Disclaimer: I received a sample copy of the book on which this review is based. However I have not been financially compensated by the supplier, book company or the designer to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the book / pattern. This post does contain affiliate links which means that I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through these links at no cost to you.
Whether it’s a self-purchase, or bought as a gift, crochet books are great for all levels who are looking for a visual reference to master new stitches or learn new techniques. I myself have QUITE the library of crochet books, I love books and I enjoy having a physical item to flick through and be inspired. So I was delighted to be contacted by the lovely Ashley Parker, aka The Loopy Lamb, to see if I’d like a look at her brand new book; Crochet Furry Friends.
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I’ve been a fan of Ashley’s work for several years, especially of her cute critters that she makes with fun fur yarn – they are always just the cutest! So this last week I sat down to have a look at the book so I could share my thoughts about it with you.
About the Author
Ashley is based in Ontario, Canada and is known for her easy-to-follow amigurumi patterns. She started her blog www.theloopylamb.com in August of 2018 in order to share her passion for crochet and crafting with others and is a regular poster as The Loopy Lamb on Instagram.
Being across the pond she write’s using US crochet terminology however a clear conversion chart of US to UK crochet terms is included in the book.
The book in a nutshell
As you may have gleaned from the book title this book is all about using faux fur yarn to hook up some fluffy friends. Within the 96 pages there are 12 furry animal friends to crochet using a mix of faux fur and smooth yarn.
There are 12 cute and cuddly toy projects in total. They include a teddy bear, sheep, axolotl, elephant, panda, sloth, unicorn, bat, skunk, bunny, owl and penguin.
The allure of faux fur yarn can’t be denied, it’s just so cuddly and soft! However I know it has the potential to put people off if they believe faux fur yarn is difficult to work with. I have got a bit of experience of working with novelty and fur type yarns, however my experience is not extensive and I looked forward to learning some new tricks from the book.
What I like about the book is that Ashley leads you through the basics of successfully working with faux fur yarns. She shares invaluable tips and tricks for using this yarn type, and clearly explains everything you need to get started, building your confidence and showing you that working with faux fur yarn doesn’t need to be daunting!
The first 31 pages of the book are devoted to information to help you choose the right tools and materials before you start. I really liked page 10, where you can find a helpful guide to choosing and buying faux fur yarn, I also thought page 26-29 tips for finishing your toys had some really good tips.
Ashley includes stitch guides and step-by-step instructions, with photos, in this first section. Pages 30 to 31, ‘tips and tricks for working with faux fur’, is especially comprehensive and valuable information to read before you start.
It wouldn’t be a true review would it unless I made something from the book! So after looking at what I’d got in my stash, and looking at the projects in the book, I decided on making the cute Ollie Owl (page 76). I had some Hobbii Fur Lux yarn (shade 17665 Bear) which I thought would be perfect. It’s a 100% Polyester Aran weight yarn and is just about some of the softest, fluffiest yarn I think I’ve ever felt.
On each of the projects there is a difficulty rating at the start, Ollie Owl was classified as easy, which I thought would be a perfect project to get started with. The suggested yarn for Ollie was super chunky, however I’m really trying to use up some of my (mahoosive) stash so I thought I’ve try the Aran yarn to make a smaller owl. If you are just starting out I would recommend buying the recommended yarn or a close substitute.
Making the body and the head was such a quick process; as it was all worked together without fastening off (so no sewing together). I think I accidentally missed out an increase on the head, but it worked in my favour in terms of yarn (as I knew I probably wouldn’t have enough with what I’d got). I had some lovely 20mm sparkly safety eyes in my stash (much like the ones Ashley uses for Ollie in the book) – though mine were orangy rather than gold and I used the a 4mm crochet hook. For the beak and feet I used some Scheepjes Stone Washed in Black Onyx that I also had in my stash which finished him off nicely.
My finished owl turned out to be 15cm (5.9inches) high and I didn’t have quite enough yarn for the wings. It didn’t matter though as my daughter fell in love with the little owl and has called him ‘Peanut’. A very fitting name as he is rather peanut shaped due to my accidental changes but I think cute all the same. The beak and feet I made as described and they turned out really cute and worked for my slightly smaller owl which was great.
I thoroughly enjoyed making my owl and I’m sure I’ll make some other furry friends in the future (I’ve got my eyes on the bunny and the bat!).
I’d recommend this book for any crocheter with an interest in amigurumi’s and and who’d like to develop their skills working with faux fur. The projects are fun to make, super cute and are sure to be loved by all!
Get the book
Crochet Furry Friends became available in the Europe and the UK on 31 October and is launched on November 14 2023 in North America. It’s available to purchase at many independent bookshops, like WHSmiths, or at places like Amazon.
Thanks to Ashley and Search Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx
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