The Big Acorn Race

A Squirrel Picnic Story with Crochet Patterns and Projects

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Announcing Another Winner! (Instagram Giveaway)

June 2016 Winner of Instagram Giveaway

Congratulations go out to @thequiltingdoberman!

You have won your very own copy of The Big Acorn Race. Please email squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and I’ll pop your prize in the mail today.

In other news, did you know that you can now find The Big Acorn Race in Barnes & Noble (and wherever books are sold). I don’t know if that’s a big deal, but when I saw that the book had ventured beyond the realm of Amazon and out into the big wide world, it really gave me quite a thrill. It’s like watching it fly out of the nest. (Sorry, weird metaphor. How would I know what that’s like? I should’ve interviewed a bird before saying such a thing.)

We’re working hard on getting the book into yarn shops nationwide as well. I’ll keep you posted on where you can find these little squirrels and their adventure.

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The Big Acorn Race Instagram Giveaway

Big Acorn Race Giveaway for FB

Hodge and Podge and Eric want to give one lucky picnicker
a copy of their new book, The Big Acorn Race.

Three quick hops and you’ll be entered to win:

1) Hop on over to Instagram and follow @squirrelpicnic.

2) Repost this photo.

3) Tag it @squirrelpicnic #wannawinthebigacornrace

I’ll draw a random winner on June 2. I can’t wait to see who wins!

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Big Acorn Race Update: Time to Test the Patterns

Tall n Fast Flower Pillow (Kate)

Tall n Fast Flower Pillow (Kate)

Working with pattern testers for the first time has been a wonderful, eye opening, humbling, and gratifying experience.

When I started the book, I thought that I wouldn’t need to have my patterns tested. Where would I go to find people who would test them? Would anyone be willing to do it for free? I don’t have much money to spare, but I realized I could acknowledge them in the book and even send them a copy when it came out. But would that be enough compensation? I was really worried that it would be an imposition to ask someone to lend their talents and so much of their time for so little reward.

Squirrel Accessories: Baseball Cap and Apron (Grace)

Squirrel Accessories: Baseball Cap and Apron (Grace)

But as has happened so many times before with my blog, I was utterly amazed by the outpouring of support. Every single crocheter I approached was more than just willing to test a pattern or two for me, they were excited to be a part of my project.

Asking for help has always been a little difficult for me. I was brought up to “do it yourself” with what you have on hand, but as I get older I’m realizing there’s a much easier way. It’s called community and friendship. It’s a blessing to have people in your life that you can count on, people who will support you and lend a hand whenever you need one. And it’s a blessing to be able to be there for them in their times of need. What can I say, I feel so lucky to have my friends.

I’m also doubly blessed that my friends are also such talented artists! Let me introduce you to my fabulous group of pattern testers… Continue reading

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The Big Acorn Race Update: We’ve Got a Cover!

Squirrel Picnic

This has been an exciting month! It’s also been extraordinarily busy. (Isn’t it funny how the two always seem to go hand in hand?) I promise to write a separate post about designing and creating all the new patterns, working with pattern testers, choosing fonts, and hashing out what will go in the techniques section. But for now I just really want to share with you something near and dear to my heart, something I’ve dreamed of for over two years now… we have a cover for Squirrel Picnic’s very first story and pattern book!The Big Acorn Race by Jennifer OlivarezBig love and thanks go out to Sylvie Abecassis for designing the graphics and working her magic on my photos. I am always amazed by the talent she possesses. She has a big heart, a wealth of design knowledge and skill, and a generous and caring spirit. I can’t thank her enough for this beautiful gift.


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The Big Acorn Race Update: Oak Leaves and Acorns

Squirrel Picnic

May was an unusually wet month for Colorado. The state prides itself on its 300 days of sunshine, but this month we had only 3 days without some form of precipitation. Rainy days are perfect for crocheting and I crocheted up a storm all month long!

I focused on designing, crocheting, and photographing the first four patterns and projects for the book. These include an oak leaf motif, an oak leaf clutch, an amigurumi acorn, and an oak leaf and acorn garland.

I also created the storyboard and began laying out a mock up of the book, starting with these four patterns.

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Big Acorn Race Update: Getting My Squirrels in a Row

Squirrel Picnic

Hodge helps me sew up the seam on the last tree. Hodge helps me sew up the seam on the last tree.

April has gone by in a blur. I couldn’t tell you where the time went. My full-time job has been keeping me so busy that I am surprised when I have the energy to work on the blog or the book in the evenings. I have a feeling I will need to take some time off this summer to get all my squirrels in a row.

Tree Trunk I played with freeform crochet to create the exposed roots on the trees.

This month – in the car, on the bus, in parks, and mostly on weekends – I concentrated on finishing up the set and creating the first new pattern for the book.

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Big Acorn Race Update: Backgrounds and Foregrounds

Squirrel Picnic

The first full month of work on Squirrel Picnic’s Big Acorn Race is ending, and I am pleased to say that progress has been made. My main goal for this month was to make the backgrounds for the main set for the scenes in the book. As you may recall, the objective is for everything in the book to be crocheted, including the grass and sky.

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