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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Your Squirrel Friend Loves to Play Dress Up!

Squirrel and Accessories by Sandra Hauser

Not only did Sandra Hauser crochet a squirrel friend, she made all these accessories for her too. Now that’s one lucky squirrel. Great work, Sandra!

Many of the patterns for the items you see here can be found for free at the picnic. Because they are small, they whip up in a jiff and require very little yarn. These accessories are a great way to use up leftover yarn.

Dress up your squirrels. They love to accessorize! Be sure to share photos of your dolled-up squirrels at squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com. We love to give you and your squirrels the spotlight.

Get the free accessory patterns for your squirrel friend (from left of squirrel, going counterclockwise around her):

  1. Princess hat
  2. Workout towel (multiple patterns for Podge’s Fitness Gear at the end of the post)
  3. T-shirt, jersey, or sweater
  4. Picnic basket
  5. Purse or satchel

These patterns can be found in Squirrel Picnic’s very own book, The Big Acorn Race:

  1. Aprons
  2. Baseball cap
  3. Award medal
  4. Award medal for you
  5. And, of course, the squirrel


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You Made This!

It’s so cool to see Squirrel Picnic projects from people all over the world. Thank you all for choosing my patterns and for taking the time to share your finished projects with me.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to these awesome folks, whose projects are featured in this edition: Alicia Kelly Rippingale, Margie Smith, Theresa Estep, Christine Knapp, Elaine Womack, Julie-Anna Smith, Marta Ruso, Ina Ringel, Marcia Cristina, Ankharas, Mona Reyes, Taylor, Janette Vanzanen, bpitard, cyrusmum, plantersmith, ellafofella, nlezama, nessiesparklepony, kaypendragon, mamascents, ShiloSol, lyndeepitiak, rpayne8457, violinone, kaurin, Penella, angelclassy, foxxxy, mrsrefjr, rosecrochet44, lese1, Idskje, walkerlover, Blacky67, and Frau Tapete.

If you’ve made something awesome with one of my patterns, I’d love to include you in a future installment of You Made This! And if there’s anyone I missed, I’m terribly sorry. Let me know and I’ll include you in the next edition. Please send a photo of your project to squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com. Continue reading


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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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Make It! Challenge #12: Unlikely Friends Crochet Parrot and Penguin Patterns

 

Unlikely Friends HeaderWelcome to the finale of the Make It! Challenge series! Sheena from Virginia challenged me to make unlikely friends amigurumi, meaning animals that don’t normally hang out together. We talked about a few different examples before we decided that a penguin and a parrot would make an unlikely pair. Where would they meet? A penguin in the Amazon would be a sweaty mess and a parrot in Antarctica would shiver his feathers off. Maybe they should meet on a mild September day in Colorado, like today.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 12Pondering the theme of unlikely friends as I was brainstorming the construction for this Make It! Challenge led me to origami. The art of using intricate folds to turn a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional object seems about as far away from crochet as you can get.

Usually an amigurumi is created by working in the round (crocheting in a spiral to create spheres). I wondered what would happen if I started instead with a flat surface, like a granny square. I decided to start at the corner of a square to create a beak, and then working out from there, I could create a striped pattern that would mimic the bird’s coloration. The tough part was determining how to fold this one square so that it took a form that would stay together and do it in a way that would be easy for others to duplicate. Despite multiple trials, it never quite worked. In the end, sewing a second smaller square on the front and folding the head and wings forward and the tail back was the easiest answer. All in all, I am really pleased with this origami-inspired amigurumi. I hope you enjoy it too. 

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How to Add Faces to Your Amigurumi: Simple Eyes with Felt and French Knots

Ultra Easy Amigurumi Eyes Tutorial by Squirrel PicnicI’m back with another tutorial on how to add faces to your amigurumi. This time I wanted to show you what I do when I just need a simple pair of child friendly eyes and I need them fast. As I’ve mentioned in previous episodes in this series, whenever I’m making a toy for a kiddo, I try to use embroidery instead of safety eyes or buttons.

These eyes use a common embroidery technique: French knots. I used to be really intimidated by this stitch, but just like anything in life, the more you practice, the easier it will get. Making amigurumi eyes is a great way to get in your practice.

If you’re like me and find that it’s hard to achieve consistency with your French knots, you will love this technique. With these eyes, you’re doing one eye at a time (breaking your thread between each eye), so you can pull the knot as tight as you like without having to worry about the slack at the back of your work. We’ll be tying the tails at the back, so the knot will stay in place as well.

So let’s get started… Then, next week, I’ll share with you a pattern that incorporates this technique and double bonus… it’s the next Make It! Challenge.
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How to Add Faces to Your Amigurumi: Satin Stitch Embroidery

Satin Stitch Amigurumi Face Tutorial by Squirrel PicnicI love the look  of satin stitch embroidery, but I don’t use it very often for my amigurumi because, I have to warn you, it does take longer to do than any of the methods I have shown you so far. It also takes a lot of focus, because you have to repeat the same stitch over and over again until an area is filled in. You will probably notice in this tutorial that by the time I got to the white part of the eyes, I had gotten a lot less picky about the straightness of my stitches. Looking back, I wish I would have taken a break halfway through or put the project aside for a day or so. Then I would have been able to come back to it fresh: fresh eyes, fresh mind. In the least, I hope you might learn from my mistake. If you find yourself growing frustrated or impatient, feel free to take a break. You certainly have my permission.

That aside, I think you will be pleased with the results you achieve by using satin stitch embroidery to add details to the faces on your amigurumi. I always think it looks very professional, as this is the technique most often used by large toy companies to manufacture stuffed animals for young kids. Satin stitch embroidery is a great choice for toys that will be used by children of all ages, because you don’t need to worry about any small parts that might present a choking hazard. While the big companies use machines to do all the work, I will show you how to do it by hand. After all, it’s the time and love that you put into it that makes a hand-embroidered stuffed animal so special.

Let’s begin! Continue reading