Our friends at GMC Publishing recently sent me some new crochet books to take a look at and one of them is by one of my favourite crochet designers: Vanessa Mooncie. I’ve reviewed a few of Vanessa’s other books on the blog in the past and I was excited to see that she has a new title out called Crocheted Animal Rugs. Needless to say, it was the first book that I decided to read and review.
Thanks to GMC Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Crocheted Animal Rugs contains the patterns to create 10 different animal rugs. These rugs are created to look like the rugs that used to be created using the pelts of animals. These rugs, just like the versions they mimic, include the flat body of the animals and a 3-D head. The animal rugs included in the book are:
- Black Bear
- Wild Boar
- Polar Bear
The patterns range in complexity, with some of the projects being accessible to newer crocheteres. Some, like the Polar Bear and Wild Boar, are created (mostly) using a single colour and basic stitches. Others, like the Tiger, Giraffe and Zebra bring in more complex colourwork to create their stripes and destinctive markings.
Check out the video version of this review:
As I have come to expect from Vanessa Mooncie’s designs, her attention to detail is impeccable. Each animal has details added like, a small reflection in their eyes to look more life-like, embroidered claws and a tactile, bumpy back on the crocodile (to name a few). The designs are just beautifully executed and I didn’t realize until reading this book that I needed to make a crocheted animal rug. My kids knew it the second they saw the book and have been begging me to make them the crocodile rug (which will likely be a surprise Christmas present at this point).
The patterns are written in the UK terminology with a conversion to US terminology available in the back of the book. Charts are included for every design in the book and are a great complement to the patterns to troubleshoot any tricky spots you may be potentially stuck on. I did find some of the chart to be a bit on the smaller side which made them a bit tricky to follow at first glance so taking your time with the smaller ones to make sure you’re reading them correctly is necessary.
I was thrilled to see a page about gauge/tension in the resource section of Crocheted Animal Rugs. It doesn’t just talk about how you should match it either. It goes into measuring gauge and how to do it, accompanied with some support images. I hate with this is left out of books that claim to be accessible for beginners and this made me so happy. The instructions for the crochet stitches are included but I found some of them could have been clearer for beginners (like the magic loop > Find my Magic Circle Tutorial Here). The rest of the resource section includes different embroidery and finishing techniques, all accompanied with illustrations or images, which is helpful.
I found the patterns to be straightforward and easy to understand. An absolute beginner may struggle with this book but someone with at least a handful of projects under their belt that use different techniques should be able to do projects like the Polar and Grizzly Bear rugs with little to no issues. Overall I really loved this book and think it’s a fun and unique edition to a crochet library. Kids will love these crocheted animal rugs, with all the different tactile experiences they offer and being able to get up close and personal with some of their favourite animals.
If you’re interested in buying a copy of Crocheted Animal Rugs by Vanessa Mooncie, you can find it here on Amazon.
Other books I’ve reviewed by Vanessa Mooncie:
If you enjoy crochet magazine and books, you can check out some more of my crochet book reviews on my blog: