• Crochet Book Reviews

    Dinosaurs to Crochet: A Crochet Book Review

    Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner - a Crochet Book Review by The Loopy Lamb

Got a dinosaur lover in your life?  Looking for a great crochet dinosaur pattern?  Read this in-depth review of Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner and enter for your chance to win a copy of this new crochet book!

    If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that I’m a bit of a crochet book lover. I have a stack of crochet-related books next to my bed that I’m working through. This week I read Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner so I thought I’d review it for you all this week. I’m also giving away a copy of this book! Keep reading to find out how to enter.

    Last fall, after a dramatic trip to the library, I made it home with a copy of Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday by Megan Kreiner. (You can read that review and the tale about the dreaded library trip HERE). I came home, consumed the book and posted my review.

    I was so shocked when Megan contacted me directly and thanked me for the review. It seriously made my day. She mentioned that she had a dinosaur crochet book in the works. Dinosaurs are a big deal at my house so we couldn’t wait for it to come out.

    Fast forward several months and Dinosaurs to Crochet is here and my first impression was “This. is. SO. COOL!” I reached out to Megan and she kindly arranged to get me a copy of the book to review.

    Megan is an animator for DreamWorks (how cool is that?) and her attention to detail in this book is insane. The dinosaurs in Dinosaurs to Crochet aren’t your normal cutesy cartoonish crochet dinosaurs. These dinosaurs are legit. They look like actual dinosaurs and each one is an absolute work of art. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this ankylosaurus!

    crochet ankylosaus from new book by Megan Kreiner

    Each pattern is accompanied with multiple pictures to guide you through the process of making your own prehistoric pal. Many of the projects include instructions for utilizing wire to make your dinosaur poseable and keep them stabilized. It is an optional step but I love that it is included

    Dinosaurs to Crochet comes with 12 patterns so you’re sure to find something for the dinosaur lover in your life. Dinosaurs in this book include:
    – T-Rex
    – Triceratops
    – Stegasaurus
    – Velociraptor
    – Brachiasaurus
    – Pteradon
    – and more!

    Preview of crochet triceratops from new dinosaur pattern book by Megan Kreiner

    As with most crochet books, Dinosaurs to Crochet includes written and visual instructions for the stitches used in the book, crochet and finishing techniques. I found the patterns to be clear, concise and logical. If you’re a beginner or absolutely new to amigurumi, all the steps involved may seem a little daunting upon first inspection but I think Megan has done a great job of making this book accessible to everyone.

    This book generated a lot of excitement when it arrived at my house. My family has already put in requests for me to make almost every dinosaur in this book. Even my husband asked me to make him a triceratops. So if you plan on getting yourself a copy of Dinosaurs to Crochet, you may find yourself very busy making dinosaurs if you forget to put it away when company is over.

    If you’re interested in buying a copy of Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner, it can be purchased from Amazon HERE. If you purchase through this link, I will get a small commission which helps keep my site running and my patterns free.

    Group of triceratops looking at a crochet triceratops in Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner
    My husband and I had a bit of fun taking pictures.

    Giveaway Time!

    Thanks to Spring House Press, I have a copy of this wonderful book to giveaway to one lucky winner! Please read the rules and regulations below before entering. Good luck!

    This giveaway is open to US and Canada addresses only (void where prohibited). The giveaway ends September 6, 2019, at 12:15am EDT time. To enter, use the KingSumo form below. Please use a desktop computer to enter if you are experiencing difficulties on mobile devices. Only the email option is mandatory – all other tasks are for optional, bonus entries only.

    The winner will receive a copy of Dinosaurs to Crochet by Megan Kreiner, and will be notified by email.

    http://<div id=”kingsumo-embed” data-url=”https://kingsumo.com/g/clryz1/dinosaurs-to-crochet-pattern-book-giveaway”></div> <script src=”https://kingsumo.com/js/embed.js”></script>

    I found this book to be really accessible for beginners. Each pattern includes the written instructions and the charts. Snuggle and Play crochet also has a clear, concise references section in the back to explain basic stitches, abbreviations and various techniques. The book is loaded with crisp, clean pictures that make the characters jump out and scream “make me!”.

    All the amigurumi and loveys in Snuggle and Play Crochet use safety eyes which of course, makes them look uber adorable and polished looking. However, safety eyes aren’t a great idea for items for small children that are likely to put their precious playthings in their mouth. The author does recommend embroidering the eyes for toys being made for young children but never actually gives instructions anywhere on how to do that. If you don’t mind the book providing you with those alternatives and are ok to wing it/google how to do it then it’s fine. But if you’re a beginner picking the book up and have never embroidered before, you’ll need to do a quick google or youtube search.

    Other than missing that small detail, the book is great. It’s clear, comprehensive and just darn cute. Snuggle and Play Crochet by Carolina Guzman Benitez makes a great, quick resource with plenty of options for baby/kids gifts which can help eliminate hours of research on google/pinterest/ravlery etc.

    If you’re interested in buying Snuggle and Play Crochet, it can be purchased from Amazon HERE. If you purchase through this link, I will get a small commission which helps keep my site running and free.

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crochet Animal Rugs: A Crochet Book Review

    Crochet Animal Rugs by Ira Rott - A Crochet Book Review by The Loopy Lamb

    The post contains affiliate links.
    This is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own.

    If you’ve been following my blog or have read one of my crochet book reviews, you may have caught on that I love books and my local library. I typically discover many of the books I review with a visit to the library or looking online at the library’s online catalogue. My discovery of this book is no different.

    My local library has this section of books right when you walk in where they feature a different topic, author or genre. When I visit the library I’m usually on a mission so this shelf gets a passing glance and unless something catches my eye, this shelf is barely registered other than to avoid crashing into it. (This may have happened to me before but that’s a story for another day). Anyways, the last time I walked into the library this shelf practically jumped out and screamed at me to look at it (which I wish it had done that time I crashed into it…). The whole shelf was dedicated to fiber arts!

    After having a little fangirl type scream in my head, I started some serious browsing. There were books on spinning, dying yarn, crochet, knitting, weaving, etc. That’s when Crochet Animal Rugs by Ira Rott caught my eye. Having seen some of Ira’s work shared online previously, I knew who the book was by before picking it up.

    Ira has this whimsical, fun style to her designs that I absolutely LOVE. The crochet animal rugs in this book are fun, accessible to crocheters of any level and kids will love them. Well, at least both my kids do since I had to wrestle the book out of one of their hands just to get some pictures for this post. 🤦 My son has already placed orders for the crab and dinosaur rugs. Kids aren’t the only ones drawn to the designs either. My husband wants one of the crab pillows from this book.

    Although the title is Crochet Animal Rugs, you’ll find matching accessories for each rug so you can really deck out your little one’s room. Some of the accessories include, pillows, security blankets, stool covers and toy bags. Everything in this book is beyond adorable and you could really have some fun making a menagerie of animal items for your kids.

    Crochet Animal Rugs also covers instructions for techniques you’ll need to create one of these lovlies including how to add a non-slip lining. Charts and written instructions are provided for the patterns as well as some beautiful photos to help with construction.

    Overall I LOVE this book and will definitely be making it a part of my collection soon. The book can be purchased HERE from Amazon or you can check out Ira’s website (https://irarott.com/) where she has other fabulous patterns available for purchase.

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop Book Review

    The Crocheter's Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein: A Crochet Book Review by The Loopy Lamb.

    This post may contain affiliate links.
    This is an unsponsored post and the thoughts/opinions are all my own.

    Happy Holidays everyone! Now that the bulk of the holiday festivities are complete for my family, I’ve been able to steal a little extra time for reading and crocheting. One of the books I have been reading is “The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop” by Dora Ohrenstein. I have had this book for some time and it is one of those books that I go back to reference when I need to. So I decided to review this book for you and give you an idea of what you can expect from this book.

    What initially drew me to this book when shopping was the subtitle for the book on the cover that reads “Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter“. As someone that is always looking to increase my skill set this line is what made me pick this book up. It honestly didn’t take me more than 2 minutes to decide that this book would be coming home with me.

    This book is comprehensive. If you’re a beginner or even an intermediate level crocheter, you can learn a lot from this book. This book talks about things like understanding the different varieties of yarn and their applications, yarn twists, drape and figuring out stitch patterns. Colour changes, turning chains, blocking and seaming are also covered. As you’d expect, the book walks you through your basic crochet stitches but it also has 75 different swatches to try out different stitches. There are also 5 different crochet patterns in the back of the book to try out. The author also notes on each pattern what techniques you’ll be learning/using for each pattern. Those patterns are:

    • A Slouchy Hat
    • Marguerite Cowl
    • Colorwork Bag
    • Lace Capelet
    • Cabled Lace Scarf

    One of my favourite parts of this book is the section on advanced shaping. If you’re interested in designing your own patterns or just understanding how the shaping of crochet patterns is done, this section is a must-read. There are various types of shaping scenarios covered, with colour images and stitch charts which help you see what is being covered. I haven’t seen shaping gone into such detail in any other book to date.

    Overall, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein is a solid resource to have in your collection and is worth the time to read. Will it make you a more adventurous crocheter? Maybe not, but it will definitely fill in any gaps you have in your crochet knowledge, expand your skillset/versatility and give you solid understanding of shaping and crochet basics. I definitely recommend checking it out.

    Have you read The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein? What did you think?

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Christmas Ornaments to Crochet by Megan Kreiner: A Crochet Book Review

    Christmas Ornaments to Crochet by Megan Kreiner - A Crochet Book Review

    This post may contain affiliate links.
    This is an unsponsored post and the thoughts/opinions are all my own.

    This week I want to tell you what NOT to do when you go to the library with a toddler.  Oh, and also review this adorable book that I got while at the library: Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday by Megan Kreiner.

    Recently I made a library trip to get myself another pile of crochet books to bring home.  I had put some books on hold and expected to be picking up 1 or 2 books.  When I got to the library with an already fussy toddler in tow, I found out that I had a lot more books waiting for me.  I was expecting a max of 2 and found there were 9.

    My first instinct was to get excited about getting my hands on those glossy pages and finding new techniques, projects and inspiration.  My fussy toddler’s first instinct was to drop on the ground and go limp.  I, being the brilliant person that I am, did not bring a bag with me.  I, also being the stubborn person that I am thought “I can do this.  Take the books to the check out, your child will suddenly comply with your requests and you’ll walk out of here a superstar.”  I am an idiot.  None of those things happened.

    My daughter decided that this was the day to experiment with running away, screaming in public and rolling around on the floor.  While trying to balance 9 books under one arm, I tried to hold my daughter with the other arm and make my way to the librarian’s desk.  Well, my daughter wasn’t having that.  She wriggled out of my grip and after running a few feet away, dropped to the ground while screaming.  A smart person would take their child and leave.  I am not that smart person.

    After what felt like forever, I was able to get to the librarian’s desk with both my screaming child and my books.  The librarian offered to help me and lent me a bag to carry the books in.  I was so grateful to this woman for not just helping me but for not judging me and my child’s tantrum that was happening in the library. I can now tell you from experience that a toddler’s screaming never sounds louder than when you’re in the library.  It may not seem like a huge gesture but in that moment, when my stress level was through the roof and my hands were full, this woman felt like my saviour.  So if you’re ever reading this: Thank you so much for your kindness and making my day so much better.

    Christmas Ornaments to Crochet by Megan Kreiner - A Crochet Book Review by The Loopy Lamb

    In this nightmare of a trip, I picked up Megan Kreiner’s book “Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday“.  I’m so glad that I persevered to bring these books home or I would not have remembered to go back for this book.

    “Christmas Ornaments to Crochet” is a book of mini amigurumi Christmas ornaments that are beyond adorable.  Some of the projects include:

    – a Christmas tree
    – Santa and Mrs. Claus
    – Woodland creatures: Owl, Fox and Moose
    – Baby’s first Christmas ornaments and,
    – A nativity scene, complete with Camel, Donkey and Christmas star

    Megan’s designs are clear, easy to follow and come with illustrations to assist you in various steps like attaching limbs or doing embroidery.  The pictures are clear and fill me with Christmas anticipation.

    One of my favourite things that Megan has included is how to make decorative wire ornament hangers. These are gorgeous and I need to hit Michaels up for some wire ASAP to make some. Instructions are also given on how to customize/personalize the hangers with things like adding gems or initials and dates to the hangers.   Combine this with her fun and easy designs and you can make some seriously awesome stuff using her book.  I don’t know anyone on my Christmas list that wouldn’t be impressed when receiving something made from this book.

    So if you’re interested in checking out Megan’s book “Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday”, it’s definitely worth checking out.

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    Christmas Ornaments to Crochet by Megan Kreiner - A Crochet Book Review by The Loopy Lamb

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crochet Book Review: The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs: 500 Classic & Original Patterns

    Crochet Book Review: The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs: 500 Classic & Original Patterns

     This post may contain affiliate links.
    This is an unsponsored post and the thoughts/opinions are all my own. I do not promote anything that I do not believe in or haven’t used myself.

    From the second that I picked up a crochet hook and took those first steps to learning the basics, I was hooked (<—see overused but still apt pun here).  I have always loved to create and when I was younger, I always had this urge to create something and sometimes struggled to find an outlet that held my interest for long.  Then I set out to learn crochet and I finally found that outlet that I had been searching for.

    My first crochet project was a headband.  It was too big, my tension was a nightmare but it was mine.  Bringing my completed project home, I dove headfirst into the never-ending rabbit hole that is Pinterest.  I was obsessed with finding new information, seeking to expand my skill set.  I joined Facebook crochet groups, watched Youtube videos and pinned on Pinterest until the wee hours of the morning.  There are crazy amounts of information out there!  If you’re not careful, you look up from your screen and realize that you have spent an hour on Pinterest when you only meant to spend 5 minutes.

    I checked online to see what kind of books I could find on crochet.  My initial search on Amazon for “crochet books” yielded 30,000 results.  30,000!   On an initial scroll-through, most books were priced at around $30.  I wasn’t prepared to drop $30 on a book I hadn’t yet touched and been able to flip through in person.

    A Crazy Girl In The Library

    My next step was checking out my local library to see if there were any books on crochet available to borrow.  My first trip to the library, I checked out over a dozen books.  Looking at the Librarian’s face as she saw me checking out so many books on crochet, I knew exactly what she was thinking.  “This girl is a PSY-CHO!”  I didn’t care.  Placing my books in my crochet market bag (obviously), I set off for home to devour these wonderful new treasure troves of information.

    That day, my daughter decided that nap time was optional so my books would have to wait.  Since I am a weirdo, every time I looked at the books waiting in my bag I thought “I’ll read you my pretties, and your author bios too”. Cue: maniacal laugh.  Look, the blog name is The Loopy Lamb.  I love puns, and I’m (more than) a little loopy.

    After looking at all the books I decided that what I had been looking for was a book on various stitch designs.  The library only had three available to borrow and some psycho that took out more than a dozen books had all three of them… oh wait, that was me.  After reviewing all three, I decided that I liked “The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs – 500 Classic and Original Patterns” by Linda P. Schapper the best.  It just also happened to be on sale on Amazon and I had Amazon Prime, so it was a no brainer.  Two days later, I had the book in my hands.

    The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs: 500 Classic & Original Patterns Review. A crochet book review by The Loopy Lamb

    The Best Things About This Book:

    My two favourite things about this book are that:

    1. It has a pictoral index.  When I’m searching for inspiration or wanting to reference a stitch design whose name I can’t recall (thanks mommy brain!), I can look at the pictures and find it quickly.

    2. The instructions are clear and easy for beginners and it gives you the multiples needed to implement it in your own project.  Basic stitches are clearly illustrated in the front of the book.  There is also a guide to international crochet symbols.  Each stitch design has an image of the crocheted design as well as the chart and written instructions.  Before I bought this book I could not read a crochet chart to save my life but after using this book and seeing the side-by-side chart and written instructions, I can confidently say that I understand the basics now.

    The book is broken down into sections which is great too.  If you’re looking for a stitch design using a certain type of stitch, you’ll find this helpful.  I have used this feature to look for a design many, many times.  The other day I was wanting to find a design that featured a cluster stitch.  Flip to section 17 and there are all your cluster stitches.  The sections are all helpfully outlined in the contents section of the book which makes finding the section you’re looking for a breeze.

    What Could Be Improved

    The one thing that I’m not crazy about is that stitch design images are done in white yarn with a coloured background behind the design.  It really makes the book seem dated.   If I was shopping the shelves at Indigo, this book would not have drawn my eye and made me go “get in my buggy!”  Doing the designs all in white can illustrate the designs more clearly and I appreciate that fact.  However, mixing things up with another light colour could maybe make the book a bit more visually appealing.

    Additionally, none of the designs have names.  This makes it difficult to reference a stitch design when describing it to someone else.  It isn’t a deal breaker but it would be nice to have had it included.

    Overall, I think it gives you a nice variety of different stitch variations and when I’m in a crochet rut, flipping through the pages always gives me a flare of inspiration.  As for the price of the book, it was pretty reasonable. The cover price (at the time I bought it) was $22.95 CAD and $19.95 USD so at approximately $0.05/stitch design, it’s a great buy. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced crocheter, this book has something to offer everyone.

    If you’re interested in checking out this book, you can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.

    What is your favourite crochet book?  Have any suggestions on books you’d like me to review?  Leave me a note below!

    I have a new free crochet messy bun hat to share with everyone in my next post.  Subscribe to my email list to receive an email when the post is live.