By Sarah Zimmerman
*This book was purchased by myself. I bought it only as a consumer, and this will be my honest opinion of the work.
Why did I purchase this book?
I purchased this book on a whim while I was browsing Amazon. Now, I have a confession to make. I can crochet and knit pretty decently, but I am not very good at making stuffies. I have a six-year-old daughter, though, and she loves stuffed animals. Not only does she love stuffies, but she also loves cats. The stuffed cat featured on the cover of this book sold me. It looked easy enough for me to manage, and as soon as the book came, I realized that my assumption was correct.
Crochet Cute Critters is filled with 26 Amigurumi patterns, starting with the letters A-Z. These patterns are easy and very beginner-friendly. When this book showed up at my door, the first thing I did was look through the beginning sections. In it, Sarah Zimmerman describes different techniques to create the adorable crochet creatures in this book.
Favorite Section of the Book
My favorite section in the instructions was the finishing instructions, where the author gives a bunch of valuable tips and techniques for finishing amigurumi. I cannot stress how important some of these hints were that I read in the finishing section. As a somewhat intermediate crocheter, I take for granted a lot of instructions and kind of gloss over them. Doing this causes me to assume a lot with the pattern and allows a certain stubbornness. “No, I don’t need help. I know what I’m doing” is a stance that has failed me nearly every time I’ve taken it.
The book doesn’t have a lot of text beside some helpful crochet instructions (and tips) and takes you right to the patterns. The patterns themselves are animals named after the alphabet. The cat on the cover is called Callie the cat and is the C alphabet pattern in this book.
My Experience using a Pattern
After I started on the Callie pattern, it only took me a few seconds to get into the swing of things. The overall design only took half of a day, and I found Sarah Zimmerman’s tips for assembling amigurumi invaluable as I put them together. I finished putting Callie the cat together while my daughter slept one night, and the next day, she found it on my nightstand and immediately claimed it as her own.
My favorite part about this book is that all of the animals build off of the same pattern. Once you can create one, you’ll get the general idea with the rest, making them a lot easier to crochet. I’m not a big fan of making stuffies because mine always comes out lumpy, but I realized that Callie was not misshapen after following the book’s instructions.
Do I recommend this book?
I recommend this book to any crocheter who struggles to make amigurumi or is considered a beginner crocheter. You should be able to make cute animals if you read through the introductory chapter of this book and follow the pattern. The simple designs also make it easy to play with different colors and customize the animals without getting lost in too many instructions. The written instructions were easy to follow, and there’s a good explanation of all the stitches you’ll need for this book.
The book could also work for a knitter who would like to work with crochet but is still learning stitches. I remember the first amigurumi that I crocheted back when my son was only six months old. I struggled with the pattern I picked, and it would have been much easier to start with a book in this pattern instead.