Crochet Book Haul

As a former librarian, I’m a complete sucker for books. Yes, I realize the internet can provide endless knowledge and inspiration for crafters, but for me, there is nothing quite like wandering through my bookshelf flipping through page after page of beautiful craft ideas, or pulling that one well loved, heavily used, tome to your craft from the shelf to help you through a new technique (or remind you of one you haven’t tried in awhile).

Much though I prefer the act of crocheting to the act of knitting, with my recent crochet binge I quickly discovered that my bookshelf is full of knitting books and a little lacking in the crochet department. I decided I should remedy that.

Since I’m, apparently, a little indecisive, here’s what arrived at my door.

Pile of crochet books

I just had to share the haul.

What’s in the pile?

Watch for book reviews to come as I start working my way through this pile. And if you have a favourite book you think no crafter should be without (not just limited to crochet since I enjoy a wide range of crafts), I’d love to hear about it.

Amigurumi Lolo

I’ve been on a bit of an Adventures of Lolo kick lately. For those who don’t know it, it’s a series of puzzle games for the NES from the late 80’s and early 90’s. As a kid I repeatedly rented these games from Bandito Video. (Anyone else remember these stores? Apparently there was still a location in Barrie, Ontario up until two months ago). These games seemed pretty simple on the surface but like many puzzle games, got dasterdly hard as you progressed. I’m thrilled to see that Nintendo is finally planning to jump into the mobile game market and hope some classic games will get a mobile revamp. This series in particular would be well suited to touch controls, and they still hold up as solid puzzle games.

I’m also working on developing my amigurumi design skills and delving into the world of pattern writing, so Lolo, with his simple shapes and limited colour palette seemed like an obvious choice.

Here’s the final result:

Crochet plush Lolo

Lolo crochet plush - back view

I’ve added a new Pattern section to my blog and the pattern for this crocheted cutie can be found there. Please let me know what you think. I’m always open to questions and suggestions. And if you do end up making him, I’d love to see a pic!

Cheep Cheep

Here’s my first attempt at designing my own amigurumi. It’s a Cheep Cheep (flying fish) from Super Mario Brothers. I’m super happy with how he turned out and completely in love with creating my own crocheted plushies.

I fully intend to write up and share the pattern for this guy, but didn’t keep the best of notes while I was creating him, so it may take me a bit to get it done.

Amigurumi Cheep Cheep front view

Amigurumi Cheep Cheep back viewI hope you love him too!

Making More Monsters

I’ve finished working my way through the Amigurumi: Design Your Own Monster class on Craftsy. Overall the class was excellent. Even though I’m not new to amigurumi I learned a lot from this class and found it to be a lot of fun. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer. It only covered very basic shapes and shaping, I’d love a follow up class that taught some more complicated amigurumi designs.

Since I’ve made crocheted plushies before I didn’t bother to crochet along with every monster demonstrated in the course (I only have so much shelf space after all) but I had to make the final monster as he’s one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

I give you Mr. Toothy:

Amigurumi monster

This class really inspired me and gave me the confidence to start creating my own amigurumi designs. I already have a few in the works that I can’t wait to share!

Making Monsters

I’ve been working my way through the Amigurumi: Design Your Own Monster class on Craftsy. If you are unfamiliar with Craftsy, the site offers a large number of video classes on a variety of crafty topics. Each course provides a number of hours of video instruction as well as a discussion forum where class participants and instructors can ask questions or share ideas. I’ve bought a few courses already and can say that they have all been excellent quality and taught by very knowledgeable instructors, but so far, this amigurumi monster course has been my favourite. I find the classes a little on the expensive side, but there are regular 50% off sales, so keep a look out for one of those.

Amigurumi: Design Your Own Monster is taught by Stacey Trock, author of Crocheted Softies and Modern Baby Crochet, and the brains behind FreshStitches. Stacey is hands down one of the most delightful and entertaining video instructors I’ve seen. She has the perfect combination of quirk, humour, and knowledge, and clearly loves what she does. The aim of the course is to learn how to crochet the basic shapes used in amigurumi and how to combine them to design your own creations. Stacey demonstrates her design process from start to finish making this the only amigurumi resource I’ve found so far that covers every aspect of amigurumi creation, right from starting with a sketch to creating the finished plush.

Here’s the first little monster you make in the class (I’ve named mine Monty).

Amigurumi monster

This guy is a pretty basic introduction to amigurumi intended to teach how to crochet the basic cylinder most amigurumi is based on, and a couple of different techniques for stitching together the pieces.

Watch for more monsters to come as I keep working my way through this course.