Reported by Susie Ziegler
Cuddly Crochet: Adorable Toys, Hats, and More is a new book by Stacey Trock that is full of incredibly cute crochet projects for the adorable babies and little ones in your life. Stacey shares her patterns for darling stuffed toys, hats, and other adorableness at her website, Fresh Stitches.
Since I am a sucker for cute projects for children, I was excited to give the patterns in this book a try. If I wasn’t utterly sick of wintry cold, I would totally make this penguin amigurumi. (Amigurumi is the Japanese term for crochet or knit toy. Toys in this style typically have oversized heads):
So I decided to make that bunny hat in the photo above. The instructions were easy to follow because the book is full-sized and easy to read. I have gotten used to international crochet charts, so I had to readjust my thinking to the traditional written-out patterns in this book. This book contains no charts for us visual crocheters. I still was able to follow the instructions easily.
Except, well, the color changing. I had a bit of trouble figuring out how the author wanted us to handle the color changes and the resulting hanging threads that will run across the back of the work. I decided that the inside or “back” of the ears would be hidden, so it didn’t matter if it was messy. The other thing was that I had these little bars at the top of my color changes from the white to pink. I’m pointing to the problem in the photo below:
I did search the book for instructions about how to handle this and I couldn’t find any so I went ahead and just crocheted. Later on, I did find a section explaining a clean color change on page 15. I don’t know why this instruction was hiding from me when I needed it. It would have been helpful to have a page reference to this instruction detail on the hat pattern page.
I also learned after I finished my projects, that Stacey’s website, Fresh Stitches has video tutorials for basic crochet stitches and techniques including the one that I needed for a clean color change.
The crochet projects are all stitched through the back loop, so all the patterns have a distinctive lined texture to them. She also explains that you can use plastic doll eyes, but if safety is a concern, sturdily stitched on crocheted eyes are preferable:
- Adorable patterns in a full-color book
- Instructions are easy to read
- Recommended yarns are inexpensive and easy to find
- Beginning crochet techniques are explained, and projects are rated for their difficulty
- Pattern charts are not included
- Some additional photographs of the steps of assembly would be helpful
I love the projects I made. I know exactly the little babies who will receive this cuteness. My daughter is jealous that the bunny hat is too small for her, so I might size one up for her to wear.
Cuddly Crochet: Adorable Toys, Hats, and More is available at Amazon.com