Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures Book Review with Excerpted Pattern: Hibou the Owl amigurumi

Dr. Knit's Curious Creatures: Warm-hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns by Arturo Azcona | Book review, excerpt pattern (Hibou the Owl), and giveaway on Underground Crafter

I’m excited to share a knitting book review with a giveaway. I’ve also included an excerpted pattern, so read on for details!

This post contains affiliate links. A free review copy of Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures was provided to me by Search Press North America. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Book Review

Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures: Warm-Hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns by Arturo Azcona is not a typical knitting pattern book. Arturo is a Spanish artist living in London, and the Curious Creatures referenced in the title started their lives in a series of art exhibits.

The book opens with Arturo’s introduction and continues on into an 80 page section divided into four parts: Yarnzac Nation, All At Sea No More, Taking Flight, and Not So Creepy Crawlies. Each of these sections features stories about the 15 amigurumi designs that make up the book. These parts are stylistically similar to children’s storybooks. Each character is introduced with a problem that Dr Knit (Arturo’s alter ego) tries to fix with one of his medical, surgical, or psychoanalytical solutions. This section is filled with large, full page photos of the creatures in various setting with props and illustrated backgrounds. In this section, you can get a sense of what seeing the exhibits the book is based on may have been like.

The next section, The Knitting Laboratory, includes eight pages of Basic Techniques. This part covers basic knitting and crochet stitches, safety, using plastic eyes, and assembly with written instructions. Because this section doesn’t include any illustrations or photo tutorials, it is best suited to knitters who already have a command of the basic stitches. The next 26 pages are devoted to the 15 patterns that make up the book. Each pattern includes a detailed materials list and instructions organized by components. Each pattern also includes instructions for making up (assembly). There are also two pages of templates that can be used for felt pieces, pom poms, and cross stitch to decorate five of the Curious Creatures. The book ends with a 2-page index and the author’s thank you note.

Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures: Warm-Hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns includes 15 straightforward patterns for amigurumi creations, fun stories, and lots of photographs. The book is best suited for knitters who have a command of the basic stitches or who are comfortable doing some internet research if they don’t know a particular stitch because there are no visual tutorials for the techniques included in the projects. Although the stories of the Curious Creatures are presented in a storybook style, there are several warning in the book noting that the projects are not meant to be used as toys for young children due to the small parts. I think parents and knitters who enjoy creating whimsical creatures would most enjoy the book.


Hibou the Owl

Knitting Pattern by Arturo Azcona

Published in Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures

Pattern © 2015 Arturo Azcona. Photography © 2015 Fil Rouge Press Ltd. Shared with permission from Search Press North America.

Dr. Knit's Curious Creatures: Warm-hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns by Arturo Azcona | Book review, excerpt pattern (Hibou the Owl), and giveaway on Underground Crafter

MATERIALS

  • 5 mm (US 8) needles
  • White DK (sport) yarn
  • Oddment of beige yarn
  • Ready-made heart shapes or red felt
  • 1 pair of 18 mm safety eyes
  • Stitch holder or safety pin
  • Tapestry or yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Toy stuffing (Poly-fil)

The procedure

BODY (MAKE 2)

  • Using 2 strands of white yarn, CO 20 sts.
  • Work in St st for 30 rows. Decrease 1 st at either end of rows 10 and 18 (16 sts).
  • Row 31: K4 and put these sts on a holder. BO 8 sts, k4.
  • Row 32: P1, p2tog, p1 (3 sts).
  • Row 33: K.
  • Row 34: P1, p2tog (2 sts).
  • Row 35: K.
  • Row 36: P2tog.
  • Bind off last st.
  • Put last 4 sts back on the needle and repeat shaping for the other ear:
  • Row 32: P1, p2tog, p1 (3 sts).
  • Row 33: K.
  • Row 34: P1, p2tog (2 sts).
  • Row 35: K.
  • Row 36: P2tog.
  • Bind off last st.

BASE (MAKE 1)

  • Using 2 strands of white, CO 13 sts.
  • Row 1 and alt rows: K.
  • Row 2: M1, p6, m1, p7, m1 (16 sts).
  • Row 4: M1, p8, m1, p8, m1 (19 sts).
  • Row 6: (P4, p2tog) 3 times, p1 (16 sts).
  • Row 8: (P3, p2tog) 3 times, p1 (13 sts).
  • Row 9: K.
  • Bind off.

WING 1 (MAKE 2)

  • Using 2 strands of white yarn, CO 5 sts.
  • Row 1: K.
  • Row 2: M1, p5, m1 (7 sts).
  • Row 3: M1, k7, m1 (9 sts).
  • Row 4: P8, kfb (inc by knitting into the front and back of the st) (10 sts).
  • Row 5: Kfb, k9 (11 sts).
  • Row 6: P10, kfb (12 sts).
  • Row 7: K11, kfb (13 sts).
  • Row 8: BO 3 sts, p8, p2tog (9 sts).
  • Row 9: K2tog, k5, k2tog (7 sts).
  • Bind off.

WING 2 (MAKE 2)

  • This is the same as Wing 1 with the shaping reversed. CO 5 sts.
  • Row 1: P.
  • Row 2: M1, k5, m1 (7 sts).
  • Row 3: M1, p7, m1 (9 sts).
  • Row 4: Kfb, k8 (10 sts).
  • Row 5: P9, kfb (11 sts).
  • Row 6: Kfb, k10 (12 sts).
  • Row 7: P11, kfb (13 sts).
  • Row 8: BO 3 sts, p8, p2tog (9 sts).
  • Row 9: K2tog, k5, k2tog (7 sts).
  • Bind off.

MAKING UP

  • Sew the wing halves together, stuffing as you go. Use the template on page 125 to cut out 2 hearts in red felt (or use ready-made fabric hearts). Position on the front of the head and attach safety eyes in the centre, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Join the front and the back of the body together and sew around the edges, stuffing as you go. Embroider the beak and the feet in beige yarn

Giveaway

Dr. Knit's Curious Creatures: Warm-hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns by Arturo Azcona | Book review, excerpt pattern (Hibou the Owl), and giveaway on Underground CrafterSo now that you’ve read the review and checked out the sample pattern, I’m sure you’d like to get your hands on a copy of Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures: Warm-Hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns. The nice folks at Search Press North America have set aside a copy for one lucky reader!

This giveaway is open to readers with mailing addresses in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, or other parts of Europe, except where prohibited by law. Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. One winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted via the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will receive 1 copy of Dr Knit’s Curious Creatures, courtesy of Search Press North America. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dr. Knit's Curious Creatures: Warm-hearted and Whimsical Knitted Toy Tales and Patterns by Arturo Azcona | Book review, excerpt pattern (Hibou the Owl), and giveaway on Underground Crafter

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