Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Let’s Crochet Halloween Socks!

October should be a fun month for sock crochet, and I didn’t want to leave you out of some of the festivities happening in our Year of the Sock Facebook group. To celebrate the season, we proposed to crochet socks inspired by Halloween and autumn. If you’d like to join in, you might choose a Halloween or fall sock pattern or create your own design inspired by the season. To help jump-start your creativity, I put together the mood board below with Halloween color palettes and designs, including a roundup of patterns. Feel free to choose one of the patterns listed here, or you might choose to work a basic sock pattern (or your favorite sock pattern) in Halloween colors, or crochet a pair of funky monster slippers!


1) Witch Leg Yarn Bomb by Rayna Noel—http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/witch-leg-yarn-bomb
2) Betelgeuse Creepy Skull Legwarmers by Spider Mambo—http://www.ravelry.com/…/library/betelgeuse-creepy-skull-le…
3) Creepy Skull Knee Socks by Spider Mambo—http://www.ravelry.com/patt…/library/creepy-skull-knee-socks
4) Monster Slippers by Lorna Watt—http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/monster-slippers-2
5) Witchy Legwarmers by Stacey Trock—http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/witchy-legwarmers
6) Halloween Spider Baby Sandals by Kittying Ying—http://www.ravelry.com/…/libr…/halloween-spider-baby-sandals
7) Halloween Pumpkins Baby Booties by Knittying Ying—http://www.ravelry.com/…/li…/halloween-pumpkins-baby-booties
8) Candy Corn Slippers by Tia Davis—http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/candy-corn-slippers
9) Candy Corn Legwarmers by Nadia Fuad—http://www.ravelry.com/patte…/library/candy-corn-leg-warmers
10) Corset Socks by Brenda K. B. Anderson —http://www.crochetme.com/crochet-patterns/corset-socks
11) Mardi Gras Carnival Socks by Janet Rehfeldt—http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mardi-gras-carnival
12) Autumn Drops by Rohn Strong—http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/autumn-drops-4

I found this mood board to be a great starting off point for my October socks. After crocheting nine pairs of socks already this year, I think I’m ready to try my hand at designing my very first pair. I hope to use some of the techniques that I’ve really enjoyed from all the socks I’ve crocheted. I’m thinking that this pair will be worked from the toe up, with an extended single crochet stitch for the foot, a short-row heel, and a very special stitch pattern that I recently stumbled upon (and now can’t get out of my head) for the leg. I think I’ll keep it a secret for now, but if you follow me on Pinterest, I bet you could guess which stitch pattern it is (when I get obsessed, there’s no stopping me!). Last night I ordered the yarn for my socks from Knit Picks. I can’t wait to see how these tonal grays work with little bits of bright green and purple popping through.

And I can hardly wait to see what socks you come up with for the month! Will you share a photo of them with me? You can email squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com or join the Facebook group. We would love to have you!





Year of the Sock: September

patons-kroy-toe-up-socksPattern: Patons Toe Up Socks

Check out the step-by-step tutorial (pattern is also available here): Crochet Socks Beginner Tutorial from The Crochet Crowd

Ravelry Listing: Toe Up Socks (crochet) by Patons

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Jacquards in Meadow Jacquard

Skill Level: Easy

Size: Pattern includes instructions for foot lengths of 6, 7.5, 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 inches

Special Pattern Features

Worked in joined rounds
Afterthought heel
Stitch for foot: single crochet
Stitch for leg: single crochet
Cuff: Alternating half-double crochet and front post double crochet

Last month several people in our Year of the Sock Facebook group asked for a recommendation for a good first-time crochet sock pattern. I have been on the lookout for such a pattern all year, and after scouring the internet for one to recommend to the Facebook group, I think I have finally settled on one that will do nicely. I say this with a bit of reservation: for the most part, this a great beginner sock pattern, but there are also a few things that annoyed me. What bothers me though might not bother you, so take my review with a grain of salt.

patons-kroy-toe-up-socks-joined-roundsThe first thing that really peaked my interest is that this pattern comes with an hour-long step-by-step tutorial by the designer, Mikey of the Crochet Crowd. This tutorial really is step-by-step; this kind of detail is exactly what every beginner craves. I wish I had known about this pattern and tutorial when I was starting out. Anyone who is interested in trying their hand at sock crochet could start with this video and gain a very good grasp of sock construction and terminology, and most importantly be able to crochet their very first sock. Continue reading


In a Nutshell: News from the Picnic

Hi everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful summer. Can you believe that fall is here?

I have to apologize that I and the squirrels have been rather distant lately. I have been working on some new patterns and projects that I can’t wait to share with you! Meanwhile, Hodge and Podge have been gathering nuts for the winter (you know how squirrels are). Here are some of the other things we’ve been up to…

Sophie’s Universe Blanket by Dedri Uys

sophies-universe-blanket-crochet-by-jennifer-olivarez2People have been doing some amazing things with crochet in recent years. One of my favorite new patterns is one that Dedri Uys of the blog Look What I Made released last year. Her pattern for the Sophie’s Universe Blanket was originally provided in a crochet along over the course of 20 weeks. At the time, I was overwhelmed with my work on The Big Acorn Race so I wasn’t able to take part. Instead I watched in amazement as blankets from people all over the world came together in some extraordinary color combinations. Each blanket is like a bouquet of flowers, just inviting you to dive right in. I promised myself that as soon as the book was released, I would begin a Sophie’s Universe Blanket of my own. And thankfully I have.

I began this blanket at the end of spring and had to put it away for a while because, as I’m sure you can relate, it is hard to work on a wool blanket in the summertime. Now that it is fall I have dug it back out and am enjoying working on it again. I just love how it is coming together.

sophies-universe-blanket-crocheted-by-jennifer-olivarezThe finished blanket will have (at least) 113 Rounds in it! I’m using Cascade 220 in Deep Lavendar, Lemon Yellow, Blue Hawaii, Chartreuse, Cotton Candy, Italian Plum, Celery, Lake Chelan Heather, Bright Nectarine, and White. What a crazy combination! But so far I think it is working, don’t you? If you’d like to follow my progress on this blanket throughout the fall and winter months, check out my Ravelry page. I’d love to see you there.

I recommend checking out some of the amazing Sophie blankets that continue to grow by the day on Instagram at #sophiesuniversecal2015.

I love working on this blanket. Dedri’s free pattern is loaded with detailed instructions that help to keep you on track. It’s the best. In fact, even right now as I am typing this, I am wishing that I were working on the blanket. It’s addictive! So if you don’t see me for a while in the weeks ahead, know that I am probably just busy on my Sophie!

A New Charm Exchange Is About to Begin

robots-on-vacation-beginDo you remember the Charm Exchange? I participated in this amazing event a few years ago and it pretty much changed my life… or at least the way I look at crochet. Here is basically how a charm exchange works: Gather together a group of fellow artists and have each choose a theme. Each then provides their own necklace or bracelet and creates the first two charms to fit their theme. They attach these charms to their necklace or bracelet and place it in a box or bag that has been appropriately decorated to also fit their theme. The box or bag isn’t necessary, but it is fun to do. One person lists everyone’s name alphabetically and uses the list to determine whose charms each will make next working in a round-robin manner. Over the course of ten months or so, we will meet about every two months to show off our charms, tell a little about how we made them, and hand them over to the excited recipient. And, of course, we’ll receive a new charm for our own necklace or bracelet each time as well.

With this year’s charm exchange I will be exploring the realms of miniature crochet again. I’ve already gotten word of some of the other participants’ themes and I can’t wait to get started. But speaking of getting started, I have to make the necklace for my theme, the first charm, and the box that it will go in. I have decided on the theme “Robots on Vacation” and the box will be my robot’s suitcase. I still need to crochet the robot and finish up the suitcase… and the necklace. Oh my! I better get started. The first meeting is only a few weeks away!

Halloween Is Just Around the Corner

In case you are looking for some spooky, fun Halloween crochet projects, I thought I’d pull some out of Squirrel Picnic’s big and scary (scary dusty!) attic for you to see.

Zombies in Love by Squirrel Picnic

Zombie Dolls

Candy skull coin purse

Sugar Candy Skulls

Podge's Princess Hat Pattern by Squirrel Picnic

Pretty Princess Costume for Your Squirrel Friend

IG Superhero Mask for Your Squirrel Friend Pattern by Squirrel Picnic

Halloween Mask for Your Squirrel Friend

The Big Acorn Race Wins a Big Award!

evvy_silver_digitalstickers__98844This past August, I learned that The Big Acorn Race had won second place in the 2016 CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) EVVY Awards. Now in its twenty-second year, the CIPA EVVY awards is one of the longest-running book awards competitions to recognize excellence in independent publishing. For more information on this awards program and to view the finalists, visit http://cipabooks.com/cipa-evvy-awards/cipa-evvy-award-finalists/

To celebrate this big news, I’m taking 10% off the book’s list price! From now through New Year, get your copy of The Big Acorn Race for only $16.95. It would make a great present for both kids and teens who are learning to crochet, parents who crochet and want to make the toys in their kids’ favorite stories, as well as anyone who just plain likes cute things.

Thanks for supporting Squirrel Picnic and super-cute crochet!