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Today, I’m reviewing Happy Cute: 25 Amigurumi Celebration Gifts to Make by Annie Obaachan and hosting a giveaway of my review copy, courtesy of Barron’s Educational Books.  This seemed like a great book to kick off my week of giveaways, because it is very celebratory!

I’m a big fan of Obaachan’s Amigurumi Animals (reviewed here), which is a great design primer.  I’ll admit that I was worried this book would just include a bunch of patterns with limited design information.  I was pleasantly surprised by the contents.

Summary:

25 celebratory amigurumi patterns along with tips and tricks for creating amigurumi projects.

Organization:

  • Cute, Cute, Cute: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Amigurumi (Introduction)
  • Tools and Materials
  • Reading Patterns
  • Crochet Techniques (illustrated)
  • Finishing Off
  • Creating Happy Gifts
  • Chapter 1: Happy Holidays
  • Chapter 2: Love and Romance
  • Chapter 3: Springtime is Here!
  • Chapter 4: Party Time!
  • Chapter 5: Congratulations
  • Index and Resources

What I like about this book:

  • The introduction, which explains the Japanese cultural/historical context that led to the emergence of amigurumi as an art form.
  • The “Making Shapes” section, which provides instructions on how to create various 2D and 3D shapes in crochet, including discs, teardrops, balls, rectangles and squares, rectangles with curved corners, and rhombii.
  • The pattern instructions, which include both written directions and international stitch symbols.
  • The directions for “making up” each project (assembly), which are very detailed and also include structure diagrams.
  • The tips in the crochet techniques section, which include illustrated instructions for the “magic ring.”

What I didn’t like about this book, or what’s missing:

  • There is no yardage listed for the patterns.  (A typical instruction would be “Red (yarn) for the nose.”)  This makes it hard to assess whether you have enough scrap yarn for a particular pattern.
  • The book is a paperback and doesn’t lay flat, so it is difficult to read and crochet at the same time.
  • Some of the gift ideas seem to be a real stretch.  For example, a pattern for corn on the cob with a vegetable kebab, while cute, doesn’t seem to me like a “gift to celebrate (a) special occasion.”  (I should say that I don’t have an outdoor grill.  Perhaps if I did, the start of the grilling season would be significant enough to warrant amigurumi kebab gifts.)  This doesn’t impact my interest in the patterns, but it does mean that some of the projects don’t seem to fit with the theme of the book.

Favorite patterns:

  • New Year Dragon (for Chinese New Year)
  • Big Heart Bear and Red, Red Rose (for Valentine’s Day or anniversary)
  • Dancing Daffodils (for spring)
  • Great Job (for promotion)

Summary:

Happy Cute is more than just an amigurumi pattern book.  It shares some of the context for amigurumi in Japan, along with design tips and crochet techniques.  The ideal reader is interested in learning more about crochet design, loves amigurumi, and/or likes to make cute, crochet gifts.  The book is clearly written, so it would be appropriate for a beginner with some basic crochet skills. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.
The Giveaway!

This giveaway is open to all readers who enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, April 1.

Blogiversary week of giveaways, Day 1: Happy Cute by Annie Obaachan

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