Winner of Bird Yarn Holder

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/illustration/owl-with-trophy-royalty-free-illustration/459973239

Congratulations to Carolyn C. who won the yarn holder with this comment:

Sammy, although both of them are very fun. Sammy just has extra cuteness about him.

Thanks to everyone who entered. The next giveaway is just around the corner, so be sure to follow the blog so you don’t miss out.

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Zoomigurumi 4 ~ 15 Super Cute Amigurumis ~ Plus A Giveaway!!!

The book was provided to me for an honest review.
The book was provided to me free of charge for an honest review.

 

Zoomigurumi 4 by Joke Vermeiren  is a compilation of 15 adorable animals by 13 talented crochet designers.

The first thing I noticed, and really loved about the book, is its clean, clear layout. The pictures are simple and highlight the creature being made.

Nothing to distract you from what you are making.

Each animal, though made many times before as amigurumi, had a very unique and original take on it. They don’t look like a carbon copy of what’s been made before. They seem to have their own personalities and quirks that make them special in a world of endless ami (short for amigurumi) animals.

Plus, even though the amis were made by 13 different designers, the animals have a cohesion like they were all planned by the same person. I’ve seen compilation books in the past that look haphazard and thrown together without a clear sense of direction. Before I realized that there were 13 different designers for this book, I thought the patterns were all made by one person. That is how well they all work together.

Looking at the actual patterns I was pleased to see consistent terminology throughout. The tech editior ensured that even though there are 13 different voices writing the patterns, we get one consistent voice for the written instruction. Also, even though the book is not from the US (it’s from Belgium)., the book uses US terminology.

Another thing I found helpful, which is great if you are new to ami making, is the photo tutorials for each pattern.

Almost all the patterns have these helpful close ups of difficult parts of the ami.
Almost all the patterns have these helpful close ups of difficult parts of the ami.

They  took the most difficult portion of each pattern and made short photo tutorials to help you in your construction.

Now for the actual animals. It is rare when I find an ami book where I liked so many of the designs.  This book was cute pattern after cute pattern. Each page I turned I liked the next animal better than the last.

I will be completely honest and say I didn’t love all 15, there were one or two I probably would never make, but they were still cute in there own right, just not my style. However there were a few that I absolutely loved.  The  sheep and seahorse were favorites, but there were about another six that came in close second.

So cute!!
So cute!!

I love the little detail of the cartoon versions of the crocheted project. They are dead on.

There are skill levels listed for each pattern which range from easy to advanced, so all levels will love this book. Looking through the patterns even the advanced patterns don’t look too difficult if you have enough determination. As with most amigurumi, once you are used to increasing and decreasing in single crochet, you can make just about anything.

I am definitely a fan of the zoomigurumi and will be checking out the other first three in the series. You can see pictures of all the critters in this book here.

Do you have any of the zoomgiurumi series? Which one, and how do you like it?

Zoomigurumi Showdown and Giveaway Time

So I thought I would have a cuteness showdown for you to vote on as your official entry for this giveaway.

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Will it be Sofi the rainbow spotted sheep?
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Or Sammy the sheepish seahorse?

Sofi the Sheep vs. Sammy the Seahorse

What’s at stake?

This super cute yarn holder.

You get the twine too!
You get the twine too!

It’s actually a twine holder, but as soon as I saw it, it reminded me of a yarn spool holder.

You screw the bird off the top, put your spool or cake of yarn on the spindle, and now you have a ball of yarn that won’t roll around as you crochet.

How to Enter?

In the comments below, tell me who is your favorite for cutest amigurumi: Sofi or Sammy. If you’re not a fan of either, check out the other critters in the book here and tell us which is your favorite from the pictures (don’t worry about their name, you can just way which animal.)*

*US residents only please. Entries are accepted until April 30th, 2015, midnight Pacific time. Winner will be chosen and announced May 1st, 2015.

Transforming Impractical Items Into Useful Tools #2: Shoe Dust Bags

Anyone actually store their shoes in these?
Anyone actually store their shoes in these?

Here is the second in a series of using forgotten items around your house and transforming them into useful needlework tools.

Shoe dust bags might be used by some on a regular basis, but for me, it’s extra packaging I don’t need — until now.

Instead of keeping my TOMS dust free, which I find funny because they are fairly inexpensive canvas shoes, I use my bag as a project container.

I can fit a multiple skein project in this big bag.
I can fit a multiple skein project in this big bag.

Most shoe dust bags come with a drawstring closure so it is the perfect bag to not only carry your project, but to run your tails through the closed opening while working it.

Now instead of shoving these bags into the corner of my closet, I use them to shove my projects into.

Have any regular household items you’ve transformed into fabulous crochet or knit accessories? Let us know below so we can try them too.