Marie Segares's Reviews > Crocheted Bears

Crocheted Bears by Val Pierce
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Oct 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: crochet, needlecrafts

Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Search Press to review on my blog.

Crocheted Bears (Twenty to Make) is part of Search Press's Twenty to Make series. The book features a basic bear pattern and 20 variations which include different detailing/facial characteristics and outfits with accessories. My favorites are Mazzy the Keep-fit Bear (who is dressed like she is in a Richard Simmons video, complete with legwarmers, head band, arm bands, and gym bag), Paul the Panda Bear (with his very own bamboo shoot), and Roz the Artist Bear (complete with beret, canvas, easel, and palette). As you can see from the cover, the basic bear is more of a classic teddy bear style than an amigurumi style. The bears remind me of the awesome bears my grandmother used to make, but with better accessories.

I think this book would be great for someone who likes to crochet gifts. There is a basic pattern for the bear, which you could learn to do quickly without much attention to the pattern after many repeats, but then there are 20 variations which each have a personality, so you could easily customize your gifts. After working through all twenty, you could probably come up with your own variations of different themes within the book. The book is small and portable, and is reasonably priced at $9.95. The book uses U.S. pattern abbreviations but also includes U.K. terminology in parenthesis.

There are some things about the book that could be improved. The book emphasizes U.S. pattern terminology with U.K. terms in parenthesis, while the yarn weights are frequently in U.K. terms (e.g., "4-ply yarn") and the measurements are listed first in centimeters and then in inches. I think the book suffers from a bit of an identity crisis and can't decide if it is primarily geared towards an American or U.K. audience. Also, there is really one main bear pattern and twenty outfits, not twenty bear patterns as the name suggests. These things aren't deal breakers for me, but might bother another reader. Additionally, while the small, thin size of the book is great for crocheting on the go, the binding makes it challenging to hold open, so you would probably need to crack the spine to read while you are crocheting.

Overall, I would give the book 4 stars for a crocheter comfortable with basic pattern reading who wants to get more experience working with thread and thin yarn, loves to make critters, has a long gift list, and/or enjoys working with variations on a theme.
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