Edward’s Menagerie by Toft: The Review

Crochet was my first yarn devouring love.  I was introduced to it by watching my great-grandmother’s expert hands manipulate hook and fiber.  My mother introduced me to the basic stitches, the rest came to me through books.  YouTube wasn’t a thing yet. (I’m really not that old, I’m one of those micro-generational kids born in the very early 80s)  I was probably pretty proficient by 12-ish.

I put away my hooks after I was introduced to knitting, they would get dusted off now and then for a quick project here are there.  Crochet much like riding a bike, is easily picked back up.

My favorite yarn store has begun to get in new goodies lately, including a whole bunch of the Edward’s Menagerie Kits by Toft.  There are roughly 40 different kits (the LYS picked up about 15) with everything between aardvark and zebra, a chameleon and a pegasus made it into my bag to work up while I’m away from the homestead for a few days.

What’s in the kits: pattern, yarn, hook, yarn needle, and stuffing, all packed into a resealable bag.

I was impressed by the quality right off the bat.  The yarn is a soft 100% wool.   The hook has a wider handle instead of just a metal stick.  The pattern is printed on a heavy card stock.  Even the resealable bag can take a beating long enough to use as an effective project bag.  Everything you need except for knowledge, motor function and a handy dandy stitch marker is packed up for you.

The pattern:  Bottom line – well written, but, yes there’s a but, Toft depends heavily on you seeing some of their videos to complete the project instead of writing out a special instruction for a certain stitch or technique.  Personally, I’m not a fan of that trick, but I’m sure others are.  It’s not entirely convenient when you traveling and don’t have a strong enough wi-fi connection to pull a video.  So word of advice, read the entire pattern and watch the videos before you get started, you know, just in case the power goes out and the local cell tower crashes while you’re working on that project.  The videos are well made and short.

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The workup:  Like most crochet projects, they move along much faster than knitting.  Well at least that’s how it is in my world.  The chameleon worked up in about 4 hours and the pegasus, roughly six hours since it’s a bit more involved.  I wasn’t trying to break land speed records either.  The finished version of the pegasus had a little modification, grey hair was boring, I used the leftover chameleon yarn. By the way, there will be quite a bit of leftover yarn.  I need to weigh the leftovers and figure out the yardage, but between the two projects, there’s enough to make something else small.

Tips:  Stuff lightly!!! I can’t emphasize this enough, the videos don’t emphasize this enough either.  To much stuffing makes these critters look odd, and they are designed to be a bit floppy.  The only place I didn’t go light on stuffing is the chameleon’s legs since I wanted him to be able to stand.

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The verdict: Will I work up other Edward’s Menagerie kits? Sure!  They make cute animals and there is plenty of variety.  Also it’s totally worth keeping the patterns, Toft was kind enough to include notes for hook and yardage for varying yarn weights.  I’m planning on working up the pegasus again for my niece in a super bulky yarn.  Every kid needs a giant stuffy in their life, right?

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