31 January 2023

Stroke of Luck

We had to get a new bike carrier when we gave my beloved 4Runner to my adopted son in 2021. (Lizard could no longer drive a stick shift, and now he can't drive even an automatic....) We left our Thule bike carrier on the back of the 4Runner because (we couldn't get it off, and) we knew my son would probably enjoy it and couldn't afford to buy one of his own. (I can't believe I have no photos of the whole 4Runner with the carrier!!!)

The new bike carrier perfectly matches the off-white little hatchback Lizard's mom bought used for us, hoping to extend Lizard's driving privileges just a bit longer. We were so excited to purchase the last off-white carrier Kuat may have made! When we drove to Lizard's mom's house for our first "vacation" since Lizard was diagnosed with Parkinson's, we could just see the envy on other Moab- and Fruita-bound motorists' faces as they passed our beautiful color-coordinated set-up! We managed to earn a few delightful thumb's ups in passing.

We haven't been on our bikes since October, due to snow and ice, and I've been very tempted to take the bike carrier off because it's not allowed in the building where I work. But I can't get the rack off by myself, so I have been parking hourly on the street outside my building and running back down to pump in more quarters every two hours if I stayed longer than two hours. (Fourth quarter is always super busy, so I often worked four to six hours in November and December and benefited from neighbors who would check on Lizard while I was gone.)

The week of Christmas, we had our first work group Christmas dinner in three years (Lizard and I had not been able to attend in 2019 due to his total knee replacement just a couple of days prior, and no one was scheduling business Christmas dinners in 2020 or 2021). I parked close to the restaurant in a relatively expensive lot bearing the all-too-familiar warning: "Any damage or loss to vehicle is the responsibility of vehicle owner." Lizard is not able to attend such functions anymore, and I didn't want to leave him alone too long, so the parking made for quick and easy escape when it was time to go.

I had to pump a few more dollars (not quarters at this lot!) into the pay station about half an hour before I left. When I left half an hour later, I discovered someone had hit my car and left the scene in just that short time!!! (I'd checked the car when I monetarily fed the parking station.)

I was horrified. But I also consider myself extremely blessed.

The bike carrier is bent, but it still works. It actually saved the car. If I had removed the bike carrier two months earlier, the impact probably would have severely damaged our car, which had been hit just hard enough to move it a couple of degrees to the left.

The fleeing party (pun intended; I think the driver likely was highly spirited) wasn't so lucky. The rear lights on the other car were no longer attached, and I'll bet my bike carrier left quite the impact statement on its wrestling ring opponent. I often wonder what that driver must have thought the next day upon noticing the damage...

30 January 2023

Snowflake Monday

I'm team teaching 4- and 5-year-olds on Sundays now, and during our lesson a couple of weeks ago, I got to ask each of the kiddos something they did during the week they really enjoyed. After we'd gone around the room, of course, they wanted to know what super enjoyable thing I had done. I told them I made a snowflake. Their eyes lit up, and they wanted to know more. I showed them a photo on my phone, and they were absolutely enchanted.

I decided I need to pull out one of the little flake recipes I'd considered for next week's Make a Snowflake Day/Snowflake Ball JAYG crochet temperature project and whip out seven fast and easy little snowflakes to give to my students during an upcoming lesson. (Just have to figure out a way to tie my "treats" in with a lesson now!) (I actually do have what I think is a great idea!!!)

My Snögubbe Middle Snowflake perfectly fit the bill. It's fast. It's fun. And it multi-purposes as a way to demonstrate what I've been experimenting with since the day I learned Elmer's has discontinued its glow-in-the-dark glue.

As you may have expected of me in such circumstances, I quickly snatched up every remaining reasonably priced bottle of glow glue I could get my hands on. However, as I've mentioned before, this stuff has a shelf life. It will not last forever. I might not even be able to use all of my stash before it gets too hard or too separated. I'm crocheting as fast as I can! But I've already encountered difficulties!!!

I tried to hand-shape one of the hardening icky glue globs into a hexagon I thought I might be able to pass off as a snowflake. You be the judge...

Eventually, I will not be able to make glowing snowflakes anymore. That just would not do! So, I've been trying to find a better way.

I've tried adding glow pigment to Elmer's School Glue...

I've tired sprinkling freshly glued snowflakes with glow glitter...

I've tried a combination of pigment and glitter.

glitter and pigment

I've tried spraying with glow-in-the-dark paint.

Again, you be the judge.

I hope Rust-oleum won't discontinue it's product anytime in the near future!

This flake does join-as-you-go really well, but the original pattern has three rounds, and I had already decided I didn't want to use white (or black or dark blue) on the third round (even though it probably would look adorable) because I just don't need two more ends to bury on a daily basis for 365 days.

Of course, playing with my old pattern means I had to come up with a new variation I could share with you today.

I had to name the new flake after the recent storm that gave all of us here in Colorado such a good belly laugh...

(Yes, that is MY snowflake photo!!!) (And MY poster...)

And, just for fun, here's a teaser to my special project for next week's Snowflake Ball!

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: 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

Winter Storm Iggy Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same ch as sl st, [2 dc in next dc, ch 2, 2 dc in next dc] 5 times; 2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 2 point 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 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, [1 dc in each of next 4 dc, in next ch 2 point work (2 dc, ch 7, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, sl st in next ch, ch 8, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, sl st in next ch, ch 6, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, sl st in next ch, sl st in next ch (7th ch of first branch), 2 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 2 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.

26 January 2023

Fly Away

I drafted my own curved flying geese pattern!

I knew when I first visualized this I might need to tinker with the number of colors in the ring of flying geese, but I'm totally okay with that. I think I have six more colors in this fat quarter bundle I haven't used yet. And eyeballing it, I think I might need three more.

Overwhelmed with curiosity, I laid out a few blocks so I could get an idea of whether my size is in the ballpark or totally skewed. I think I may have to make a few little adjustments, and I already planned to add a ring of white between the compass and the geese if needed. I'm rather pleased with how good it looks, even though I still have a long way to go!

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

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