Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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You Know You’re a Crafter When Your Christmas Starts in August

Whenever the kids go back to school and summer begins to wind down, a little alarm goes off in my brain telling me I better get to crafting if I want to have Christmas presents ready for my family and friends. If you’re anything like me, you’ve already started thinking about what to make for everyone.

I probably would’ve just done the same old thing—you know, knit or crochet as many hats, scarves, toys, or pairs of socks and mittens as time will allow—but this year, I found a book that has really inspired me to try something different.

Back in March, I was visiting one of my favorite craft sites (and a second home of sorts for Squirrel Picnic patterns and tutorials), Cut Out + Keep, when I noticed that the site’s founders, Cat Morley and Tom Waddington, had come out with a new book. In 2011, this adventurous couple departed their home in Scotland to take a tour of the US. Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects was the brilliant result. Inspired by everything they saw and experienced on their journey, they created this book to showcase their stories from the road and an original craft project for each state they visited.

CO and K Around the USA in 50 Craft Projects

Having lived in or visited every state in the continental US, I was very intrigued to hear what they would think of my homeland. And they did not disappoint! They experienced the whimsical side of the United States. The things they saw and did make me want to trace their steps and visit all the same places. Continue reading


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Chocolate Chip Cookie Crochet Pattern

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pattern from Squirrel PicnicMany people would go so far as to argue that the chocolate chip cookie is Santa Claus’s favorite. One little girl I met recently insisted that you have to put chocolate chip cookies out before you go to bed on Christmas Eve, or Santa will just turn right around and go back up the chimney without leaving you a single present. So in case you find yourself cookie-less on Christmas Eve, you better whip up a batch of these chocolate chip cookies. Even if he can’t eat them, maybe Santa will be impressed by your ingenuity and creative spirit and leave that present you’ve got your heart set on.

With this final cookie pattern, I am ready to bring a platter of my crochet Christmas cookies to the company cookie exchange today. I can’t wait to see all their faces! I hope they like them. I’ll bring my camera and take lots of pictures to share with you later this week. See you then!

Visit the Great Cookie Countdown Page for the story behind this series and a complete directory of Christmas cookie ornaments.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Crochet Pattern… Continue reading


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Frosted Snowflake Sugar Cookie Crochet Pattern

Snowflake Frosted Sugar Cookie Free Crochet PatternHave you seen some of the frosted sugar cookies out there this year? So many of them are works of art! If someone offered me cookies as elaborately decorated as these by the folks at Martha Stewart, I’m afraid I might refuse to bite into them lest I spoil their beauty.

I’ve not been so successful with frosted cookies in the past for two reasons: (1) I like to eat cookies more than I like decorating them and (2) I’m really good at making messes. I greatly admire all those bakers who can restrain themselves from eating their fabulous creations long enough to then frost and glaze and ice them with beautiful decorations. I’m just not one of them. Even if I get to the decorating stage of baking, I’m so messy that I feel proud if I can get more frosting on a cookie than on my fingers.

Lucky for me, these crochet frosted snowflake cookies aren’t messy at all! And there’s no reason to be intimidated by that embroidered snowflake design. It’s a piece of cake to do, and I’ve included a step-by-step tutorial to make it even easier.

Visit the Great Cookie Countdown Page for the story behind this series and a complete directory of Christmas cookie ornaments.

Frosted Snowflake Sugar Cookie Crochet Pattern Continue reading


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Pizzelle Crochet Pattern

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel PicnicWhen I was in high school, I had a friend whose family was of Italian origin. About this time every year, she and her mother would make pizzelle  (pronounced like pizza –a +elle). It was almost as fun watching them being made as it was eating them! Although I don’t bake them myself, I have always been intrigued by these delicate cookies.

Pizzelle are a waffle cookie made with butter, flour, sugar, and eggs and flavored with either vanilla, anise, or lemon. The batter is poured into a pizzelle iron (like a waffle iron), which would then be placed on a hot stove — although nowadays most pizzelle irons are electric. The iron stamps a pattern into the dough as it cooks. When I was looking for Christmas cookies to re-create, this was one of the first ones to come to mind. That snowflake pattern was just dying to be done up in yarn.

The pattern is worked in two layers to create the depth needed to make the design pop. Using black tea to stain the bottom half of the cookie before crocheting layer 2 gives it a slightly darker color and really making the design stand out, as it does on the real life cookie. I used a tea with an aroma that I adore and the resulting pizzelle have become wonderful sachets in my home.

Visit the Great Cookie Countdown Page for the story behind this series and a complete directory of Christmas cookie ornaments.

Pizzelle Cookie Crochet Pattern

Difficulty rating 3

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Finished size = 5″

Materials:

0.5 ounces of worsted-weight yarn in cream (I Love This Yarn in Cream)
D-3 (3.25 mm) crochet hook
2 cups of prepared black tea
Casserole dish or shallow bowl
Tapestry needle

Layer 1:

Note: The 3-ch at the beginning of each round counts as a dc.

Begin with a magic loop.

Rnd 1: Ch 3, 11 dc in ring. Join with slst to top of 3-ch. (12)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dc in ea dc around. Join with slst to top of 3-ch. (24)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next dc, * 2 dc in next dc, dc, rep from * 10 more times. (36)

Rnd 4: Ch 3, dc in same st, dc in next 2 dcs, * 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 2 dcs, rep from * 10 more times. (48)

Rnd 5: *Sc in next dc, sk 1 st, 5 dc into next dc, sk 1 st, rep from * 11 more times. Slst in first sc to join and BO. Work in ends.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Bring 2 cups of water to boil, add tea, and let steep until the tea develops a rich amber color (about 10 minutes). I used Harney & Sons Paris black tea. It has a fruity aroma that turned the pizzelle into a wonderfully fragrant sachet.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Arrange the pizzelle in a shallow bowl and pour the tea over them. Let them sit submerged in the tea for 15 minutes or more. Dry completely before continuing with Layer 2.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Layer 2:

Note: This layer begins by picking up stitches on the top of Layer 1.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Rnd 1: Pull up a loop in the FL of the first dc of Layer 1’s Rnd 1, ch 1. Sc in ea FL around, join with slst to the first ch of the rnd. (12)

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Rnd 2: Ch 3,

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

* sk, working in the BL only (tr, ch 10, tr) in next sc,

rep from * 4 more times. Sk, tr, ch 5, dtr into the top of 3-ch at beg of rnd.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Rnd 3: * Ch 4, tr into the sp where next two 10-chs in Rnd 2 meet,

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

ch 4, sc into next 10-ch sp.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Rep from * 5 more times. (Instead of final sc, slst into the base of 4-ch at beg of round.)

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic

Rnd 4: * Ch 7, sk 4 sts, (sc into next st and post of the sc in Layer 1)

(Instead of final sc, slst into base of 7-ch at beg of rnd).

BO, and work in ends.

Pizzelle Free Crochet Pattern from Squirrel Picnic


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Announcing the Winner of the Great Cookie Giveaway

Podge: Could ya gimme a drum roll please, Hodge?

Hodge lifts his tiny little paws and thumps on the table as fast as he can.

Podge: And the winner of the one and only Squirrel Picnic Great Cookie Countdown to Christmas Giveaway of a half-dozen crochet cookies and a half-dozen yummy in the tummy one-of-a-kind cookies with—

Hodge: On with it already!

Podge: Oh, all right. The winner is…

free logo - http://www.sparklee.com

Congratulations, Nicky (of niiz designs). Please send your mailing address to squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize. If the prize isn’t claimed by Monday at 9:00 a.m. MST, Hodge and Podge and I will have to go through this whole bit again lest the cookies spoil or Hodge eats them all himself.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I wish I could give you all cookies!

P.S. To choose a winner, I numbered each comment 1 through 17, then let the magic elves at random.org choose the winner. Nicky was #4.

And the winner is number 4