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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Squeaky Bug - Free pattern

Squeaky Bug *FREE pattern*

Buddy loves his squeaky bug and it was so easy to make.  Buddy is 4 months old now and loves toys that squeak so I bought a bag of medium sized replacement squeakers on Amazon.  They are 1 3/4" in diameter.  He is always snagging the squeakers from me when I'm trying to put them in a toy and he will run around the house like a mad dog with it in his mouth squeaking away.  So, I decided to make a toy that was just big enough to cover the squeaker and protect it from his teeth.  That way he could still run around with it in his mouth.

Squeaky Bugs are fun for other pets too.  You can even skip the squeaker and stuff them with pillow guts, yarn tails or scraps of fleece etc.  You could even slip in a little cat nip for your kitty!

I would love to see all the crazy Squeaky Bugs (including the Less Buggy Squeaky Bugs!) that people make.  If you send me a picture to donnaj71@gmail.com with a name to display I'll put the picture on my blog in my Squeaky Bug Exhibit.  I will assume you are giving me permission to post your picture on my blog if you email it to me.

Here is what you need:
  • Worsted weight yarn in black and whatever color you want your bug to be.  I like to use 100% cotton yarn (like Sugar N'Cream, Peaches & Creme, Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton etc) because it holds up better for a pet toy than acrylic yarn but you can use any kind of yarn.
  • G size hook (4mm)
  • A darning needle
  • 1 Medium sized round replacement squeaker 1 3/4" in diameter.  
Gauge: The circles for the body of the bug should be about 3" in diameter when flat.  You want to work tight so if your circle comes out bigger try changing to a smaller hook.  It is okay if your circle is a little smaller.  


The body is constructed of two circles, one colored and one black.  They cup a little to hold the squeaker because of the way they are worked. When you look at the hdc (half double crochet US terminology) you'll see the horizontal bar going across below the V on the top (There is also a horizontal bar on the back which you'll use later if you want to add legs to your bug). If you roll the work slightly in your hand a little so you can see the top V stitch and the horizontal bar below it (on the front side of the work) you be able to understand exactly where to work.  Instead of working into the top V, roll the work back so you don't see the back loop of the top V stitch - now you see another V stitch to work in!  Work in that V stitch like normal for joining and working stitches. This will cause the stitches to pull forward creating the cupped shape.  This is actually really easy to do when working in the round like we are for this pattern.  It is actually more difficult to not do it this way in the round and many people do it without realizing it and don't know why their work is cupping.

  1. Start off with a magic circle, chain 1 and work 6 hdc (half double crochet) into the circle. Join with slip stitch to the first hdc.
  2. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, work 2 hdc into each stitch.  Join with slip stitch to first hdc. (12 sts)
  3. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, *work 2 hdc, 1 hdc in next stitch* repeat around to the end and join with slip stitch to the first hdc (18 sts)
  4. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, *work 2 hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 2 stitches* repeat around to the end and join with slip stitch to the first hdc (24 sts)
  5. Chain 1, starting in the same stitch as join, *work 2 hdc, 1 hdc in each of next 3 stitches* repeat around to the start and join with slip stitch to first hdc (30 sts)  fasten off and weave in ends. (when you make your black circle for the bottom do not fasten off)

Now, take the colored one and add your buggy details.  You can use your darning needle to stitch the lines on or you can use surface crochet.  Using the black yarn stitch a half circle to create the head of the bug and a line down the middle of the back.  Then add two eyes and some spots to each side of the bug.  Of course you can add the details however you want and get super creative.  Make loads of crazy bugs!  I can't wait to see what everyone makes!  Just make sure you stitch them in good and weave in the ends so your pet can't get them loose.  I actually knot mine since it is on the inside anyway and won't be seen.  You can also use safety eyes instead of stitching them on.

For this one (my first one) I used surface crochet for the lines and that was super quick and easy.  I was a little impatient when doing the dots and you can tell.  I just whip stitched this bug together working around the legs.

For this one I used 6 mm safety eyes and used a back stitch for the lines and french knots with 3 wraps for the dots.  He doesn't have a mouth but his eyes are smiling.

Bug Legs

After you finish your black circle don't fasten off after joining.

1. Chain 1 and turn it to the back of your circle and slip stitch to the horizontal bar on the back of the stitch (marked in blue in the picture below).  

Note: I found it is easiest to hold the circle so your thumb is on the right side of the work so you can work on the back edge like in the picture below.

2. Next, chain 6.  Slip stitch into second chain from hook and down to last chain and then slip stitch back into the same horizontal loop where you started.  -1 leg!
3. Slip stitch into the next two stitches (horizontal bars)
4. Chain 6 and slip stitche back down and then back into the horizontal bar again - 2nd leg!
5. Repeat step 3 and 4 one more time and then fasten off. - 3 bug legs!

Turn your circle around and repeat the same for the other side.  When you are done it should look something like this from the right side.  

Joining your Squeaky Bug

So now you have all your parts you need to make a bug sandwich.  Make sure both of your circles are right side out. 
Joining the layers together is super quick and easy with surface crochet (slip stitch).  Use yarn to match the top of your bug.  I'm using red.  Make a slip knot in your yarn but don't put it on your hook yet.  Stick your needle through both layers of your bug starting from the top, then stick your slip knot on the hook from the back.

Pull the yarn to the front (but don't pull the slip knot all the way out) and then stick your hook back down into the next space, yarn over and pull it to the front of the work.  Work a slip stitch and repeat all the way around.  When you get to the end to where there is just one space left you will have to finish with a darning needle.  Just pull your last loop out long and snip it leaving you with at least 5 or 6 inches.  Thread the yarn onto a darning needle and stick your needle flat to the work at slide it under both loops of the first surface crochet stitch.  Then, slick the needle back down where it is coming from to complete the last chain.  Take the two pieces of red yarn at the back and tie a knot. Then just use your needle to take your yarn into the body of the bug and out through the top.  Snip the yarn and give the bug a tug (hey that rhymes!) so the yarn tail ends up inside and not showing.  

This is what it looks like on the back

Less Buggy Squeaky Bug

Simple Version

This is a simplified version that can be made super quick.  Just take your two completed circles and put them together right sides out with your squeaker in the middle.  You can add some small safety eyes if you want or just skip adding any details all together and single crochet (US Terms) the two layers together.  

Put your squeaker between two 3" circles.  Please excuse my green circle looking a little ratty.  My puppy kept snagging it so it has already been played with some.  Make sure you secure your magic circle really well on the wrong side.  

If you just finished your last circle you can just chain 1 and then insert your hook through the top loops of both circles, yarn over and work a single crochet.  Work all the way around and then join to your first single crochet and fasten off.  

The finished squeaky bug is only slightly bigger than 3" and is ready to play with!

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