Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


10 Comments

Welcome Back, Spring! Squirrel Picnic’s Banner Diorama Explained

SquirrelPicnic.com

Spring, how we have missed you! I put the spring banner back up for the blog header a whole month early because the snow and cold temperatures were starting to depress me. I hope that, wherever you are — even if it is warm there — you have enjoyed the image of Hodge and Podge having a little picnic in their garden.

I get a lot of requests from people around the world for the patterns to make the items in this banner. What better time than the first day of spring to share with you where you can find the patterns to make some lovely flowers, birds, and butterflies. Continue reading


14 Comments

Roly-Poly Rosa Robin Crochet Pattern

Crochet Rosa Robin Pattern from Squirrel PicnicWe had one of our customary spring snowfalls this past week in Colorado. It melted quickly, leaving behind greener grass, which the robins enjoy plucking through in their search for worms. I love to watch them hop about. There’s something very comforting about seeing the robins return. Perhaps it means that the snows have finally passed and we can look forward to warmer weather.

I want to share a favorite poem of mine with you, written by Louisa May Alcott when she was just 8 years old. Its welcoming of spring and the robin is so dear. I hope you enjoy it too.

To the First Robin

Welcome, welcome, little stranger,
Fear no harm, and fear no danger;
We are glad to see you here,
For you sing “Sweet Spring is near.”

Now the white snow melts away;
Now the flowers blossom gay:
Come dear bird and build your nest,
For we love our robin best.

Celebrate spring with a robin of your own. Roly-Poly Rosa Robin is a dear little one with her charming expression and a plump belly (full of worms, I imagine). This easy crochet fatimal pattern will whip up quickly and delight the bird lover in your life.

Roly-Poly Rosa Robin Crochet Pattern

Continue reading


13 Comments

Baby Rainbow Chick Crochet Pattern

Crochet Baby Rainbow Chick by Squirrel PicnicBaby rainbow chicks are just about the cutest creatures on the planet. Each spring, a rainbow chicken will lay between six and twelve pastel-colored eggs. These eggs are often mistaken for candy, so the female rainbow chicken must guard her nest very diligently against sweet-toothed woodland critters.

Baby rainbow chicks are very rambunctious. They hop around like bouncy balls on a sugar high. But they’re ridiculously adorable, so most everyone puts up with them.

They whip up super quick, so you can crochet a dozen in no time flat. They fit comfortably in plastic Easter eggs too.

I think we’ll call this one Pepito. Thanks to Sheena (NotAPunkRocker) for the name!

 Baby Rainbow Chick Crochet Pattern

Difficulty rating 1

Finished size: 1 1/2″ tall and 5″ around at the widest point

Materials

small amount of worsted-weight yarn in white (Caron Simply Soft in White, 6 oz [170 g] / 315 yds [288 m])
small amount of worsted-weight yarn in purple (Caron Simply Soft in Orchid, 6 oz [170 g] / 315 yds [288 m])
small amount of worsted-weight yarn in yellow (Caron Simply Soft in Sunshine, 6 oz [170 g] / 315 yds [288 m])
F-5 (3.75 mm) crochet hook
1 set of size 6 mm safety eyes (if you are making this for a child, please embroider eyes)
Polyester Fiberfill
Tapestry needle

Gauge

5 sts = 1″
5 rows = 1″

Instructions

Crochet a Baby Rainbow ChickBody

Note for changing color: This chick is crocheted in joined rounds in order to create almost perfect jogless stripes. In other words, each round ends with “join with slst, ch 1.” On the rounds with a color change, join with slst as usual, but use the next color to ch 1.

Of course, you could always fasten off each color and reattach the new color. This will give you a more precise stripe, but you’ll have to weave in some ends (or just tie them on the inside), which could be annoying… unless it’s your favorite part, then by all means, knock yourself out!

With white, ch 2

Rnd 1: 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: 2 sc in ea sc around, join with slst, switch to purple, ch 1. (12)

Rnd 3: * Sc, inc, rep from * 5 more times, join with slst, switch to white, ch 1. (18)

Rnd 4: * 2 sc, inc, rep from * 5 more times, join with slst, switch to purple, ch 1. (24)

Rnd 5: Sc in ea sc around, join with slst, switch to white, ch 1.

Rnd 6: Sc in ea sc around, join with slst, switch to purple, ch 1.

Rnds 7-8: Rep rnds 5-6.

Rnd 9: * 2 sc, dec, rep from * 5 more times, join with slst, switch to white, ch 1. (18)

Insert posts of safety eyes between stitches in Rnds 5 and 6 and pop on the backs to secure. Stuff chick firmly.

Rnd 10: * Sc, dec, rep from * 5 more times, join with slst, switch to purple, ch 1. (12)

Rnd 11: Dec 6 times, join with slst. FO, leaving a long tail. Using tapestry needle, thread this tail through the remaining sts and pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.

Wings (Make 2)

With white, ch 2.

Rnd 1: In 2nd ch from hook: sc, hdc, 4 dc, hdc, sc. Join with slst. FO, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Sew wings to sides of the body.

Beak

Using yellow yarn, embroider a beak.

I made my beak by embroidering the outline of a triangle that points down. Then I threaded through the two bottom sides of the triangle twice to fill it in and hid the end inside the bird.

Feet

Thread tapestry needle with yellow yarn again and double it up. Insert the needle through the back of the bird (anywhere is fine) to a spot on the bottom (toward the front) where you want to position a foot. Pull the yarn so there’s only a few inches sticking out the back (we’ll take care of those in a bit).

Chick 1Insert the needle back through this same hole in the bottom front of the bird and out through a corresponding hole on the other side at the bottom of the bird.

Chick 2Pull through until the two loops are about a 1/4″ long.

Chick 3Insert your needle back through the same hole you just came out of and thread it through to the back of the bird again (anywhere is fine). Pull through until the two loops on this side are about the same size as your first two loops.

Chick 4Trim your yarn and push the ends inside the bird.

Mama Rainbow Chick and BabyEvery rainbow chick needs a mama.
Crochet a Mama Rainbow Chick with the free pattern here at the picnic.


4 Comments

Easy to Crochet Butterfly Pattern

Butterfly Crochet Pattern by Squirrel PicnicAs I’m writing this, it is snowing for the third straight day here in Denver. It’s not uncommon for us to get spring snowstorms, but they always come as a shock to me. Just as you’re starting to get pumped about springtime, a foot of snow gets dumped on your excitement. Lucky for me, I have my own little patch of springtime at Squirrel Picnic, where the crochet garden continues to bloom.

This week I’m making butterflies. I found a lot of complicated butterfly patterns online and in books. Though the complex butterflies were gorgeous, I didn’t have time for all those steps, so I wrote this pattern for a simple and fast and cute little butterfly.

I can think of several great uses for these butterflies: Sew them onto bags, towels, pillows, or afghans. Glue a magnet on and attach them to your fridge door. Pin them to a bulletin board. They add a little touch of spring wherever they go. What will you do with your butterflies?

Easy Butterfly Pattern

Difficulty rating 1

Finished size: 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″

Materials:

Small amounts of worsted weight yarn in any two colors you like.

(For this pattern, I’ll call the lighter color A and the darker color B.)

Size 00/3.50 mm steel crochet hook

Tapestry needle

Instructions:

Wings

With A, ch 11

2 dc in 4th ch from hook.

Ch 3 and slst in next ch.

Butterfly Step 1 (800x600)

Ch 4, 2 tr in next ch, ch 4 and slst in next ch.

Butterfly Step 2 (800x600)

Ch 4, 2 tr in next ch, ch 4 and slst in next ch.

Butterfly Step 3 (800x663)

Ch 3, 2 dc in next ch, ch 2 and slst in next ch.

Butterfly Step 4

Fasten off, leaving a tail for sewing. Using the tail, loosely sew up the center of the wings. Work in ends.

Butterfly Step 6

Body

With B and leaving a tail at least 6″ long, ch 7. Sc in 3rd ch from hook, slst in each of next 4 ch. Fasten off, leaving another 6″ tail for sewing.

Butterfly Step 5 (800x797)

Finishing

Place the body on top of the wings so that the tail ends of the body and the smaller wings are on the bottom. Sew the body to the wings by using the left tail to sew the left side of the body and the right tail to sew the right side of the body. When you get to the head of the butterfly, tie the two strands together in a knot and trim to make the antennae.

Butterfly Step 7


11 Comments

Things Are Blooming at Squirrel Picnic

You may have noticed the new spring diorama grants us a rare look through a garden of crocheted flowers onto Hodge and Podge enjoying a picnic. It will be an ongoing project throughout this spring and summer to update, revise, amend, and polish it. By the end of the summer, I’m hoping that every item in the diorama will be knit or crochet. Keep checking in each month to see how it’s changing. I’m planning on adding birds, butterflies, and a few more flowers. What else do you think I should add?

spring-summer-2013-diorama-1102x509.jpg