Would you enjoy crocheting one or more imaginative toys for a child you know — or for charity? Would you like to have bunches of CUTE patterns for making stuffed toys, some of which are totally different from anything you see available in stores? And would it help you to have not only the patterns, but also work-in-progress photos showing you multiple stages of the creation of each toy? If so, Voodoo Maggie’s Adorable Amigurumi Cute and Quirky Crocheted Critters is a book I think you’re going to LOVE.
Author: Erin Clark, AKA “Voodoo Maggie”
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Copyright Date: 2012
ISBN 13: 978-0804850735
ISBN 10: 0804850739
This book is available in the following format(s):
Number of Pages: 96
The Focus of This Book:
This book is all about making fun, colorful amigurumi critters – some magical critters, and some that are based on actual, realistic animals.
“Amigurumi” is a Japanese word referring to cute soft toys and dolls that can be either knitted or crocheted. In this case, all the toys included in the book are crocheted.
Amigurumi Crochet Projects Included in This Book:
Lucy the Giraffe
Luna the Baby Dragon
Luna is an adorable dragon with a mischievous look in her three-dimensional eyes. A detailed crocheted dragon pattern like this one isn’t something you see every day, so if making on appeals to you, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of this book. The details are remarkable — this dragon has articulated fingers and toes, ears and horns, plus you can see 2 different colorways of her. A green and brown dragon colorway is shown in the photos on the pages of the book, and a different colorway — one worked in variegated yarn — is pictured on the back cover of the book.
This crocheted butterfly is another incredibly detailed pattern. Maggie has included a couple of different photos showing you different options for how you could embellish the wings. This is really an imaginative and fun pattern.
If you’re new to crocheting amigurumi, Sy Clops is one of the simpler patterns included in this book. Although if you’re a total beginner to crochet, I would recommend starting with an even easier project, like a granny square. Then once you’ve worked your way through that, you could feel more empowered to succeed with three-dimensional projects like these, which require some shaping.
The author, Erin, really went out of her way to crochet a bunch of these fun little eyeball critters — which is fantastic for a couple of reasons. The first is that it makes for a fun and engaging project photo to enjoy looking at. The other major advantage is that, if you decide to make one of these, you have bunches of different color ideas to choose from. Some of them are striped and some of them are variegated or solid. Before you choose a colorway for your critter, have a look at the front and back covers in addition to the pattern pages, because pics of the Sy-Clops are shown on the covers in addition to the pattern pages.
Sunny LionIf you’re looking for a truly fierce lion to crochet, keep looking, because this one is nothing but snuggly, huggable and cute.
Schnitzel the Dachshund
This book is a must-have for dachshund collectors who crochet. Schnitzel is just about the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen, with his sensitive-looking eyes and his subtly shaped body. My daughter begs me to make her one of these every time she looks at the book.
Basil T. Koala
This adorable koala bear has the most expressive face. The main project photo shows two koalas — one crocheted in gray yarn, and one crocheted in pink with gray details. Both are super cute! For some reason, they cropped this photo, so you can’t see every last detail on these little cuties. But, there are bunches of other work-in-progress photos included that will hopefully help you sort out the important details as you work.
The very idea of this project is good for a giggle. One of my college roommates was allergic to dust. I think it would be hilarous to crochet a bunch of these for her and leave them under her bed. They’re pretty cute. At first glance, you’re not quite sure if the finished project is supposed to be a dustball, or a an ultra-simple bunny, because the toy does have ears that resemble a bunny’s.
Olive the Octopus is another one of the simpler projects in this book. The project photo shows you 2 different finished toys, one crocheted in colorful variegated yarn, and the other crocheted in a solid burgundy-red yarn. Both colorways are cute and appealing. I could also see crocheting this project in a boy-friendly blue yarn.
Cal I. Mari
Tee hee! This crochet project is as cute as its name.
Ollie the Sleepy Owl
Erin managed to make her sample owl truly look sleepy. She accomplished this by the use of droopy eyelids over the owl’s soft, three-dimensional eyes.
This project also includes a cute little blanket pattern you can use when you put sleepy Ollie to bed.
Bella La Batty
This is just about the cutest bat pattern I have ever seen. She’d be the perfect Halloween crochet project..
This little yeti is simple yet imaginative. He’s also totally huggable! The project photo shows multiple yetis crocheted in two different colorways, both of which are attractive and appealing. This is a wonderful, unisex but particularly boy-friendly crochet project. I LOVE IT that the boys are not left out of the fun with this book.
Tubs the Whale
This whale is another super cute project that has mass appeal.
This is a detailed project with lots of interesting parts to put together. The results look really cool, fun and cute, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend this project to beginners.
The Best Things About This Book
The projects in the book are really imaginative, interesting and appealing. Some of them are funny and / or absurd enough to prompt giggles. Some of them are cute, like Marcel the Monkey. And, some of them are weirdly cute, like the Sy Clops, who is basically just an eyeball and eyelid with feet. I’ve never seen another bat amigurumi quite like this one; the bat also falls into the “weirdly cute” category. It’s just about the cutest batgurumi I’ve yet seen.
The range and variety of projects included in the book is great; some of them are based on real animals, and some of them are fantasy animals, like the dragon and the Cyclops.
The projects are colorful, but not so colorful as to be overwhelming when you’re choosing which yarn colors to use in your own projects.
Each set of project instructions includes multiple work-in-progress photos, which I found to be extremely helpful and beneficial. This is one of the book’s best selling points, in my opinion. Many competing titles don’t give you this number of photos. Many don’t include stepped-out photo tutorials at all. These photos will really help you understand how to put an amigurumi animal together.
These projects are ideal for both little girls and little boys. You know how, with some crochet books, all the projects are froofy and girly? That is DEFINITELY not the case here!
The team at Tuttle Publishing put some thought into styling the photos in interesting environments, which has resulted in pictures that are fun and engaging to look at.
This book is TOTALLY affordable. It’s priced attractively enough that, even if you’re on an extremely tight budget, you could consider adding this book to your library.
This book and the projects in it are kid-pleasers. My daughter is begging me to make her bunches of the cute animals in the book – the dog, the bat, the giraffe and the Cyclops.
Some of the projects in the book don’t require anything other than yarn and stuffing, which is lovely if you don’t happen to have a big stash of things like safety eyes and buttons on hand. Some of the projects do require buttons or safety eyes, which gives you options for making a wonderful variety of facial expressions on your amigurumi projects.
The book is small, compact and portable, which means that you could tuck it in your purse, backpack, project bag or glove compartment and easily take it with you to work on whenever you have spare moments. Long wait at the grocery store? Pull out your project and work a couple of rounds on one of these cuties.
Basic stitch information and tips are included. So if it’s been awhile since you’ve crocheted, and you need to brush up on your stitches, you’re covered. The book includes helpful photo tutorials for reviewing your crochet stitches.
Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book
Gauge information IS NOT included in any of these patterns.
The author also hasn’t specified the amount of yardage needed to make any of the projects. She does include the total net weight of the amount of yarn she used – but yardage would have been more useful in determining whether or not you have enough yarn on hand to make each project. I also don’t see any yarn weights specified.
What this means: It won’t be an easy thing to determine whether your amigurumi will turn out the right size, and it also won’t be easy to determine whether or not you have enough yarn to make any of these projects. That’s not a deal breaker; just start with much more yarn than you think you’ll need for making a typical stuffed animal – and avoid crocheting these projects with discontinued yarns, just in case you do run out and have to buy more.
As far as the size goes, I don’t see it as being a huge problem. Stuffed animals come in all sizes, from teeny to gigantic – so assuming you have enough yarn, the stuffed animal is likely to be fun and useful no matter how big or small it turns out.
The author doesn’t make any differentiation between rounds and rows. The instructions are always written in rows, even when you are supposed to crochet in the round. Luckily, most of the time, the accompanying photos make it totally obvious whether you’re supposed to crochet in the round or in rows – but you’ll have to look at the pictures and apply a little brainpower to figure this out.
Without having worked any of the patterns in the book, I was able to spot some obvious errors – like a spot in the dachshund pattern where it says “make 2” on the legs, but the photos show 4 legs.
I was unable to find a spot where tech editors or pattern testers are credited in the book – which means that, most likely, there weren’t any tech editors or pattern testers.
There are no charts, diagrams or international symbol crochet charts included in this book – but as I mentioned, there are lots and lots and LOTS of work-in-progress pictures to accompany the written-out text instructions. The photos are extremely helpful.
I didn’t see any specific yarn recommendations included. So if you fall in love with one of the variegated colorways or any of the other yarn colors included in the book, you’ll be on your own for tracking it down.
In my opinion, the cute projects, affordable price and plentiful step-by-step photos make this book a good buy – but only for crocheters who are willing and able to work from cryptically concise instructions that are not always 100% flawless. If a crocheter is willing to invest some brainpower in working past the confusing parts in this book, I think that it’s a good value for the money overall. Crocheters who are flexible, able to work from photos and occasionally “wing it” are likely to enjoy the book.
Where to Buy This Book:
- Amigurumi, an Adorable Collection: Heroes, Animals and Monsters to Crochet
- Busy Baby Boxes — A Book Filled With Cute Patterns for Crocheting Barnyard and Fairy Woodland Themed Baby Toys
Find more books by Tuttle Publishing:
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About Your Book Reviewer: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer who holds a degree in textile design and previously enjoyed a career in the textile industry. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and KnittingandCrochet.net. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns, tutorials and book reviews. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.
This page was last updated on 8-12-2019.