Zoomigurumi 6 Review ~ Cuteness Overload!!

The Red Panda on the cover is adorable!

The good folks over at Meteoor Books sent me a free copy of their newest Zoomigurumi book, Zoomigurumi 6. I’ve reviewed a past copy and was very excited to see what new animals were getting the Zoomigurumi treatment.

There is a total of 15 animals in the book.

Just like the past version I received, the book is a collection of 15 patterns by a variety of designers (15 ones in this book, 12 in the previous). Though they are all by different people, you get the feel of a very cohesive vision throughout the book. I give lots of credit to the publishers for their great effort at this cohesion (I feel like Tim Gunn during Fashion Week).

Love the hairdo!

Each little critter is presented with step-by-step instructions with plenty of picture tutorials for difficult portions.

Picture tutorial shows how to add the hair to Alvin.

All the patterns use basic amigurumi stitches, so lots of single crochet. None of the patterns seem too difficult so that even a novice at amigurumi could make these. They are all well thought out and just plain cute!

Of course, the owl is one of my favorites.

I love that each little guy gets his own cartoon version of itself in the material section.

Oswald wants you to know that he is “2 stars” difficult.

There are so many cute critters I can’t pick just one favorite.

So adorable!

Do you have any of the Zoomigurumi books? Which one is your favorite? Let us know below and go check out Zoomigurumi 6 on sale now!

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Super Cute Giveaway ~ Amigurumi Fairy Tales

The wonderful folks over at amigurumipatterns.net have sent me their newest book and as a treat they sent an extra copy for me to giveaway to one of you.

Before I get to the giveaway though, let me first tell you about the book.

Amigurumi Fairy Tales

Amigurumi Fairy Tales

Amigurumi Fairy Tales takes well known children’s fairy tales and turns the characters into little amigurumis.

A few of the characters included.

A few of the characters included.

Unlike the previous Zoomigurumi books, the patterns in this book were all designed by one person – Tessa van Riet-Ernst. Checking out her past patterns on Ravelry you can see she specializes in super cute stuffed creatures and this book is no different.

From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the adorable Ugly Duckling there are so many projects to choose from. She has recreated every character from each of the stories (including seven individual goats from one tale) to recreate at home.

Even though the designer and publishers of the book are Dutch, the book is written in US terms with very easy-to-understand instructions.

Such cute photos.

Such cute photos.

As with all of the books by this publisher, the pictures are fantastic and include very helpful step by step tutorials for hard parts of each pattern. Plus there is a whole amigurumi tutorial section in the front to help anyone just learning this fun type of crochet.

Help along the way.

Help along the way.

 

Some of the things I love about this book:

 
 

  • A portion of each tale is highlighted along with the pattern.The portion of the story highlighted usually goes along with the picture on that page. Nice extra touch.
  • Some the characters have cute tiny accessories, my favorite being the fish the papa bear holds in the Goldilocks tale.
See the fish in papa's hand?

See the fish in papa’s hand?

  • The hair for each character is different. There are individual techniques for Snow White’s short curls, Rupunzel’s long locks and every other hair in the book.
Snow White's hair is a really neat technique.

Snow White’s hair is a really neat technique.

  • The outfits are all different as well. I like that each character has an individual look and many of them are familiar to the fairy tales as we know them today (see Snow White as an example above.)

The entire book is so much fun to look through and I keep seeing new things each time I look (did you notice the evil queen’s silhouette handing Snow White the apple in the picture above?) The book is well written, laid out beautifully and includes projects for all ranges of crocheters. Anyone who loves amigurumi, or is interested in learning should have this book in their library.
 

Now For The Giveaway

 
Win your very own copy of Amigurumi Fairy Tales simply by leaving a comment below telling us all which is your favorite fairy tale of all time.*

*Open to US residents 18 and older only. Entries are accepted until July 15th, 2015, midnight Pacific time. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entrants and announced July 16th. 

If you simply cannot wait to get your hands on the book, you can go pick one up now here on Amazon.

 
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Want To Try Amigurumi?

A viewer requested an amigurumi tutorial. So I thought, “What better way to learn amigurumi, than by making an actual project?”

Hence, my newest tutorial.

Tessa The Turtle

Here's Tessa!!

Here’s Tessa!!

Tessa has been around for awhile as a paid pattern on a couple of the sites I sell on, but now I’m offering her up for everyone to try out for free.

She is a really fun and fast way to try out amigurumi.

What is amigurumi exactly?

It’s basically a  Japanese word that means crochet (or knit) stuffed animals.

Making Tessa you’ll learn about all these amigurumi related topics:

  • Shaping pieces with increases and decreases.
  • Different methods of stuffing amigurumis.
  • How to put in safety eyes.
  • How to sew your pieces together.

So head over here to download the pattern and watch the video tutorial now!

Lefties click here.

 

Good Looking Stripes In Single Crochet Spirals

I recently posted about making jogless stripes in half double crochet. Now I have the same for single crochet.

When you work in spirals, like when you make amigurumi, any stripes you make never line up. Because you are not joining your rounds, you don’t have a visible seam, but you have offset stripes. You trade one “evil” for another.

I’ve now finished editing my newest video so you can now work without a seam, and have clean color changes that line up much better than with the old method. Check out the video below to see it in action. Lefties click here.

Fixing your Stripes in Half Double Crochet When Working in Spirals

If you love working your half double crochet projects in spirals, but are afraid to change colors because of those ugly jogs you get, this post is for you.

I had a viewer request for jogless stripes in half double crochet when working in spirals. I had never tried to do this, so I got my hook and yarn out and worked out a technique that I think helped solve the problem.

So what are jogs? 

See how the color change makes it look like one row is  worked in two different colors.

See how the color change makes it look like one row is worked in two different colors.

When you work a project in spirals, you don’t join your rounds. This is great for projects where you don’t want a visible seam, such as in amigurumi or a beanie. However, if you want to create a stripe in a spiral project you get a “jog” or an offset where you join your new color. In the picture above you can see the offset from the grey yarn to the turquoise.

Usually you just put this in the back of your work or mask it with some clever item like a crocheted flower or belt for your stuffed creature. Here is my solution.

Can you see where I changed the colors?

Can you see where I changed the colors?

The first thing I will say, is that this method does not create a perfect stripe. Rarely is any crochet fix perfect. But, I think my method will create a better looking backside to your spiral project. The picture above is the backside of this project and as you can see, the stripes match up quite well. Through many hours and trials and errors I came up with this method and I’ll explain it below, I also have a video at the end of the post for even more help. Lefties, your video is here.

Let’s Begin

Instead of the normal way of changing color during the last step of your last stitch, you will instead complete a full round of one color (or how ever many rounds you need of a certain color).

For ease of understanding. The picture below has 16 HDC around. I have completed 16 HDC in green.

No color change at my last stitch of the round like in normal crochet.

No color change at my last stitch of the round like in normal crochet.

Now it’s time to change my color. I insert my hook under the back loop only of the next stitch and grab my new color.

This is the first stitch of the previous round.

This is the first stitch of the previous round.

Important Note: I DO NOT count this as my first stitch of the new round. This slip stitch will become the last stitch of my round (more on that later).  I am moving my stitches over by one to create the jogless stripe. This should not effect most patterns. There are exceptions (if you watched the video this is where you saw the note), if you are doing specific shaping this method could throw that off.

Specific shaping would be a designer putting increases or decreases in a specific spot to shape the project a specific way. For example, if they only increased for three rounds on the first two stitches of each round to create a bump in the project, this method will throw that shaping off. You can use this method for normal shaping (as in creating the top of a beanie) where the increases or decreases are spaced evenly around the project.

I will now slip stitch my new color through the loop on my hook very loosely.

Don't tighten the slip stitch down. The highlighted area shows the slip stitch (on top) and the front loop we left alone (on the bottom).

Don’t tighten the slip stitch down. The highlighted area shows the slip stitch (on top) and the front loop we left alone (on the bottom).

The slip stitch should look like a regular stitch after you make it. You don’t tighten it down at all.

It’s important to recognize the front loop that you didn’t slip stitch through. You will need to use that loop at the end of the round to make the jogless stripe. My video at the bottom shows it much better than these photos if you need further help in finding it.

Now, without any chains, begin half double crocheting around. You will work into the next stitch after the slip stitch. This will be your first stitch of the round. Perform all stitches except your last (in this case 15 HDC) like normal. The last stitch of the round is where you make your stripes line up.

I've crocheted all the way around and I'm back at my last stitch, which was the slip stitch I made at the beginning.

I’ve crocheted all the way around and I’m back at my last stitch, which was the slip stitch I made at the beginning.

You can see the highlighted area in the picture above is the slip stitch we made at the beginning and the front loop we didn’t slip stitch in.  To make our stripes line up, we will be working our final half double crochet under that front loop. This will bring our stripes in line with each other.

Insert your hook directly under the front loop.

Insert your hook directly under the front loop.

The highlighted area shows the front loop from the previous round. It can be difficult to see in the photos so I encourage you to watch the video below if you are having trouble finding it.

Push your hook straight through to the back. This will catch the back loop you slip stitched into as well as everything above it. Then half double crochet as normal and your round is complete with a lined up stripe.

Better looking than a jog.

Better looking than a jog.

Note for working multiple rounds before a color change: When using this method, you only do the special half double crochet in the front loop at the end of the first round. If you are performing multiple rounds before your next color change you just keep working your half double crochets normally in each stitch around. The video gives more info on this as well.

Hopefully this will come in handy. Do you have a favorite way to fix stripes in half double crochet spirals? Let us know below.