27 December 2021

Snowflake Monday

I wasn't going to try to design a new flake and write a new pattern for today because work last week was so unbelievably crazy. But I woke up at 4 a.m. yesterday and couldn't get back to sleep, so I decided to make a flake. Typically, making a flake is relaxing and enjoyable for me. It's the pattern-writing that can sometimes be stressful. And that whole deadline thing...

Notice the booboo???

Remember those old donut commercials? "Time to make the donuts. Time to make the donuts." Practically sleepwalking. That's the way I feel sometimes! If I don't have a new flake by the time the weekend rolls along, I feel like I've left something important undone, and I feel as if the universe is off-kilter because I'm about to miss my Monday deadline.

Yet, I've always been a deadline achiever. I've always felt I have to finish what I've started. I've always thrived on deadlines. Some of my best work has been created while trying to meet an impossible deadline. Every job I've worked my entire life involved deadlines.

Way back in the late summer of 2009 (I think), I wrote my first snowflake pattern and published it on my then-infant blog. I didn't know it would become a weekly thing. I didn't know it would become my main priority and primary motivation in blogging during many of the past 12 years.

Here it is, end of the year, after Christmas, and as of the moment I began typing this blog post, I still haven't finished my snowflake skirt or my Logged Out sweatshirt. I wanted to wear both several times before Christmas.

As of this writing, I haven't finished a single quilt from my official WIP list, although I did manage to start another one. (But only because I needed to get the Spoonflower fabric out of the way!)

I didn't get my Christmas gift calendars mailed, and I didn't even try to make any form of Christmas card until Christmas Day. I didn't get any snowflakes to Children's Hospital this year (or last year or the year before), and I didn't make Christmas presents for the grandkids this year. (They got presents, but not handmade.)

I've been with the company for which I work for 28 years now, and you'd think I'd have the December routine down pat by now. Yet it always seems to catch me off guard, although this is the worst year I can remember in a very long time.

So as I write this final pattern of 2021, I can't help but question if I should continue putting this once-a-week commitment on my plate for another year. I've been tempted at least three times in the past 12 years, and I've managed to make a comeback each time. Our annual Make a Snowflake Day does really help resist the temptation to walk away from blogging every January!

I get to work from home four days a week, and I keep telling myself that should make a difference. But my commute time was my crochet time, and when I do go into the office now, I'm driving, so I can't crochet.

In addition to being a full-time employee, I feel as if I'm also a full-time caregiver, a full-time housekeeper, a full-time physical therapist, a full-time speech and occupational therapist, a full-time gardener three seasons of the year and a full-time landscaper when I can break free from the other full-time jobs. I can't remember the last time I responded to a blog comment, and I don't remember when I last had time to visit other blogs, which I sincerely miss.

I'm not writing any of this to gain sympathy. I'm explaining the situation because I have new readers each week (especially in November and December because of the snowflake patterns) who may not understand, in addition to this being a hobby blog and not an income-earning blog, why I don't respond immediately each time a complaint is logged. I do read comments, but not always on the day they are written. I do read my emails, but I don't always get a chance to respond in a timely manner. Not just blog- and pattern-related, either. I think those who know me know I will answer when I can, and they try not to add to the pressure I already feel.

I also want to make sure readers understand why they may not hear back from me in November and December when they encounter a problem with snowflake instructions. I've been trying for years to point readers to Ravelry and Sisters of the Snowflake for help, particularly during the busiest time of year for my work. Members of both groups are SO friendly and helpful. They've bailed me out so many times!

I don't want to put the challenge of writing or designing on hold. I don't ever want to stop taking photos. Even though my blog often seems overwhelming and not always a top priority, I am not quite ready to end it. I love the community, I crave the accountability my blog provides, and I long to share the inspirations that sometimes are so heavily layered in my head, I can't get them all out before I begin losing them.

Speaking of inspiration, I have wanted to knit a temperature scarf, crochet a temperature afghan and design a temperature quilt for at least six years. The last thing I need is more new projects. But the designer in me refuses to be restrained.

I recently got this idea to make a one-month digital temperature quilt with photos I've already taken as a way to hopefully suppress the agonizing desire to take up yet another daily challenge. Boy, did that backfire!!!

Now I want to make an actual quilt following this inspiration!!!

So, now I'm wondering if we could change up the weekly snowflake pattern just a bit to make room for a new challenge and to satisfy the hunger to do something new and outside the box.

I would really like to make a snowflake temperature quilt. I actually have ideas for about seven of them, but I'm trying to be realistic. I've considered all kinds of different options to make it easier, and I'll share those here in the hopes my readers might rally with me to keep going and to cheer each other on in a new project that could be fun and visually stimulating.

Here are a few of my ideas:

  ●  Although I made a batik color key for my digital 2021 temperature quilt, when actually creating the January segment, I used color range instead of precise color. When I initially began succumbing to the urge to create a temperature quilt, my plan was to use up my scraps, so none of the duplicate temperatures would have duplicate quilt blocks. That also means I don't have to buy new fabric if we have a ton of 70s and 80s that use up all that color.

  ●  I would really like to keep going on my digital quilt, and I think I could do that without adding too much pressure. I realize others probably don't take 40 photos of each snowflake they make on different color backgrounds, but perhaps photos could be taken just on the chosen temperature color.

  ●  A temperature quilt doesn't HAVE to be daily. It could be a weekly average or highlight, or it could even be a monthly average.

  ●  A temperature project doesn't have to be a quilt. It could be a scarf or an afghan. Or what about an amigurumi snake, with a stripe for each daily temperature, or a stripe for each weekly or monthly average/temperature?

  ●  I thought about owls, too, but I think a daily temperature owl might be a bit too big. Can you imagine the stuffing that would be required??? I probably could make a tiny owl in the proper color each day, but a suitable display would be too much pressure for me. It might be a project others could take on, though.

  ●  I even thought about a giraffe's neck or a monster with a torso and limbs as long as they need to be. A pair or three or four monsters could be a great way to make the limbs a manageable length and keep the challenge manageable by entirely doing away with the same-thing-every-single-day boredom.

  ●  Embroidery could be a great way of expressing changing temperatures, too. The base fabric could be a solid, and little motifs in appropriate colors could be stitched via weather or whim. A sunshine one day, a cloud the next, raindrops when they occur, and snowflakes, either embroidered or crocheted and appliqued. Little green spring shoots (when the temperature is the right color), flowers, fruits, veggies, butterflies, autumn leaves and bear trees could add true variety.

  ●  I'm still tempted to try a temperature afghan, and I think using snowflake patterns would be awesome. (Especially in my own hand-dyed thread stash, which I don't think I've touched in nearly two years.) But the snowflakes would all have to be the same size. I do have a size directory for the first seven or eight years of my patterns, but that's not a directory I've been able to update since I created it. A search for specific size snowflakes could be run via Google, via Ravelry, or even via my blog.

  ●  It's okay to not be able to finish an entire year, especially if I'm doing every day, and life suddenly pulls the plug on my fantasy. I've seen temperature scarves that didn't stretch the entire year, and they are still plenty long enough. I even saw one that was crafted into a cowl because the knitter didn't have enough time to keep working on it past Easter. If January 2021 is all I ever get done on my digital quilt, it doesn't matter because January turned out so awesome, it can stand alone. There will be no guilt in this project!!!

I hope I've inspired some creativity, and I hope you might enjoy joining me in creating something new and different. I plan to share progress (and hopefully continue to inspire other projects) each week and to adapt as necessary when life gets in the way.

I plan to continue publishing a new snowflake pattern when I am able, but I also will be revisiting some old patterns. I think I've got eight in the queue now that need corrections, and I still have 30 unpublished but untested new patterns. That alone is almost a full year's worth! And heaven knows I've got enough new pattern inspirations to last at least three or four years...

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 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

New Goal Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 5), [1 dc in ring] 5 times; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 7 to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 1 sc over post of tr directly below, [ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in same sp] 5 times, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, ch 2, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.

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

Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc ), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [[ch 5, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook] 3 times, ch 2, in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 12, 1 sc in 11th ch from hook, ch 15, 1 sc in same ch, ch 10, 1 sc in same ch, 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.

1 comment :

  1. Blogging must not mean pressure. You are the master of your time. If somebody doesn't understand they should move on. Complaints? Really?

    You have quite some ideas for the future ...

    All the best!



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