Polar Playmat Series – Penny the Polar Bear

I am very excited to launch my Polar Playmat Series this week.   I came up with this concept over Christmas and have been working hard since then to bring it to you.   The Polar Playmat fits in perfectly with all the wintery weather we have had recently, but without any of the actual cold!

Polar Playmat
Polar Playmat

The playmat features 4 toys; a Narwhal, Rockhopper Penguin, Seal and a Polar Bear, 4 of my favourite polar living animals.   Whilst they don’t all strictly live in the same place in the wild, I decided to bring them together for this series.   Also as part of the series is the small igloo toy to complete the winter look which you can place on the icy area of the playmat.   Plus there are plenty of fish to eat in the sea for all these creatures.   Finally I made a colour coordinating bag to store all of the playmat pieces in.

Over the course of the next 5 blog posts, I am going to be releasing each of the written patterns to you for FREE, and on the alternating weeks you will also get a video tutorial available on my youtube channel.   This week I will be beginning with Penny the Polar Bear.

Penny Polar Bear
Penny Polar Bear

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know I prefer to sew as little as possible in  my patterns and Penny is no exception.   See features join as you go limbs and therefore only requires the final end to be sewn into her.   I have actually worked up 2 versions of Penny.   Firstly, the smaller version who matches the playmat perfectly is worked in aran yarn on a 3mm hook, but also the more cuddly sized Penny who was worked up using blanket yarn (aldi baby yarn) and a 6mm hook, who can be made on her own or with her more cuddly friends.

Cuddly Penny Polar Bear
Cuddly Penny Polar Bear

You can find the FREE pattern for Penny the Polar Bear by clicking on the link.   If you are not familiar with join as you go limbs, then I have a video tutorial which maybe helpful to you here.  You can also purchase the ad free, printable version of this pattern in my Etsy store for a small amount if you prefer.

I hope that you enjoy making Penny over the next couple of weeks, and do look out for her video tutorial coming next Wednesday.   As always I would love to see pictures of your finished toys, so please feel free to share them on my social media platforms.

See you in 2 weeks with another of Penny’s friends from the Polar Playmat Series.

Vicky x

Oliver’s Dinosaur Hat

It’s funny how some things you work hard on don’t do nearly as well as the spur of the moment projects.  Oliver’s Dinosaur hat is one of those spur of the moment projects.  I’d made the mother and daughter hats for Lily and myself and Oliver obviously didn’t want to feel left out, so he asked me to make him a dinosaur hat in blue and green.   Not having the necessary colours in the right weight in my wool stash, we went to the wool shop a couple of days later.   They actually didn’t have any green and we came out with 2 different blues in Hayfield Bonus Chunky Wool.

A couple of days later I set out to make his hat.  I initially experimented with working it in tapestry crochet,  but I just couldn’t get the dinosaur to look how I wanted it to.  Having a very impatient 4 year old waiting for is hat, meant I didn’t really have all the time in the world to experiment with either.   He seems to think Mummy should be able to produce his hat in a matter of seconds not days!

Blue Dino Hat
Blue Dino Hat

So as a result I worked up a quick and simple beanie style hat with a rib banding of front and back post stitches.  The actual hat, once I worked out the size needed really didn’t take more than an hour.   I then went on to work out a dinosaur motif to attach to the front in the contrast colour.   It took a couple of attempts to get the shape right before I was able to attach it to the hat but the time (even if it was too much according to Oliver) was obvious well spent as he loves his hat.

I scribbled down what I did as I made it, but didn’t really intend to release it as a pattern.  I often scribble down freehanded projects but then think they are not all the great and they are just left there.   However, after requests on social media for the pattern I spent a couple of hours at the weekend filming a tutorial for the hat.  I am so glad I did that.   The pattern for the hat I wrote down was fine, but I have no idea what I meant for the dinosaur at all.  No matter how many attempts, I couldn’t replicate what I wrote down, it made no sense to me at all.   Therefore I reworked and rewrote my dinosaur pattern and then made him a few times to make sure I fully understood what I meant!

Dino Motif
Dino Motif

This pattern hasn’t been tested, I hadn’t really intended to do anything with it, but I have made it a few times now so I’m pretty certain its all good.  However, if you want to try it and run into any problems, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.   I still need to edit the video tutorial I made at the weekend before its ready to be uploaded, but that should be done by next wednesday.  Until then if you want to create your own dino hat, you can find the pattern here.

A little warning about the yarn, the Hayfield seems to be thicker than other chunky yarns I have used and this is the yarn used to design the hat.  If you use a different chunky yarn be sure to work up a swatch and compare it to the gauge in the pattern.  In my video tutorial, I used Paintbox chunky and the hat worked up a size smaller.   This is ok for me as it fits Lily perfectly, but you may need to make some adjustments to your hooks size or work a slightly larger pattern.

Green dino hat
Green dino hat

Anyway, I hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog post, and do let me see your finished Dinosaur hat if you make one.  Join me in 2 weeks for my next blog post releasing the first pattern in my new crochet series.

Vicky x