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Reviews Written by
Hayley Cann (Québec, Canada)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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By Christen Haden - Yummi 'Gurumi: Over 60 Gourmet Crochet Treats to Make
By Christen Haden - Yummi 'Gurumi: Over 60 Gourmet Crochet Treats to Make
by Christen Haden
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 16.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing in their simplicity but incredibly beautiful, July 31 2015
I've loved almost every amigurumi book I've laid my eyes on, and this one is no exception. But instead of regaling us with cute animals and tools, Haden and Sala, instead mean to feed our minds with the most clever little pieces representing food in realistic ways, but all made with crochet and yarn. To say they are pretty is probably too simple, some of their sets make me salivate, not just for the food they contain, but for the fun project they are.

First off, the book arranges the projects in chapters that are different food themes: natural goodness, (fruits and veggies), global treats (dim sum, sushi platter and a stir fry selection), a bite to eat (sandwich bar and cheese board) and finally, yarn bakery (birthday cake with candle, two tier wedding cake, and cakes garnished with fruit).

Most of the pieces use simple crochet techniques, mostly just single crochet, seaming and embroidery embellishing in simple stitches, but the results are really nice as the cover of the book attests. There is a technical section geared at new crocheters, and impressively, it is adequate to the task of taking beginners and getting them started. Some of the illustrations are the best I've seen in a long time, with great clarity. It doesn't do a lot of explaining about stitches, but again, most of the project require very basic assembly, making a lot of the pieces beginner friendly.

The photography is quite nice as is the styling for the projects.

Amigurumi Toy Box by Ana Paula Rimoli (2011) Paperback
Amigurumi Toy Box by Ana Paula Rimoli (2011) Paperback
by Ana Paula Rimoli
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from CDN$ 41.36

4.0 out of 5 stars and it has a great selection as well, July 27 2015
The designs are absolutely to die for, so cute, and it has a great selection as well. Some of them have accessories, like for instance the tiny bears have a vest to wear, and the boston terrier (if you don't find that cute, you should check whether your heart is still beating) has his own doggie bed. Easily one of the best looking stylised amigurumi out there.

The designs are hot dog (complete with mustard and ketchup bottles on the side), mom and baby polar bear, snake, mouse and bird, jellyfish, cuttlefish, dolphin, narwhal, boston terrier, mom and baby duck, piglet and mom, tree, strawberry plant, kitten, princess frog, flan, hot cocoa, and cake, tugboat, baby tiger, baby lion, bear and elephant, mom and baby fox and a little unicorn.

There is a general guidelines section that has a little information on how to crochet, but most of the information is in the single patterns. It doesn't really take you by the hand, so I'd say crochet beginners had better be capable of looking up information on how to sew pieces together elsewhere.

Other than that, it was a fine book with gorgeous designs.

Voodoo Maggie's Adorable Amigurumi: Cute and Quirky Crocheted Critters
Voodoo Maggie's Adorable Amigurumi: Cute and Quirky Crocheted Critters
by Erin Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.99
28 used & new from CDN$ 10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Big in all the ways that matter, July 27 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This may be a small book in size but it's big in contents.

The designs represent: a baby dragon, a butterfly, a cyclops, a giraffe (too cute!), a ladybug, a monkey, a dragonfly, a lion, a dachshund, a koala, a dust bunny, an octopus, a calamari, an owl, a bat, a yeti, a whale and a toucan. Most of the patterns are stylised with simplified features and a more cartoonish than realistic look for the critters.

Tthe patterns look really nice, but also, the instructions come with a lot of pictures of the different parts of every critter. You can look up a pattern and almost immediately get an idea of how it's made up. Also, there is less sewing in these projects than for your average crocheted animal.

This makes it one of the clearest books on amigurumi out there.

Edward's Menagerie: Over 40 Soft and Snuggly Toy Animal Crochet Patterns
Edward's Menagerie: Over 40 Soft and Snuggly Toy Animal Crochet Patterns
by Kerry Lord
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.04
34 used & new from CDN$ 18.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Retro menagerie to crochet, July 27 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The animals in this book have a bit of a vintage feel to them and are slightly stylized, but it also means they share body types. Simply put, the elephant has the same body as the giraffe, and most animals look a lot alike. Also, the natural palette (beiges, greys, white, black) enhances this similitude a lot. It's as if all of the critters were knit with the same yarn, probably the one the authors spin or something

That being said, the designs are pretty good looking even though some of them are less recognizable as the animal they portray than others. I would have thought alpaca to be a poor choice for stuffed animals, but maybe the stiffness of crochet suits it better than I had envisioned. Most of the patterns are simple, but the book separates them in ability levels. Some have more color changes to do, or have more elaborate ears and tails, more sewing to do, but pretty much they're reasonable in terms of toy crocheting.

The animals represented in the book are bunny, cat, polar bear, elephant, sheep, hippo, alpaca, rhino, lion, pig, gorilla, aardvark, bear, sheep, panda, siamese cat, donkey, chimp, koala, highland cow, tiger, pony, zebra, goat, bat, friesian cow, jack russell, giraffe, fox, orang-utan, monkey, squirrel, cheetah, hedgehog, raccoon and wolf. Some of the patterns, like the nanny goat are very good looking, some I didn't like nearly as much. Still for a book to have this many patterns, and if one likes the retro look that's on the cover, it could be much worse.

The instructions look good enough, there are explanations on how to make the basic parts, then each pattern brings modifiers to them. There is a section on the embellishing techniques, and a diagram that shows where the different parts go and in what order to sew them. It doesn't explain much about sewing, maybe not thinking how sewing is so many young crocheter's nightmare.

Still a pretty good book.

Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, and Give
Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, and Give
by Anna Hrachovec
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.95
39 used & new from CDN$ 8.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Itty-bitty, teeny tiny, and extra cute., July 24 2015
These are the knit version of amigurumi, only these ones are even smaller than usual. As shown, and knit with the yarn used in the book, most of the designs are between 1 and 3 inches tall.

The author gives us animals (chickens, monkeys, elephant, fish, dinosaur, lions, armadillo), edibles (fried eggs, baked potatoes, pear, corn, hot dog, cupcakes), humanoids (babies, mermaids, gnome, alien, bride and groom, caveman and robots), inanimate (airplane, computer, mailbox, sailboats, record player, telephone), naturals (cacti, rainbow, forest, volcano, planets, island), holidays (hugs and kisses, ghosts, firecracker, easter bunny, reindeer, christmas tree). There are a few pages with ideas of what to do with the designs, like to wear them as charms, as christmas tree decorations and the like.

There is also a toy knitting basics tutorial section at the beginning that's as well done as in previous books. It shows how to sew pieces together, how to pick up stitches on the toys, how to finish i-cord arms and other techniques used in the book. It's well done as usual, and well illustrated, so someone who has never knit a toy could start with this book.

Super-Scary Mochimochi: 20+ Cute and Creepy Creatures to Knit ,by Hrachovec, Anna ( 2012 ) Paperback
Super-Scary Mochimochi: 20+ Cute and Creepy Creatures to Knit ,by Hrachovec, Anna ( 2012 ) Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 24.42

4.0 out of 5 stars Scary clever toy knits., July 24 2015
Deliciously oddball, imganiative, and kinda cute. It would be difficult to explain the amazement I have felt when I first perused this book. It isn't Hrachovec's first book on mochimochi, and you'd think eventually there would be a sort of fatigue settling on, but it isn't in this book that's for sure.

Hrachovec takes the scary-cute theme and runs with it, and I don't think anyone is able to ever catch her. The book contains patterns for small knitted pieces that represent clever forms of monsters. It's hard to describe how imaginative the designs are, but it's fair to say this is for someone looking for the odd and unusual. There is a pattern for tail-conjoined lab rats, where one rat is slim and the other rolly-polly (after a lab experiment, the author adds.) The patterns go from the expected monster types like witches, to the clearly unexpected like the ghost toaster complete with black as sin toasts. Designs like the Sarcatphagus, (a mummified cat) are oddball and clever and cute. And the teenage werewolf complete with removable fur "hood" and clawed paws, is just hysterically funny. There is a reversible toy pattern that hides it's reversible twin inside itself, and you get to pull it out of its own mouth, and is described as a "self-regurgitated pair of tummy tumblers". Sounds awful, but I challenge the owner of this book to find a kid who doesn't love it. There is a special section too on how to mix and match different monster parts to create a customized monster pattern that's also a lot of fun.

There are good explanations in this book on how to join pieces together and how to stuff the toys. Also how to add details with embroidery, how to pick up stitches on an already stuffed part, how to add hair, that are all well explained and have photos to show the way. Most patterns have lots of different photos from different angle so as to make the work clearer, and also some patterns with more challenging construction have photos that show the more complicated parts.

Really surprising and worth a read.

Purina Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Feline Nutritional Supplement
Purina Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Feline Nutritional Supplement
Offered by EntirelyPets CA
Price: CDN$ 69.69
2 used & new from CDN$ 36.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Inconclusive results on feline IBS., July 24 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It took about 3 weeks to get this item from ordering. Other than that, item was what it was supposed to be, and it was cheaper than alternatives.

It's a pro-biotic for cats, that you sprinkle over their normal food to fortify their immune system. In the case of my cat, with idiopathic IBS, this was a crapshoot on whether it could help my cat build a better intestinal flora. Unfortunately, it is hard to know if it helped anything because I had to discontinue using it, as it seems that after 15 days of serving it once a day, her digestive system has learned to hate it, as it correlates with bloody diarrhea when she takes it.

We expected it might not work, and it was worth a try, and I'm glad it was possible to get it from seller at a price that made it possible for me to give it a try.

No Title Available

3.0 out of 5 stars Won't exceed any expectations, July 24 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had ordered this and it took so long to get here that I almost forgot it was coming.

It's not bad for the price, but I have strong doubts about the authenticity of the contents. The burning test seems to indicate some man-made fibers too. It doesn't help the labels come only in chinese characters, so it's impossible for this westerner to understand much. I realise the listing for this product made no claims to have English labels, but it was disappointing to me. It's impossible then to have any sort of idea, other than it's labelled in China about where this comes from.

The color is also darker than previewed on the picture. I know this happens sometimes depending on the monitor and many other things, but there is a strong difference, more than usual.

The Big Book of Little Amigurumi: 72 Seriously Cute Patterns to Crochet
The Big Book of Little Amigurumi: 72 Seriously Cute Patterns to Crochet
by Ana Paula Rimoli
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 23.23
23 used & new from CDN$ 20.54

5.0 out of 5 stars So cute, it's hard to resist., July 24 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I heard of people who don't like kittens and puppies, and they're probably the only ones who could resist the pull of these cute projects. I guess if you don't want to crochet, then you have a chance to dislike this book. Just a chance!

The book proposes 72 projects, mostly animal amigurumi but also fruit and veggies, a hotdog, everyday items like a coffee mug, and kid favourites like robots, a tea set, and a little tugboat. You'd have to be diffiicult to find flaw with the look of the designs, because they're quite good looking, They're mostly crocheted in the round, technically speaking so there is less sewing to do than if they were made with flat pieces.

The editing is ok, good clear pictures, the instructions are row by row, but don't come with tutorials or anything beyond general guidelines. That's ok, though the book is clearly geared at intermediates and the patterns are not very complicated as to require special sections on extra techniques. Almost everything is made with single crochets anyway.

And, have I mentioned how cute the projects are?

Mini Knitted Woodland
Mini Knitted Woodland
by Sachiyo Ishii
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.13
40 used & new from CDN$ 8.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Trees and the forest, and everything within, July 24 2015
This review is from: Mini Knitted Woodland (Paperback)
Books for mini knitted animals aren't as common as they are for crochet, but this one is clearly meant to bridge the gap. The patterns inside are more lifelike than amigurumi, less stylised, but they are cute enough, with a collection ranging from the usual forest creatures like birds, hedgehogs, stags to less common patterns like peacocks, eagles, swans, skunks, woodpeckers, even a gnome, all worked distinctively enough as to be recognizable for what they are.

The patterns have good details, considering how small they are (and how few stitches are being worked on) and a lot of them rely on embroidery for detail work, or even crochet (for instance, the stag antlers are made using simple crochet stitches). The additional techniques are well explained, with a section explaining the extra techniques with enough photos. There is also a good explanations on how to sew the knitted pieces together, and how to stuff the animals that I thought was helpful, even though I have done similar work before, because of the small scale of the projects.

I though nearly all of the projects were good looking and deserved to be in the book. The presentation on the cover is beautiful and shows how you could use the pattern to create your own knitted woodland scene. The photography is beautiful and clear, and most projects have enough different views of the project to help visualise how they are made. The editing is fine with row by row instructions, and most projects will require only small oddments of yarn. Good for stash busting.

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