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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Big Acorn Race Update: Picnic Photo Shoot with Your Favorite Squirrel Friends

Final Photoshoot Sketches_Squirrel Picnic

Before heading out to the mountains for the photo shoot, I took some time to sketch out a general layout. I love drawing Hodge, Podge, and Eric.

This past week I took the final photographs for the book. These full-page color photos are the “beauty shots” that will divide the patterns into sections.

Hodge, Podge, Eric, and I decided to make an adventure out of it and head up to the mountains with all of our props. We went to one of our favorite places: White Ranch Open Space Park. It was a beautiful, blue-sky day (it didn’t even feel like winter), but it was also really, really windy. We were determined not to let the wind spoil our fun, so we carried our baskets of Big Acorn Race goodies over the mud and snow until we came upon some picnic tables in the sun.

I had sketched out my ideas on how to lay out each scene before we got there, but I hadn’t really prepared for the wind. I set everything up, taping some things down and holding others down with rocks! Then I waited patiently for the wind to die down and tried to snap as many photos as I could in between gusts.

The Big Acorn Race by crochet artist and writer Jennifer Olivarez is a whimsical storybook and crochet pattern book in one!

Hodge and Podge and Eric got to model their accessories in the first photo. The first group of patterns you will find in the book include instructions to make the squirrels plus their accessories and inventions. The new and improved squirrel amigurumi pattern comes complete with photo tutorials and detailed instructions on how to embroider their faces, how to create their eyes, and how to sew their tails. I think you will appreciate finally being able to find all this information in one place! There are also patterns to make Podge’s apron, Hodge’s baseball cap, and Eric’s jet pack.

Oak Leaves and Acorns Patterns to Crochet from The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez_Squirrel Picnic

Next we used the picnic scene to display the Oak Leaf and Acorn Garland, Acorns in Six Sizes, and Oak Leaf Clutch. I have had the garland hanging in my bedroom for a few months now, and I love the way it adds a pinch of woodsy charm to my room. I had a lot of fun making the Oak Leaf Clutch in particular. In addition to the instructions to crochet the clutch, I show you how to add a lining and a zipper.

Tall n Fast Flower Crochet Patterns from The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez_Squirrel Picnic

Eventually we couldn’t compete with the wind any longer. I really had to fight against the wind to get back to the car, so I had to admit that we weren’t going to be able to take any more photos on the mountain. We packed it up and headed back down to one of my favorite parks in Arvada. Here, I set up the scene for the flower section, which includes patterns to make accessories for you and your home inspired by Podge’s solution to the Big Acorn Race challenge… the Tall ‘n’ Fast Flower!

#1 Award Medal for You and Your Squirrel Friend crochet pattern from The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer Olivarez

Next was the photo for one of my favorite accessories. The book also includes patterns to make an award medal for you and your squirrel friend! Aren’t they darling? Danielle Duncan teamed up with Podge to gracefully model their award medals. Thank you, Danielle! You are a natural. You and Podge will make everyone want medals of their own.

Now that the photos are taken care of and amazing artist Sylvie is finishing things up (bless her heart, she is more than amazing!), I get to start working on promotional things… like giveaways! I’m hoping to have several throughout the month of March, so keep a lookout—the details on how you can win a copy of The Big Acorn Race are coming your way! (If you’re looking to purchase a copy, I promise it’s almost here. Friends of the picnic will be the first to know, so be sure to pay attention to your email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the week ahead.)


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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!


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Hodge’s Superhero Mask

Superhero Mask for Your Squirrel Friend Pattern by Squirrel PicnicHodge wants to be a superhero for Halloween this year, but he hasn’t decided which one. In fact when I pressed him to choose, he asked, “Can I just be all of them?”

So I crocheted him a costume that is versatile enough to accessorize just about any superhero character: a mask. If he wants to be Batman or Zorro or the Dread Pirate Roberts, I’ll crochet one in black. If he decides to be Robin or the Green Lantern, I’ll crochet one in green. If he changes his mind for the 30th time and wants to be Captain America, all I have to do is whip up a new mask in blue. But he’s been talking about being Raphael the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle since he saw the movie last year, so I have a feeling that decision will stick, which is just fine with me because he’s already got this red one.

If your squirrel could be a superhero, which one would they choose? It’s pretty hard to decide, isn’t it.

Hodge’s Superhero Mask

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Podge’s Pretty Princess Hat Crochet Pattern

Podge's Princess Hat Pattern by Squirrel PicnicPodge wants to be a pretty princess this year for Halloween. Seeing as her favorite color is pink and she’s a total princess the other 364 days of the year, this comes as little surprise. Podge just loves dressing up!

Podge loves trick or treating too. Every year it’s the same story. At the end of the night she dumps her candy out on the floor and picks out all the pink ones to stash away for herself. She gives the rest to Hodge and I. Her favorite pink candies are Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape, cotton candy Jelly Belly Beans, Bubble Yum, Good n Plenty, strawberry Nerds, watermelon Jolly Ranchers, and strawberry Laffy Taffy to name a few. Did you know you can shop for candy by color? I’ll have to remember that for her next birthday party.

Is your squirrel going trick or treating this year? Now you can dress them up like a princess too with this free pattern!

I hope you enjoy making this costume and I hope your squirrel friend enjoys it too. Continue reading


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Crochet Purse or Satchel for Your Squirrel Friend

Satchel or Purse Crochet Pattern from Squirrel PicnicThe latest comic featuring Hodge, Podge, and Eric showed how much these squirrels love their new bags! Hodge likes to carry all of his craft supplies with him everywhere he goes, because you just never know when you’ll need a sewing machine or your knitting basket. Podge, on the other hand, likes to travel light and only carries a tube of lipstick. I’m more like Hodge — I carry a backpack filled with crochet projects and tools every day! Do you have craft supplies in your bag right now?

If your squirrel has lots of stuff, he or she is going to need a purse or satchel too. Crochet one today with this free pattern. It’s quick and easy! Decorate their bag with embroidery or beads. Use chain or ribbon for the strap. These are just a few suggestions. Feel free to get creative and customize it to your squirrel’s personal style.

If you haven’t made a squirrel amigurumi yet, you really should! They are so much fun to have around. Visit my free pattern to make a Hodge or Podge of your very own. Continue reading