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I started taking a serious interest in crochet pattern books this past winter. There are many on the market and they are diverse. Having a book on hand allows me to get away from my screen a little while to find inspiration. One of my favorites so far is Crochet Cafe: Recipes for Amigurumi Crochet Patterns by Lauren Espy.
You will also like : Tested: Kawaii Crochet Garden, for adorable and unkillable plants!
The designer and the book : some details
I already knew Lauren Espy as A menagerie of stitches, her designer name. She specializes in designing amigurumi, these lovable creations brought to life by fun, yet simple faces.
Crochet Cafe is her second book (after Whimsical Creatures) and it contains 26 patterns for meals and foods one could find in a cafe.
The patterns are all divided in 5 logical categories: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and dessert.
Languages : English or French available
Patterns : 26
Instructions for basic stitches : yes
Level : accessible for beginners
👉 Get your copy here.
Tested : hamburger and apple crochet patterns
I have recently announced my pregnancy (with a fun reel you can see here) and I had been thinking for years that I would crochet food items for my eventual child, so this book got to me at the perfect time and I tested the apple, its quarter and the hamburger. I love them already, they really are too adorable.
What I liked
The book's design. Instructions are clear and that's what I'm looking for in a pattern. But then, if I'm using a physical item, I like for it to be pretty. The cafe aesthetic is definitely there, with pages which remind of black boards, and the colors are bright and fun.
The pictures which illustrate the patterns really help guiding the maker in their making process.
The different pieces are often doubled, which gives them a better finish and hold. Some others are stuffed with a piece of cardboard, which is to consider when cleaning if you want to use them as kids' toys.
The book's introduction includes specifications and tips on the materials you should use, a list of abbreviations, as well as a series of instructions for basic stitches. I've been a crochet designer for over two years and honestly, I still forget some stitches from time to time because I use them less, so this is VERY practical! I also appreciate the instructions on how to embroider a mouth, for example, because every designer has their technique and this way you know exactly how to achieve the finished look.
If a book has all the resources for me to complete my project from A to Z without using an external resource, I'm all for it! 🙌
What I disliked
I honestly can't find something I didn't like about this pattern book, it's one of the most complete and pretty I've had the chance to use this year.
Obviously, depending on your maker style, you might find the characters a bit repetitive, but that's really personal. Read til the end for more info about this.
My next makes
Here are the other patterns which really caught my eyes and that I'm planning to work on next:
Bacon, Eggs, and Toast
Hot Dog & Condiment Bottles
This book is for you if...
You like amigurumi
You are a beginner / intermediate level crocheter, but have care for details
You have a lot of yarn colors on hand (even in small quantities)
You want to make a food collection
You're a foodie!
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