Recently I have been given the opportunity to share with you a book that has yet to be released! The book is Edward's Menagerie by Kerry Lord, the founder and director of luxury knitwear & yarn company TOFT.
Kerry learned to crochet while she was pregnant with her son, Edward. Using her tucked away yarn stash she began to create her first animal toys for her son, which became crochet patterns and kits sold by TOFT. Eighteen months later after having lots of success with the individual patterns, they are all going to be put together in a book.....Edward's Menagerie, a paperback with over 40 unique animal patterns.
Now to give you my book review.
Edward's Menagerie is a lovely and simple book, which is definitely crochet beginner friendly. The projects in the book are divided into three levels indicating how many techniques are involved in making the animals. Level one uses one colour, and is crocheted only in chain, slip stitch and double crochet. Level two is introduces basic colour changing, and Level three requires more complex colour change and uses the loop stitch in certain animals. The patterns all use UK crochet terminology and common crochet abbreviations. US conversions and full explanations can be found in the Technicals section.
Before you delve into patterns, Kerry lets you know all the materials you need for making these lovely creatures. In this book she has used ten shades of natural coloured yarn from TOFT, but you can make these animals with any yarn you like as she provides you with a sizing chart which is a great guide for letting you know what yarn weights and hook sizes you need.
The patterns allow you be very open with your colour choices but it lets you know if you need to use a light, medium or dark yarn which is pretty cool! Each pattern has been kept pretty simple to give the book a clean and spacious look, as the 'making up' of each animal after you have finished crocheting it tells you to refer to a section just for the sewing and stuffing of the animal as well as sewing their face details on.
Keeping things simple, the animal designs are a "family" of patterns as they are sharing common body shapes and construction techniques. Which help you get a sense of familiarity with the patterns, but creating unique animals with every individual project.
At the back of the book there's a Technicals section with a great photo guide to the techniques and other info you'll need to create the animals like counting, marking, the right and wrong side of the crochet, the stitches, stuffing, sewing, adding faces and washing instructions.
My most favourite thing about this book is how each animal has his or her own name and they all have little character descriptions, which makes the book delightfully child friendly and fun! My favourite character from each level is Emma the Bunny who is an "an extremely lovable bunny whose aura is kept in balance by regular dates with her yoga mat", Hank the Dorset Down Sheep is "a seriously well-travelled ram with a ewe on every farm" and Blake the Orang-utan is "a self-employed tree surgeon". So much fun!
This is such a great little book to ooooh and aaaah over, and I love how it allows beginner crocheters to move through the levels with their experience, as when they are able to make an animal from level one they should be able to make an animal from level two and same with level two to level three. Very ideal for those who have families as children would love these adorable toys.
The official launch of the book is 25th July with the book priced at £15.99, and the day is going to be a marked with a whole day of workshops, alpaca treks and cream teas where Toft is based. To celebrate this launch, I have two pairs of tickets to the launch to give away which I will post later this week! How awesome is that?!
The book is currently available on pre-order from TOFT and if you directly purchase from them, you will get a bonus PDF of ten additional patterns that aren't included in the book which are a badger, camel, kangaroo, moose, reindeer, sloth, lemur, skunk, snow leopard and armadillo.
Remember to visit my blog again this if you are interested in winning a pair of tickets to the book launch!!