Wednesday, April 14, 2010

100 flowers to knit & crochet

By Lesley Stanfield, published in 2009
Available on Amazon

The crochet and knitting patterns are pretty much divided 50/50. The first half of the book is knitting and the second half is crochet. Terms are British English, and the crochet patterns are presented both in writing and with charts. However, sometimes the written instructions do not correspond with the charts, so be sure to check both and compare with the picture... The book contains a flower directory where all the flowers are sorted by color (knitted & crocheted together) for easy reference:

There is also patterns for a few bugs and butterflies, and some fruits and vegetables:

My favorite patterns are all the leaves:

Amigurumi animals

By Annie Obaachan, published in 2008
Available on Amazon

There are 15 patterns in this book, presented both in writing and charts. Crochet terms are American. There is also a course of amigurumi-making, about shaping the parts and putting them together, which is very helpful if you are a beginner at designing your own amigurumis.

My favorite pattern is the sleepy cat:

I actually have two copies of this book, one in English and one in German. I bought the German version by mistake, because I seriously thought it was a different book. I was in a hurry and didn't look at the author's name.

The figures on the German cover are not even designed or crocheted by the author, but by another artist who is actually featured in the back of the book. I wonder if that is even legal. Not to be cruel or anything, but I think the quality of the "borrowed" amis are better than the ones in the book.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Super cute: 25 amigurumi animals

By Annie Obaachan, published in 2009
Available on Amazon

This is the second book by this author. The crochet terms are American, and the patterns are also presented with charts. I think this book is bettern than the first one, the animals are a bit more developed and the stitches more even. Still, I find it a little strange that some  of the animals, or even just parts of them, are crocheted "inside out", it gives the animals a more messy look.

My favorite pattern is the little hamster:

Beyond-the-square crochet motifs

By Edie Eckman, published in 2008
Available on Amazon

The book has patterns for 144 different blocks. Crochet terms are American, patterns are both in writing and charts. The blocks are sorted by shape: triangles, circles, hexagons, squares and other shapes like flowers, stars and hearts. There is also a section with lots of suggestions for how to use the blocks. 

My only problem with this book is that it is spiral bound, and a lot of the pages had stuck together when I got it. I nearly ripped the book apart when I tried to separate the pages...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Amigurumi Nativity

By Carolyn Christmas, published by Gourmet Crochet (2007)
Available here

Crochet terms are American. The only color picture is the one on the front cover, the rest of the booklet is in black and white. There are additional photos by each of the patterns. The human figures are made up by a basic body and head, with different attributes and clothes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Petits Animaux en Perles

By Marie-Claude Burel, published in 2005

No longer available

My copy of this book is a downloaded version (shame on me!), because the original became unavailable just this Christmas. I had it in my Amazon shopping cart, but when I finally could afford it, it was gone :( If it ever becomes available again I'll definitely buy it.

Like the other book by the same author the layout is very practical, with the pattern/chart on the same side as pictures of the animal. The animals are presented with scientific names and a few facts, and they are sorted by class/type, like reptiles & amphibians, birds, rodents, insecteaters, etc. 

My favorite pattern is the pheasant:

Morsomme filtdyr

By Marianne Ilsfort, first published in 2003

This is a Norwegian translation of the Danish original (Filtdyr for børn). I got this book for Christmas a few years ago, so I have no idea where to get it, I suspect it is now only available at libraries.

The book has patterns for lots of fun and cute animals of felt and other kinds of fabric. The animals are pretty easy to make, and this is a good book for children. 

My favorite pattern is this lovely camel:

Filt i farger

By Tone Tvedt & Nina Tvedt Sliper, published in 2008

This book is about felting stuff from wool. It has patterns for all kinds of useful items, such as egg warmers, tea cozies, hats, scarves, slippers, bags and even tablecloths. There are also a few purely decorative items like flowers and Christmas and Easter decorations. The pattern templates are printed on a huge fold-out sheet attached in the back of the book.

My favorite pattern is this spring elf:

Grunnbok i strikking

"How to knit"
By Debbie Bliss, first published in 1999
Available (used) on Amazon

This is a Norwegian translation, and for some reason the publisher split the original into two separate books. Unfortunately I only have the second book, bought on sale a few years ago. I don't know if the first book is available in Norwegian anymore...

Since this is the second book, the patterns and knitting techniques are somewhat complicated and probably best suited for an advanced knitter. I think I need the first book before I can use this one... There are lots of explanations and illustrations for the knitting techniques, and there are also charts for color patterns and a few patterns for actual projects like sweaters and afghans.

Cute little animals

Patterns by Amy Gaines, published by Leisure Arts (2008)
Available on Amazon

This booklet contains 8 patterns for amigurumi animals. Crochet terms are American. Most of the animals are quite large (20cm or bigger) and would probably be suitable as cuddly toys for children if made child-proof (i.e. with securely attached limbs and embroidered details). The author also has an Etsy shop which is worth checking out :)

My favorite pattern is the smallest critter in the book, the cat:


By Rick Beech, first published in 2001
Available (used) on Amazon

This book has more than 80 projects for paper folding, making anything from purely decorative items such as flowers and animals, some practical projects like bags and boxes, and a few toys and animals with moving parts. There are lots of clear photos accompanied by written instructions that are easy to follow.

My favorite project is the peacock:

Dickensian Mice

Pattern by Alan Dart, published by SIRDAR
Available here

This booklet has only four pages of patterns, because all the mice are made up of two types of basic body, and then the clothes are what makes the mice different from each other. There are directions for 12 mice, but you can easily make up even more.

Strikkede leker

"Knitted Toys"
By Fiona McTague, published in 2004
Available on Amazon

The patterns in this book are sorted by difficulty, starting with level 1 and ending with 3. There are patterns for finger puppets, cushions, dolls and teddybears with clothes, simple knitted animals and a huge door-stopper dog.

My favorite patterns are these finger puppets:

Irresistible gifts to knit

Edited by Debora Bradley, published in 2008
No longer available

All patterns by British toy designer Alan Dart. This is a collection of 12 patterns originally designed for the magazine Simply Knitting. Since the book is no longer available, the individual patterns will be posted on Alan Dart's website. The book has patterns both for single character projects, like the mother hen with chicks, a hedgehog with a hot-water bottle ready for hibernation, and a pirate with a parrot. There are also larger sets, such as the Noah's Ark, lots of farmyard animals and a nativity set. 

My favorite pattern is the Noah's Ark:

Tiny yarn animals

By Tamie Snow, published in 2008
Available on Amazon

The crochet terms are American. The book contains 20 patterns for cute little animals. Some of them are made with the same basic body and head, but with different details, like a koala, a lamb, hippo, elephant and a dog. Other patterns are all different, including a fish, a fox and a turtle.

My favorite pattern is the lamb:

Amigurumi Two! Crocheted toys for me and you and baby too

By Ana Paula Rimoli, published in 2009
Available on Amazon
The second amigurumi book from this author. She also has an Etsy shop that is worth checking out :) This book has more toy patterns than the last one, which I think is because it was made while one of the author's children was a baby. There are stroller mobiles, a doll with clothes, counting toys, and a sea turtle with eggs and tiny hatclings. The eggs and turtle babies can be stored inside the mother turtle, how clever is that :) Plus there are also a lot of regular amigurumi animals and play food.

My favorite pattern is this family of sea turtles:

Amigurumi world - seriously cute crochet

By Ana Paula Rimoli, published in 2008
Available on Amazon

Crochet terms are American. The patterns in the book vary in size from a set of tiny animals only two or three inches tall, to some bigger cuddly toys. There are mostly animals, with several family sets with parent and baby animal, but also some food items such as a cup of coffee and a carton of cute eggs.

My favorite pattern is the very cute hedgehog family:

Amigurumi! Super Happy Crochet Cute

By Elisabeth Doherty, published in 2007
Available on Amazon

Crochet terms are American. In the beginning of the book there is a section with tips about yarn, hooks and stuffing, and everything you need to know about making amigurumi. The book has patterns for everything from food items such as cookies and hamburgers, to cute animals and the humanoid creatures shown on the front cover. 

For some reason I waited for a long time before I bought this book, because I thought it was all humanoids and dolls and stuff. When I finally got it, though, I found the humanoids the most fun to make. They are quite large and take a lot of time to make, but they are worth it. They are also easily adapted to other creatures with different clothes.

My favorite patterns are the humanoids and this very dead fish:


Toys to crochet

By Claire Garland, published in 2007
Available on Amazon

Crochet terms are american. The book cointains patterns for crocheted animals, dolls with clothes, hand- and fingerpuppets, and a few accessories. Some of the animals in the book look a bit floppy, but crocheted more firmly they will look more like amigurumi animals.

My favorite pattern is Waldorf the walrus:

Kyuuto! Japanese crafts: Amigurumi

By Tomoko Takamori, published in 2006
Available on Amazon

The crochet terms in the book are American, but each round is also explained with symbols and numbers indicating stitches and repetitions. There are lots of drawings to show how the pieces are assembled. At a glance it can seem like a lot of the patterns are very similar, because they are mostly built up like generic bears and bunnies (round heads, small bodies, four limbs), but there are elephants, dolls, frogs and seals that differ from this basic shape.

Favorite patterns are the little bears on the front cover these creatures, which the book calls donkeys, but I think they look more like llamas:

50 Sensational Crochet Afghans & Throws

Edited by Bobbie Matela, published in 2007
Available on Amazon

I bought this book solely because of the afghan on the front cover, and it really is a gorgeous pattern. Unfortunately it's very difficult to get through, because it is badly written and has a few mistakes. Otherwise the book looks good, there are several other afghans I'd like to try, though there are a few that look very similar. 

My favorite pattern is of course the Stained Glass Window: