Crochet Book Review | Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium


Disclaimer:  I received a sample copy of the book to write this review however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier, book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

When the lovely folks at Pavilion books asked me if I’d like to review Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium I didn’t need asking twice! I’d already got the book on my wish list, as I’m a big fan of Kerry Lord’s, and have all of the other ‘Edwards crochet’ books so was extremely eager to have a peep at the new book.

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Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord is published by Pavilion. Photographs by Kristy Noble

Ed’s dolls is a wonderfully innovative book where you can design your own doll using mix-and-match crochet patterns. Cleverly each pattern is contained within flippable pages which means, like a child’s flip book, that you can make hundreds of different doll combinations each with amazing wardrobes! 

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Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord is published by Pavilion. Photographs by Kristy Noble

The book is split into sections with instructions on how to make the main doll, then there are two flip sections:

  • First you choose a ‘head’ – there are beginner and advanced heads to choose depending on the hair style (or facial hair).
  • Next you choose what they are going to ‘be’ with the bottom ‘outfit’ flip – with costumes for an astronaut and a princess, a ballerina and a footballer, a mermaid and a pirate, a surgeon, a punk and more.

You can make so many different variations of doll! As always I like to make something from a book before I review it and I was inspired by the doll Kerry made of herself – so I thought that it might be really fun to try and create a mini me.

I used TOFT DK yarn to make my doll (as I already had some in my stash from last years TOFTfest and my recent visit to The Knitting & Stitching Show). TOFT DK yarn is pure wool, seriously soft and gentle on the hands – lovely to crochet with. It also has a really great colour range to represent skin tones. I went for ‘Oatmeal’ skin and ‘Chestnut’ for my hair.

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All the patterns are in UK terminology and come with detailed instructions and accompanying photos for stitches. In addition the book includes step by step instructions for stuffing, sewing together and adding the dolls features. The patterns are also arranged in order of difficulty so their’s something for beginners and for people with more ‘advanced’ crochet skills. 

The body for my doll worked up easily and I chose to give my little doll pants and a boob tube (instructions included in the book for the advanced dolls) so I would be suitably attired underneath my clothes…it seems more than a little weird to be sharing a photo of me in my underwear with the world – but here I am…

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I had great fun styling my hair using a spare hair clip and just a normal hair band to tie it back as I usually would my own hair.

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The hands are some of the cutest things I have ever made! Like ever! There are options for beginner or advanced hands (these are the advanced) and whilst any doll would look cute with either I do love the little digits.

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Next came the clothes….I used the C:1 flip dress option which I made in blue upon which I embroidered yellow and grey flowers (to symbolise the pattern on my dress). I then teamed up my dress with a slightly smaller and longer C:2 yellow scarf and some C:10 black boots.

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There weren’t any real accompaniments for a crocheter doll so I improvised and made a little work basket, complete with mini balls of yarn and a WIP. I also cut to size an old 3mm hook I had to fit the dolls hands.

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TOFT have started to make some amazing little accessories for the dolls; aside from a range of different coloured dolls eyes (I used the brown) they have the cutest little glasses! However these have proven so popular that they sold out quickly so I wasn’t able to get some – until then a bit of floral wire had to suffice for my specs.

I finished off my doll with a bit of blusher on the cheeks (this isn’t something suggested in the book but something I added as I pretty much always have rosy cheeks!) and with that voilà I was finished…want to see me?

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I think there is a definite likeness between me and my mini doppelganger!  What do you think?

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I had great fun making this doll! And I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys making dolls or amigurumi, or to anyone that fancies making a mini-me. The only problem I envisage is that everyone will want one! 

Edward’s Crochet Doll Emporium by Kerry Lord (Pavilion Books) is priced at £16.99 and  is available to buy now from the TOFT website and via many brick and online bookstores.

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If you enjoyed this crochet book review you may wish to check out some of my other crochet book reviews.

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Book Review | 9 Months to Crochet by Maaike van Koert


Disclaimer: This book / pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.


As you know the KCACOUK household celebrated a new addition to our household last year and as a result I became a little obsessed for awhile with  crochet for babies.  The book I’m reviewing today, 9 months to Crochet by Maaike Van Koert, came out a little late for me to use whilst actually pregnant (as first published in 2017) but it’s many gorgeous designs really appealed to me. 

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What a great concept for a book! I actually got back into crochet when I was pregnant with Little G in 2010 as I was overcome with the urge to make something for her – I wish this book had been around then as it would have been perfect.  

Before I get onto the crochet patterns inside I just want to talk a little about the design of the actual book.  I just love the arrangement of these patterns! The corners of the front cover and all the pages have been creatively rounded which suggests a softness to the book before you even open it. Then once inside beautiful little nursery animal illustrations accompany the text and photos throughout which is a nice touch.

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The book is split into each trimester with twenty-five projects in total. And the projects are grouped into three levels; beginner, intermediate and experienced – but all of the patterns are very doable!

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From baskets, shawls, blankets, toys and lovely cushions the book is filled with charming nursery designs for boys or girls and new mums to be.

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The patterns are written in UK crochet terminology but the book also includes some excellent instructions (in the back of the book) with accompanying photos for basic stitches and techniques used.

I decided I wanted to make the cute ball rattle in bright rainbow hues for Little Miss.  I used Drops Cotton Paris which is one of my favourite cottons. It’s a 10 ply / aran / worsted 100% Cotton which is machine washable (so perfect for baby) and comes in a varied range of colours including some great brights for rainbow making! 

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The pentagon motif, that makes up the ball, is quick and straightforward to hook up and nicely repetitive so easy to remember – great for hooking whilst watching your favourite TV show.  

I was really pleased with how my final ball turned out; just perfect for little hands…

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and Little Miss has certainly enjoyed playing with her new rattly ball.

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My verdict is that this is a wonderful little book for expectant  mums, new mothers or anyone that wants to hook something up for a newborn babe.

Well until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Crochet Book Reviews | AmiguruMe by Allison Hoffman


Before I get onto the review I need to tell you a bit of the background as to why I personally was so interested in this book in the first place. If you are a follower of my little ole blog then you may well have seen my posts about how I created an amigurumi likeness of my brother and that dolls subsequent adventures (of Little Adam). Well what started off as a family joke quickly escalated and now all my friends and family want their own custom doll! That is definitely going to take awhile…but I plan on springing them on people when they least expect it so as to make a better surprise!

My basic Little Adam design was a simplified version of my elf pattern and a fab little guitar pattern I found on Ravelry. It wasn’t until after I’d given him to my brother that I realised I’d forgotten to give him ears! 

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My real brother does have ears! Just missed them off the doll – oopss!

I knew there must be a way to make any future dolls have an even closer resemblance to their ‘owner’ and that’s where the book AmigurumMe by Allison Hoffman comes in…

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How clever is that title right!?

AmigurumMe is basically a fantastic resource book for making your own customised crocheted characters. Each pattern is written in American Crochet terminology with clear and easy to follow instructions including detailed explanations and photos of the different stitches used.

The book is cleverly divided into sections for each component:

  • Making faces and heads
  • Upper body
  • Lower body
  • Feet and shoes
  • Hair
  • Accessories and more

I love the fact that a cat and a dog have also been included for pet loving mini-versions of friends and family.

Since the patterns show you how to make each different elements of a doll there’s literally endless possibilities that you can create. The book even includes step-by-step instructions of how to make some celebrities such as Mr.T, Tina Turner (as shown on the front cover) or even Michael Jackson, Madonna or Hulk Hogan.

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The customised doll I wanted to try this time round was one of my lovely dad… 

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Photo of me and my lovely Dad taken a few years ago…

I didn’t use all elements of the book, as I wanted Little Dad to be similar to Little Adam, so I concentrated on the face and hair to begin with.  Oh my goodness I cannot even say how long I spent trying to get his hair and eyebrows right!  Rather than make a wig cap (which I did with Little Adam) I embroidered the hair directly onto the head. I eventually got to a place where I was pleased with how it looked – and believe me any dreams of being a hairdresser were well and truly quashed!

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I used the details from the book to make a cap sleeved top, better hands, ears (didn’t forget those this time) and a cute pocket detail to his top.

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To make it even more personalised I added a fishing rod (as that’s my Dad’s hobby) and embroidered some tattoos onto my dad’s arms – these elements weren’t included in the book so I winged it, but I was pleased with the end results. After these tweaks Little Dad was finally finished and handed over to my Dad on his birthday. And in case you were wondering my Dad loved him (yay)!

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If you fancy having a go at making your own customised doll I would definitely recommend this book (I bought my copy of the book from Amazon) – I know I will certainly be using it again in the future.

Well until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Disclaimer: This book / pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

 

Book Review | Winter Crochet (Collection 7) by Marie Wallin


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Winter Crochet is Marie Wallin‘s seventh book which includes a collection of eight beautiful contemporary crochet patterns.  Many of the designs combine knitting and crochet together which is perfect for bi-stitchual crafters.  The blend of knitting and crochet creates a group of very wearable winter clothes including, amongst other things, jumpers, cardigans and a jacket. 

Each pattern is written in English Crochet terminology but US alternate details, along with photos of close ups of each design, tension, sizing, finishing and aftercare is included in the back of the book.

The book is a bit of a work of art! The photos of each garment are gorgeously set alongside a charming seaside background. I love the rustic looking colour palette that has been used, very much my type of colours, which compliment the natural surroundings perfectly.  

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The yarn used in the book is Rowan Felted Tweed and Felted Tweed Aran but if you didn’t want to use that you could try substituting with KnitPicks City Tweed Aran, Katia Maerino Tweed, Berroco Inca Tweed, Cascade Yarns Melilla, James C. Brett Rustic With Wool Aran, Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed with Wool or Stylecraft Aran with Wool. Remember to always swatch to measure your gauge if using a different yarn.

All the patterns in the book have been given lovely Celtic names ;  

  • Gael (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Caitlin (Crochet) – Jumper
  • Keela (Crochet) – Jacket
  • Finnoula (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Meara (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Siobhan (Crochet) – Cardigan
  • Niamh (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper
  • Catriona (Knit & Crochet) – Jumper

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There are some really interestingly intricate stitch details, all of which have been clearly explained throughout the book, but the beautiful motifs used to create Finnoula caught my eye. Just stunning!

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I love how versatile crochet is in that you can re-invent or re-use elements of one thing to turn it into something else.  I decided to use one of the motifs from Finnoula, which reminded me of a poinsettia, to make a small ornamental mat which I could sit my actual poinsettia on.

The motif worked up beautifully with some spare Aran (Worsted) weight cotton I had in my stash. The pattern was clear and easy to follow and I had no trouble at all making the motif. My little mat was just perfect for my Poinsettia and will now come out every year for that purpose.

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If you are interested in having this book for your very own it is currently available for purchase via laughinghens.com

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Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Disclaimer:  I received a sample copy of the book to write this review. I have not been financially compensated by the supplier, book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

Crochet Book Reviews | Star Wars Crochet by Lucy Collin


Disclaimer: This book / pattern is one I have purchased (or used) for my own benefit.  I have not been financially compensated by the book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern.

Shopping for crochet books?  I do so love a good crochet book and certainly have LOADS on my shelves so I thought I would share my recommendations for crochet lovers out there.  

I decided that my first review would be about the new crochet book / kit that arrived for me to play with on Bank Holiday weekend (well actually I brought more than one but that’s another story).  

Last year I wanted to make a couple of Darth Vader‘s for my nephews for Christmas, I’d had a pattern, by the extremely talented British Crochet Designer Lucy Ravenscar (aka. Lucy Collin), saved for awhile on Ravelry but then when I came to buy it there was a message on the pattern to say that it was no longer available for sale!  In Yoda-speak ‘devastated was I’ but all was well as Lucy was just putting all her awesome Star Wars amigurumi’s together into a book.  So stalking her (in a nice way) I have been waiting for the book to be published since last year and now it’s HERE! If you LOVE Star Wars then this is definitely the book you are looking for! It’s AMAZING! Seriously! And the author’s passion for designing these Star Wars character’s definitely shines through.

Lets start off with the kit first, well the price you pay for the kit and book is worth it for the book alone so don’t let my next paragraph put you off…  

Unfortunately I found the kit itself not as good as perhaps it could have been though the idea for the kit and contents are a brilliant concept. In the kit you get yarn enough to make an amigurumi Yoda and a Stormtrooper. You get 2 pairs of safety eyes, a metal yarn needle, a basic aluminium 3.5mm (US E/4) hook and I was rather impressed that the kit also contained some stuffing – so literally everything you might need aside from some stitch markers and pins (which aren’t included).  However I found yarn was a bit on the thin side for me (think a light DK / sport weight #2 or #3) and I found that it split easily. The safety eyes were just AWFUL; both me and my husband struggled with trying to put them on as the washers were an odd shape and seemed too small. The hook was servicable and the needle / stuffing both fine, but I have spoilt myself using Clover Amour hooks so in the end I gave in and used my own stash and accessories and then I had no issues.  

In the end I chose some yarn from my stash; Stylecraft Special Aran (Worsted weight #4) Meadow, Dark Brown and Camel for Master Yoda with a 4mm hook (US G) and some 9mm eyes.  This made my Yoda about 5 inches / 12.5 cm high.

Crocheting Yoda am I #crochet #yoda #starwars #lucyravenscar

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The book includes instructions for 12 Star Wars figures: Yoda, Stormtrooper, C-3PO, Princess Leia, Wicket the Ewok, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Jabba the Hutt. 

I wouldn’t say that the book is geared for a beginner crocheter though it does contain some basic how-to-guidance at the front of the book.  It’s perfect for someone who has been crocheting for awhile that already has a gist of crochet stitches and techniques.  

The book is written in US Crochet Terminology (though there is a conversion guide supplied in the front of the book) and as a whole the book is well illustrated throughout with photographs not only from the pattern but from the film (which is a nice touch) and each pattern has clear instructions.  

As you can see my Yoda turned out AWESOMELY and I can’t wait to make some of the other characters. My recommendation? The force is strong with this one! Buy this book! You won’t regret it!

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