Voodoo Maggie’s Adorable Amigurumi is a collection of crocheted amigurumi patterns by Erin Clark, who is also known as Voodoo Maggie. The book starts with an introduction from Erin that feels very personal. The next section, Basics, includes the photos with explanations of the basic crochet stitches, crocheting in the round, increasing, decreasing, and tips and tricks. After this section, there are 18 patterns, each of which includes numerous photographs of the assembly process.
The designs are quite cute and, like most amigurumi patterns, are made with simple stitches which could easily be created by a relative beginner to crochet. My favorite patterns are Sy Clops, Marcel Monkey, Cal I. Mari, and Bella la Batty.
Erin’s personality is all over this book, and it is pretty clear that there was little editorial intervention from the publisher and that she is a self-taught designer. This has advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, the book is very personal and you feel like you are spending some time crocheting with Erin. She has a preference for pastels, variegated yarns, and non-traditional colors. For example, the samples of Lucy the Giraffe are in a pastel variegated yarn, a light green yarn, and a pink yarn. Erin likes to share step-by-step assembly photos, which could be helpful to a crocheter new to amigurumi assembly. She enjoys creating set pieces for her finished critter pictures, so you get to see the amigurumi in their “natural habitats.” Erin has her own shorthand for writing up patterns, which is used throughout the book, and she always includes the approximate amount of yarn you will need in each color by weight (but not by yardage).
On the down side, there is limited punctuation. For a true beginner, this could lead to confusion in understanding the written instructions in the Basics section. The photography is very casual. For example, a critter might be made with a pastel, variegated yarn and posed behind some grass. The picture of this critter might then be taken at an angle during a sunny day. Without a photo from the front, and in the absence of photo editing software to adjust the lighting and colors, it can be hard to understand how the final project (especially facial features) should look. Finally, while Erin’s pattern shorthand is completely consistent throughout the book, it doesn’t follow standard pattern writing conventions. In general, the writing style and photography make the book seem self-published.
Other comments: I have my standard paperback complaint – the book doesn’t lay flat so you can’t read and crochet at the same time. If you are already a fan of Voodoo Maggie patterns, the book is more economical than purchasing 18 patterns from her Etsy shop. If you have the basic crochet stitches down but need a little more guidance for assembly, this book is also a great fit. If you love to support independent designers (and publishers) and are comfortable with a DIY feel to the book, this would also be a great addition to your amigurumi collection.
Since this is a pattern book and not a technique book, I would recommend that you take a look inside of it before buying to see if you would be likely to make these projects. If you are shopping online, you could also check out Erin’s Ravelry designer page, the Voodoo Maggie shop on Etsy, or her blog to see her style before deciding whether this book is right for you.
If you are easily irritated by the absence of commas, you should avoid this book altogether :).
Since I already have several amigurumi books and I prefer technique books to pattern books anyway, I’m giving away my review copy of Voodoo Maggie’s Adorable Amigurumi. This giveaway is open to all readers who enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 3.
Leave a comment telling me about your experience with crocheted animals. Need some inspiration? You can tell me which animals you’ve made, if you’ve received any as gifts, whether you have a favorite crocheted animal designer, whether you prefer to use realistic or fantastic colors…
For additional entries, like Underground Crafter on Facebook, join the Underground Crafter group on Ravelry, and/or share a link to this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. (And then, leave a comment here, on Facebook, or in the Ravelry group letting me know what you did!)
The winner will be chosen at random.