Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Picnic Blanket for Your Squirrel Friend

After spring snowstorms like the one we had last weekend, we love seeing the snow melt to reveal luscious bright green grass. It really puts Hodge and Podge in the mood for a picnic. How fitting that this Saturday is National Picnic Day! Make your squirrel friend a picnic blanket using this free pattern, pack your basket, and head on out for a day in the sun.Squirrel Picnic

Picnic Blanket for Your Squirrel Friends

Difficulty rating 2

Tools & Materials

Medium-weight yarn in white
Medium-weight yarn in red
G-6 (4.00 mm) crochet hook
Yarn needle or tapestry needle
Towel and rust-proof pins for blocking

Abbreviations

sc = single crochet
ea = each
ch = chain
FO = fasten off

Special Instructions

To switch colors at the end of the row: Insert your hook into the last stitch (st), yarn over (yo) with the original color and pull through the st as you normally would (2 loops on hook). Yo with the new color and pull through both loops on your hook.

How to change colors at the end of the row

Picnic Blanket

With white, ch 26.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and ea ch across, turn. (25)

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in 1st sc and ea sc until you have 1 sc left. Switch to red. Turn.

Row 3: Continuing with red, ch 1, sc in 1st sc and ea sc across, turn.

Row 4: Ch 1, sc in 1st sc and ea sc across until you have 1 sc left. Switch to white. Turn.

Row 5: Continuing with white, ch 1, sc in 1st sc and ea sc across, turn.

Rows 6-30: Rep rows 2-5. FO and weave in ends.

To help keep your blanket from curling and to help you when it comes to doing the surface slip stitch, I recommend blocking your picnic blanket at this point. Blocking your blanket will prove to be especially useful if you are using a natural fiber like wool or cotton. Acrylic yarn can be wet blocked, but you may not notice much difference.

Block your picnic blanket by immersing it in lukewarm water until it is saturated. Pull it out of the water and roll it up in a towel to get rid of any excess water. Fold up another towel and pin the picnic blanket down using rust-proof pins. Let this sit overnight or until completely dry before continuing with surface slip stitching.

Surface Slip Stitching

Picnic Blanket for Your Squirrel Friend 1Make a slipknot and place it on your hook.

Starting at either end, insert your hook into the 3rd st in from the end.

Hold the working end of your red yarn behind your picnic blanket.

Yarn over and pull through the stitch. Pull through the loop on your hook as well.

Rotate your work so that you can insert your hook in the hole one row up. Pull a loop of red up through this hole and through the loop on your hook.

Continue in this way, making a slip stitch in each row, all the way to the other end of the fabric.

FO and weave in ends.

Insert your hook in the 3rd st over from the last line you made. Surface slip stitch as you did for the first line to create parallel lines across the fabric.

Tell your squirrel friends to grab their picnic baskets. We’re ready for a picnic!

Picnic Blanket for Your Squirrel Friend 2

See a mistake or something I overlooked, please let me know in the comments or at squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com. Thanks!

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Year of the Sock: February

Year of the Sock_February 2

My socks for February are complete! They were made with “I know we shall have reveling tonight” from The Amy Lee Show’s Canon Hand Dyes line of sock yarn. I picked this skein up last year at the Interweave Yarn Fest. It’s made of 80% merino wool and 20% nylon. A perfect combination! And aren’t the colors fun.

Squirrel Picnic'c Year of the Sock February Yarn Canon Hand Dyes

This month’s sock had a rough start. Originally I thought I might try a toe-up pattern that I found from a reputable source on Ravelry. But by the time I had finished the heel, it was a disaster. I’m not sure if it was something I had done or the pattern, but the sock turned out way, way, way too big.

Squirrel Picnic's Year of the Sock February 2

Thankfully some helpful friends on Facebook and Instagram convinced me to frog it and start a new pattern. It’s amazing how liberating it can be to unravel your work… once you get started.

Squirrel Picnic's Year of the Sock February 3

I chose to return to the book More Crocheted Socks by Janet Rehfeldt.

Year of the Sock_February 5

For this sock, I used the pattern “Hello Sunshine.” And I’m really glad that I did. It was so much fun.

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It had just enough stitch variety to keep things interesting without becoming too complicated.

Year of the Sock_February 3

The unique texture on the leg is created with a sequence of single crochet and treble crochet stitches.

Year of the Sock_February 1

The heel flap is also done in an interesting way. You crochet around the front loop only for every other row to create another fun texture. This forms a strong fabric for the heel as well.

Squirrel Picnic's Year of the Sock February

The foot is made with mini-clusters of single crochet plus half-double crochet stitches to create this playful look. The self-striping yarn responded really well to this stitch. Check out that magic!

Year of the Sock_February 4

Podge especially loves these sock colors. Look at how well they go with her skin tone (er, fur tone).

Squirrel Picnic's Year of the Sock February 6

Join me next month for a new exploration into the wonderful world of crochet socks. I’ve been dreaming of spring and I think March’s sock will be a fitting way to usher in a season of new beginnings and beautiful pastels.


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Big Acorn Race Update: Nearing the Finish Line

The Big Acorn Race

I've found wearing one of the #1 Award Medals while I proofread gives me instant motivation! Patterns for #1 Award Medals for you and your squirrel friend are included in the book. I’ve found wearing one of the #1 Award Medals while I proofread gives me instant motivation! Patterns for #1 Award Medals for you and your squirrel friend are included in the book.

I can almost see the finish line from here, and after a year in the making, it is really hard to believe that it isn’t a mirage! There are just a few more branches to climb, and this little squirrel book will be ready to hop out into the world.

My designer has been diligently working on the graphics and layout. She’s even scheduled a photoshoot with a professional product photographer to take some final photographs later this month.

Meanwhile I’ve been busy proofreading the first few drafts. You’d think this would be a piece of cake for me, since I’ve been working professionally as a proofreader for almost a decade. However, this was probably the most difficult…

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Your World Needs More Cuteness: Spring Daisy Crochet Patterns

Crochet DaisyDaisies are one of my favorite flowers. They’re simple and cheerful and the ultimate symbol of cute. Just name something Daisy and its cuteness rating goes up exponentially. Take for instance Daisy the world’s cutest cat, Daisy Duke, Daisy Duck, Daisy Buchanan, Daisy Fuentes… the list goes on. But my favorite Daisy moniker is Daisy the Pterosaur, named for the nine-year-old girl who found this dinosaur’s bones in the sand while on a family visit to the beach.

Okay, daisies are cute: you get the point. Now you know why I included daisies in my spring diorama for Squirrel Picnic and why I have to restrain myself from embellishing everything within arms’ reach with these little flowers. If you too would like to add a little cheer to a headband, spring sweater, or Easter table setting, whip up a few of these easy crochet daisies.

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A Friendly Little Squirrel Stops by the Picnic

Stoney's JourneyA friendly little squirrel by the name of Stoney stopped by Squirrel Picnic on his way from the East Coast.

He had traveled 1,500 miles from North Carolina (that’s 8,025,600 squirrel hops!) to come to Colorado in search of adventure. And he says so far it’s the best place he’s ever been. He especially loves the city and all the fun people he has met.

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Within minutes of arriving in Denver, he met a very nice lady who was so taken with him that she offered him a job as a mascot for her company, Keep It in Colorado. What luck!

He was very excited and anxious to wrap up his journey and get to his new job, but we couldn’t let him leave without a party. It wasn’t the same as the barbecues back home, but he said that it was awful kind of us. This fella really does like barbecue. He wouldn’t stop talking about how the first thing he’s going to do at his new job is to find the best barbecue in Denver.

Best of luck, Stoney! And welcome to Colorado.

Bon Voyage Stoney