Edward's Menagerie Book Review

In the yarn world it feels as if one must choose sides: Knit versus crochet.

I started out with crochet. I was working at a bead store and saw some examples of wire crochet with beads and thought I would give it a try. My results were not as satisfactory as I had hoped. A year later while living in Scotland a yarn store opened a few blocks from my house. It was filled with luxurious highland wool and traditional Fair isle knits. On school holiday I bought knitting needles and a cheap ball of yarn and was lost down the rabbit hole. Youtube taught me how to knit and I haven't really looked back to crochet...until I found this book.

Edward's Menagerie by Kerry Lord will make anyone a crochet enthusiast. Just look at this cuteness:

This is Winston the Aardvark and the main reason I picked up this book. I LOVE AARDVARKS! How could I see a relatively simple pattern for a stuffed aardvark and not immediately get the book? Don't care for aadvarks? There are 39 other animals to choose from.

Since my crochet skills were rusty I started with an easy pattern. The book is broken down into three categories of difficulty: Easy, intermediate and advanced. Winston was in the intermediate category so I decided to do a trial run with an 'easy' pattern to see if I could even manage that.

Here is my finished elephant! She is purple and rather small. I just so happened to have this very fine purple yarn and a number one crochet hook on hand so I used what I had. I think she turned out adorable.

She is only about six inches high. I filled her butt with rice so she had a bit of weight to keep her upright. Otherwise I followed all the instructions in the book and it was super easy. I did use youtube to show me a few crochet techniques. I am a visual learner and reading the instructions in the book didn't click in my brain (and the author is British so she uses a few different terms than we do in the USA).

One thing I really liked about this book was that it shows you how you can easily change the size. Obviously changing the gauge of a crocheted or knitted item will change the end size but I have never seen it illustrated so effectively than in this book.

My elephant was made with a size 1 crochet hook and came out to be a 'small' which my cat thinks I made as a play toy for him. I think the 'large' would be the typical size that most people would make for a child, but elephants are big so the 'giant' size might be just right.

I love that you don't have to do any math to get a bigger or smaller size, just change the gauge of the yarn and hook and follow the pattern as written- easy!

But what if you don't want an aardvark or an elephant? 
How about... 
Seamus the Alpaca
Clarence the Bat
Penelope the Bear
Emma the Bunny
Alexandre the Russian Blue Cat
Juno the Siamese Cat
Hamlet the Cheetah
Benedict the Chimpanzee
Sarah the Friesian Cow
Douglas the Highland Cow
Timmy the Jack Russell Dog
Angharad the Donkey
Esme the Fox
Audrey the Goat
Georgina the Hippo
Samuel the Koala
Rufus the Lion
Blake the Orangutan
Fiona the Panda
Richard the Large White Pig
Claudia the Saddleback Pig
Piotr the Polar Bear
Chardonnay the Palomino Pony
Austin the Rhinoceros
Hank the Dorset Down Sheep
Bradlee the Grey Squirrel
Boris the Red Squirrel
Laurence the Tiger
Christophe the Wolf
Alice the Zebra
Simon the Simple Sheep
Noah the Zwartbles Sheep
Caitlin the Giraffe
Jessie the Raccoon
Francis the Hedgehog
Germaine the Gorilla
Siegfried the Monkey

 

With 40 animals to choose from you should be able to find at least one to make. Luckily I have a lot of friends and coworkers who are having kids. So all the animals I crochet won't just end up on my shelf but might actually get loved by little hands.

Although my elephant could use at least one aardvark friend.