I spent a little time also working on encased helices of color. I encased a thin strip of black in 7mm rod, condensed, twisted but did not pull, and then condensed again. Only after the external ridges were smoothed over did I pull, and then at that, pulled straight, without twisting. The effect was what I wanted: a helix of black glass within a clear rod. Nice. The rod is still pretty short and it isn't exactly straight. More heat and pulling a little more slowly would help, I expect. I also have some rod turning control issues: when I have two puntys on the same piece at the same time I can easily twist one just a little out of sync than the other, and thus produce lumps.
I also tried making a few more icicles, with some little bit of success. They're too thin; I need to read up and watch some tutorials online to work out this technique.
For next time: more penguins (practicing being able to make them consistently), and, learning about striking color (I made a turtle out of a struck color and it looks pretty awesome. I have a tutorial about striking color that I plan to work through).