Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Year of the Sock: October

This month, Patricia and I challenged members of our Year of the Sock crochet group to crochet socks for Halloween. I put together a roundup of Halloween and fall-inspired sock and slipper patterns to get the ball rolling.  The idea was to use the provided patterns to crochet a pair of Halloween socks, or get inspired by the other patterns and color palettes to design a truly unique pair of socks. I was so thrilled by the socks that people crocheted. Continue reading

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Miniature Crochet: Robot on Vacation

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my friends and I have started a new charm exchange. In a charm exchange, each participant picks a different theme for their necklace and then makes the first charm to go on it. At the first meeting, we share with each other the theme we have chosen.

The theme for my necklace is “Robot on Vacation.” The idea is that my tiny robot friend, Zero, would like to go on vacation. But where does a robot go for holiday? He will require the help of my friends to show him a good time.

robot-on-vacation_charm-necklace-travel-journal-and-suitcase_img_3317

I crocheted Zero using Perle 8 cotton and a 1.00 mm crochet hook. I sewed two tiny washers on with perle cotton thread for eyes and embroidered a little mouth. His arms are made out of these cool beads I found. And of course, he needed a matching heart. I attached him to this really cool necklace I found at Nomad Beads in Boulder. It looks very industrial, I guess. I also found some sprocket and gear charms there that I added to set the “mood” of the piece. Zero is approximately 1.5” tall.

robot-on-vacation_zero_img_3322

Then I made a suitcase for Zero to travel with. For this I took a plain old cardboard box and covered the outside with felt and the inside with some neat fabric that my friend Annie had in her studio. She has everything in her studio. I always joke that I love to go shopping down there. It’s a full service store! In fact, I was working on this suitcase in her studio when I asked, “What if I lined the top of the box with metal?” She immediately said, “I think I have some metal you can use!” And sure enough she did. What a great and generous friend!

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To complete the box and really make it look like a suitcase, I added a handle made out of nuts and bolts and some silver beads I had from a previous project. Then I found these awesome luggage labels from Luckies of London. (They can also be found on Amazon.)

robot-on-vacation_suitcase-inside

This set even included a luggage tag that I affixed to the inside of Zero’s suitcase.

robot-on-vacation_luggage-tag

Finally I made Zero a journal to document his travels in.

robot-on-vacation_zeros-travel-journal

On the inside it says:

6 October 2016

Hi, my name is Zero and I’m a friendly little robot who works in data processing for The Number Factory. I have finally accrued enough paid time off to take a vacation! I’m leaving the monotony of number crunching behind for some much-needed R&R. But where does a robot go on vacation?

I’ve never been on holiday before. My boss suggested that I just power down for a week; you know, give my motors a break. But that sounds like absolutely no fun. After running numbers day in and day out for years, it’s time for this robot to live!

After some pondering (imagine me with my wee robotic limb pressed to my chin while staring blankly at the sky), I’ve decided to leave it up to the nice people of the world to show me a good time. My friend Jennifer Olivarez of Denver, Colorado, has agreed to host me first and provide a proper send-off. Jennifer says she knows a few people in Colorado who would be happy to put me up for a bit. Eventually I hope to travel the world!

If I am lucky enough to meet you and you are nice enough to let me crash on your couch for a night or two, would you mind signing this travel journal? It will make a nice memento of this special journey. (Sadly I don’t have enough memory to store memories—just enough to process data.) Would you say a little something to help me remember my stay with you? You might include a photo of us together or of one of the places we visited, or perhaps a little doodle or quote to capture the experience. I’ve also included a charm necklace on which I hope to collect a charm from each destination. Can you help me with that too?

Most of all I want to thank you for taking the time to show me around, for making my vacation memorable, and for being my friend. I hope we can meet again someday.

Love,

Zero

robot-on-vacation_zero-and-his-travel-journal

I hope that my fellow charmies enjoy their guest and that he comes home with lots of fun tales to tell!

This month I get to make a charm for Annie’s necklace and her theme is clowns. I think I will probably make a cute clown (as opposed to the scary kind), but we’ll see what I come up with. I’m hoping that whatever I do, I will remember to snap some progress shots so I can share with you more tips and tricks for micro crochet.

Until then,

Happy crocheting!


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How to Assemble Sugar Candy Skull Scarves

Black skull scarf with pink flowers

Black skull scarf with pink flowers

Several years ago I made a few scarves incorporating my Sugar Candy Skull Motif pattern with flower motifs. I ended up with two scarf styles: one pairs black skulls with 3-D red or pink rose motifs, the other pairs white skulls with a colorful, lacy flower pattern.

Over the years, people have often asked me how to make these scarves and finally I think I am able to present a pattern of sorts. If you are interested in making a Sugar Candy Skull Scarf of your own, here I will provide links to the patterns you will need to make the motifs, instructions on how to arrange your motifs, and a video tutorial on how to join these motifs using a simple whip stitch. Continue reading


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!

halloween-sock-inspiration-roundup

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!

 

 

 


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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