The Internet is limitless and offers a lot of information, but sometimes a good book is more convenient. I learned crochet stitches and techniques mainly through video tutorials, and I haven’t bought any real beginner’s books. I became interested in books when I wanted to find high-quality patterns and it became difficult to find them on the Internet. In addition, a collection of patterns in the form of a book is generally cheaper than buying digital files one by one, and in my opinion tracking stitches on paper is easier than on a computer, and especially in videos. In my first crochet post, I mentioned free sources, but I also think it’s important to support designers.
Ana Paula Rimoli’s “The Big Book of Little Amigurumi” is the first amigurumi book I remember getting from Santa. As the name suggests, this is a fairly large selection – as many as 72 different patterns for different small toys. In this book you will find mostly animal families, but also food, tools and more detailed baby toys (rattles, hanging mobiles for a bed or stroller). The tiny animals often also have exciting extras such as clothes and nests. As these are small items, this is a good book if you want to get something done quickly and do a lot of different things. Since I’m not a big fan of sewing and sewing small details is a particularly hard for me, I’ve left the book aside lately.
Sarah Zimmerman’s “Crochet Cute Critters” features 26 different animal patterns. It is structured like a textbook – at the beginning, all the techniques and stitches in the book are thoroughly explained, followed by all the patterns one by one. The finished size of the animals represented here is estimated at 10 inches, or about 25 cm. I dare to recommend this book to starting crochet enthusiasts who would like to make cuddle toys.
Annie’s Crochet’s “Amamani Puzzle Balls” is like a new level of amigurumi for me. As I am a big fan of functional and developmental toys, at some point Pinterest started suggesting the amamani technique. Here you will find an explanation by the author of the book and a free simpler puzzle ball pattern, which is the base for all the animals represented in the book. Despite the book’s description, there are actually 5 different animal patterns. At the beginning you will find instructions for recurring elements, followed by more detailed tutorials on body parts. I picked a dinosaur for my little one and added a rattle insert to each piece to make it more exciting to play with. I remember that while making the basic elements of the puzzle, I noticed a bit too much splitting and I partially changed the structure to have less stitching and cleaner joints. I would definitely recommend this book to experienced amigurumi masters who want to try something more exciting.
I have already mentioned the work of Mari-Liis Lille alias lilleliis in a previous post, because she has a very practical website for those interested in amigurumi. “Lovable Amigurumi Toys” is her first collection of patterns that I got as a book. It was brought to my attention by a friend during a sale and I found it interesting because it contains tutorials on how to make dolls. By that time I already had a wide selection of animal patterns, and as the little one started playing with dolls, I became curious about crocheting them. The picture below shows which doll is my little one’s best friend at the moment – it is combined from different patterns. What I like about the book is the fact that all dolls are very unique, but at the same time it is possible to combine different elements with the help of logical thinking. In addition, there are many exciting techniques – how to connect body parts without sewing, add tulle to clothes, make different hair from yarn, etc. This book is also more suitable for an experienced crocheter. The difficulty level is assessed for each pattern, and for most guides it is “medium” or “difficult”.
“500 Crochet Stitches: The Ultimate Crochet Stitch Bible” is a collection, which you can find many variations of. These are no longer amigurumi patterns, but tutorials of classic crochet stitches and motifs. I like this book because it contains 3 big categories: basic stitches for rows, circular motifs and edgings. Each tutorial includes a photo, text tutorial, and diagram. This book offers endless possibilities for crocheters who can combine a lot themselves. For example, you can pick different granny squares for your blanket or form a hat from these categories: you start with a circular motif, you build up with stitch rows, and you end with an edging.
Dora Ohrenstein’s “Top-Down Crochet Sweaters” is the latest book from Santa Claus. I was curious about this book because I have always tried to crochet clothes in addition to amigurumi, but I find such extensive work with a computer difficult. I have also made hats, headscarves and shawls with video tutorials, but it has been difficult to find or follow tutorials for sweaters. There are 14 different sweaters in this book and they are so versatile that I don’t know where to start yet – different sleeve lengths, lacy and tight patterns, closed jumpers or open cardigans. The patterns all start at the top so you can try it out during the work and resize it early. About a third of the book explains this method, the rest is made up of patterns sorted by difficulty level.
I will keep updating this post, in case I get my hands on any new books.