Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Year of the Sock: June

Year of the Sock-JunePattern: Ribbons & Bows Socks by Jerry Rigdon

Yarn: Fingering-Weight Merino from Cozy Rabbit Farm

Special pattern features:

Toe-up method
Afterthought heel
Stitch for foot: cable and openwork on the top of the foot, single crochet remaining stitches
Stitch for leg: the cables continue in the leg with additional cables and ribs added, evenly spaced around

As you may recall, my May sock didn’t go as well as expected (due to a touch of user error… and general malaise), so I declared a do-over! I chose a fingering-weight merino from Cozy Rabbit Farm. I couldn’t tell you what this glorious colorway is (it’s not listed on their website and the belly tag doesn’t list it), so I think I’ll call it orange sherbet.

When it starts to get hot in Colorado, like it has been this week, I daydream about orange sherbet. My favorite!

I had more success with the pattern and yarn this time around. It just goes to show what a difference a great skein of yarn can make. You may remember that I used Cozy Rabbit Farm merino for my March socks as well. It works up like a dream and is just as the name suggests: completely and utterly cozy.

Yarn

Cozy Rabbit Farm recently updated their website and they now offer online ordering. I don’t know about you but I’m eyeing those skeins of mocha magic. Wouldn’t that make a divine tunic? Be sure to check out the “Where to Find Us Tab.” They might just be at a show near you!

Once again, June’s sock pattern is “Ribbons & Bows” by Jerry Rigdon. It features a toe-up construction and afterthought heel. The bottom of the foot is done in single crochet stitches. The openwork center panel of stitches creates little bows up the top of the foot. Cables on either side of this look like jaunty ribbons. The combination makes for a fun sock project that is fast and easy to do.

June Socks 6

A word of caution, though: single crochet provides very little ease, so it is important to check your gauge before starting out and to try on the sock as you go. For this sock I ended up working the largest pattern size with a D-3 (3.25 mm) hook. This worked out fine, but I probably could’ve gone with a larger hook, knowing that my single-crochet stitches tend to be tighter.

June Socks 4

I think the cables on either side are my favorite detail. If you like cables like I do, the fun really begins at the ankle where the pattern places another set of cables evenly spaced at the back. This is paired with alternating front and back post double crochet stitches in between each cable. This provides great fpdc and bpdc practice! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be breezing along. The ankle really does work up much faster than the foot with all those dc stitches.

Year of the Sock: June

Another detail worth mentioning is the afterthought heel. Afterthought heels use an attached chain to create a hole where the heel will be stitched in later. After you’ve finished with the sock, you go back to this heel, pull up a loop with the RS facing, and place your stitches evenly around the hole. Then you continue crocheting in the round, while decreasing at the two corners until you have about 12-15 stitches. You FO and use the tail to sew the remaining stitches closed.

Stitching in an afterthought heel.

Stitching in an afterthought heel.

This pattern is the first sock I’ve ever crocheted with this type of heel. Up until now I thought that I really preferred the short-row heel the best because it reminded me of knitted sock construction. But there’s something very important to be said about afterthought heels. If you have a tendency to wear out the heels on your socks, this is a great method to use. When your heels wear out, you can carefully unravel just the heel and replace it with a brand-new one just by stitching it back in. Isn’t that cool?

Which heel construction do you prefer?June Socks 5

And don’t you think my new socks are sunshiny fabulous?

Let’s Crochet July’s Pair of Socks Together!

Before I forget, we are doing something different for the month of July. My friend Patricia of PopsdeMilk.com and I have chosen a very easy, but interesting sock pattern that we can all crochet together. Together we’ll be making “Crochet Heart Sole Socks” by Amy O’Neill Houck. This free pattern from Red Heart is worked from the toe up with an afterthought heel. A linked double crochet stitch is used for the foot and a v-stitch is used for the ankle.

If you’d like to participate, you’ll need approximately 425 yards of fingering weight yarn (4 ply), a 2.75mm (US C/2) crochet hook, stitch markers, and a yarn needle. The pattern is written for women’s size 9 shoe but you can try on the sock as you go to make adjustments.

Grab the free pattern here: http://www.redheart.com/files/patterns/pdf/KTV2005C.pdf

Check out the Ravelry page for more details: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/step-by-step-socks

Be sure to join our Facebook group to get the scoop on tutorials, techniques, and tips related to this sock pattern. And don’t forget to share your progress photos and let us know if you have any questions. We can’t wait to get started. Let’s crochet socks together!

Check out previous months in this incredible year of the sock:

January

February

March

April

May


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The Big Acorn Race Launch Party

It was a cold and slushy day in April when several intrepid friends braved their way through treacherous conditions to come together and celebrate the launch of The Big Acorn Race: A Story with Crochet Patterns and Projects.

The Big Acorn Race Launch Party

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: Alicia Kelly Rippingale, Margie Smith, Theresa Estep, Christine Knapp, Elaine Womack, Julie-Anna Smith, Marta Ruso, Ina Ringel, Marcia Cristina, Ankharas, Mona Reyes, Taylor, Janette Vanzanen, bpitard, cyrusmum, plantersmith, ellafofella, nlezama, nessiesparklepony, kaypendragon, mamascents, ShiloSol, lyndeepitiak, rpayne8457, violinone, kaurin, Penella, angelclassy, foxxxy, mrsrefjr, rosecrochet44, lese1, Idskje, walkerlover, Blacky67, and Frau Tapete.

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. Continue reading


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Squirrel Picnic’s New Year’s Eve Party 2016

Each year, Mayor Snack Frog hosts a New Year’s Eve party at Squirrel Picnic and invites all his friends from the picnic and beyond, including you! Rilakkuma, a super cute bear, is the special guest at the 2016 New Year’s Eve party. He’s brought a surprise all the way from Japan – a purikura machine! It’s like a photo booth but way cooler. Wait till you see everyone’s photos at the end. Enjoy the show!

If you’d like to make a purikura machine for your squirrel friends, check out the video tutorial I used to make mine. These instructions from My Froggy Stuff even come with free printables for the checkerboard floor and display.

Do your squirrel friends want to play Twister? Download the free printable from Just for Clicks.


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Give Thanks for Every Little Thing

Thanksgiving Wall Paper from Squirrel PicnicAs you may know, the last few weeks have been very busy around the picnic. I’ve finished crocheting all the little details for the story section of The Big Acorn Race, and now I’m getting ready to start photographing all the dioramas later this week. Yep, that’s how I’ll be spending Thanksgiving. But don’t feel too bad for me — you know I’ll be having fun! And I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to create this book. I’m thankful for Hodge and Podge and all their friends. I’m thankful for my own imagination and creativity, which keeps me entertained and active every day. I’m thankful for my husband and family and friends, who have listened to me, supported me, and given me valuable direction over the years. I am also very, very thankful for each of you. There really wouldn’t be a Squirrel Picnic without you. Thank you all for stopping by, offering your ideas, suggestions, and encouragement, and inspiring me to design fun and playful things for us all to share.

Speaking of designing fun things. I wanted to give you a present to help you celebrate Thanksgiving. Even if you are not in the U.S. you can use this as a reminder to be grateful for all the big and little blessings in your life. It’s an image of crocheted acorns that you can save as your wall paper on your desktop or mobile phone. I crocheted each of these acorns on my commute to and from work over the past few weeks. They are so fun and easy to make. 

These acorns will be part of a big giveaway with The Big Acorn Race when it is released in March. I’ll keep you posted on this as we get closer to the date, of course. In the meantime, grab a thankful acorn image for yourself and take time this holiday season to remember everything you have to be grateful for. Continue reading


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Super Comfy, Super Quick Knit Scarf: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Super Comfy, Super Quick Scarf free knit pattern by Squirrel PicnicI love this time of year. It’s so much fun digging out all the scarves, hats, and mittens. This year, I’m digging way back to December 2012, when I posted the pattern for a Super Comfy, Super Quick Knit Scarf. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fast knitter. Right now I have three knitting WIPs that have been on the needles for over a year (one of them a sweater in laceweight yarn–what was I thinking?). Because I’m so slow, bulky yarn is a dream come true for me because with it you can finish a project in a weekend, or like this scarf, in an afternoon.

Super Comfy, Super Quick Knit Scarf Free Pattern by Squirrel PicnicThe Super Quick scarf was my answer when I needed to bring a gift to a party and I only had one day to do it in. Using size 35 (19 mm) knitting needles, bulky yarn that is doubled up, and a fairly simple stitch pattern that is repeated for every row makes this a pattern that should fly right by.

Well, some knitters didn’t quite have the experience I had expected. And revisiting the pattern this week, I could see why. It’s a weird stitch pattern–not too complicated, but just different. So I decided to go back and create a step-by-step photo tutorial for the pattern. I’m hoping that this will help ensure that anyone who starts this scarf project will have it done in time to give it to someone special this Christmas, or for them to wear it themselves at the first snow.

Squirrel Picnic Knit Scarf 15I discovered while knitting the swatch for this tutorial that this scarf is so much fun! Once you get the knack of the stitch pattern, the needles just start to fly. And because of the bulky yarn and large knitting needles, I knit this whole swatch in about twenty minutes! The texture is so unique and the fabric is thick and luxurious. Now I want to knit one for myself. I think I know what will be on my needles as soon as I’m done with the book. And this will be one of those rare knitting projects that isn’t sitting in a bag for a year before I finish it.

So pick up some giant knitting needles and some bulky yarn and whip up this scarf for Christmas! You still have time to make it.


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Hodge and Podge and Eric want to wish you a…

Happy Halloween from Squirrel Picnic

Are you ready for some Halloween fun? This year, I’m going as a T-Rex, and my hubby is going as a very spooky scarecrow. Hodge, with his superhero mask, is Raphael TMNT and Podge is a princess. Eric didn’t have time to put a costume together because he has been too busy in the lab, so he just put on a baseball cap. Bah hum bug. There’s still time to come up with a costume, Eric. Get in the spirit, squirrel friend. Halloween is the best day of the year! I even wore my T-Rex costume to Costco this morning and it was glorious. If I can do it, you can too!