Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Something to Smile About

Behold the turtle

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Make It! Challenge #10: Crochet Island Play Set

Island Play Set with Animals Crochet Pattern by Squirrel PicnicLast spring, Brittani from Wisconsin challenged me to make her son a play set. Specifically, he really wanted a farm play set. Through my research, I found a few barnyard play sets already in existence, including this free one from Lion Brand (you have to log in to view the free pattern). I really loved the play set idea, so Brittani and her son agreed to let me come up with a unique alternative.

I was surprised to find there are a lot of crochet play set patterns out there. In addition to the farm one, I found a safari play set, a teddy bear picnic, a flower pot play set, a racetrack, and lots and lots of toy food. No one had made an ocean play set though, and I instantly fell in love with the idea of crocheting an island surrounded by little ocean animals. Thankfully, Brittani and her son loved the idea too!

The detail I liked most from all the play sets I encountered was how some of them transformed into a bag or box to hold all the little pieces of the set. I included this feature by adding a drawstring to the play set base. Because the play set is rather large (three feet in diameter), the drawstring is a bit longer than I expected, but I think it’s still quite useful to be able to toss all your little ocean animals into the bag and cinch it up so they don’t get lost. Update: A friend of the blog, Ankhara, suggested to pull the drawstring out from two opposite sides of the play set to close it. This way the drawstring will not be too long. Thanks for the tip!

This pattern should be fun and enjoyable for crocheters of all skill levels. The animals are very quick to make because most of their limbs are crocheted in the final rounds. I thought it would be nice not to have too many pieces to sew on at the end.

In fact everything is nice and easy on this island. It’s paradise! At this beach, you don’t have to worry about sunburn or sand that works its way into everything. The sharks even play nice here! I hope you enjoy making an island play set of your very own. I’d love to see photos if you do! Send them to squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com.

Island Play Set Crochet Pattern

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Make It! Challenge #5: Crochet Bowser Sweater for a Turtle

Bowser Sweater for a TurtleFor Make It! Challenge #5, Lisa Egolf challenged me to crochet a sweater for her tortoise, Myrtle, so that he would be easy to spot when she lets him loose to play in the courtyard of the school where she teaches science. “I think bright yet manly colors would be best,” she said, because after all this Myrtle is male (don’t judge). So I set out to design the most masculine turtle sweater I could.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a beefy, manly turtle, my first thought is of Bowser. If you’re familiar with the Super Mario Bros. video game franchise, you undoubtedly remember Bowser as the game’s super villain. The object of the ’80s Nintendo game is to get the main character Mario through the Mushroom Kingdom, survive Bowser′s attacks, and save Princess Toadstool. Running into Bowser, with his spiny shell, pug nose, and domineering height, is enough to make little Mario shiver.

Myrtle definitely looks like he could do some damage in his Bowser sweater. Go on, Myrtle! Go get your princess and take back your Mushroom Kingdom.

Unfortunately due to licensing concerns the pattern to make a Bowser sweater for your turtle is no longer available. My apologies for any inconvenience this causes.