Monday, August 2, 2010

Book review: Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden

cover image from
Let me get right to it: I love this book. Seriously, it might be my favorite crochet book ever, if we judge by the fact that I want to make every single pattern in it. Even the monkey, and I hate monkeys.

This book was also my introduction to amigurumi, the art of making small and sickeningly cute stuffed objects. I'm not a fan of sickeningly cute, but I am a fan of robots, zombies, ninjas, and more.

So far, I've made three of the patterns: the Corporate Zombie (to celebrate my fiance's first "grown-up" job), Cthulu (because the fiance loves Lovecraft), and the robot, which is dangling merrily from my rear view mirror. My next project from the book will probably be Medusa, a mythological villain for whom I've always had a soft spot.

The patterns are well-written, clear and easy to follow, even for an amigurumi newbie like me. Each pattern has a series of illustrations to show how the creatures are assembled, and all of the crocheted elements include a visual diagram to accompany the written instructions. The book does not provide basic crochet instruction, which is fine by me, as that's easy to find elsewhere. Plus, I don't think amigurumi is a very good introduction to crochet. While it's not (necessarily) difficult, if you're not used to increases, decreases, counting stitches, and working in the round, then trying to do it all on a very small scale is going to be frustrating. Still, if you've been crocheting for awhile and want to try amigurumi, this book would be a fine place to start.

One of the best things about it, though, is the author's blog, Not only does she show off her wicked cool crochet work and offer some free patterns, she's also made video and written tutorials that provide more detailed instructions on some of the trickier bits of the patterns in the book (Cthulu's wings and tentacles, for example). There's also a Flickr group dedicated to showcasing people's creepy-cute creations. Thanks, Internet age, for making that possible.

So, two thumbs up to Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden (who needs to go forth and write the sequel, pronto).

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