31 May 2021

Snowflake Monday

It's Memorial Day, not New Year's Eve, but today's snowflake pattern reminds me of a nearing 100-year-tradition. Even though the world went crazy last year, the AdAmAn club climbed Pikes Peak to ring in 2021 with the annual December 31 fireworks.

I, unfortunately, was not able to watch and photograph 2020 going out with a bang, but AdAmAn celebrated its 99th year in a big way, shooting off 150 fireworks at 9 p.m. to celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of Colorado Springs before blowing off 2020 with another round of fireworks. I just love anything that thrived through last year's trauma.

Today's snowflake isn't anywhere near as grand. To create today's pattern, I added a few more rounds to my Vi and Belated Dino Egg patterns to replace a giant rock covering for my mother-in-law following a recent celebration of life in the family.

I initially covered a huge red river rock for my mother-in-law to display in front of her home in 2019. Her Jester Snowflake faded significantly in just the first few months, thanks to long hours of summer sun in the hot desert.

We did not get to visit my mother-in-law (or ANYONE!!!) at all last year, and I learned right after Mother's Day this year that the Jester Snowflake covering completely disintegrated during last year's record fire season. (My mother-in-law lives near where the third largest wildfire in Colorado's history occurred late last summer. She called us almost daily while Lizard was in the hospital to check on his progress and to update us on the ashes raining down on her yard.)

For our unplanned return to the desert, I didn't have access to my old patterns or even photos of them. I had been working on the Belated Dino Eggs for my grands (which, by the way, they LOVED!), so I made yet one more enlarged Winter Storm Vi Snowflake and just kept going until it was big enough to re-cover my mother-in-law's rock. (She's going to try putting her newly re-covered rock in a shadier spot this time around.) I fully intended to publish this newest adaptation of the pattern last week, but life gets in the way. This is the first opportunity I've had to write a pattern in what feels like an entire month.

Now I get to work up another identical rock covering (with different thread) so I can write the pattern and add another large rock to my own garden. I used the same thread for two more garden rocks for my own garden while we were visiting my in-laws, and they've been in my garden for two weeks now. I'm enjoying watching the colored threads fade with time.

When I first realized the store-bought thread I've been trying to use up (because I have so much of my own hand-dyed thread) would fade a lot faster in the garden than I anticipated, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue making colored snowflake rock coverings.

Now that I have visual proof the colored threads will eventually all be nearly the same color as the ecru rock coverings, I'm enjoying the hues' race with time and sunlight. It's fun to put another new rock in the garden every week to compare to the existing rocks and to photographically record the passage of color.

Plus, there's still that gigantic bonus of (eventually) using up all the store-bought thread!

I anticipate you will be able to enjoy this new adventure with me throughout our sunny months this year as I share photos if you tune in each Monday.

Oh, and I finally found some glow-in-the-dark beads!!! Fishing beads… Who'dathunk?!?

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes and/or rock coverings you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 8.5 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


Popcorn Stitch (pc)

Work 5 dc in designated st, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc.

AdArOund Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [Pc in ring, ch 3] 6 times, omitting last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in top of starting pc to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 3), in next ch 3 sp work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 5 times; ch 3, 1 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 3: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, [sk next ch 3 sp, in next ch 3 point work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, * ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc), ch 3] 6 times, stopping * on final repeat, ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 5 point of Round.

Round 4 Snowflake: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 5, in next ch 5 tip work (5 dc, ch 3, 5 dc)] 5 times; ch 5, 5 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 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 5: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 3, sk next 5 dc and next 2 ch, in next ch work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc (V-stitch made)), ch 3, sk next 2 ch and next 5 dc, in next ch 3 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, * ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, ending * on final repeat; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.
NOTE: Binding off here makes a cute little flake.

Round 6: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3),1 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 5, sk next 2 ch/3 sp, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, sk next 2 ch/3 sp, in next ch 5 tip work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, * ch 5, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, ch 5)] 6 times, ending * on final repeat; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.

Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of tr directly below, [ch 10, in next ch 5 tip work (5 dc, ch 3, 5 dc)] 5 times; ch 10, 5 dc in next ch 5 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [1 dc in each of next 5 dc, 1 dc in each of next 10 ch, 1 dc in each of next 5 dc, in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 6, sl st in 6th ch from hook, ch 10, sl st in same ch, ch 5, sl st in same ch (tri-picot made), 3 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; 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 snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

27 May 2021

Raising Trouble

A handmade non-level, weathered sand box came with our house. The clay beneath the sand was beginning to take control, so I dug and stirred, then added more sand and some soil, then tried planting corn. We did get a few stalks, but mostly we got weeds. I think we got to eat two ears of corn that autumn.

The second year, I composted all the weeds into the box and tried corn once again.

Pierce, the bunny that came with the house (and got her name from me due to the slash in her ear) tended the garden while we were away at Ride the Rockies.

She ate the corn stalks to the ground!!!

The steep slope, erosion and further wood weathering rendered the sandbox worthless as a raised-bed garden, so Lizard built a new one for me on flat ground back in about 2014.

The flat ground was helpful, but the shade from a tree and our house, as well as an early September snowfall, prevented the first year's corn from maturing. The peas did well, though!

The following year, Lizard built two more raised-bed gardens for me. One has successfully grown spices every year since. Veggies planted in both the spice garden and the first raised-bed garden typically got eaten by bunnies.

I planted flowers in the third raised-bed garden. Because it had a bird-feeder over it, I grew more millet and sunflowers than anything else, but there were a few beautiful flowers now and then.

The flower garden became living quarters for mice, then mama bunnies. Even deer liked to chow down. My garden terrorists ate all my bulbs! For three years, I tried every spice in the book. I planted spices in the flower garden. I planted onions in the flower garden. I finally surrendered. The veggie gardens were good with onions and oregano, which seem to deter critters, but I've not had much luck with peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, pumpkins and cantaloupe. I still took care of the raised-bed gardens, but the flower garden felt very much like a losing battle.

Last winter, I came up with a plan. I thought if we built three more taller raised-bed gardens to put above the existing raised-bed gardens, perhaps we could at least keep the bunnies out of my veggies. The deer, squirrels and raccoons can still be a problem, but they are easier to see, and I can repeatedly shoo them away.

I drew up the equivalent of stick figure gardens with wood sizes and measurements. Of course, I know nothing about building. And Lizard isn't able to build now.

The Young Men from my church came to my rescue and built new raised raised-bed gardens to my specifications, and their leader bolted the creations into place the next day.

Lizard and I put chicken wire on the insides of the new boxes, then I put in a layer of ground cloth. I then put in layers of cardboard, twigs and leaves from last autumn, then put in soil. I bought tomato plants, pepper plants and a zucchini plant, and everything else is from seed.

The seeds are not sprouting yet, but it's been only four days. I'm hoping next week to see some brand new seedlings in the upper boxes. Meanwhile, I've thinned out and weeded the lower levels. I still must be wary of rattlesnakes, but my onions and oregano are going gangbusters!

The chicory in the lower level flower garden took over, so I really thinned it out. Some will come back because I couldn't get the whole root. But I LOVE the blue of chicory, and the bunnies, so far, don't seem interested.

I won't be putting any bulbs in there because I know they will just get eaten. I might stick a bunch of daffodils in there this fall because deer don't like them. And I'll keep trying and experimenting with bunny- and deer-resistant blooms. Gotta have flowers to fill up my blog posts!!!

25 May 2021

Heavy Heart

My favorite eagle nest collapsed on Lizard's birthday. The growing eaglet was lost. I've been keeping track of the Stanley Lake eagles via live stream for at least 10 years now. I'm really going to miss that webcam.

24 May 2021

No Flake Monday

My internet access has been limited, and crochet time has not been abundant. So please enjoy some snowflake photos and enjoy good weather if you have it!

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