Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Big Acorn Race Update: Getting My Squirrels in a Row

Hodge helps me sew up the seam on the last tree.

Hodge helps me sew up the seam on the last tree.

April has gone by in a blur. I couldn’t tell you where the time went. My full-time job has been keeping me so busy that I am surprised when I have the energy to work on the blog or the book in the evenings. I have a feeling I will need to take some time off this summer to get all my squirrels in a row.

Tree Trunk

I played with freeform crochet to create the exposed roots on the trees.

This month – in the car, on the bus, in parks, and mostly on weekends – I concentrated on finishing up the set and creating the first new pattern for the book. Continue reading


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Podge Says

Podge says, “Go fly a kite. No really — whether alone or with a crowd of hundreds, there’s nothing like it. I could watch them all day. There’s something about gazing up at a big open sky that puts the mind at ease.”

Podge Says Kite Festival

We attended the 12th Annual Arvada Kite Festival, and this shot doesn’t do it justice. At the height of the activity, there were hundreds of kites in the air. It was quite a sight to behold.


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Motley the Bear Crochet Pattern

Motley the Bear Crochet Pattern by Squirrel Picnic3Introducing Motley Bear! I made this bear for one of my dear friends who was donating her kidney to a relative. I wanted to provide her with a bear that exuded confidence while at the same time bringing a lot of colorful cheer while she was recovering. I think Mr. Motley pulls it off nicely.

This bear pattern is based on my original Sleepy Bear pattern, with one obvious difference — he’s all done up in stripes.

Motley Bear GreenA striped bear provides a great opportunity to use up some leftover yarn too. I made this green bear out of odds and ends of green yarn that I collected over the years. I even have another bear that I am crocheting as I go, adding a round at a time as I gather leftover yarn from other projects. If you start a stash-busting bear like I have, my biggest word of advice is to pin a card listing your place in the pattern to your bear each time you put him aside so you’ll know where you left off when you pick him up again.

When I work in stripes like this, I prefer to end each round by joining with a slst and then chaining 1 with the new color to start the next round. By pulling on the strand for the previous color, it creates almost perfect, non-jogging rounds. They aren’t entirely perfect though. You still end up with a noticeable seam that spirals down the back, but I always just make sure that this part is at the back when I sew on the arms and legs and face. I prefer this method because I am too lazy to fasten off one color and attach the new one in each round. If you have a different method for changing colors in a striping pattern, by all means use it… and please share it with me! I am always up for learning new techniques.

Here are some other techniques you might try:

June Gilbank of Planet June has some great video tutorials for an invisible join (the one I mentioned above that I am too lazy to do), a no-cut join, and a hybrid of the two.

Needle Noodles has a great photo tutorial for two slip-stitch methods of color changing.

Motley the Bear Crochet Pattern

Continue reading


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Podge Says

Podge says, “Celebrate Earth Day! Show some love to Mother Earth. Like a typical mom, she does so much for us and doesn’t always get the thanks she deserves. Get outside and appreciate this wonderful world and say a little thanks — like this, ‘Thanks lilacs for being (and smelling!) so beautiful.’”

Podge Says

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