This week I sat down with the latest crochet book from Vanessa Mooncie and GMC Publications called Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies. I’ll be sharing with you my in-depth review of this book so you know what to expect before making a decision to buy a copy for yourself. Keep reading to learn more about Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies.
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Thanks to GMC Publications for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I have had the opportunity to review some of Vanessa’s previous titles like Crocheted Dogs, Simple Crocheted Hats, Crocheted Animal Rugs and my personal favourite, Crocheted Birds – all of which have been fantastic books that are still a part of my personal crochet library. Vanessa has a reputation for creating gorgeous, realistic amigurumi crochet projects so I have been very excited to check out her latest title.
Patterns in Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies
There are crochet patterns for 10 different crocheted bees, bugs & butterflies (with three of these patterns including variations to create an additional 6 species of insects) in this new title by Vanessa Mooncie. The projects found in this 144 page book are:
- Bumblebees: White-Tailed Bumblebee, Red-Tailed Bumblebee & Tree Bumblebee
- Praying Mantis
- Christmas Beetle
- Swallowtail Butterflies: Tiger Swallowtail, Zebra Swallowtail & Pipevine Swallowtail
- Mirror Spider
- Moths: Harnessed Tiger Moth, Leopard Moth & Wite Ermine Moth
- Stag Beetle
The patterns in this amigurumi book are written in the UK terminology with a conversion chart for those used to working with US terminology found on page 138. The projects themselves are all very small, only a few inches long and they are crocheted using teeny, tiny hooks (i.e. 1.25mm) and thread.
I found the majority of the patterns to be straightforward and easy to follow. Patterns are supported by stitch charts which I found to be helpful at clarifying some more complex instructions. The first stitch chart in each pattern is accompanied by a key indicating what each symbol means.
The finished projects themselves, are gorgeous and realistic. The White Ermine Moth in the book is pictured having been turned into a brooch and although admittedly, brooches aren’t part of my typical wardrobe, this moth is so beautiful, I may have to start using them. If you’re not willing to take the leap into sporting your bugs on your person, Vanessa includes some guidance on pages 136 – 137 of the book for displaying your projects using glass domes, picture frames and brooches.
I love the idea of displaying your crocheted bees, bugs and butterflies in a picture frame or glass dome like an entymologist. If you have kids or friends that love bugs like my kids do, this is a great way to gift your project to them. My daughter has woken up every day since I received this book asking me if I can make her a moth or a butterfly to put in a picture frame on her wall. I think she will be very excited when she gets one or two for Christmas this year.
Check out the Video Version of this Review!
Tools and Materials Used in Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies
Below is a high-level outline of materials used throughout the book:
- Crochet hooks: 1.25mm (UK3/US8), 1.5mm (UK 2 1/2/US7), 1.75mm (UK 2/ US6)
- Drops Kid-Silk Uni-Colour yarn
- Anchor Freccia yarn
- Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat yarn
- DMC Coton Perle 8 Thread
- DMC Diamant Metallic Thread
- Rico Essentials Crochet
- Scheepjes Alpaca Rhythm yarn
- Metallic Stranded Embroidery Thread
- Stranded Embroidery Thread
- Blunt and Sharp-ended Darning Needles
- Toy Stuffing
- Craft Wire of Various Gauges
- Rive, Barrel, Seed and Glass Beads
- Square Sequins
- Nylon Invisible Thread
- Long-Nose Pliers
- All-Purpose Adhesive
- PVA Glue
- Stitch Markers
Resources Available in This Book
In the end of the book (pages 124 – 135) is where you will find the main resources (called Techniques) available in Crochted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies. Instructions for the following stitches and techniques are included in the book:
- Substituting Yarns
- Reading Charts
- Slip Knot
- Holding a Crochet Hook
- Magic Loop/Magic Ring
- Slip Stitch (note: the instructions on this one are good however, the image shows a single crochet being executed, not a slip stitch)
- Chain (CH)
- Double Crochet (DC in UK terms) / Single Crochet (SC in US)
- Half Treble Crochet (UK) / Half Double Crochet (US)
- Treble Crochet (UK) / Double Crochet (US)
- Double Treble Crochet (UK) / Treble Crochet (US)
- Increasing & Decreasing
- Crocheting Around Wire
- Joining a New Colour, Carrying Unused Colours
- Working in Front or Back Loops Only
- Finishing Touches: Stuffing, Sewing Pieces Together (Whip & Back Stitch), Embroidery Stitches (Straight Stitch, Satin Stitch, Fly Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch & Fastening Off)
- Making Antennae
- Attaching Glass Eyes or Beads
- Display & Care of Projects
There is a small section explaining how to read a crochet chart which is a bit too basic in my opinion. It doesn’t tell you what each of the symbols means in a chart which is kind of only taking this explanation part of the way. Sure, each pattern has a key of symbols with the first chart of every pattern however, it would make sense to have a full key of symbols in this section to help clarify and reinforce the topic. When you have a section that explains how to hold a crochet hook, I’d expect to see a more thorough explanation of this concept, however, I realize in this instance, I’m probably just being picky.
Overall, I really enjoyed this Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies. As I’ve come to expect from a Vanessa Mooncie title, each project is an absolute work of art. I’d recommend this title for experienced, intermediate-level crocheters that understand creating a work of art of this nature takes time, patience and finesse. This is a great addition to your crochet library if you or a loved one loves insects or if you simply want to learn how to create showstopping, realistic bees, bugs & butterflies.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies by Vanessa Mooncie, it is available for purchase from Amazon.
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