(Note: today, I have one more blog tour stop for you, and then I’ll be entering a slightly different era of book-reviewing. More on that later.)
I’ve always liked Stacey Trock‘s amigurumi, so I was happy to join the blog tour for her latest book, Crocheted Softies: 18 Adorable Animals from Around the World.
The term “softies” deserves mention here. These are perhaps not exactly amigurumi, which tend to be more petite in size. These designs are quite a bit larger, like the stuffed animals you recall from your childhood.
Stacey has done some fun things here. As you can see, the project collection represents animals from all over the globe – thankfully, not neglecting outer space. :-)
There’s a lot of cuteness going on here, to be sure. I’d make any one of these designs for a certain pair of excellent kids I know. And you get a nice mix of simpler shapes for newer crocheters and more complex stuff for veterans.
Instructionally, I think Crocheted Softies is excellent. There’s a thorough chapter of basic information with a generous number of diagrams like these to illustrate. If you’ve at least handled a crochet hook at some point, you could absolutely learn everything you need to know to make softies from this book.
For you veterans, Stacey does some interesting things with working into only the front or back loops of her stitches as a means of getting a tighter fabric that hides stuffing, or creating different textures on different parts of an animal.
There’s also some fun stuff going on with yarn choices. These (cuuuuute) alpacas are made (of course) from alpaca yarn. The panda is made from bamboo yarn. There’s a kiwi made from New Zealand Merino. You’ll also find patterns that use corn-based yarn, milk-based yarn, recycled silk, and soy. What a fun way to experiment with fibers!
I really love the range of shapes in these patterns – stuff that’s articulated way beyond the simple bears and cats that have appeared in many other books. And you see some thoughtful repetition of shapes, too, so once you’ve mastered the bulgy eyes on this snail, you can use that skill in the crab or alien patterns.
Similarly, there’s a smart page of basic shapes that show up in many of the patterns, so you can easily refer back there… or use them to build your own animals.
This is my favorite pattern in the book – hands down. The world needs more crocheted jellyfish.
The patterns are written in row form with abbreviations (so, no diagrams, in case you happen to be a diagram-lover).
If you’d like to check out the rest of the blog tour, the schedule is on Stacey’s website.
(The usual disclaimers, of course… Martingale & Company sent me a review copy, and the title links above are affiliate links. Crochet on, you crazy crochet diamond!)