Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Polka Bat Crochet Pattern

Celebrate Halloween with a free Squirrel Picnic web comic and pattern! Read “What’s That Noise?” and crochet the charming oompah band leader, Polka Bat, with this free pattern.

polka-bat-by-squirrel-picnic Continue reading

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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!


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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


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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


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Sleepy Bear’s Naptime Accessories

Sleepy Bear's Naptime Accessories Crochet PatternsSleepy Bear has long been one of my favorite patterns, and from the number of Sleepy Bears you all have made, I’d say he’s one of your favorites too! It always makes my day when someone shares a photo of a Sleepy Bear they’ve made. Each one has such a unique personality. I love it!

When fellow picnickers Nelle Helleur and Janette Vanzanen shared photos of their Sleepy Bears decked out in pajamas and nightcaps, I knew that I just had to create some accessories for my bears too. Any nap really wouldn’t be complete without a nightcap and a blanky, after all. Thank you both for the inspiration!

And finally I’m ready to share these patterns with you.  Continue reading


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You Made This!

It’s so cool to see Squirrel Picnic projects from people all over the world. Thank you all for choosing my patterns and for taking the time to share your finished projects with me.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to these awesome folks, whose projects are featured in this edition: Jane Pitts, Sharon Sumner, Jenny McCoy, Nelle, Janet, Barbara, Elizabeth Robertson, Alicia Rippingale, Emma, Louise, Rene, May,  and Sandra Hauser.

If you’ve made something awesome with one of my patterns, I’d love to include you in a future installment of You Made This! And if there’s anyone I missed, I’m terribly sorry. Let me know and I’ll include you in the next edition. Please send a photo of your project to squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com.