• 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.

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    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 lawy) 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.

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  • 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
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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crochet Iconic Women Book Review

    Cover of Crochet Iconic Women in a flat lay with yarn and a furls crochet hook.
    This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    This week I have the pleasure of reviewing a new book called Crochet Iconic Women: Amigurumi Patterns for 15 Women Who Changed the World by Carla Mitrani releasing today, October 13, 2020. When I first heard about this book’s release, I was very interested and have eagerly awaited it’s release. I loved the concept of the book and wanted to get my hands on a copy to learn more about it. I didn’t know which Iconic Women would be included in the book but I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to find out.

    Thank you to David & Charles books who provided this book to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

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    For Crochet Iconic Women, the author had the difficult time of narrowing the projects down to 15 iconic women to make. She hints at the potential of a volume 2 and if there is a pre-sale happening to make that a reality, then sign me up. Iconic Women has crochet patterns for 15 women that have faced adversity, overcome it and impacted history. These are not just women from distant history either. There are very real and timely women that are out there making a difference right now. And I just loved that. The patterns included in the book are:

    • Marie Curie
    • Billie Holiday
    • Amelia Earhart
    • Audrey Hepburn
    • Serena Williams
    • Queen Elizabeth II
    • Jane Goodall
    • Rosa Parks
    • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
    • Malala Yousafzai
    • Jane Austen
    • Greta Thunberg
    • Florence Nightingale
    • Emmeline Pankhurst
    • Cleopatra
    Projects inside crochet iconic women

    Watch the video version of my review of Crochet Iconic Women here:

    crochet serena williams

    Each pattern includes a brief introduction of each woman, explaining how she shaped history. The intros are interesting and brief enough to give you a better understanding of each woman but intriguing enough to make some of us want to learn more about these women. Heck, you might even learn something you didn’t know before. For instance, I’ve heard the name Florence Nightingale before but didn’t know much about her. But after reading her intro, I know that her nickname was “The Lady of the Lamp” and that she played a huge role in shaping the way hospitals function.

    The book has beautiful images and is beautiful from cover to cover. The reference section included in the back is very well done. It’s clearly illustrated and thorough. Carla has included instructions for everything from invisible finish to attaching limbs, making wire glasses and more.

    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.

    crochet ruth bader gisberg

    The patterns are written in U.S. terminology and use DK weight yarn and either 2.0 or 2.5mm crochet hooks. The dolls measure 7 3/4″ tall so they are are a great size for little hands. The patterns are clear and simple to follow. A lot of attention to detail has been put not just into the book but the patterns themselves. Florence Nightingale has a little lamp, Marie Curie has a little Erlenmeyer Flask and Jane Goodale has a chimpanzee and a little yellow purse. Each pattern has a quote from the famous lady that’s being created and it’s just another nice touch illustrating the thoughtfulness that has gone into Iconic Women. Carla includes a page at the back of the book encouraging readers to take the patterns, mix and match elements of the projects and to create your own crochet iconic women.

    crochet greta thunberg

    And lastly, just when I think that I cannot love Crochet Iconic Women anymore, I notice that the publisher will donate 5% of the proceeds from the book sales to the Wonder Foundation. Wonder Foundation is a women-led non-profit organization dedicated to helping girls and women through access to quality education. This book is inspiring from cover to cover and I just adore it. I have a young daughter that I cannot wait to make these for. Thank you to Carla Mitrani for an absolutely lovely book and I truly hope that there will be a volume 2.

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

    Find Carla Mitrani on Instagram HERE.

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

    Back cover of crochet iconic women by carla mitrani
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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Making with Meaning Crochet Book Review

    Cover of Making with Meaning by Jessica Carey
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Making with Meaning: More than 20 Meditative and Creative Crochet Projects is a brand new book release from influencer, blogger and designer Jessica Carey of The Hook Nook. Making with Meaning releases today, October 6, 2020 and I’m excited to be able to share this review with you on the day of its release.

    Thanks to Abrams Books for sending me this book to review. This book was sent to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

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    The book begins with an intro from Jessica discussing her motivations behind the creation of Making with Meaning and it’s patterns. It talks about meditation and using meditation while creating these patterns to focus on different aspects of life to create a sense of peace and well-being. It takes the concept of crafting as therapy and creates a kind of guided meditation process throughout the book.

    Copy of Making with Meaning by Jessica Carey in a flat with some Furls Crochet Hooks and crochet accessories

    The book is broken down into sections to guide you through meditation for those projects. Those sections are:

    • Gratefulness & Motivation,
    • Perspective & Mindfulness,
    • Intention,
    • Love and,
    • Acceptance & Foregiveness.
    Inside cover of Making with Meaning

    Watch the video version of my review of Making with Meaning here:

    At the beginning of each section is a section which discusses what that concept means and how meditation on these concepts can create a better understanding of ourselves, our motivations and create a space for personal growth. Each section has a challenge aimed to help push you out of your comfort zone.

    As stated in its title, Making with Meaning contains more than 20 different crochet patterns. Those patterns include:

    • Cowls,
    • Blankets,
    • Small amiguurmi toys,
    • Dish cloths,
    • Scarves,
    • Hats,
    • Garments,
    • A Bag,
    • A Basket,
    • A Table Runner,
    • A Shawl and,
    • A Headwrap.
    Mulberry Shawl image from inside the book being reviewed

    The patterns in the book are simple and accessible to most beginners. The patterns all have simple 2 to 5 row repeats meant to be repeatetive to allow your muscle memory to take over and allow yourself the mental space to focus on your thoughts and to create with intention – focusing on the recipient or the guided meditation for that section.

    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.

    Image of Jessica Carey wearing the venus scarf inside Making with Meaning
    Crochet storage basket pattern image found within the book.

    There is a brief reference section at the beginning of the book walking you through the basic stitches utilized in Making with Meaning. Because garments are included in the book, I expected to see a resource regarding blocking or measuring gauge but those are not included. As stated above, the patterns are accessible to most beginners however, lacking those resources may lead to some frustration for beginners attempting to utilize this book to create the garments and end up with a tent or a shrug instead of the beautiful pictured cardigan in the book.

    As expected, there are plenty of gorgeous photos of Jessica in the book, wearing or using the projects in Making with Meaning. There are also lots of additional photos to accompany patterns that seem to be work in progress photos. Most of the additional images appear to be for astethetic purposes and not necessarily a complimentary image to walk you through the process although there are some that do.

    Back cover of Making with Meaning

    Overall Making with Meaning was an interesting read with a neat concept. I like the idea of creating with intention and using that crafting time as double purpose to create personal growth. I’d recommend this book for makers that are looking specifically for that guided meditation and Jessica’s perspective on how to do that. If you’re a beginner considering this book, I’d recommend having all the basics nailed down and knowledge of how to match gauge and ideally, how to block before attempting the garment patterns to avoid potential disappointment. If you’re looking for a series of crochet patterns that have simple row repeats that you can do while taking a mental break or have that added component of giving your projects more personal meaning then Making with Meaning may be for you.

    If you want to purchase a copy of Making with Meaning by Jessica Carey, you can check it out HERE.

    Find Jessica Carey & The Hook Nook on Instagram HERE.

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

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    3D Granny Squares Book Review

    Cover photo of 3D Granny Squares with some furls crochet hooks and hand dyed yarn
    This post may contain affililate links. This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    I was recently sent a fun new book to review called 3D Granny Squares: 100 Crochet Patterns for Pop-Up Granny Squares by Caitie Moore, Sharna Moore and Celine Semaan. I’ve been really enjoying granny squares lately so I was excited to check it out and share it with you all.

    3D Granny Squares has 100 granny square patterns that, with the use of various techniques, have a 3D effect to them. Also included in the book, are patterns/variations of the granny squares to make different projects. For example, there is a pattern included to turn a granny square with a 3D flower on it into a pair of wrist warmers and another pattern that uses several different squares with animals on them to create a great toy cube for a young child. There are 10 additional patterns in total to use the some of the granny squares in the book. These patterns really get the wheels turning as to getting creative when using your granny squares and I love that they’re included.

    Pin this 3D Granny Square Book Review for later HERE.

    Inside cover of 3D Granny Squares

    3D Granny Squares is broken down into 11 different pattern sections:

    • Food & Drink
    • Fruit & Vegetables
    • Animal Magic
    • Wild Beasts
    • Under the Sea
    • Holidays
    • Mini Beasts
    • Flowers
    • Motifs
    • Abstract and,
    • Celebrations
    3D Fish Granny Square from the book being reviewed.

    There is an impressive variety of designs included in the book. There’s everything from fried eggs, pizza and cherries to Pigs, Llamas and Whales. Lacy flowers, mandala flowers and squares for many major holidays. Turkey granny squares anyone?

    collage image of 3D granny squares found in the book being reviewed.

    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.

    3D Granny Squares is written in US terminology but a conversion chart is included for the UK terminology if that’s your preference. They’ve also included the charts and written versions for all the patterns as well. The resource section includes all the basic stitches needed for the patterns and it was clear and straight forward. It would have been nice if a section on sewing on the applique was included since many of the patterns use appliques and small pieces that need to be sewn on.

    Crochet Crab Granny Square and Turtle Granny Square



    The patterns themselves were fairly straightforward and any questions I had were easily answered by referencing the charts that are included for the pattern. The granny squares are adorable, colourful and just absolute fun. I’d recommend this book for experienced crocheters and I think it’s a great book to have as a reference, particularly if you like to make granny square blankets. You could make numerous different blankets using a different combination of squares in the book and still have combinations left untried. There’s countless combinations for baby blankets, pillows, bags and more.

    If you’d like to purchase a copy of 3D Granny Squares, you can do that HERE.

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

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares Book Review

    Cover of the book Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I was given the opportunity to review one of their newest crochet book releases: Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares by Joanne C. Gonzalez and I have a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! Keep reading to learn more about this book and how you can enter to win a copy of your own.

    Annie’s has provided a copy of this book to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

    Pin this for later HERE.

    Waterfall crochet is a technique that was new to me when I received my copy of the book to review and I was very intrigued to learn more. The granny squares on the front of the book are beautiful and feature a lot of colourwork in their designs so I was interested to see how this technique would work. Waterfall crochet is a method that utilizes chain spaces left intentially in the design to create a long cable stitch through. By doing this, colours are worked for a full round rather than a few stitches and carried along the back of your work until their needed next. A technique that limits colour changes and weaving in ends? Where do I sign up?

    Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares includes the patterns for 20 different ganny squares that use the waterfall crochet technique. The long cable stitches create kind of a lattice through the chain spaces and it leaves a decently clean back side to the fabric as well. The patterns all use a worsted weight (4) yarn so it is easy to mix and match your favourite colours using readily available yarns.

    Crochet granny square from the book being reviewed.
    This is the square from Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares that I tried

    I always love the look of granny squares with intricate colour designs but unfortunately, once I finish them, they’re relagated to the WIP pile for a while until I have time to weave in the ends. I couldn’t wait to give this technique a shot so I picked a square and got to work.

    I started with reading the reference section to learn how to do the special stitches in the designs. I kind of got the jist of what wasa going to be happening and decided to go for it. I picked a square with two colours to work on and the center was one in on colour and the remainder of the main body of the square was done in another. Creating the base/body of the granny square was quick and easy and I finished it in less than 30 minutes. Now, onto the waterfall crochet technique.

    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.

    Completed blanket project from the Waterfall Crochet Granny Square book.
    Completed blanket project from the Waterfall Crochet Granny Square book.

    For the last round of my square, I changed to my second colour and crocheted around the outside but my block was divided into 4 by chain spaces. To do the waterfall technique, I had to work through the chain spaces of 7 rounds to create one long cable stitch the interweaves through the chain spaces. It was a bit tricky at first, especially because I didn’t have a tunisian or afghan hook available (which is recommended in the book for this part but says it’s not required) but I was able to accomplish it with a regular crochet hook. My tension in the cable would have been better had I used a longer hook so if you’re using this book and doing the longer sets of cables used in the patterns, I’d definitely recommend having an afgahn or long tunisian hook handy for that part.

    My waterfall crochet granny square I made using this book.
    My waterfall crochet granny square I made using this book.

    After I did my first set of waterfall crochet cables, I got the rhythm of the technique and thought it was so cool! Seeing how the cables work and interweave with the fabric was super interesting and I can’t wait to try this technique again.

    This book and technique are suitable for intermediate level crocheters. I recommend printing the resource section out and having it next to your pattern page as you work until you get the hang of the technique. I found this helpful and it saved me the time of flipping back and forth. And definitely don’t skip the resource section of this one. Even if you’ve done a hundred granny squares, you’ll probably find something there you’ll need to reference so definitely a must-read for this book. The book also comes with special access to a video that shows parts of the patterns that may be tricky. This is available upon request to Annie’s to those that purchase the book. Instructions on how to get access are included in the book. I didn’t personally see the video but I wanted to mention that it is available so if you’re wanting to check it out but are nervous about not having video to help you out, that is an option.

    Overall, I think this is a really cool technique and I really enjoyed learning it and trying out the designs in the book. The granny squares in this book are used to create a blanket design but my favourite part about granny squares is that you can use them for so much more than that. Mix and match the designs, use them to creat pillows, scarfs, etc. and create something unique. Once you have the patterns for the squares, the only limit is your imagination.

    If you want to purchase a copy of Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares by Joanne C. Gonzalez, 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:

    Waterfall Crochet Book Giveaway

    Thanks to Annie’s Craft Store, I have a PDF copy of the book Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares by Joanne C. Gonzalez to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Waterfall Crochet Granny Squares Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to worldwide participants and ends Friday, October 9th, 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.

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crochet Cafe by Lauren Espy Book Review

    Crochet Cafe by Lauren Espy next to some furls crochet hooks and yarn.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    I’ve got another amigurumi book to review this week and I am very excited. Recently, I had the opportunity to review Whimsical Stitches by Lauren Espy and the book this week is by the same designer. The book we’re talking about this week is called Crochet Cafe: Recipes for Amigurumi Crochet Patterns. I really enjoyed Lauren’s last book so I couldn’t wait to dive in to see what Crochet Cafe had in store.

    Thanks to Paige, Tate & Co., they have provided me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review of this book. All opinions are my own.

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    The cover of this book is beautiful. It has preview images of many of the patterns contained in the book. All the patterns are of kawaii foods and drinks and this book is meant to mimic a recipe book. It’s a cute concept and the cover makes me think of a cute but trendy cook book I’d definitely want to take a look at in the book store.

    cover image of Crochet Cafe by Lauren Espy
    amigurumi apples featured in Crochet Cafe

    Crochet Cafe starts off with a reference section and the very first page of that reference section shows the reader how to identify the difference between the right side and the wrong side of the project. I think that’s a great addition as it’s a question that comes up often from crocheters but you rarely see covered. Another fun technique I saw included which you don’t see spoken about often is melting the backs of safety eyes. Lauren is sure to advise extreme caution when pursuing this because, as I have learned from experience, things can get dicey doing this, fast, if you aren’t very careful.

    Check out my video review of Crochet Cafe:

    Continuing in the fashion of her last book, Whimsical stitches, this book is chalk full of clear and well-done photography to walk you through not just every stitch/technique in the book, but also in the patterns themselves.

    Crochet Cafe is broken down into meal sections, just like a cook book. So the sections are:

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    • Snacks and,
    • Dessert
    Amigurumi Avocado toast and Avocado patterns inside Crochet Cafe

    The projects are absolutely adorable and it’s hard to know where to start first or to pick a favourite. As I’m writing this, I’m looking at the pattern for Bacon, Eggs & Toast and I’m thinking “Girl, shut up! That toast is way too cute! Annnd now I want to eat bacon.” Some of my favourite designs in the book were:

    • Lobster & Corn on the cob
    • Spaghetti & Meatballs
    • Pie and ,
    • Chinese Takeout Shimp Lo Mein (because I defy you to resist those little shrimps!)

    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.

    Lobster & Corn on the cob in the book being reviewed

    The patterns were well written and simple to follow, supported by a plethora of beautiful images to walk you through each pattern. If I want to be nit picky, my only thing is that the yardage amounts for the yarns aren’t provided and the exact yarns/colours weren’t provided. There was a shade of green used in one of the patterns that I really liked and would have liked to use the exact yarns she used to make my project but it isn’t the end of the world. This is by no means a deal breaker for anyone. I am a prepper and just like to know how much yarn I’ll need exactly and I like to match what’s used. But, if you don’t follow gauge (which I know many crocheters do with amigurumi), it may have been considered better to just leave it out. So, not a big deal.

    Besides that, the attention to detail and cute little extras are really what makes this book fantastic. There’s a little butter dish to go with the lobster and corn! How stinkin’ cute is that?! And the little shrimp? I can’t even start. If I had to describe this book in two words, it would be: absolutely adorable.

    If you want to check out Crochet Cafe: Recipes for Amigurumi Crochet Patterns by Lauren Espy you can grab a copy of the book HERE.

    Follow Lauren Espy, the author/designer of this book on Instagram: @amenagerieofstitches.

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

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Crocheted Wreaths for the Home Review

    Picture of the cover of Crocheted Wreaths for the Home
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    The fall season is coming up and one of the things that makes me think of fall is wreaths. I don’t really see too many wreaths in the summer around here but when fall hits, they really start to make their debut. It seems appropriate that in light of this, I’m reviewing the book Crocheted Wreaths for the Home by Anna Nikipirowicz. 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 for yourself.

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

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    Crocheted Wreaths has patterns for 14 different seasonal wreaths that you can crochet. You could potentially get many other wreaths by mixing and matching the components to create your own custom wreaths. Some of th wreath patterns included are:

    • Valentine Wreath
    • Autumn Wreath
    • Berry Wreath
    • Halloween Wreath
    • Christmas Wreath
    • Summer Wreath
    • Easter Wreath
    • and more.
    Inside cover of the crocheted wreaths for the home book

    Most of the wreaths use a premade wreath form as the base of the wreath and the crochet patterns provided are for the various components added to the wreath and assembly instructions. Each wreath pattern has a mini project that can be made with one or more components of the wreath pattern. For example, One of the pumpkins from the halloween wreath can be used to make a pumpkin pincushion and the author gives instructions for how to do that. The patterns are written in the UK terminology. The UK/US terminology conversion chart hs been included to aid those that may not be familiar working in the UK terminology.

    The yarns used in the books are popular in the UK and Europe and may need to be ordered online for North American readers that want to use the exact yarns in the book. The yarn weights used range from lace to light worsted. Other yarns could be substituted if you are able to match guage or keep in mind that you may have a finished project that is much larger (or smaller) than expected if you are substituting yarn weights.

    crocheted wreaths found inside the book

    The resource section in the back of the book is helpful covering techniques used in the book like how to crochet an i-cord, crocheting with beads, crocheting with wire, blocking your pieces and more. This section is well illustrated and explained although, does not cover all the techniques in the book. There are no basic stitch demonstrations or explanations in the book so you will need to have at least an intermediate level of crochet knowledge in order to pick up this book and start working with it. There are brief written explanations of how to do some the stitches in an abbreviations section at the front of the book but this wouldn’t be enough for most beginners.

    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.

    This book is suitable for intermediate to advanced level crocheters. The patterns offer a lot of variety and you can create some stunningy detailed crocheted wreaths with them. If crocheted wreaths are your thing, this resource has the patterns to provide you with a diffferent wreath for every new season. The elements of the patterns could be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of different and customized wreaths beyond those given in the book.

    If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Crocheted Wreaths for the Home you can find it HERE.

    crochet halloween wreath

    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 Crocheted Wreaths for the Home by Anna Nikipirowicz to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Crocheted Wreaths for the Home Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, September 25th, 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.

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Mabel Bunny & Co. Crochet Book Review

    Cover of the book Mabel Bunny & Co. by Claire Gelder.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    I have another amigurumi crochet pattern book to share with you all today: Mabel Bunny & Co.: 15 loveable animals to crochet using chunky yarn by Claire Gelder. I love amigurumi projects so I couldn’t wait to dig into this book and see what it’s all about. 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 for yourself.

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

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    So what’s unique about this amigurumi project book is that the main projects are made with chunky weight yarn and they’re all jumbo sized. The toys in this book are 27 1/2″ or 70 cm tall with the patterns for a smaller sized 12″ toy also included with some of the patterns. These toys are the ultimate in cuddle-sized toys. Thankfully they are made with the chunky weight yarn so they won’t take you weeks to complete.

    The patterns in Mabel Bunny & Co. include:

    • A bunny
    • Polar Bear
    • Elephant
    • Sloth
    • Dragon
    • Koala
    • Lamb
    • Octopus
    • and more!
    Inside cover of the book being reviewed.
    Inside cover of Mabel Bunny & Co. by Claire Gelder.

    My personal favourites in the book are Ruby Elephant and Oliver Octopus (who also comes with a baby). The toys are very cute. None of the patterns require the use of safety eyes so the materials needed to get started are relatively simple. To get started with a project in the book, you’ll need yarn, stuffing, a crochet hook, scissors and a tapestry needle. The recommended yarns in the book are easily substituted with some bulky weight yarn in your stash. So you can get started with the patterns in this book relatively quickly.

    Mable Bunny & Co, is written in the U.S. terminology with notes throughout the book converting the pattern terminology to the UK terms. So rather than using a chart that one may need to flip back to refer to, they’ve provided the information in the patterns to prevent that. I thought that was handy for those that may not be accustomed to the translations however, it does crowd up the patterns visually a bit which could be confusing if you’re rushing or not paying attention. I personally would’ve preferred the chart since the instructions for assembling your toy make you flip back to the reference section anyways but that’s my personal preference.

    Clarence Pig Amigurumi Pig Pattern

    A fun little touch is that each doll has a mini heart crocheted and sewn to the toy’s bottom. This seems to be the designer’s little signature on each piece and I thought it was a sweet addition to the doll. It also serves as a reminder to the recipient that their toy was made with love.

    The resource section is thorough and clear and includes lots of photos. Photos and well-done instructions are included for getting a clean finish, joining the head and parts to your toy and making the eyes and nose.

    Check out the video version of this review:

    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 themselves are most appropriate for an intermediate/experienced crocheter that has experience with amigurumi projects written in different styles. Some of the patterns could have been clearer and I felt that the addition of a step or some images would have made the pattern clearer without the reader having to attempt to fill in that blank themselves. I was able to figure out what needed to happen in the pattern I was trying but a beginner would have likely been lost and frustrated. Further to that, not all the stitch abbreviations used in the book are listed or explained consistently. The resource section shows you how to do a single crochet decrease stitch and calls it in the resource section “decreasing in single crochet”. But in the patterns, the abbreviation of SC2TOG is used and I could not find that explained anywhere in the book. It’s for these reasons I think that the book is best suited for a seasoned crocheter and not suitable for a beginner.

    Stitch Puppy Amigurumi Dog pattern in the book Mabel Bunny & Co.

    If you’re a seasoned amigurumi maker and are looking for a resource that will provide you with a set of jumbo-sized friends to make, this may be the book for you. If you’re just starting out with amigurumi projects or even just learning reading crochet patterns, I’d recommend getting more experience under your belt or trying a different resource to get you started before moving onto this one.

    Back cover of Mabel Bunny & Co.

    If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Mabel Bunny & Co. 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:

    Giveaway!

    Thanks to Search Press, I have a copy of the book Mabel Bunny & Co. by Claire Gelder to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Mabel Bunny & Co. Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, September 18th, 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.

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  • Crochet Book Reviews

    Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet Review

    Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet with a pair of scissors and yarn next to it.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    I’m back this week with another book review. This week, I have the opportunity to review the Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet by Emma Guess. The fun thing about this book review is that I am a beginner when it comes to Tunisian Crochet so we’re going to get to see if a beginner can pick up a copy of Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet and make something. 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 for yourself.

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

    Pin this Beginner’s Gude to Tunisian Crochet Book Review for later SAVE

    So I’ve been dying to try tunisian crochet and I’ve done some swatches and to be honest, not all of them have been successful. Half of them I’ve ended up abadoning prior to finishing them. When the opportunity came up to check out this book, I decided it was time to give tunisian crochet another try. I decided that I’d give the cute little basket pattern a try as it uses at least 3 different techniques to see if I could be successful and how quickly I could be successful.

    The book starts out with a resource section that walks you through the basic techniques as well as a variety of stitches. The illustrations were very clear and I was able to pick things up really quickly. Like many beginners, I was eager to get straight to the project, so I skipped the resource section and got straight to work. I read through the pattern and flipped back to the reference section to learn the stitches as they came up in the pattern. Within 30 minutes, I had the first panel of my basket done.

    Tunisian Fingerless Gloves found in the Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet Book

    Check out the video version of this review:

    I took a break from crocheting after my first panel and went back to read through the resource section more thoroughly and it really genuinely helped me understand the different techniques and concepts like reading a chart. Several different stitch instructions are included with the book, kind of like a mini stitch dictionary. Although they don’t include the step-by-step photos, once I worked through the basics section, I didn’t have any issues understanding the instructions for the more complex stitches.

    Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet has a good variety of projects in it for getting started. There are patterns for scarves, fingerless gloves, blankets, a wall hanging, basket, bag, pillow and tablet pouch. Even as a beginner, you’re able to customize the pattern with your different colour choices and adding or omitting a colour like I did with my basket. The pattern called for three different colours but I used two and it looks so different! So there’s plenty to keep you busy and igniting your passion for tunisian crochet.

    Tunisian bag project found in Beginner's Guide to Tunisian Crochet

    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 were very clear and as I said previously, I had the first panel to the basket without having even fully read the book, done in 30 minutes. My basket isn’t perfect but I think it’s pretty darn good for my first tunisian project! I didn’t worry about my gauge (gasp!) because it’s just a basket and my main concern was learning the stitches and executing the pattern (like a begginer!).

    Tunisian scarf project for beginners found in the book

    Overall, I really loved this book! A lovely, clear resource book that is genuinely acccessible to a beginner. Any resource that can get me up and running with a skill as fast as this book did is an absolute winner in my book. Emma has got me hooked on tunisian crochet and I’ll be working my way through the patterns in the book to continue working on my tunisian skills. So if you’re interested in giving tunisian crochet a try, I recommend checking this resource out to see if it may be a winner for you too.

    If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Beginner’s Guide to Tunisan Crochet 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:

    Giveaway!

    Thanks to Search Press, I have a copy of the book Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet by Emma Guess to giveaway to one lucky winner!

    The Beginner’s Guide to Tunisian Crochet Giveaway on The Loopy Lamb is open to participants in the U.S., Canada and U.K. and ends Friday, September 11th, 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.

    Please follow and like us: