A baby! A baby! Everyone I know is having a baby! Maybe it’s just me but I feel like there are spurts where I am crocheting a lot of baby shower gifts. I don’t like to make everyone the same things over and over because hey, that’s boring and not fun for me. So I’m always on the look out for inspiration or patterns to use in a pinch when making baby shower gifts. Snuggle and Play Crochet by Carolina Guzman Benitez. I found this book during my last trip to the library and I wanted to share this little gem with you all.
What drew me to this book initially were the adorable little monkeys on the cover and the fact that the cover says there are “40 amigurumi patterns for lovey security blankets and matching toys”. With 40 different patterns how can you get bored? Unless you’re invited to 40 baby showers in a year (if you are attending 40 baby showers, I am so so so sorry) you could likely make something different for each shower you attend over a couple of years and eliminate hours of searching for a new pattern each time.
Snuggle and Play Crochet has 20 different toy patterns and matching lovey blankets. The toys in the book include:
- Teddy Bear
- Girl doll
- Boy doll
The patterns in this book are C-U-T-E! You will be a big hit at any baby shower (or other gift giving occassion for babies/kids) giving something you made from this book. For the loveys, 5 basic blanket patterns are used and it’s easy enough to switch up the blanket you use for the lovey you’re making.
I found this book to be really accessible for beginners. Each pattern includes the written instructions and the charts. Snuggle and Play crochet also has a clear, concise references section in the back to explain basic stitches, abbreviations and various techniques. The book is loaded with crisp, clean pictures that make the characters jump out and scream “make me!”.
All the amigurumi and loveys in Snuggle and Play Crochet use safety eyes which of course, makes them look uber adorable and polished looking. However, safety eyes aren’t a great idea for items for small children that are likely to put their precious playthings in their mouth. The author does recommend embroidering the eyes for toys being made for young children but never actually gives instructions anywhere on how to do that. If you don’t mind the book providing you with those alternatives and are ok to wing it/google how to do it then it’s fine. But if you’re a beginner picking the book up and have never embroidered before, you’ll need to do a quick google or youtube search.
Other than missing that small detail, the book is great. It’s clear, comprehensive and just darn cute. Snuggle and Play Crochet by Carolina Guzman Benitez makes a great, quick resource with plenty of options for baby/kids gifts which can help eliminate hours of research on google/pinterest/ravlery etc.
If you’re interested in buying Snuggle and Play Crochet, it can be purchase from Amazon HERE. If you purchase through this link, I will get a small commission which helps keep my site running and free.
If you’ve been following my blog or have read one of my crochet book reviews, you may have caught on that I love books and my local library. I typically discover many of the books I review with a visit to the library or looking online at the library’s online catalogue. My discovery of this book is no different.
My local library has this section of books right when you walk in where they feature a different topic, author or genre. When I visit the library I’m usually on a mission so this shelf gets a passing glance and unless something catches my eye, this shelf is barely registered other than to avoid crashing into it. (This may have happened to me before but that’s a story for another day). Anyways, the last time I walked into the library this shelf practically jumped out and screamed at me to look at it (which I wish it had done that time I crashed into it…). The whole shelf was dedicated to fiber arts!
After having a little fangirl type scream in my head, I started some serious browsing. There were books on spinning, dying yarn, crochet, knitting, weaving, etc. That’s when Crochet Animal Rugs by Ira Rott caught my eye. Having seen some of Ira’s work shared online previously, I knew who the book was by before picking it up.
Ira has this whimsical, fun style to her designs that I absolutely LOVE. The crochet animal rugs in this book are fun, accessible to crocheters of any level and kids will love them. Well, at least both my kids do since I had to wrestle the book out of one of their hands just to get some pictures for this post. 🤦 My son has already placed orders for the crab and dinosaur rugs. Kids aren’t the only ones drawn to the designs either. My husband wants one of the crab pillows from this book.
Although the title is Crochet Animal Rugs, you’ll find matching accessories for each rug so you can really deck out your little one’s room. Some of the accessories include, pillows, security blankets, stool covers and toy bags. Everything in this book is beyond adorable and you could really have some fun making a menagerie of animal items for your kids.
Crochet Animal Rugs also covers instructions for techniques you’ll need to create one of these lovlies including how to add a non-slip lining. Charts and written instructions are provided for the patterns as well as some beautiful photos to help with construction.
Overall I LOVE this book and will definitely be making it a part of my collection soon. The book can be purchased HERE from Amazon or you can check out Ira’s website (https://irarott.com/) where she has other fabulous patterns available for purchase.
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Happy Holidays everyone! Now that the bulk of the holiday festivities are complete for my family, I’ve been able to steal a little extra time for reading and crocheting. One of the books I have been reading is “The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop” by Dora Ohrenstein. I have had this book for some time and it is one of those books that I go back to reference when I need to. So I decided to review this book for you and give you an idea of what you can expect from this book.
What initially drew me to this book when shopping was the subtitle for the book on the cover that reads “Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter“. As someone that is always looking to increase my skill set this line is what made me pick this book up. It honestly didn’t take me more than 2 minutes to decide that this book would be coming home with me.
This book is comprehensive. If you’re a beginner or even an intermediate level crocheter, you can learn a lot from this book. This book talks about things like understanding the different varieties of yarn and their applications, yarn twists, drape and figuring out stitch patterns. Colour changes, turning chains, blocking and seaming are also covered. As you’d expect, the book walks you through your basic crochet stitches but it also has 75 different swatches to try out different stitches. There are also 5 different crochet patterns in the back of the book to try out. The author also notes on each pattern what techniques you’ll be learning/using for each pattern. Those patterns are:
- A Slouchy Hat
- Marguerite Cowl
- Colorwork Bag
- Lace Capelet
- Cabled Lace Scarf
One of my favourite parts of this book is the section on advanced shaping. If you’re interested in designing your own patterns or just understanding how the shaping of crochet patterns is done, this section is a must-read. There are various types of shaping scenarios covered, with colour images and stitch charts which help you see what is being covered. I haven’t seen shaping gone into such detail in any other book to date.
Overall, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein is a solid resource to have in your collection and is worth the time to read. Will it make you a more adventurous crocheter? Maybe not, but it will definitely fill in any gaps you have in your crochet knowledge, expand your skillset/versatility and give you solid understanding of shaping and crochet basics. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Have you read The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop by Dora Ohrenstein? What did you think?
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This is an unsponsored post and the thoughts/opinions are all my own.
This week I want to tell you what NOT to do when you go to the library with a toddler. Oh, and also review this adorable book that I got while at the library: Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday by Megan Kreiner.
Recently I made a library trip to get myself another pile of crochet books to bring home. I had put some books on hold and expected to be picking up 1 or 2 books. When I got to the library with an already fussy toddler in tow, I found out that I had a lot more books waiting for me. I was expecting a max of 2 and found there were 9.
My first instinct was to get excited about getting my hands on those glossy pages and finding new techniques, projects and inspiration. My fussy toddler’s first instinct was to drop on the ground and go limp. I, being the brilliant person that I am, did not bring a bag with me. I, also being the stubborn person that I am thought “I can do this. Take the books to the check out, your child will suddenly comply with your requests and you’ll walk out of here a superstar.” I am an idiot. None of those things happened.
My daughter decided that this was the day to experiment with running away, screaming in public and rolling around on the floor. While trying to balance 9 books under one arm, I tried to hold my daughter with the other arm and make my way to the librarian’s desk. Well, my daughter wasn’t having that. She wriggled out of my grip and after running a few feet away, dropped to the ground while screaming. A smart person would take their child and leave. I am not that smart person.
After what felt like forever, I was able to get to the librarian’s desk with both my screaming child and my books. The librarian offered to help me and lent me a bag to carry the books in. I was so grateful to this woman for not just helping me but for not judging me and my child’s tantrum that was happening in the library. I can now tell you from experience that a toddler’s screaming never sounds louder than when you’re in the library. It may not seem like a huge gesture but in that moment, when my stress level was through the roof and my hands were full, this woman felt like my saviour. So if you’re ever reading this: Thank you so much for your kindness and making my day so much better.
In this nightmare of a trip, I picked up Megan Kreiner’s book “Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday“. I’m so glad that I persevered to bring these books home or I would not have remembered to go back for this book.
“Christmas Ornaments to Crochet” is a book of mini amigurumi Christmas ornaments that are beyond adorable. Some of the projects include:
– a Christmas tree
– Santa and Mrs. Claus
– Woodland creatures: Owl, Fox and Moose
– Baby’s first Christmas ornaments and,
– A nativity scene, complete with Camel, Donkey and Christmas star
Megan’s designs are clear, easy to follow and come with illustrations to assist you in various steps like attaching limbs or doing embroidery. The pictures are clear and fill me with Christmas anticipation.
One of my favourite things that Megan has included is how to make decorative wire ornament hangers. These are gorgeous and I need to hit Michaels up for some wire ASAP to make some. Instructions are also given on how to customize/personalize the hangers with things like adding gems or initials and dates to the hangers. Combine this with her fun and easy designs and you can make some seriously awesome stuff using her book. I don’t know anyone on my Christmas list that wouldn’t be impressed when receiving something made from this book.
So if you’re interested in checking out Megan’s book “Christmas Ornaments to Crochet: 31 Festive and Fun-to-Make Designs for a Handmade Holiday”, it’s definitely worth checking out.
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From the second that I picked up a crochet hook and took those first steps to learning the basics, I was hooked (<—see overused but still apt pun here). I have always loved to create and when I was younger, I always had this urge to create something and sometimes struggled to find an outlet that held my interest for long. Then I set out to learn crochet and I finally found that outlet that I had been searching for.
My first crochet project was a headband. It was too big, my tension was a nightmare but it was mine. Bringing my completed project home, I dove headfirst into the never-ending rabbit hole that is Pinterest. I was obsessed with finding new information, seeking to expand my skill set. I joined Facebook crochet groups, watched Youtube videos and pinned on Pinterest until the wee hours of the morning. There are crazy amounts of information out there! If you’re not careful, you look up from your screen and realize that you have spent an hour on Pinterest when you only meant to spend 5 minutes.
I checked online to see what kind of books I could find on crochet. My initial search on Amazon for “crochet books” yielded 30,000 results. 30,000! On an initial scroll-through, most books were priced at around $30. I wasn’t prepared to drop $30 on a book I hadn’t yet touched and been able to flip through in person.
A Crazy Girl In The Library
My next step was checking out my local library to see if there were any books on crochet available to borrow. My first trip to the library, I checked out over a dozen books. Looking at the Librarian’s face as she saw me checking out so many books on crochet, I knew exactly what she was thinking. “This girl is a PSY-CHO!” I didn’t care. Placing my books in my crochet market bag (obviously), I set off for home to devour these wonderful new treasure troves of information.
That day, my daughter decided that nap time was optional so my books would have to wait. Since I am a weirdo, every time I looked at the books waiting in my bag I thought “I’ll read you my pretties, and your author bios too”. Cue: maniacal laugh. Look, the blog name is The Loopy Lamb. I love puns, and I’m (more than) a little loopy.
After looking at all the books I decided that what I had been looking for was a book on various stitch designs. The library only had three available to borrow and some psycho that took out more than a dozen books had all three of them… oh wait, that was me. After reviewing all three, I decided that I liked “The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs – 500 Classic and Original Patterns” by Linda P. Schapper the best. It just also happened to be on sale on Amazon and I had Amazon Prime, so it was a no brainer. Two days later, I had the book in my hands.
The Best Things About This Book:
My two favourite things about this book are that:
1. It has a pictoral index. When I’m searching for inspiration or wanting to reference a stitch design whose name I can’t recall (thanks mommy brain!), I can look at the pictures and find it quickly.
2. The instructions are clear and easy for beginners and it gives you the multiples needed to implement it in your own project. Basic stitches are clearly illustrated in the front of the book. There is also a guide to international crochet symbols. Each stitch design has an image of the crocheted design as well as the chart and written instructions. Before I bought this book I could not read a crochet chart to save my life but after using this book and seeing the side-by-side chart and written instructions, I can confidently say that I understand the basics now.
The book is broken down into sections which is great too. If you’re looking for a stitch design using a certain type of stitch, you’ll find this helpful. I have used this feature to look for a design many, many times. The other day I was wanting to find a design that featured a cluster stitch. Flip to section 17 and there are all your cluster stitches. The sections are all helpfully outlined in the contents section of the book which makes finding the section you’re looking for a breeze.
What Could Be Improved
The one thing that I’m not crazy about is that stitch design images are done in white yarn with a coloured background behind the design. It really makes the book seem dated. If I was shopping the shelves at Indigo, this book would not have drawn my eye and made me go “get in my buggy!” Doing the designs all in white can illustrate the designs more clearly and I appreciate that fact. However, mixing things up with another light colour could maybe make the book a bit more visually appealing.
Additionally, none of the designs have names. This makes it difficult to reference a stitch design when describing it to someone else. It isn’t a deal breaker but it would be nice to have had it included.
Overall, I think it gives you a nice variety of different stitch variations and when I’m in a crochet rut, flipping through the pages always gives me a flare of inspiration. As for the price of the book, it was pretty reasonable. The cover price (at the time I bought it) was $22.95 CAD and $19.95 USD so at approximately $0.05/stitch design, it’s a great buy. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced crocheter, this book has something to offer everyone.
If you’re interested in checking out this book, you can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE.
What is your favourite crochet book? Have any suggestions on books you’d like me to review? Leave me a note below!
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