YarnSub Newsletter

August 2022

Newly-published books

[Book: 'Mini Amigurumi Birds' by Sarah Abbondio]

I've noticed that amigurumi is a popular topic for book authors. There are four new books of amigurumi patterns this month alone. I assume that also means a lot of people enjoy making amigurumi dolls and toys.

But before this month I had never done any amigurumi myself. I've always thought amigurumi toys look cute, but two things had put me off making them. First, I had the vague idea that they might be tricky to make, and second, now my children are older, I didn't know what I would do with an amigurumi toy anyway.

I do like to challenge my assumptions though, so I decided to make one of the designs from Mini Amigurumi Birds.

Four pictures showing first stages of making amigurumi.

Start with the body, then the head with eye patches and safety eyes. Attach head to body.

In some ways, I found making my bird—I chose the puffin—easier than any crochet pattern I'd tried before. There are no charts to worry about and I found the pattern instructions straightforward to follow. All but one of the nine separate pieces started with an adjustable ring, for which there are simple instructions in the book.

After that, it's pretty much just single crochet (double crochet in UK terminology) worked in the round. You don't make a chain to act as the first stitch of a new round, as you would for granny squares. Instead you just keep working into the next stitch as it comes, more like knitting in the round. You can mark the end of a round with a movable stitch marker, or just count off the stitches of the round as you work them (as I did). Increasing and decreasing according to the pattern instructions allows you to make all the different shapes required.

There's no denying that it was a bit fiddly and required concentration, though. I couldn't chat or watch TV, because I was counting stitches all the time. But I was enjoying myself, so these issues didn't bother me.

Last stages leading to finished amigurumi puffin

Then add beak, tummy patch, feet and wings!

I very much liked my finished puffin, but still had the problem of what to do with it. I didn't want it just gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. In the book, Sarah Abbondio suggests making a hanging mobile from the birds. I think that would be lovely in a child's room and might even be appreciated by a keen bird-watcher, but mobiles are not my particular thing. Finally, on the very last page of the book, I found what I wanted to do with my puffin. Some of the birds were pictured with key chains attached, turning them into keyrings. I can't tell you why, but I love the idea of having a puffin keyring!

So am I an amigurumi convert? Yes. I found the process addictive. Each piece of my puffin was so small that it only took 15 minutes or so to get another one done. And I've already had three requests from family and friends for puffin keyrings!

What about the book? Would I recommend Mini Amigurumi Birds? Yes, if you have basic crochet experience. For a start, the book is very reasonably priced - less than $8/£7 for 25 different bird patterns. Even after one bird I feel like I've had my money's worth. I found the patterns and technique instructions well-written and easy to understand. However, I don't think this would be the right book for someone who's never done any crochet before. The descriptions of the techniques are short and there aren't many accompanying pictures. There's also not much background information on things like yarn and hooks. While this is fine for a lapsed crocheter who just needs some reminders, I think a complete beginner would appreciate more in-depth support. Having said that, I think you'd only need to learn a few basics from YouTube and then you could move onto this book without a problem.

Some of the many birds from Mini Amigurumi Birds.

Mini Amigurumi Birds, by Sarah Abbondio

See all newly published books >

New and discontinued yarns

New yarn: Berroco Wizard

New yarn: Berroco Wizard – Image © Berroco

New

Berroco
Dash – Super Bulky – 92% Merino Wool, 8% Nylon – Chained – Color dashes
Fika – DK – 100% Merino Superwash Wool – Tweedy – Tweed colors
Lanas Light – Sport – 100% Wool – 2 ply – Solid colors, Heathers
Renew – Worsted – 35% Viscose, 30% Nylon, 30% Wool, 5% Cashmere – Plied – Solid colors
Vento – DK – 50% Baby Alpaca, 40% Acrylic, 10% Merino Wool – Fuzzy – Solid colors, Tonal colors
Wizard – Bulky – 85% Merino Superwash Wool, 15% Nylon – Chained – Self-striping (gradient transition)

Big Twist Yarns
Hush – Super Bulky – 100% Polyester – 2 ply – Solid colors
Mellow Shine – Super Bulky – 99% Acrylic, 1% Metallic – Plied – Solid colors with metallic
Mellow Solid – Super Bulky – 100% Acrylic – Plied – Solid colors
Reverb – Aran – 100% Acrylic – Z-plied – Multicolored
Static – Bulky – 100% Acrylic – Single ply – Self-striping

Cascade Yarns
Llamerino Chunky – Bulky – 50% Llama, 50% Merino Wool – Plied – Solid colors

Cheval Blanc
Idylle – Worsted – 50% Cotton, 50% Linen – S on S plied – Semi-solid colors

Desert Vista Dyeworks
DK – DK – 75% Merino Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon – Plied – Self-striping, Self-striping (speckled), Multicolored

Durable
Comfy – DK – 100% Microfiber – S on S plied – Solid colors
Formidable – Fingering – 70% Acrylic, 23% Viscose, 7% Elastic – S on S plied – Solid colors

Emu
Classic Aran – Aran – 100% Acrylic – Plied – Solid colors
Cotton DK – DK – 100% Cotton – Plied – Solid colors

Gusto Wool
Core – Fingering – 80% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon – S on S plied – Solid colors
Echoes – Fingering – 80% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon – S on S plied – Self-striping
Nokta – Fingering – 80% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon – S on S plied – Speckled colors

King Cole
Safari Chunky – Bulky – 100% Acrylic – Single ply – Self-striping

Knit Picks
Journey Tweed – Sport – 35% Merino Wool, 35% Superfine Alpaca, 15% Tussah Silk, 15% Viscose – Tweedy – Multicolored

Knitcrate
Vidalana Silhouette – Fingering – 50% Merino Superwash Wool, 50% Tencel / Lyocell – Plied – Solid colors

Kremke Soul Wool
Edelweiss Classic – Fingering – 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon – Plied – Solid colors

Laines du Nord
Caleido – Aran – 100% Superwash Wool – Single ply – Self-striping (gradient marl)
Cashsilk Light – Fingering – 70% Merino Wool, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere – Fuzzy – Solid colors
Indulgence Mohair – Heavy Worsted – 60% Mohair, 27% Alpaca, 13% Nylon – Fuzzy – Self-striping (gradient transition)
Paint Sock – Fingering – 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon – Plied – Self-striping
Teddy B – Aran – 75% Alpaca, 15% Nylon, 10% Wool – Bouclé – Solid colors

Lang Yarns
Bergen – Aran – 47% Cotton, 42% Baby Alpaca, 7% Nylon, 4% Merino Wool – Chained – Self-striping (dotted)

Leo & Roxy Yarn Co
80/20 Sock (new 2022) – Fingering – 80% Merino Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon – Plied – Tonal colors, Multicolored, Speckled, Zips

Lion Brand
Off The Hook Ombré – Jumbo – 100% Polyester – Fixed loops – Gradient

Malabrigo Yarn
Ultimate Sock – Fingering – 75% Merino Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon – Plied – Tonal colors, Multicolored, Speckled colors

Mary Maxim
Mellowspun DK – DK – 100% Acrylic – Plied – Solid colors

Miss Babs
Holston – Fingering – 51% Silk, 49% Blue Faced Leicester Wool – Plied with a soft haze – Solid colors, Tonal colors

Noro
Yukata – Sport – 50% Silk, 25% Nylon, 25% Wool – Single ply – Self-striping (gradient transition)

Premier Yarns
Ribbon – Super Bulky – 65% Cotton, 35% Polyester – Tape – Solid colors

Stylecraft
Colour Twist – DK – 100% Acrylic – Plied – Marled colors
Grace – Aran – 85% Acrylic, 10% Wool, 5% Mohair – Plied with a soft haze – Solid colors

Tahki Yarns
Idaho – Super Bulky – 80% Wool, 20% Acrylic – 2 ply – Dotted colors

Discontinued

Araucania
Yumbrel DK – DK – 100% Cotton – Plied – Multicolored

Athena
Essence DK – DK – 85% Acrylic, 15% Wool – Single ply – Self-striping (gradient marl)

Big Twist Yarns
Fleck – Super Bulky – 100% Acrylic – 2 ply – Semi-solid colors

Borgo de'Pazzi
Nike – Worsted – 50% Superwash Wool, 38% Bamboo Viscose, 12% Baby Camel – Plied with a soft haze – Solid colors

Caron
Kindness – Aran – 100% Polyester – Plied – Solid colors, Multicolored

Hand Maiden Fine Yarn
Swiss Mountain Swiss Silk – Fingering – 100% Silk – Plied – Solid colors, heathers, Multicolored

HiKoo
Drape – Worsted – 100% Rayon – Plied – Solid colors
SimpliCria – DK – 100% Baby Alpaca – Chained – Heathered colors
Zumie – Super Bulky – 50% Acrylic, 30% Wool, 20% Nylon – Single ply – Solid colors

Infinity Hearts
Amaryllis – Sport – 78% Polyester, 22% Acrylic – Fuzzy – Semi-solid colors
Daisy – DK – 55% Acrylic, 35% Cotton, 10% Polyester – Fuzzy chain – Semi-solid colors
Ribbon – Super Bulky – 60% Cotton, 40% Polyester – Ribbon – Solid colors

Jarol Ltd
Heritage 4-ply – Fingering – 55% Superwash Wool, 25% Acrylic, 20% Nylon – Plied

K&C (from Joann)
Nordic – Super Bulky – 100% Wool – 2 ply – Solid colors
Pixel – Super Bulky – 100% Wool – Single ply – Multicolored

Knitting Fever
Painted Cotton – DK – 100% Cotton – 2 ply – Self-striping

Lang Yarns
Malou – Super Bulky – 70% Alpaca, 20% Nylon, 10% Wool – Fuzzy chain – Solid colors

Loops & Threads
Baby Delight – DK – 70% Acrylic, 30% Nylon – Plied – Solid colors, Self-striping
Chubby Chenille – Jumbo – 100% Polyester – Chenille – Solid colors
Perfect Pair – Fingering – 70% Acrylic, 23% Bamboo Viscose, 7% Polyester – S on S plied – Self-striping (fair-isle effect)

Marriner Yarns
Sparkle DK – DK – 93% Acrylic, 7% Metallic – Plied – Solid colors with metallic

Mondial
Dolomiti – DK – 75% Merino Superwash Wool, 25% Microfiber – Single ply – Self-striping (marl transition)

Noro
Okunoshima – Aran – 35% Silk, 28% Wool, 20% Angora, 17% Mohair – Tweedy – Self-striping (gradient transition)

Premier Yarns
Pixie Dust – Bulky – 93% Polyester, 7% Metallic – Chenille – Solid colors with metallic

Red Heart
Baby Hugs Medium – Heavy Worsted – 100% Acrylic – Plied – Solid colors, Multicolored
Irresistible – Jumbo – 90% Acrylic, 10% Wool – Plied – Solid colors, Multicolored
Unforgettable Waves – Heavy Worsted – 100% Acrylic – Thick and thin – Self-striping


If you'd like to get in touch, please send a mail to hello@yarnsub.com (you can simply reply to this mail) or find me on Instagram.

See you in September!

Wendy


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