Today I have an adorable book for you by Stacey Trock.
Crocheted Softies has 18 adorable animal toy projects from around the world. You can see a few of my favorites to the side here. Maple the Moose, Hootie the Owl, and Milton the Slowpoke Snail.
Now if you are like me, I read through all the beginning material and then browse through the patterns. I love seeing how other designers describe anything from basics to more challenging techniques. For instance, I was really interested to find out why all the projects are crocheted in the back loop only. Was it a cultural thing? A technique? Just the way she does it? Stuff like that is really interesting to me. Turns out that she says that there are less holes for the stuffing to pop out that way, neat. Besides those kinds of tips she goes into detail on how to sew all the pieces together to get the exact look in the book. The other neat thing is her yarn choice. She uses local yarn store yarns sure; but she has chosen to feature companies that have an eco presence. Whether they are eco-friendly, or give back to the community in some way. Of course, you can use any yarn you want to crochet animals. I usually use acrylic for babies, in case they have a wool allergy that we do not know about. But that's the great thing about toys, you can substitute easily and yours just might end up being a bit smaller or larger then the books. But its a toy, so who cares, right?
One thing to watch out for is the written directions. For those of you familiar with Crochet Today or Interweave Patterns, it will take your brain a while to read her patterns. Especially if you are dyslexic like me. Instead of having the # of sts you need to crochet before the abbreviation it is after, in the European style. Meaning 2 single crochets in the next stitch is written "Sc 2 in next st" instead of "2 sc in next st". It is a simple thing, but it can easily get transposed to "sc in next 2 sts" in your mind when you are used to US pattern style. I just wanted to let you know so you can remind yourself.
Now for the good news, I have 2 copies to giveaway! Leave a comment here on the blog (or email me) your favorite animal from the book. You can see them all on ravelry. I will let CJ pick out her favorite and pick from those entries to win a copy. You have to Dec 17 at midnight (EST) to enter. Don't forget to make sure there is a way for me to contact you once you win. Good Luck!