Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


2 Comments

How to Add Faces to Your Amigurumi: Easy Chill Eyes

Last week I shared with you my new amigurumi pattern the “Chill Snowman,” which can be found in the Winter 2020 issue of Interweave Crochet. I thought this would be a good opportunity to add another tutorial to my series: How to Add Faces to Your Amigurumi. Lucky for us, the Chill Snowman has a pretty simple face. It’s one of the things I love most about him, aside from his extreme cuteness.

Even though I’ve been making amigurumi for over a decade now, I still feel a certain twinge of anxiety when it’s time to embroider the face. It’s just that it can seem so daunting when the blank canvas of the ami’s face is staring up at you. I’ve developed a few tricks over the years to help me get it right and stitch a face that’s accurate as well as cute. One of the keys to a cute face is to get it centered and my favorite trick is to use landmarks. By this I mean you can use stitches in the body or head, as well as the parts that have already been attached or even the ami’s accessories as guides to where the face should be placed.

Let’s take a look at this with the Chill Snowman. Continue reading


8 Comments

A Chill Snowman to Make You Smile: New amigurumi pattern by yours truly makes the cover of Interweave Crochet!

Photos by Harper Point Photography and Interweave Crochet magazine

It’s been a minute since the last time I wrote. I hope you all have been doing well! I’ve been having fun exploring crochet, learning new techniques, trying my hand at selling patterns and crochet handbags online, and designing patterns for magazines. It’s been a really exciting journey, expanding my repertoire beyond amigurumi. I’ve designed afghans, socks, a retro toaster cover, and handbags to name a few (to see them all visit my Ravelry designer page).

And now, at long last, I’ve returned amigurumi! I’m very excited to share with you my newest amigurumi pattern for Interweave Crochet’s Winter 2020 issue. I’m pleased to introduce the “Chill Snowman.” Continue reading


8 Comments

Crochet 101: How to Make a Magic Loop

This is the first in a series of video tutorials I plan to make on some of the basic techniques that are used in the amigurumi patterns you will find here at Squirrel Picnic. I hope you enjoy these tutorials. If there is a specific technique that you would like for me to cover, leave a comment below or email me at squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com.

But for now, let’s learn how to make a magic loop! The magic loop is a great alternative method for beginning any crochet project worked in the round. It’s especially useful for amigurumi projects. There are several methods for making the magic loop, but over the years this particular one has become my favorite.

All you need is a ball of yarn and a crochet hook, so grab yours and let’s begin!


6 Comments

Crochet Sleepy Bears to Show You Care

Sleepy Bears by Just a Few Stitches Crochet Group

The Just a Few Stitches Crochet Group gets a big head start crocheting Sleepy Bears for kids in their community!

We all know that Sleepy Bear makes a great gift. I love seeing the way a child’s eyes light up when they hug this lovable and cuddly bear. As summer begins to wind down, I’m already thinking about the coming holidays and all those kids out there who really need a Sleepy Bear the most. I’m thinking of the kids who lost someone special to them this year. Those who have survived tragedies like fire or natural disaster. The kids who are afflicted with illness. Those who are struggling to be accepted at school. Those who are battling depression. While a teddy bear can’t be expected to solve all their problems, it can help them to feel loved and to let them know that someone cares.

That’s why I’d like to give you this call to action. Let’s each make one Sleepy Bear to give to a child in need this holiday season. Here’s what we can do to fulfill the need between now and December 25. Continue reading


5 Comments

The Story of Sleepy Bear

The Story of Sleepy BearI’ve been honored to hear from so many of you who have made Sleepy Bears for your family and friends. I wanted to share with you one such story I received that includes, quite literally, a story about Sleepy Bear.

Earlier this year, a wonderful woman named Maureen Speerly sent me an email. She had written a story about Sleepy Bear, which had come to her as she nodded off to sleep on the night after crocheting her very first one.

I was so moved by the story that it brought tears to my eyes. A humble and bighearted bear experiences love and loss, but heals his broken heart through the act of giving. The message of turning tragedy into something positive for yourself and others really resonated with me.

Maureen and I both could see how meaningful it would be for a child to receive this teddy bear and his story, especially in a time of need. So she took that inspiration and ran with it, beginning a crochet group of six to make Sleepy Bears for children who have survived tragic circumstances.  Continue reading