Time for a bit of humid air!
Snowbow's ready for summer flair...
Heat won't stop him from having fun;
Just one more splash, and sweat will be done!

No time to yawn,
No marathon;
Training wheels are gone,
And young ones pedal off into the dawn!

Snowbow's now got it made;
Flowers are covering the glade!
Daffodils bring sunny smiles
And good wishes across the miles!

Snowbow's found an ocean ride
That will keep him from going back inside!
Must catch every single wave;
Great weather does he crave!

Gotta run
And stay in the sun...
Keeping in shape every day
And staying healthy in every way!

Easter spirit is running high,
And spring is not being shy.
Snowbow's filling his basket fast,
Hoping your day will be a blast!

Snowbow's getting ready to celebrate
With a basket Mom will create.
Goodies will surely come his way
'Cuz Mom's always trying to crochet!

Look at all the flowers today!
Snowbow's building a grand bouquet!
Blossoms galore cover the path
In spring's glorious aftermath!

Snowbow's found quite a slide
And can't resist a thrilling ride!
Might have to climb back up again
And repeat this joyous zen!

Snowbow certainly knows
The pleasure of sharing a rose.
Yes, there are thorns of which to beware
But to velvet can nothing compare!

Rafting season is almost here,
A pastime Snowbow can commandeer.
Bring on the biggest waves
And lots of bubbly raves!

Yet another flower in store;
Summer will bring a whole lot more!
Snowbow's enjoying every bloom
Because he knows fall will be here soon!

29 April 2019

Snowflake Monday

Today's pattern was supposed to be tacked onto last week's Cathedral Window Mandala pattern. But I couldn't get it finished in time.

I even thought about adding it as an Easter egg but love it so much, I want it to stand on its own. (But how appropriate would that have been… the day after Easter!) I'm glad now I didn't rush through the snowflake points two weeks ago because I love the interpretation I came up with last week with more time to really play with it. My original concept was not this textured!

This definitely is not a lacy, delicate flake, and it uses considerably more thread than most snowflake patterns, but I think my Cathedral Window Snowflake is just unique enough to be a wonderful addition to my collection. Also a great way to use up some hand-dyed ombre, don't you think?

This pattern extension features a sort of new take on the crocodile stitch. You may definitely work the points with the standard crocodile method if you prefer, but the way the edges of the triple treble stitches curl up underneath give the flake its magic, in my opinion, especially with the front post crochet already incorporated in previous rounds.

I placed large plastic beads that could be simply washed off beneath my triple trebles during stiffening to emphasize the texture.

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: 7.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 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

Cathedral Window Snowflake Instructions

Rounds 1-10: Work same as Cathedral Window Mandala.

Round 11: If binding off each Round, with S, 1 dc over M ch 3 sp. If carrying thread, with S, sl st over M ch 3 sp, ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [1 fptr around post of each of next 2 S tr, 1 dc in same M ch 3 sp, sk next 3 M st, 1 sc in each of next 6 M tr, sk next 3 M st, 1 dc in next M ch 3 sp] 12 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st across starting ch 2 or starting dc into fptr.

Round 12: [1 sc in next fptr, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 sc, 1 tr in each of next 2 sc, 5 fptrtr over post of next fptr, ch 10, 1 sc in 4th ch from hook, 1 dc in next hook, ch 4, 1 sc in next ch, 5 fptrtr around post of next fptr, working from the bottom up, as shown below, sk next dc and next 2 sc, 1 tr in each of next 2 sc, 1 dc in each of next 2 sc, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next fptr] 6 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

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 snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Cathedral Window Snowflake detail

25 April 2019

Garden Grands

I came home from Ride the Rockies several years ago to find my garden had fried. Literally all of my flowers, inside the house and out, were dead.

Heat and the year's drought had done them in, even though a neighbor had tried keeping my outdoor plants watered.

The following weekend, during the MS-150, while riding my bicycle from Westminster to Fort Collins in more of that unprecedented heat, I remembered something I learned at all the cycling clinics I've ever attended. Ride organizers (and sometimes pro cyclists) always told us not to wear cotton - like T-shirts or jeans - because it does not wick the sweat away from our skin but keeps it right there close to our bodies.

An idea struck.

What if I put cotton around rocks in the garden and made sure the cotton got as saturated as the plants? Would the cotton help my plants survive summer heat?

When I got back home, I put a few snowflakes around smooth river rocks, placed them strategically in my garden, and turned down all my neighbors who pleaded with me to do their gardens next.

Now, here I am, seven or eight years later, and my plants with moisture-laden rocks are still holding up nicely during hot, dry weather. They look pretty, too, and my neighbors are still asking me if I will do their gardens next.

This year, I decided to try to use up all my store-bought bright and colorful crochet thread because I use mostly my own hand-dyed colors now. I wondered how long the store-bought colors would last in the sun. They will bleach with time, but they might look really cool for a year or two, then look pastel for a year or two, and then they'll match all the other rocks in my garden!

Then I got this wild and crazy idea, just ten days or so before Easter, to make "dinosaur egg" rocks for my grands and my little neighbors to give them with seeds for their baskets this year. 18 rocks in 10 days was a pretty tall order!!!

But I did it! I even got the patterns written for the seven with snowflake designs.

The best part was receiving photos from the families on Easter showing the joy I had hoped to create.

When I first began crocheting for the grandrocks, I didn't think I'd have enough yellow to complete the project. Man, was I bummed! I decided to go ahead and order more, even though yellow is my least favorite color for snowflakes ("watch out where the huskies go..."), knowing I'd be able to use it up eventually.

As it turned out, I had a teensy amount of yellow left when I finished. Well, a microscopic ball of yellow thread, and a whole brand new and unopened spool of yellow thread. I kind of wished I had waited. But...

I also couldn't resist a new ombre I'd never before seen. I darn near bought three spools of it! I managed a tiny bit of self-control and bought only one.

Then the Notre Dame fire happened, and suddenly that new thread took on a whole new light. I fashioned a mandala, inspired by the Rose Windows that survived. I then had to fight the urge to buy more of the "blacklight" colorway because the mandala came out so cool.

I have more than enough crochet thread to last through about the next 20 or so years of rocks for my garden, my grandkids' gardens, and maybe even the neighbors' gardens. Perhaps I should open up my own crochet thread store...

If only I could go through the colors as fast as I go through the white!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts.

23 April 2019

Hang Tough

My gorgeous hyacinths were making a grand debut.

And then it snowed.

The snow melted.

Another blanket arrived.

They survived again.


Another accumulation is on the way. We need the moisture. I am very thankful.

However, I brought a few of my favorites indoors to keep warm and to infuse my kitchen!

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