As always, book reviews contain affiliate links.
Today I am going to share with everyone a crochet book that is a little older that I am in love with, Crochet a Zoo by Megan Kreiner.
Every so often I run across something made from this book on Pintrest, and I’ve had my eye on it for a while. I checked it out of the library to go through it and fell in love. I am going to be purchasing a copy of this for myself posthaste.
Many of the amingurumi animals I find patterns for look a little off. I know it’s hard to create things out of yarn, and so many people do much better designing things than I ever would. It’s taken me a bit to get used to amigurumi, and the first thing I made looked like it had been the subject of a toxic waste spill, minus the superpowers. I am afraid any animal I might try to design might come out the same way, so I am not knocking anyone. It’s just a lot of things I make end up being gifts and I want them to be perfect (whatever that means). The animals in this book are perfect!
Some of the animals in this book share the same basic shape such as the lions and the bears, but you can still tell the lions from the bears. This is a huge thing for me. I have this uncontrollable desire to actually crochet a zoo for my friend’s niece and I want her to be able to tell the bears from the lions.
You have to admit, the animals are adorable. The directions are provided for both adult and baby animals in some cases. There are even directions in the back for making food for the animals out of felt. The one thing that the book doesn’t have is directions for a play mat for the animals. That would have been really cool.
I do like that the zoo keepers are shown in different skin colours. I was hoping that there would be yarn suggestions to achieve the different looks, but that was not the case. In fact, there isn’t much in the way of yarn recommendations through the book. There is an entire thing about gauge and yarn types and how you can make everything bigger or smaller by changing yarn size and hook size. This is a huge con of the book, IMO, and makes it not such a good book for someone looking to make their first amigurumi project. However, someone with a few projects under their belt should do fine with it.
There are directions for different hair types for the people with the suggestion of changing the colour of the clothes where they are zoo visitors rather than zoo keepers.
MK Crochet, which I assume is the authors website and not the publishers, has additional animal patterns for sale that can be added to your crochet zoo. You can add a warthog, a moose, a flamingo, an ostrich, an alligator/crocodile, a tortoise and a camel. I do like that there is the option to get other animals to add even if they add up to the cost of another book for all of them.
I suggest checking this book out. There are so many fun things that can be done with the animals from coming up with that play mat I suggested to using some of them to make a mobile. I think if you are going to be making animals for children, this book will get a lot of use and will be a good investment.
UPDATE: This is so cool! I just discovered on the publishers website, there is a free pattern for a playmat for the zoo animals! You will have to register to get to the pattern, as well as other free patterns from Martingale.