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

*Affiliate Link
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. 

Crochet Dinosaur Series – Dinosaur Storage Bag

This week is the final week in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, and to finish we will be making a dinosaur bag to put your playmat and dinosaurs into when they are not being played with.   Handy also for taking out with you.

Crochet Dinosaur Series

The bag is made primarily of double crochet stripes, in four colours, yellow, sea green, red and white.   I also added two bands of dinosaurs, so you know what is in this particular bag.  The dinosaur bands are made in Tunisian crochet, something I have wanted to explore a bit more.   I definitively enjoyed working out how to make these bands.

If you don’t know how to Tunisian crochet I have included instructions and a useful video to get you started.  If you don’t have the hooks or are not sure about it however, you could always make the band using normal single crochet in a tapestry crochet style.

Dinosaur Bag
Dinosaur Bag

One thing I did learn was that Tunisian crochet is tighter than my double crochet and I probably could have gone up a hook size to make the bag more even.   Since it is at the top and bottom however, it doesn’t really affect the bags use.

To get the Dinosaur Bag, click on the link provided.

I hope you have enjoyed making everything in the Crochet Dinosaur Series, I know I definitely have and my children love playing with them.  Thank you for joining me every week and I look forward to seeing you all next week for something new and different.

Vicky x

Crochet Dreamcatcher

This week is my final week looking at Crochet Decorations for the home (at least for now).  I have always loved Dreamcatchers, they look so pretty and I love the idea behind them too.   However, until this week it has always been a project I wanted to try but have never quite gotten around to.

To begin with, I bought some embroidery hoops in two different sizes and removed the top hooks.   This gave me 2 larger and 2 smaller sizes to work with.   I also used some more of the new Women’s Institute cotton from Hobbycraft that I was using for last weeks Kitchen projects.   I googled a few designs and read through a few patterns and the basic principle seemed to be the same.   Essentially you work in the round from the middle until it is big enough and then crochet it to the hoop last before adding any decorations.

I began with a small dreamcatcher using the blue and white cotton and worked a simple circle design which turned into a 10 point star before being attached to the hoop.   I wanted to add a feather as is traditional and remembered seeing a pattern for Tunisian crochet feathers on Pinterest which I thought would fit in perfectly.   I actually haven’t tried Tunisian crochet before, (although it is something I have wanted to try) so it took a few attempts before I got the hang of it.   I initially just worked a plain feather and added some stitching decoration, but after the first try I braved working with 2 colours, which was not really that much more difficult, but definitely more effective.

The second dreamcatcher I made was the pink one, which was again free handed from a flower in the centre, although it has actually ended up looking more like a star in the end!   As I was working these sitting next to one of my cushions (from a couple of weeks back) I thought the centre of the Sophie’s Universe pattern would look great as a dreamcatcher.   Since I was making it one morning whilst the kids were playing, I actually managed to make more petals on the starting flower and as a result I ended up having to adapt the pattern as I went to make it work.  Despite this I am pleased with the final result.  My final dreamcatcher I worked the Granny spiral Dreamcatcher pattern, with 10 strands alternating in black and white.

Dreamcatchers
Dreamcatchers

I have put the smaller pink and blue dreamcatchers hanging over Oliver and Lily’s bed and the larger ones are hanging in my kitchen and living room windows and I am really pleased with the results.   Dreamcatchers are definitely something I want to make more of, and I am thinking I may even try with much thinner cotton next time to make something more delicate.

I hope that you have enjoyed this weeks post on dreamcatchers.   I hope to see you next week for the start of my new dinosaur series.

Vicky x