• Crochet Book Reviews

    The Ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook Review

    Copy of The Ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook in a flat lay with yarn and crochet hook
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    This week I checked out The Ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook: 100 Contemporary Motifs to Mix and Match by Meteoor Books and I’m going to share my review with you so you know what it’s all about.

    Thank you to Meteoor Books who provided this book to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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    This book’s bright and colourful cover drew me in upon receiving my copy. It’s got so many beautiful granny squares on the cover that even if you aren’t a granny square fan (gasp!) you’ll probably still see something on the cover that intrigues you enough to look inside. I kept looking for an author but this book is an amalgamation of granny square patterns from a variety of different designers. Doing a quick flip through (or a picture walk as my son’s teacher calls it) there were names I recognized and some I didn’t. 23 different designers from around the world contributed to this book and I thought that was pretty darn cool.

    bright an colourful granny square, included in the book

    The Ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook contains patterns for 100 granny square patterns and if you think you’re going to be finding the basic solid granny square in here, you’re wrong. There are some seriously, seriously gorgeous granny squares in this book. The skill levels for the patterns range from beginner to “extra advanced”. When I read that I thought “extra advanced?! did I read that right?”. I thought I was seeing things and needed to top up my coffee but sure enough, it said extra advanced. I don’t know if it was curiousity or me just seeing “extra advanced” and mentally saying “challenge accepted” but I proceeded to thumb through the book to find these “extra advanced” level squares. I had questions: What magical crochet unicorn goddess wrote these patterns? Would my brain melt upon seeing them? You know, normal stuff people think.

    In total, there were three (3) “extra advanced” patterns that I found in the book. The first was the Twisted Lily Square and it was beautiful. Looking at the multiple stitch charts that accompany that pattern I started to get why “extra advanced” was deemed appropriate. Never to shy away from a challenge, I decided, I’m making one of these extra advanced squares. More on that later.

    granny square from The Ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook
    flowery crochet square in white, pink, red and yellow

    The majority of the patterns in the book fall into the beginner to intermediate levels and there are a lot of gorgeous patterns to choose from. All of which are accompanied by both written instructions and stitch charts (yes!). I always love when both are included. Side note, if you are struggling to read stitch charts, a book like this is so helpful and is how I finally understood stitch charts. Read the pattern one row at a time and look at the stitch chart for that row and compare it to the written word. That’s how I had my “aha!” moment and I hope it helps you too.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    blue and white crochet square

    Two things to note about this book: no gauge or specified hook information is given. There is a note at the beginning of the book about matching your hook to your yarn but since many people tend to skip that beginning section of these books, it’s easy to miss and then you’re searching all over for it. I know, because I did it. This is the type of book that you need to read the resource section. Let’s say it again for the people in the back: READ THE DAMN RESOURCE SECTION in this book! Seriously. I know you’re excited to skip to the gorgeous squares and start creating but save yourself the headache and take the 10 – 15 mintes of your life that it’ll take to fully read, understand and absorb this section. There are tips in there that you need to read, like how to make all the squares the same size (even though no gauge information is included), a section on decoding the instructions (yes – you do need this part), how to do special stitches, how to join the squares, and more. Be smarter than I was on my first flip through and attempt at the extra advanced square I did. You’ll thank me later.

    I bow down to the crochet goddesses/genuises/all-around yarn magicians that do some of the complex granny squares found in this book. My brain just doesn’t think in terms of the layers that are used to create them and I’m in awe of that incredible, incredible talent. I wish I could say that I picked up that extra advanced granny square pattern and made it in 20 minutes and it was a majestic experience. I did not. To be fair to myself, I did have kids running around and fighting with eachother when I attempted them so I wasn’t exactly in the zone. I got about 7 rows in, on the extra-advanced square I tried and then attempting to figure out what I was doing between the written word and the two separate charts while reminding my kids to take turns with eachother became far too much for me to handle. But I’m determined to get it and I’ll give it another go when I’ve finally got some quiet time to give it some more focus. I’ll probably work my way up from some of the more intermediate and advanced squares.

    granny square from the ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook

    The best thing about this book is that if you are a fan of granny squares, this book has something for every level of crocheter. If you’re a beginner, you can work your way up to the harder patterns. If you’re advanced and want a challenge, this book has got that for you. With 100 absolutely gorgeous granny squares, you’ve got enough here to keep you busy for countless hours.

    If you are interested in checking out The Ultimate Granny Square Sourcebook you can find it HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Stylish Succulents to Crochet Review

    Copy of Stylish Succulents to Crochet in a flat lay with crochet accessories
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today I have a new book to share with you all called Stylish Succelents to Crochet by Sarah Abbondio. This book was just recently released by Search Press and I was excited to take a look at it and share my thoughts with you.

    Thanks to Search Press, they have provided us with a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky winner so keep reading to learn you you can possibly win a copy of Stylish Succulents by Sarah Abbondio for yourself.

    This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    Pin this Stylish Succulents to Crochet Review for later SAVE

    As you may, or may not know, I got my start in the crochet designing word designing crochet cacti characters. The reason I started with crochet cacti was because I cannot keep plants alive, no matter how hard I try. So I crocheted my plants. Whether it was crocheted cactus or succulents, I wanted them all. So when the opportunity came up to check out this book, I was all over it.

    Picture of a project from the book Stylish Succulents to Crochet by Sarah Abbondio

    Stylish Succulents to Crochet contains the patterns for 15 colourful cacti and other potted plants. The cover is bright and clean and really drew me in to take a better look. The pictures in the book are beautiful, although limited to only pictures of the projects. No tutorial-based photography to supplement the patterns were included with the patterns.

    Patterns Included in Stylish Succulents to Crochet:

    • Echeveria
    • Conophytum bilibum
    • Fenestraria
    • Crassula marnieriana
    • Kalanchoe orgyalis
    • Cotyledon Undulata
    • Aloe vera
    • Crassula umbellata
    • Crassula tecta
    • Varispiralis
    • Escobaria abdita
    • Haworthia limifolia
    • Sanservieria cylindrica
    • Xerosicyos danguyi

    Do you know what any of those names mean (besides Aloe Vera)? Me neither! Thank goodness there are pictures! lol. The projects look beautiful and really get me itching to break my hooks out and to start a new crochet window plant garden.

    Crochet succulent pictured in a book with a crochet hook, yarn and scissors

    The patterns use either fingering weight or DK weight cotton yarn and a 2.5mm or 3mm crochet hook. Patterns for five (5) different soil sizes are included and there is a note indicating that these are designed to fit a noted range of sized flowerpots generally available at craft shops and garden stores. No gauge information is provided for the patterns so it’s hard to make sure that your succulents will match the sizes given. So, I’d recommend holding off on buying your pots until after you have crocheted your succulent with this book to make sure you get something that fits to avoid disappointment. The only yarn information incuded in Stylish Succulents to Crochet is that the designer used balls of cotton yarn with between 174 – 185 yards per ball. Again, with no gauge information included, it’s hard to know if you’ll have enough yarn, so make sure you’ve got extra on hand. No brand or exact colour information is included.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    The patterns in Stylish Succulents to Crochet are written in the UK terminology but a conversion chart is included in the beginning of the book to assist you should you not be familiar with these conversions already. The reference section at the beginning of the book walks you through the basic stitches used in the book but not much else. There were no extra tips or instructions on amigurumi assembly or finishing techniques were included. This would have been a really nice touch and made this book more accessible for crocheters new to amigurumi. As is, I’d say this book would be best suited for crocheters already familiar with amigurumi and how to assemble them, how to do the ultimate finish, etc.

    Crochet succulent plant featured in the stylish succulents to crochet book

    This book, like this author’s other title I’ve reviewed, Mini Amigurumi Animals, is all about brevity and getting to the point. It’s what I would imagine is the crochet equivalent to minimalism. You get the stitches you need to create the project but without any of the supporting tools to help you find the most success possible. No difficulty rating is provided in the book, that I could find, but I’d recommend this book only to people that have amigurumi experience and are intermediate level crocheters at a minimum. If you have experience crocheting and assembling other similar succulent patterns, even better because it will help make understanding the assembly process of these succulents easier for you.

    If you’re interested in grabbing a copy of Stylish Succulents to Crochet by Sarah Abbondio, you can check it out HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Giveaway!

    Thanks to Search Press, I have a copy of the book Stylish Succulents to Crochet by Sarah Abbondio to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Stylish Succulents to Crochet Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, January 29th, 2021 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Mini Amigurumi Animals Review

    Cover of Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio in a flat lay with crochet tools
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today I have a new book to share with you all called Mini Amigurumi Animals: 26 Tiny Creatures to Crochet by Sarah Abbondio. This book was just recently released by Search Press and I was excited to take a look at it and share my thoughts with you.

    Thanks to Search Press, they have provided us with a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky winner so keep reading to learn you you can possibly win a copy of Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio for yourself.

    This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    Pin this Mini Amigurumi Animals Review for later SAVE

    Mini Amigurumi Animals has a lovely hard cover and a fun and colourful image on the front. As the title of the book suggests, there are 26 mini amigurumi project patterns contained in the book. The patterns are:

    • Rabbit
    • Dog
    • Hedgehog
    • Polar Bear
    • Sloth
    • Camel
    • Cat
    • Pig
    • Horse
    • Cow
    • Koala
    • Monkey
    • Leopard
    • Giraffe
    • Elk
    • Raccoon
    • Badger
    • Bear
    • Lion
    • Rhinoceros
    • Panda
    • Elephant
    • Fox
    • Mole
    • Squirrel
    • Mouse
    mini amigurumi animals lined up

    The patterns in Mini Amigurumi Animals are written in the UK terminology but a conversion chart is included in the beginning of the book to assist you should you not be familiar with these conversions already. The reference section at the beginning of the book walks you through the basic stitches used in the book but not much else. There were no extra tips or instructions on amigurumi assembly or finishing techniques were included. This would have been a really nice touch and made this book more accessible for crocheters new to amigurumi. As is, I’d say this book would be best suited for crocheters already familiar with amigurumi and how to assemble them, embroider noses etc.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    three crochet animals stacked in a pyramid

    The patterns use either fingering weight or DK weight cotton yarn and a 2.5mm crochet hook. Each animal, when made with the recommended yarn size, is approximately 2 inches or 6 centimeters tall. There was a note that since the patterns use a small amount of yarn, that these patterns are good for “odds and ends” yarns. I thought that was great but no yardage or actual yarn brand information is included anywhere in the book. Without that, I may not feel really confident in whether I had enough yarn on hand using scraps or odds and ends. The only yan information incuded is that the designer used balls of cotton yarn with between 174 – 185 yards per ball so I guess if you have at least 185 yards in your desired colours, you’d be good to go.

    The toys in Mini Amigurumi Animals are cute and probably some of the tidiest looking mini amigurumi projects that I’ve ever seen. If mini amigurumi projects aren’t your thing, you can always substitute a larger yarn and a larger hook size to make them bigger.

    mini amigurumi moose

    Each pattern is accompanied by at least one clear photo of the project but each pattern is brief and to the point with no additional support photos to guide you through the process. The patterns are clear and easy to understand.

    If you’re looking for a cute mini amigurumi resource then you may be interested in checking out this book as it is chock full of cute mini creatures. If you’re you’re an experienced amigurumi maker that likes a book that just cuts to the chase and doesn’t need all the added supports, then this may be a book you’ll want to add to your crochet library.

    If you’re interested in grabbing a copy of Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio, you can check it out HERE.

    4 tiny crochet animals from the book being reviewed

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Giveaway!

    Thanks to Search Press, I have a copy of the book Mini Amigurumi Animals by Sarah Abbondio to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Mini Amigurumi Animals Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, January 22nd, 2021 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Lovable Amigurumi Toys by Mari-Liis Lille Review

    Lovable Amigurumi Toys next to a crochet hook with a text overlay indicating this is a crochet book review
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    This week I checked out Lovable Amigurumi Toys: 15 Doll Crochet Projects by Mari-Liis Lille (Lilleliis) and I’m going to share my review with you so you know what it’s all about.

    Thank you to Meteoor Books who provided this book to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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    Lovable Amigurumi Toys has a lovely hard cover but the colours on the cover wouldn’t have made me excited to pick this up off the shelf in a store. With muted orange and greys, unless this book was sitting directly at eye level it would have unfortunately, been by-passed. It actually kind of reminded me of a toned down version of a For Dummies Guide book. This is a shame because this book contains some really cute toy projects. It’s a perfect example of not to judge a book by it’s cover.

    Patterns Included in Lovable Amigurumi Toys

    There are 15 doll crochet patterns included in Lovable Amigurumi Toys. The toys included are:

    • Sebastian – a little boy wearing a hat and glasses
    • Baby Bumblebee – a sleeping baby wearing a bee outfit
    • Arabella – a female doll with a rufflely top
    • Bianka – A female doll with braided pigtails
    • Mighty Robot – a toy robot
    • Little Ella – a female doll with large braided pigtails and a pixie-style hat
    • Jakob the Brave Soldier – a male doll in a soldier’s costume
    • Katarina the Bllerina – a sweet female ballerina doll
    • Ronja the Troll Girl – a troll doll with tall hair
    • Martin the Light-Hearted Snowman – a cute snowman with a hat and scarf
    • Angel Doll – female doll with large braided pigtails and wings
    • Baby Leo – a baby doll wearing a diaper
    • Froggy – a female doll wearing a frog suit
    • Rag Doll Annie – a femal doll with large pigtails
    • Jester the Christmas Gnome – a male doll that looks similar to a Christmas elf
    Picture of the patterns found within the book being reviewed

    The reference section for Lovable Amigurumi Toys is prominently at the front of the book and is incredibly thorough and well done. It’s got clear, steo-by-step photos for all the basic stitches used but it also walks you through crocheting in a spirl, changing colours, attaching limbs, making hair and more. It was really comprehensive and well executed.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Materials Used in Lovable Amigurumi Toys

    Most of the projects in Lovable Amigurumi Toys use light worsted or worsted weight cotton for the bulk of the project. Fingering weight, sport and super bulky weight. yarns are used for various projects for making hair. The hook size used most often in the book is 3.0mm (C). Most of the yarns used in the book are accessible online or through a local yarn store. I’ve never seen the yarns used in this book at a big box store like Michaels or Walmart so they may be a little harder to source if you aren’t willing to shop online.

    Pattern image of amigurumi toy wearing a hat and glasses

    The patterns themselves were very clear and simple to follow. Each pattern has a little description giving the toys a personality to help bring them to life which I thought was a cute addition. The patterns in the book are given skill levels of easy, intermediate and advanced but personally, I’d recommend this book for intermediate level crocheters or crocheters that have a lot of experience with amigurumi.

    The one thing I found missing in the book is gauge information and yardage. Many of the patterns have hair caps or pieces that fit over the heads of your toys so to have the gauge information or at least a tip about making the hair caps fit was disappointing. I recently made a doll for a friend (from a different book) and I made the head and the hair cap on two separate days. No gauge information was included so I just went with it. Can you guess what happened? The hair cap didn’t fit. My gauge had changed and there was no way it was fitting on that doll so I had to make another one. Not having the yardarge or gauge can potentially leave you disappointed by having something like the hair cap not fitting or not having the right amount of yarn. The doll sizes mean nothing without the gauge information because I have no way of ensuring that my doll will be the exact same size. If that isn’t a big deal to you, then that’s fine. Just something I noticed and wanted to mention.

    Ragdoll amigurumi pattern from Lovable Amigurumi Toys

    Overall this book is a sweet little amigurumi pattern book that has a fun mix of different projects in it. Although it has some things missing that I would consider standard inclusions for a pattern book, the patterns are solid and it comes with a great resource section.

    If you are interested in checking out Lovable Amigurumi Toys by Mari-Liis Lille you can find it HERE.

    Find Mari-Liis Lille on Instagram HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

  • Crochet Book Reviews,  Product Reviews

    Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern Review

    Woman modelling the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set being reviewed
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Thanks to our friends at Annie’s Craft Store, I have at copy of the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set pattern by Britt Schiesing to giveaway to one lucky winner. Before we get to the giveaway, I’ll let you know a bit more about the pattern you can enter to win.

    Pin this for later HERE.

    Materials used in the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern:

    • Yarn: This pattern uses 5 balls of Berroco Medina light weight (DK/size 3) cotton/acrylic/vicose yarn (3.5oz/295yds/100g per ball)
    • Hooks: 3.75mm and 3.5 mm crochet hooks
    • Tapestry Needle

    Sizes Included:

    The pattern incluses the following sizes:

    • Hat: 17/5 (19, 20.5)” in circumference x 9.5″ tall (small, medium and large)
    • Mitts: 7.5″ in circumference x 8.5″ tall (one size)
    • Scarf: 6.5″ wide x 72″ long (one size)

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this one skein crochet hat pattern for free.

    This pattern is appropriate for intermediate level crocheters.

    If you want to purchase a copy of the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern by Britt Schmiesing, you can check it out HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern Giveaway

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I have a PDF copy of the Winter Warmers Honeycomb Set Pattern by Britt Schmiesing to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    This pattern giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (except where void by law) and ends Tuesday, January 5, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crochet Foundry Magazine – Winter 2020 Edition Review

    Collage of women wearing crochet garments featured in the Crochet Foundry Magazine Review
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    I was recently offered the opportunity to review the Crochet Foundry Magazine Winter 2020 Edition and I was excited to take a look inside. Today, I’ll share my review with you as well as some information about some of the time sensitive bonuses they are offering to those that purchase the magazine and my review of those bonuses as well. They have also given me an exclusive discount code to share and a copy of the magazine to giveaway as well. Keep reading to find out more about the magazine and how you can enter to win.

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    What is Crochet Foundry Magazine?

    In case you aren’t familiar with Crochet Foundry Magazine, it’s a quarterly, online, inclusive sizing crochet magazine. This means that the designs included in the magazine have been graded to include the largest range of sizes possible. The winter edition of Crochet Foundry has seven different winter garments, all available in sizes extra-small to 5XL. This is one of the features that drew me to be interested in this magazine in the first place.

    Woman wearing a deep red crochet turtle neck featured inthe Crochet Foundry Magazine

    From the Plus Size Perspective

    The contributors don’t just stop at saying that they are size-inclusive or just including the plus sizes in their patterns – they take it one step further. They include actual, real life plus size models in their magazine wearing some of the designs. I say real life plus models because they are models that actually wear a size 3xl and not the size 12 “plus models” we typically see in the media.

    As a woman that wears a plus size, I love this! I want to see real women that are really, genuinely plus size women. Seeing these designs on a real plus size model helps me know whether the designs I’m looking at are genuinely flattering to a plus size body (in addition to those that wear regular sizes) or if they just threw in the extra plus sizes to draw in a wider audience. In this particular edition, there was only one design worn by a plus size model but she looked pretty in the design she modelled and it looked like it fit her well. There is a bonus extra pattern that was also modelled by the same plus size model as well (see below for the picture).

    Plus size woman wearing a crochet cardigan

    The Designers

    Crochet Foundry Magazine currently has four (4) different indie designer contributors: Pam Stark from Sincerely, Pam, Lorene Eppolite from Cre8tion Crochet, Michelle Moore from MJ’s Off the Hook Designs/Sentry Box Designs and Briana Kepner from Briana K Designs.

    The Designs

    The Crochet Foundry Winter 2020 Edition comes with seven (7) different winter garment patterns, all available in sizes extra-small to 5xl. The designs included in this edition are:

    • Cranberry Biscotti Turtleneck by Michelle Moore
    • Striped Shortbread Duster by Briana Kepner
    • Bredele Cropped Vest by Pam Stark
    • Pizzelle Hooded Cardigan by Lorene Eppolite
    • Coconut Macaroon Sweater Dress by Michelle Moore
    • Gingersnap Pullover by Briana Kepner
    • Amaretti Boyfriend Cardigan by Lorene Eppolite
    Collage of woman wearing crochet garments from the Crochet Foundry Winter 2020 Edition

    I enjoyed that there are different garment styles included in the magazine. There’s a bit of something for everyone and should you buy within the first 5 days of the launch and get the added extras (which I’ll discuss momentarily), the Style Guide gives some handy recommendations to make alterations to further fit your personal style.

    The designs in the Crochet Foundry Winter 2020 Edition are crocheted using worsted weight yarns available from WeCrochet. One thing that I really loved is that each design has yarn substitution suggestions listed with the pattern and those suggestions are broken down into Splurge, Spend and Save categories so you can find a yarn that will fit with your budget for each project. Some of the designs also include links to YouTube tutorials to assist with some techniques, like cabling or using a Furls Lucet Fork, used in the designs, which was helpful as well.

    The patterns were well-written and easy to understand. The patterns are rated for skill levels from skilled beginner to intermediate.

    I would absolutely wear many of the designs included in the Crochet Foundry Winter 2020 Edition. Michelle Moore really knocked it out of the park with the Coconut Maccaroon Sweater Dress on the front cover. I just love it! My personal body confidence wouldn’t allow me to wear something of this length and fit without a very healthy dose of Spandex support. We’re talking industrial grade support here lol. But if you’re with me in that feeling, don’t worry. Michelle’s got your back in the Style Guide extra – giving instructions on how you can adjust the length to make it a shorter dress or a sweater. Since a sweater is something I’d be more confident wearing, I’m so excited that this was included. Excuse me while I go find my hooks.

    Cranberry Biscotti Turtleneck by Michelle Moore being modelled by a blonde woman

    The Extras

    For the Winter 2020 Edition, each pattern includes a different cookie recipe from the designer which is a fun addition. So while you’re blocking your new project, you can make a yummy batch of cookies to pass the time.

    If you purchase the magazine in the first five (5) days of the launch, you also receive some pretty cool extras:

    • A bonus, exlusive – The Maple Toffee Pullover Sweater by Pam Stark,
    • A Style Guide which has tips from each of the designers on different ways to style your garment so from work to play, you can wear it your way.
    • Gauge Matters! which is a thorough guide on all things related to gauge and gauge swatching
    • Crochet Foundry Custom Fit Guide – tips and recommendations from the designers on changes that can be made to the patterns to get a fit/style that works for you. I would have loved to see something included in this about getting accurate body measurements to ensure you’re making the right size as I know this is something many people struggle with.
    plus size garment model showing the bonus pattern from the crochet foundry magazine extra bundle

    The contributors of Crochet Foundry have given me an exclusive discount code to share with my readers. If you purchase through this link and use the code loopy20, they’ll give you a 20% discount off your purchase.

    The Experience

    The Crochet Foundry Winter 2020 Edition is a beautiful magazine. Chock full of gorgeous patterns and gorgeous photos of those projects, the yarn and the Furls Crochet hooks that were used to make them. This is clearly a project full of passion from some very talented designers. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find it HERE and be sure the coupon code loopy20 to save 20% off your purchase. There is also a yearly subscription option to get all 4 issues for just $40 (reg. $50) through this link, using the loopy20 coupon code at the check out.

    Crochet Foundry annual subscription advertisement image

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Crochet Foundry Winter 2020 Edition Giveaway

    Thanks to Crochet Foundry, I have a PDF copy of the Winter 2020 Edition to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    This pattern giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (except where void by law) and ends Monday, December 21, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time. The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, December 22nd and notified by email. If you have already purchased your copy or yearly subscription then you will be refunded your purchase price of $12.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Lil’ Hipsters Review – Modern Crochet Patterns for Toddlers

    Collage of images of the crochet patterns for toddlers found in Lil' Hipsters.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today we’re taking a look at the new book Lil’ Hipsters: 15 Fashion Favorites to Keep Your Baby Looking Stylish crochet pattern book from designer Kristi Simpson and Leisure Arts. Lil’ Hipsters is a pattern book with modern crochet patterns for toddlers. Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about Lil’ Hipsters and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Thank you to Leisure Arts who provided me this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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    I recently reviewed another pattern book by this same designer recently called Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend which was a fun amigurumi pattern book so I was interested to see what kind of clothing patterns Kristi Simpson had come up with for toddlers. Having a toddler myself who is particularly picky about her clothing (it starts early friends!), I was particularly drawn to this book to see if there was anything that may appease both daughter and Mommy.

    Toddler wearing a yellow top made using the crochet patterns for toddlers in Lil' Hipsters

    Modern Crochet Patterns for Toddlers Found in the Book

    As stated in the title, this book has 15 modern crochet patterns for toddlers for a variety of different wearables. The patterns included are:

    • Cowl
    • Top Down Sweater
    • Tunic Top
    • Pullover
    • Sweater Cocoon
    • Side Poncho
    • Pants
    • Vest with Pocket
    • Speckled Sweater
    • Cowl Jacket
    • Slouchy Hat
    • Hooded Vest
    • Hooded Sweater
    • Shoulder Tie Dress
    • Seamless Vest
    • Yellow Top
    Crochet cowl being worn by a toddler

    When I first opened the book and saw the pattern for the cowl I was thinking “just stop! That is waayy too cute! I’m totally making one for me!” Seriously. We are getting Mommy and Me matching sets whether she likes it or not. It’s too cute. Some of my other favourites in the book were the Tunic Top, the Pullover (which is a poncho), the Hooded Vest and the Yellow Top. All were really adorable and I’d put my kid in any of them and be thrilled about it.

    Sizes

    The sizing in the book are specically for toddlers in the 1T – 5T size range. The body measurements for each size are included so there’s no worry if you’re not sure what size to choose as long as you’ve got a tape measure handy. It’s also worth nothing that the patterns are for girls and boys alike with many of the patterns being able to used for anyone.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Child wearing a crochet poncho, sunglasses and sunhat

    Yarns Used in Lil Hipsters

    As I’m finding with Leisure Arts books, a lot of the important information you’d be looking for is at the back of the book. Stuff like, yarn brands and colours and the reference section. Not a bad thing, just something to keep in mind so you know where to look. I love that they include the yarn brand and colour information in their books because sometimes, you just want to use what the designer used. Most of the yarns used in the book are accesible at your local big box stores and you may already have some of them in your stash. The yarns used in this book are:

    • Sugar Bush Bliss
    • Patons Canadiana
    • Red Heart Soft
    • Patons Alpaca Blend
    • Lion Brand Jeans
    • Patons Classic Wool Worsted
    • Sugar Bush Bold
    • Lion Brand Comfy Cotton Blend
    • Lion Brand Wool-Ease
    • Premier Anti-Pilling Everyday Worsted
    Hipster toddler wearing a crochet tunic made from the crochet patterns for toddlers in this book

    I found the patterns to be clear and easy to follow. The garments are made with simple construction and stitches. All the patterns are rated as easy and I agree with that. I wouldn’t give these to an absolute beginner but if you have the basics of crochet down, you shouldn’t have any issues with the patterns.

    This book would be great to have if you find yourself making a lot of baby shower gifts and you want a bunch of crochet patterns for toddlers at hand. I know a lot of people like to make the itty bitty stuff for newborns to give and I get it because I do it too. But since having my own kids, I try to give gifts that are for stages beyond the newborn stage. I don’t give baby blankets, I make lapghans to gift so the kids can keep using that blanket for a long time. And I can personally attest to how thankful a parent can be to find a piece of clothing in the next size up in your closet when you realize your kid has had another growth spurt and nothing fits them anymore. So making some of these patterns as gifts can really make someone’s day and all the more grateful for your lovingly handmade gift.

    Child wearing a black crochet sweater, holding a coffee

    If you’re interested in checking out Lil’ Hipsters: 15 Fashion Favorites to Keep Your Baby Looking Stylish it can be purchased HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Giveaway

    Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of Lil’ Hipsters by Kristi Simpson to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Lil’ Hipsters Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (void in Quebec and where prohibited by law) and ends Friday, December 4th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Modern Tunisian Crochet Book Review

    Collage of tunisian crochet projects available in Modern Tunisian Book
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today we’re taking a look at the new book Modern Tunisian: 15 Easy Projects Along with Technique Tips and Tricks crochet pattern book from designer Mary Beth Temple and Leisure Arts. Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about this Modern Tunisian and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Thank you to Leisure Arts who provided me this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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    As the title states, there are 15 tunisian crochet projects in Modern Tunisian. The projects are beautiful and range from small accessories, decor and wearables and the book gives all the patterns an “Easy” rating. The projects in Modern Tunisian are:

    • A Poncho,
    • A Boomerang Shawl
    • A Cowl,
    • A Harlequin Scarf
    • A Hat & Fingerless Mitten Set
    • A Sweater,
    • A Wall Hanging,
    • A Table Runner,
    • A Floor Pillow,
    • A Throw Pill,
    • A Blanket,
    • Some Placemants,
    • A Storage Basket and,
    • A Tote Bag.
    tunisian crochet jacket featured in Modern Tunisian

    Yarns and Tools Used in Modern Tunisian by Mary Beth Temple

    The yarns used in Modern Tunisian range in weights from 2 (fine) to 5 (bulky). The majority of the projects use size 3 (light) to 4 (medium) weight yarns. The book provides the yarn brands and colours that are used in the book at the back of the book in the resource section. The yarn brands used are accessible in many big box stores like Walmart or Michaels and you may already have many of them in your stash. The yarns are:

    • Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow
    • Premier Everyday
    • Lion Brand Vanna’s Style
    • Caron X Pantone
    • Pantons Classic Wool DK Superwash
    • Lion Brand Hearthland
    • Lily Sugar ‘n Cream
    • Lion Brand Mandala
    • Red Heart Unforgettable
    • Bernat Roving
    • Bernat Handirafter
    • Bernat Softee Baby
    colourful harlequinn tunisian crochet scarf

    The main tools and hooks are used in Modern Tunisian:

    • Tunisian hooks in sizes 5.5 – 10mm
    • Standard crochet hooks in sizes 5 – 9mm
    • Tapestry Needle
    • Bobbins for Colour Work
    • Pillow forms if you’re making the pillows

    The above list is not inclusive list of all the supplies potentially needed. Some smaller, various supplies are needed for some of the projects but the above list should be sufficent to get you started with the majority of the projects in the book.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Woman wearing a tunisian crochet cowl

    You’ll need to know the basic Tunisian Crochet Stitches: Tunisian Simple Stitch, Tunisian Knit Stitch, Tunisian Purl Stitch and how to decrease those stitches. In addition to the tunisian stitches, basic crochet stitches like single crochet, double crochet and crab stitch are used in the book. There is a very clearly illustrated reference section that the back of the book that helps with these techniques should you need a reminder or refresher.

    I really liked the jacket pattern in Modern Tunisian and may actually make it for myself. The jacket pattern comes in sizes small to 2XL. I found the patterns clear and easy to understand even as a person that’s relatively new to tunisian crochet. I enjoyed that the patterns illustrate that you can make some beautiful projects using just the absolute basic tunisian crochet stitches as a beginner tunisian crocheter.

    If you’re interested in checking out Modern Tunisian: 15 Easy Projects Along with Technique Tips and Tricks by Mary Beth Temple, it can be purchased HERE.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Cover of Modern Tunisan by Mary Beth Temple

    Giveaway

    Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of Modern Tunisian: 15 Easy Projects Along with Technique Tips and Tricks by Mary Beth Temple to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Modern Tunisian Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (void in Quebec and where prohibited by law) and ends Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend Review

    Front Cover Image of Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend Pattern Book
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Today we’re taking a look at the new book Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend crochet pattern book from designer Kristi Simpson and Leisure Arts. Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about this Besties and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Thank you to Leisure Arts who provided me this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Pin it for later Save

    Patterns in Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend

    Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend contains 7 crochet doll patterns modelled after the designer’s aunts. Each doll is given a unique personality and style. The patterns are designed in a way to allow you to mix and match the pieces in order to create your own unique doll. Instructions/guidance is given at the beginning of the book to help you through the customization process to design your own doll using the patterns in the book to help set you up for success. The doll patterns are:

    • Fashionista Faye
    • Night-Night Nancy
    • Wistful Wanda
    • Lovely Debbie-Lyn
    • Casual Kaye
    • Dainty Dana
    • Modest Mary-Ann
    crochet dolls in a flay lay, made from the patterns in Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend

    Each doll has a unique outfit to match their personality and style. The clothes are either created using colour changes on the body of the doll or added to the doll separately but are not able to be removed or changed. The ability to mix and match the doll pieces is a great alternative though to having removeable doll clothes.

    Yarns Used in Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend

    If you’re matching gauge, the dolls all measure 16″ tall. The yarns used in the patterns are worsted weight yarns (one pattern uses a small amount of bulky weight yarn) with the brand names and colours given at the back of the book. Brands used in the book include:

    • Premier Yarns Everyday Worsted
    • Red Heart Soft
    • Lino Brand Vanna’s Choice
    • Caron Simply Soft
    • Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca
    • Red Heart Hygge Fur

    These yarns may already be in your stash and if they aren’t available locally, you can easily substitute them for another comparable worsted weight yarn.

    3 different crochet dolls in a flat lay

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    The patterns are graded as easy and should be accessible to most crocheters. A range of different stitches and techniques are used in each pattern and are clearly explained for each pattern.

    The dolls are all very cute and offer a great range of options for creating your own doll by mixing and matching the pieces. A lot of detail is put into each doll and with the mix and match option most people should be able to make a custom doll for the little one in their life.

    If you’re interested in checking out Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend by Kristi Simpson, it can be purchased HERE.

    Crochet doll on a hand drawn background.

    If you enjoy crochet pattern books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog:

    Thanks to Leisure Arts, I have a PDF copy of Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend by Kristi Simpson to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Besties: Every Girl Needs a Friend Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants (void in Quebec and where prohibited by law) and ends Friday, November 13th, 2020 at 11:45pm Eastern Standard time.

    To enter, use the King Sumo form below. If you are on mobile and have difficulty entering, please use a desktop computer to enter. Only the Email option is mandatory – all other tasks are optional, for bonus entries only. Please note that by entering your email below, you are subscribing to The Loopy Lamb email list. We will not send you spam, just notifications about new free crochet patterns, news and giveaways.

  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crochet Hacking – A Crochet Book Review

    Copy of Crochet Hacking by Emma Friedlander-Collins surrounded by fabric and crochet accessories.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    “Hacking” our old clothes is not a new concept. I remember as a teenager “hacking” your old t-shirts to make them into something new being very popular. I remember cutting t-shirts that didn’t fit and piecing them together in different ways and making bags out of old clothes. But something I had never seen during that boom of recycled fashion was crochet hacking. When the opportunity to take a look at Crochet Hacking: Repair and Refashion Clothes with Crochet by Emma Friedlander-Collins came up, I was really interested in checking it out. I was really interested to see what crochet hacks Emma had come up with and how refashioning clothes had changed.

    Thanks to David & Charles for providing me this book for free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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    My first impressions of the book were that it is bright, colourful and fun. Crochet Hacking starts off with some details about how much clothing is purchased and subsequently sent to landfills every year. The number is alarming. I knew it was a lot but… wow. I don’t personally buy a lot of clothes but just seeing those numbers makes me really rethink any clothes purchases that I do make.

    Crochet Hacking is broken down into sections by the fabric that you’ll be working with: Denim, Jersey (i.e. t-shirts) and Wool & Other Fabrics. Each of these sections begins with some information about the fabric, a breakdown of the tools you’ll need to work with it as well as some techniques to use. Each section is accompanied by clear and helpful photos to help your understanding of each process.

    infographic showing the impact of disposable fashion on the environment
    denim facts included in Crochet Hacking

    Watch the video version of my review of Crochet Hacking here:

    The patterns in Crochet Hacking are written in the UK terminolgy but the US terminology is provided with every pattern so you aren’t going to have to go searching for it. Most of the patterns in the book are more like recipes. The general guidelines are provided on how to execute the project instead of a standard crochet pattern where they tell you exactly how many stitches to create (i.e. CH 57, SC in the 2nd CH from the hook). This doesn’t mean that you’re on your own though. You’re provided with the instructions so no matter your size or shape, you can use the instructions to make something unique to you.

    There are 17 projects in the book to make. Some of the projects in Crochet Hacking include:

    • Not Your Granny’s Bomber
    • Sashiko Stitched Dungarees
    • Eezypeezy Zipper Jacket
    • Bikini Bird Beach Dress
    • Ikea Bag Hack
    • Magic Granny Slippers
    • Summer Breeze Wrap
    • and more!
    woman wearing the Eezypeezy zipper jacket in Crochet Hacking
    Crochet added to denim to make them into overalls

    Although some of the projects in the book aren’t necessarily something I would personally wear, they do spark ideas and provide techniques for how I can apply crochet hacking to my own wardrobe in a way that works for me. I will be making the Sashiko Stitched Dungarees for my daughter. She is growing like a weed and she has jeans that still fit her around the waist but she’s just gotten too tall for. Because the project instructions are there to accommodate any size, I can apply the same techniques to her jeans and she can have a super cute pair of dugarees or dugaree shorts or a skirt. See where I’m going with this?

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link. This helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    refashioned shirt using granny squares in the book being reviewed

    Most of the instructions were clear and easy to follow. There were a few instances where I had to re-read something to really understand what was needing to be done. There is a general techniques section in the back of the book. The technique section was clear and straightforward, accompanied with illustrations for each stitch/technique. In my personal opinion, this book is best suited for intermediate level crocheters or adventurous beginners.

    Overall, I enjoyed Crochet Hacking and will be looking at my wardobe in a whole different way moving forward. Armed with the techniques in the book, I’ll be trying my hand at a variety of different ways to breathe new life not just into my wardrobe, but my kids’ wardobe too. This book is a great resource for crocheters that love clothes and want to limit the impact they have on the environment or those looking for a way to have more crochet in their wardobe without the time investment of crocheting a new garment from scratch.

    If you are interested in checking out Crochet Hacking, you can find it HERE.

    Find Emma Friedlander-Collins on Instagram HERE. She shares tutorials and crochet hacking inspiration on her feed and is definitely worth the follow.

    Check out some more of my crochet book reviews available for free on my blog:

    Back cover of Crochet Hacking