Polar Playmat Series – Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin

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Today marks the final pattern in my Polar Playmat Series, and I am pleased to end this series with my overall favourite pattern.   Since I was a small girl I have loved penguins and my favourite of all the penguins is the Rockhopper Penguin.   In fact it was this penguin which inspired my whole Polar Playmat idea.   So please let me introduce you to Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin.

Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin
Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin

Not only is Roxy my favourite Penguin, but I actually think I like her pattern the best too.   There is pretty much only 1 end that needs sewing in her which is something that I am sure by now you know I love!   Roxy, like Penny the Polar Bear, features join as you go limbs, so her feet, wings (which are made of 2 parts joined together) and beak are all made in advance and are joined at the appropriate times.   Like Naomi the Narwhal, Roxy has a colour change where her belly is a lighter colour, so she also uses rows around her middle rather than carrying over or cutting the colours.

What is different about Roxy’s pattern is I worked her from the bottom to the head, normally I would work in reverse, but she just seemed to need to be started at the bottom.   Finally once her head is finished she has the classic yellow feathers attached to the top of her head.   I have tried to match the colours I used as closely as possible to that of the Rockhopper, which is why she has pink feet, orange beak and red eyes.   Like her friends Roxy is worked in Paintbox Simply Aran Yarn* (purchase from Love Crochet) and a 3mm hook, although she is the only toy to use coloured safety eyes.

I have also made a cuddly version of Roxy using Aldi’s baby yarn, although I

Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin
Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin

couldn’t get the colours to match as well, I used blue, white and yellow, and like this she reminds me of the little blue penguins, but with the feathers over her eyes still – maybe she is a mix breed like this!   I think it would therefore be easy to adapt her pattern to create most different types of penguin by changing colours and omitting the feathers if needed.   However, my favourite will always be the Rockhopper.

If you would like to make your own Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin (and why wouldn’t you?) then you can find her FREE pattern here.   If you would prefer it to be an ad free, printable pdf, then it is available for a small fee in my Etsy store here.

I hope that you enjoy making Roxy and please feel free to show off any pictures of her (or anyone else from the Polar Playmat Series) on my social media channels.   Don’t forget to look out for Roxy’s video tutorial coming next week on my youtube channel.

Polar Playmat
Polar Playmat

Thankyou for joining my on my Polar journey and please do join me next week for something completely different.

Vicky x

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Polar Playmat Series – Sally the Seal

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In the penultimate release of the Polar Playmat Series, we welcome Sally the Seal to the group.   Sally, like her friends, is made from Paintbox Simple Aran Yarn* in Misty grey and a 3mm hook.

Sally the Seal
Sally the Seal

Sally is primarily made in one piece from her head down to her tail, although the actual tail flipper and side flippers are made separately from 2 pieces joined together and sewn on.   Her neck uses short row shaping to allow her to look more like a seal!   I have made Sally a couple of times, and in order to get her to stand up independently the placement and direction of the front flippers is key.   I would advise pinning them on and adjusting placement before sewing.  However, I did discover that you can counter any mistakes with a few stitches sewing the head to the back, although I prefer not to do this if at all possible.

I have actually made a couple of versions of Sally, Sally in Misty grey with

Sally the Seal
Sally the Seal

darker grey spots, Sally in just the Misty grey and also a white Sally (the cuddly version) and I love her in all 3 forms.   I think she represents different variations of seals, and in the cuddle version in white she really reminds me of the fluffy baby seals.  The cuddle version was made using the Aldi baby yarn (although any blanket type yarn would work) in white and a 6mm hook.

If you would like to make your own Sally the Seal, then you can find her FREE pattern here.  As with my other patterns, if you would prefer the ad free, printable pdf version, then you can find it in my Etsy store for a small fee here.   Don’t forget to look out for the video tutorial for Sally coming soon.

I look forward to seeing any Sally’s you decide to make, so please feel free to post them on my social media sites.   I hope you have enjoyed this post about Sally, and please join me next time for the final release of the Polar Playmat Series and my personal favourite – Roxy the Rockhopper Penguin!

Vicky x

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Polar Playmat Series – Playmat, Igloo & Storage Bag

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This week I am releasing the actual playmat pattern for the Polar Playmat Series.    Included as part of this is the igloo pattern and also the storage bag to store it all in.   Everything in this playmat is made from Paintbox Simply Aran Yarn* (my favourite at the moment) which I purchased from Love Crochet.

The actual playmat is constructed in two different stitches.   A wave stitch for the sea and then a leaping stripes stitch for the ice.   One thing I wanted to do with this playmat is give it some texture, so I purposefully looked for stitches that would do that.   Most of the sea is constructed in a Royal Blue colour, but as you get closer to the ice, I introduced the seafoam blue to give the effect of the tide.   This eventually turns into the ice, which uses champagne white.   I wanted to create a little bit of a rise in the tidal area and so I make use of all the loops in a crochet stitch to create this effect.   At the edge of the water is a row to level up the wave stitch before beginning the leaping stripes.   I love the textured effect this stitch gives, but I have never actually worked it up in one colour only.   I am glad I chose this though as I really like the bumpiness which I am sure you would find in the ice and snow of a polar region.   The playmat is finished with a simple border in the midnight blue just to tidy up the edges.

All of the animals in the polar region are fish eaters (At least in this polar region they don’t eat each other!) and so I needed to add some fish to the playmat.   I made 5 fish motifs in slate grey although you could easy add as many as you wanted to.  The fish work up quickly in one piece and then sewn into the sea.

No polar region would be complete without an igloo and so one was created.   I had originally thought I would make the igloo so the animals could use it, but the size that would have needed to be would have meant it would have covered the whole icy area, so in the

Polar Playmat
Polar Playmat

end it is just decoration.   I made my igloo in the blanket yarn, but holding 2 strands of the aran together would work too.  The igloo is worked in 2 parts, the main circular area and then the porch is worked separately and added on.   I then used the misty grey to give the brick outlines.

 

 

Finally having created all the creatures, playmat and igloo I knew it needed somewhere to be stored.   My kids seem to be going through a phase of putting stuff all over the place and so I wanted to be able to keep it all nicely together.   This also means it can be taken out and about more easily too.   I wanted the bag to have some stretch, but still be a closed stitch, so I chose the Tunisian knit stitch, which is fast becoming one of my favourites.  The bag is worked as one big rectangle and then a flap is sewn at the top to allow the cord to go through.   Then I just sewed up 2 sides and threaded a long Romanian Point Lace cord through the top and tied the ends together.   The bag actually looks quite small but actually I was able to store the playmat, igloo and 2 of each toy in and it still closes easily.

If you would like to create your own Polar Playmat, Igloo and storage bag then  you can find the FREE pattern here.   If you would prefer to get the ad free, printable PDF version then it is available for a small fee in my Etsy Store here.

I hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog post on the Polar Playmat, Igloo and Storage Bag and as usual I would love to see pictures of your creations on the blog.   See you next time for the release of Sally the Seal.

Vicky x

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Polar Playmat Series – Naomi the Narwhal

Please note:  This post contains affiliate links.   If you choose to purchase through the links then I may earn commission at no additional cost to you. Any links will be marked by an *

Given how the huge amount of snow we have been having recently in UK (I have never experienced this much in my life) the Polar Playmat Series seems quite appropriate.   Joining the Polar conditions this week is Naomi the Narwhal.

Whilst I say that Narwhals are one of my favourite Polar animals, I actually didn’t really know all that much about them.   Therefore, before I created Naomi I actually did a bit of research.   It turns out that male Narwhals have the tusks (which are actually canine teeth) and females very rarely do.   In fact if a female does, its usually 2 twisted together and this was the basis of designing Naomi.      I also discovered that Narwhals change colour throughout their life, being born white, changing to a deep blue when they are youngsters and ended up a grey spotted colour as they grow into adulthood.   Their bellies are usually a lighter version of their top colour.  Its actually pretty hard to find a picture of a young Narwhal and so that sort of set my imagination off and as a result Naomi came to life.

Naomi the Narwhal
Naomi the Narwhal

Naomi is made using Paintbox Simply Aran* (I bought mine from Love Crochet) in Midnight blue and Seafoam blue, with a champagne white tusk.  Her tusk is made from Romanian Point Lace Cord and has a pipecleaner running through it to keep it rigid.   In addition Naomi is worked half in the round and half in rows going back and forth changing colour.   This has allowed me to create a clean colour change with minimal sewing and without continually cutting or carrying the yarn through her body.   Her tail and fins are made with 2 pieces each and joined together before being sewn on.

It only takes a couple of hours to make Naomi and I really love how she

Naomi the Narwhal
Naomi the Narwhal

looks.   I have also made a more cuddly sized Naomi and she was very quickly claimed by Oliver who shares my love of whales.  The nice thing about her pattern is that all I needed to do to get the larger size was use blanket yarn (I used aldi’s baby yarn in blue and white) and a 6mm hook.

The pattern for Naomi, like Penny can be found for FREE here.  If you would prefer to purchase the ad free, printable pdf pattern then it can be found in my Etsy store for a small price here.   Also watch out for the video tutorial for Naomi coming out next week.

As usual I would love to see any pictures of Naomi the Narwhal that you make, so please feel free to post them on my social media channels (you can find them in the buttons to the right.)   I hope that you enjoy making Naomi, and join me next time for the release of the Playmat, including igloo and storage bag.

Vicky x

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Please note:  This post contains affiliate links.   If you choose to purchase through the links then I may earn commission at no additional cost to you. 

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