I am incredibly excited to announce that my book, The Crochet Wildlife Guide, has now been released!
This book was a project that my co-author, Jeff Wiehler, and I have been working on over the past year. It feels so surreal to be holding a book that we made together. We dedicated so much time and effort into developing book but it was all worth it.
Part of the motivation for writing this book was my desire to draw in new people to the craft of crochet and amigurumi. I want to show people, experienced crafters or not, that amigurumi isn’t difficult and shouldn’t be intimidating. We made sure to include lots of detailed pictures, in-depth instructions, and tips and techniques that I have picked up over the years that I want to share.
When Jeff and I were brainstorming ideas for how the book should look, I knew for sure that I didn’t want it to look like any other amigurumi book. We both loved the DK Eyewitness Books about science and nature as kids and my favourites were always the ones about animals. That’s how we came up with the idea of making our book look like an animal wildlife guide. The photos depict each animal in their natural habitats. The table of contents is modeled after each animal’s geographic range and we even have facts about each animal in the book!
Deciding what animals to write patterns for the book wasn’t easy. There are too many animals that I love but I couldn’t include all of them. There are the beginner friendly patterns like the bear and rabbit, but I wanted to also make animals that people aren’t often exposed to like the axolotl and flying squirrel. Writing the patterns was one thing but the bulk of the work was testing the patterns over and over again. Each animal went through at least two or three prototypes, and then making sure all of instructions and numbers make sense was a challenge as well.
We are very proud of the photography in the book. It was all done by Jeff and me (mostly Jeff), and it was a huge adventure in itself. We spent many summer days taking photos in parks in and around Calgary, and even while camping in the Kananaskis. We had to quickly get over the embarrassment of having people walk by and stare at two grown men with a bunch of camera equipment posing stuffed animals in trees and rivers. And there’s also the painstaking process of photographing every separate amigurumi body part for each animal in our DIY lightbox set-up. Thank goodness for Jeff’s editing skills as he cleaned up and edited all of the photos to have them book-ready.
I’m really happy that Jeff and I were able to collaborate together on this book. We each have our areas of expertise, mine being crocheting amigurumi and Jeff’s skills in writing, creative design, and photography. Having everything come together in the finished book and seeing the positive response that it has received is a pretty amazing feeling.
My biggest hope is that this book inspires experienced crocheters but also newcomers that have never even held a crochet hook to pick up amigurumi as a hobby. I’m addicted to crocheting amigurumi and I hope you come to love it too.
You can purchase a copy of The Crochet Wildlife Guide at several Calgary area locations and online at Amazon.ca. There are also e-book versions of The Crochet Wildlife Guide available.