Crochet Donut Buddies by Rachel Zain Review

cover of crochet donut buddies amigurumi book by Rachel Zain with text underneath that says Crochet Donut Buddies by Rachel Zain Review

Today we’re checking out an amigurumi pattern book with a unique twist – all the amigurumi animals are made out of donuts. Crochet Donut Buddies – 50 easy amigurumi patterns for collectible crochet toys by Rachel Zain is a recent publication from David & Charles Publishing. Today I’ll be sharing my review of Crochet Donut Buddies and including a sneak peek of the patterns inside the book.

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As the subtitle of Crochet Donut Buddies states, this pattern book contains 50 amigurumi patterns for crochet donuts that have had features added to them to create a variety of different animals, creatures and plants. The array of creatures created by adding elements to a basic donut pattern is impressive and creates quite a few adorable toys.

Thanks to David & Charles Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Patterns in the Book

The book is 128 pages long and includes the following crochet donut buddy patterns:

  • Elephant
  • Bunny
  • Owl
  • Horse
  • Alien
  • Goat
  • Sun
  • Hippo
  • Tiger
  • Chicken
  • Zebra
  • Chameleon
  • Turtle
  • Sheep
  • Triceratops
  • Duck
  • Cow
  • Fox
  • Teddy Bear
  • Giraffe
  • Sunflower
  • Crab
  • Jellyfish
  • Unicorn
  • Red Panda
  • Snowman
  • Dog
  • Snail
  • Reindeer
  • Cat
  • Moose
  • Frog
  • Spider
  • Stegosaurus
  • Star
  • Rhino
  • Pig
  • Turkey
  • Ladybug
  • Koala
  • Pumpkin
  • Fish
  • Hedgehog
  • Octopus
  • Llama
  • Hamster
  • Penguin
  • Highland Cow
  • Toucan
  • Snake

The patterns in Crochet Donut Buddies are written in U.S. terminology (UK conversion chart included). The patterns are clear and easy to understand. There is a section on page 5 that includes information on how to read a crochet pattern.

Crochet Donut Buddies in a flat lay with colourful yarn

No gauge information is given in this book but a general size range is given at the beginning of the book. The size of these toys will depend on the yarn and hook combination you use and your personal gauge. A note mentioning that maintaining a consistent tension throughout the project (at minimum) would have been helpful to have for those new to amigurumi.

There is a section on Page 6 where it talks about how choosing the right hook size is important for your project to have the best outcome. It also talks about sizing up your yarn and hook sizes to change the size of your toy. This section could have greatly benefitted from a basic outline of either how to tell if the hook size is working for your yarn or at the minimum, discussing that the goal with amigurumi is to create a fabric that is dense and has minimal holes for stuffing to show through.

Other Amigurumi Book Reviews to Check Out

Check out the Video Version of this Review and See a Flip Through of the Book!

Tools and Materials Used in Crochet Donut Buddies

The tools and materials, found at the beginning of the book (page 6) include:

  • Crochet hooks (2.5mm, 3mm and 4mm)
  • Stitch markers
  • Fiber fill stuffing
  • Safety eyes (sizes 10mm – 14mm)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn or darning needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • DK or Worsted weight acrylic yarn
  • DK or Worsted weight cotton yarn
  • Pins
  • Rattle Inserts
  • Squeakers and jingly bells
  • Key chain clips

The projects do not give exact colours or yarn brands that are used and the safety eye sizes given are a range and not the exact size used in the pattern/sample. I can see this being frustrating for some makers who want to use exactly what is utilized in the book. It will take makers some experimentation to find what yarn/hook/safety eye combo works best for them when making these toys.

Safety eyes are used and shown on all the samples in the book but if the 52 mentions throughout the book stating that you shouldn’t use safety eyes on toys given to children under three has scared you off of using them, there is a small pattern for creating a mini crochet eye. A lot of makers will likely find this eye pattern too small, especially if their toy turns out to be on the larger side (since gauge isn’t given and sizes will fluctuate person to person). Having more than the one option for crochet eyes (like 3 – 5 different sizes) would have been great to have. Most experienced crocheters will know how to increase the size of the eyes on their own but it is a resource that should already be in the book so those that don’t know how won’t have to guess.

Hamster from Crochet Donut Buddies by Rachel Zain

Crochet Donut Buddy Resources

In the front of the book (pages 4 – 11) there is a section on how to use the book, tools and materials and the basic donut buddy pattern. It is in this section that you’ll find tips for customizing your projects and some photos to go along with the basic donut buddy pattern.

In the back of the book (pages 114 – 125) there is a resource section that covers accessories, making collections, playing donut games and crochet techniques. The crochet techniques covered are:

  • Slip Knot, Chain, Slip Stitch,
  • Single Crochet, Half Double Crochet, Double Crochet,
  • Triple/Treble Crochet,
  • Increasing and the Invisible Decrease,
  • Half Double Crochet Decrease, Half Double Crochet 3 Together Decrease
  • Double Crochet Three Together Decrease
  • Bobble Stitch
  • Shell Stitch
  • Attaching Hair
  • Working in the Round
  • Working Around a Magic Ring
  • Working Around a Foundation Chain
  • Colour Changes
  • Fastening Off
  • Differentiating Between The Right Side & Wrong Side of the Work.

Illustrations are included for this section of the book to show each technique and the images are clear and easy to understand. The written instructions for some of the stitches state to repeat the stitch until the end of the row rather than how to complete a single stitch, which could be confusing if a new crocheter picked this up and was reliant on these instructions for figuring this out. Experienced crocheters likely don’t bother looking at this section and so for them, this wouldn’t cause a problem.

Overall, Crochet Donut Buddies is a cute book with a unique, niche project. I think it is best-suited for experienced amigurumi makers or adventurous beginners. Since food-themed crochet is really popular right now, if you’re looking for a collection of food-themed amigurumi projects in one place, then you may be interested in this book.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Crochet Donut Buddies, it is available for purchase from Amazon or Book Depository.
Crochet Donut Buddy Spider by Rachel Zain

Crochet Donut Buddies Free Bonus Pattern

If you join the site Bookmarked.hub, which is a site run by David & Charles publishing (and some other craft book publishers), you can download a free PDF bonus pattern designed by Rachel Zain. This pattern is a reindeer donut. (You need to sign up for an account to download the pattern).

Bookmarked has a variety of free crochet patterns and bonuses offered by authors of their various craft books. There are patterns and projects for a variety of different crafts like needlework, sewing, knitting & crochet and more!

What pattern in this book is your favourite?  Let me know in the comments below.

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