Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Some Like It Hot! Chile Pepper Play Food

The Request

I love getting requests...actually, that is often the inspiration for many of my patterns. Here is a conversation I received through my Etsy Shop: The Silver Hook (edited):

Hi Susan, I found your food rattles while searching Etsy newborn gifts for a dear friend who runs a food blog and just had her first child. I LOVE this idea and the fruits are gorgeous enough to display on my dining room table... never mind play with.

I would love to purchase a couple but wondered if you might make chile pepper rattles (a red and green)? I live in the Southwest and she's in the Northeast so I'm forever attempting to amp up her spicy palate profile. I swore I'd introduce her new son to the great, bold flavors of the SW as soon as he's ready. Since peppers are off her diet while breast-feeding, I thought it'd be a perfect and so very meaningful gift to send pepper rattles.

The Design

What an awesome idea! Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. Jason, my husband loves spicy food. I've been expanding my play food collection recently with grapes, watermelon, corn, etc. I was in the middle of a large wholesale order for Fiddleheads Kids Shop, but I took a day off from that project to work on the peppers.

Jason helped me design the peppers. He doesn't crochet (yet), but after examining the prototype, he suggested that the pepper tip needed to fold. Hrm...After some thought I came up with a new-for-me method for curving the tip by working new rounds into to the front loop of previous rounds. Jason also had another suggestion to make a dried chile pepper (more flat and lumpy). I could do that, but I felt that a plump pepper would be a better baby fit - easier for teething. However, it would work for non-rattle play food. Let me know ( if you are interested and I will work up a sample.

The final challenge to making the peppers was the shade of green for the green pepper. It's sort of a yellowish green. Normally I use Red Heart brand and I have many shades of green but none with right yellow tinge. I looked through my yarn stash and found yarn that I had left over from a pair of ripple fingerless gloves I made this fall. It is by Loops & Threads Impeccable Worsted in Grass that I picked up at Michaels. This brand will be a great future supplement to my yarn stash, and I can easily recommend it for child-friendly, easy care, amigurumi. Here is a link to a post about yarn. I'd also add Vanna's Choice yarn by Lion Brand to my list of toy yarn.

Finishing Touches

I sent pictures for approval and crossed my fingers.

Susan! These are absolute perfection. I would absolutely like to purchase these for my friend. In fact... I may be purchasing quite a few in the future as I have a number of friends with little peps en route! 

Since this order was being shipped directly to the new parents, there were a few finishing touches prior to shipping: a cloth gift bag and hand written card.


  1. I agree that a lot of inspiration and ideas for new creations come from customers' special requests ~ I've had similar experiences.

    The handwritten card and gorgeous cloth bag are fabulous special touches to make any gift EXTRA-special :)

    1. That's why I love being a (very) small business owner. It is possible to add those extra touches :)