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Happy-gurumi: 20 Super Cute Amigurumi Toys to Crochet
Gifted by Martingale
Reviewed by Molly Fletcher, Editor,

Amigurumi–the Japanese art of crocheted stuffed toys–is known for its playful quality. Turn up the cute with Happy-gurumi by Vanessa Chan. This book of 20 amigurumi patterns includes ideas for plants, animals, and objects. If you love to use your talents to create homemade gifts, this guide deserves a space on your bookshelf. 

A New York native and entrepreneur, Vanessa Chan has loved using her imagination to create animals, monsters, and items out of anything she can find, including paint and Play-Doh. Chan learned how to crochet in college and she has been designing and crafting ever since. A self-proclaimed yarn hoarder, she is always looking for a reason to use up some of her skeins, which is where Happy-gurumi comes in handy.

Happy-gurumi is divided into three themes: The Great Outdoors, Animal Friends, and Party Time. Every pattern is marked with a difficulty level so that you can pick the projects that are perfect for your skill set. Even if you do not have a lot of confidence in your abilities, each tutorial simplifies the project by breaking it into mini patterns. This makes the complex pieces manageable for novices, as does the stitch glossary with step-out illustrations at the back of the book.

With a skein of worsted weight cotton yarn and a few basic stitches, even novice crocheters can whip up a wide variety of cuddly critters. In Happy-gurumi, no part of the natural world is off limits; insects, reptiles, and mammals are all represented. Maybe it's the sweet smiles on their faces, or perhaps it's the bright and bold colors of yarn, but animals that make people cringe in real life make the most precious amigurumi. 

For instance, bumblebees tend to make people nervous, but Vanessa's version is a stinger-less grinning bug with rosy cheeks. My favorite design in the collection is the Ostrich. With its perky tail feathers and soft peach beak, this little guy is super huggable. Everyday objects get loving treatment as well. Choose from patterns for the sun, an ice cream sundae, hot air balloons, presents, and more. Once you've worked through Happy-gurumi, you'll see that amigurumi looks great on everyone and everything.

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