I love a good amigurumi pattern book and when the opportunity to review Irene Strange’s Curious Crochet Creatures book came up, I jumped at the chance. Today I’ll be sharing my review of this new crochet book, a sneak peek of the projects included in the book as well as details on how to get an ad-free PDF version of a bonus pattern from the designer.
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Curious Crochet Creatures contains 16 amigurumi crochet patterns for a variety of animals. These are not your common animal amigurumi patterns. The patterns are for unusual, interesting creatures from the animal kingdom. You won’t find any dogs, cats or bunnies in this book. I love the range of unusual animals included in the book and if you have been looking for an amigrumi pattern for an unusual pattern
Thanks to David & Charles Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This book is broken down into animal types: Remarkable Mammals, Surreal Sea Life and Bizarre Birds & Irregular Reptiles. The book is 128 pages long and includes the following crochet patterns:
- Slender Loris
Bizarre Birds & Irregular Reptiles
- Mary River Turtle
Surreal Sea Life
- Blue Lobster
- Leafy Sea Dragon
The patterns is Curious Crochet Creatures are written in U.S. terminology (UK conversion chart included) and each pattern includes helpful assembly photos. The patterns are well-written and easy to understand.
The patterns range in skill level from beginner to advanced. Skill-level is identified with an image of a series of swirls in the top left corner of each pattern’s intro page. The number of swirls colored in indicates how difficult the pattern is. 1 swirl = easy and 4 swirls = difficult. An inconsistent application of colors to this system made it a bit confusing at first (some use light colored swirls and others use dark).
Check out the Video Version of this Review and See a Flip Through of the Book!
Tools and Materials Used in Curious Crochet Creatures
The tools and materials, found at the beginning of the book (pages 8 & 9) include:
- Crochet hooks (3.0 mm (C) and 3.5 mm (E))
- Stitch markers
- Fiberfill stuffing
- Fabric stabilizer
- Wires (like pipe cleaners or floral wire)
- Safety Eyes
- Pins (like sewing pins or clips)
- Wire Brush
- Yarn Needle / Tapestry Needle
- Worsted Wool
- DK Cotton Yarn
- 4-ply cotton yarn
- Mohair yarn
I loved is that each pattern very clearly outlines the materials that were used so makers know where to buy them (i.e. yarn brands and colors are listed).
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Curious Crochet Creatures Resources
In the front of the book (pages 6 – 8) there is a section on how to use the book as well as tools and materials. I liked that a section on how to read patterns was included as many amigurumi designers have different writing styles which can be confusing to makers that are used to a different style of pattern writing.
I was excited to see that they included a small section on tension/gauge and even give instructions for how to make a gauge swatch! Each pattern starts with the gauge for that pattern and you use the instructions for the gauge swatch given on page 8 to check your gauge. Although gauge is not vital for the patterns, I love that it was included so makers have the tools they need to make toys the size given in the book.
In the back of the book (pages 122 – 126) you’ll find resources on crochet techniques and assembly techniques.
Crochet Techniques Included:
- Slip Knot, Chain, Slip Stitch,
- Single Crochet, Single Crochet Increase, Decrease, Invisible Decrease & Single Crochet 3 Together, Invisible Single Crochet 3 Together,
- Magic Ring,
- Right Side/ Wrong Side,
- Front Loops/Back Loops,
- Working through the back bar/hump/thrid loop of a chain,
- Half Double Crochet, Half Double Crochet 2 Together,
- Double Crochet,
- Treble Crochet,
- Crab Stitch and;
- Changing Colours
There are images accompanying some of these instructions but not all of them. I found the pictures to be clear and easy to understand.
Aseembly Techniques Included:
In this section you’ll find:
- Closing the piece
This section is brief but clear. I liked seeing that a section on stuffing toys was included.
Overall, Irene Strange’s Curious Crochet Creatures is a beautiful book popping with personality. This book is accessible to a variety of skill levels and is a great addition to an amigurumi maker’s crochet library. These toys would make great gifts for kids, especially those that are really into unique animals. I’ve already started on a puffer fish and as I write this, my kids are fighting over who is going to get it.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of Irene Strange's Curious Crochet Creatures, it is available for purchase from Amazon.
Irene Strange’s Curious Crochet Creatures 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 Irene Strange. This pattern is a cute Jerboa. (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 are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below.