Sascha Blase-Van Wagtendonk, known for her crochet blog A La Sascha (www.alasascha.com), publishes a variety of crochet patterns in both Dutch and English. She is the author of several books of crochet patterns in Dutch, and is a contributor to My Crocheted Closet (Stackpole Books, 2017).
A book full of cute crochet makes for an older child, as all have little eyes (pop on safety eyes), called rag dolls because only the heads and arms are stuffed and the body is flat. The expressions and designs of the toys are delightful. Many have a parent, aka a larger matching figure, so endless scope for imaginative play.
The crochet terms are US with handy illustrations. The toys are made using a lightweight DK yarn and a UK 3 mm / US d-3 size crochet hook. The photography and styling are superb. I am a little bit in love with the panda!
Every child should have a soft crochet buddy to love and cuddle!-- Ashley Cramp * lazydaisyjones.com *
My first thought on encountering this big, blousy book was that it was brave in the face of competition like Kerry Lord's Edward's Menagerie, with which it would. inevitably, be compared. Indeed it adopts a similar approach in that all the projects are adaptations of the same basic pattern, It also mirrors Lord's ideas regarding minimum stuffing but takes them one step further, advocating fully floppy torsos and toes - the only filler being in the crittur's heads. It is American, however (watch out for those stitch names!) so the similarities could be coincidental. This could also account for what might be, in the UK anyway, a slightly misleading title, for I argue that there is only one actual ragdoll in the book. She's called Princess, and very lovely she is too - I particularly adored the inclusion of patterns for her extended wardrobe.
From the photos, the basic patterns seems super simple and you might think that you could reel a few off in a week, so I confidently began with the friendly little frog. I was however, quickly disavowed of any ideas that this gloriously named author's projects would be rapidfire. Admittedly the two-colour adaptation posed a greater challenge, and I could have saved myself some time and tension if I'd opted for the one-colour hippo or croc for my first go. Working these sweet creatures, even the babies, takes concentration and focus, with close attention to the pattern; so if you're looking for a relatively short project that will take your mind off things for a while, look no further.
The animals in the photos are all made from Scheepjes cotton mix, but the quantities are low, so this could be good for a raid on your stash, or an excuse to buy a single ball or two of something perfectly plush. The book includes stitch reminders, tips and assembly notes, as well as the 30 projects that could keep you gifting for years, making it a must-have resource in your collection.-- Lindy Zubairy * SlipKnot - Issue 169 *