I received an adorable crochet kit to review called The Wizard of Oz Crochet
. It is produced by Thunder Bay Press
and retails for $24.95; though, I saw it for sale as low as $14 on Amazon. The kit includes a 76 page book with 12 crochet patterns, a 4mm hook, two small balls of yarn (one gray one brown), a smaller amount of black yard, a little felt, stuffing, 2 pairs of safety eyes, and an embroidery needle. The 12 patterns include those for the Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy, Toto and a basket, Scarecrow, the Wicked Witch of the East (which is really a house with her legs sticking out from under it), the Wicked Witch of the West, a winged monkey, Glinda, the Wizard of Oz, ruby slippers, and a lolly pop kid. The supplies in the kit are supposed to be enough to make the Tin Man and the Lion.
So let me start with the pluses about this kit. First, it is so dang cute that I can’t stand it! Seriously! Who doesn’t love the Wizard of Oz? Then there are 12 patterns packed in the little book that is in the kit. If you purchased it at the $14 Amazon price, that is a deal, and then you also get supplies, so for the price, even considering the issues this kit has (which I will go into next) I think that is a great price. Another point of this kit that I like is the fact that the book has photos, not just written out patterns, so you get a little visual help. Finally, the finished characters are nice and big, not tiny like many amigurumi projects can be. For example, the Tin Man is 10 inches high when finished. I donate most of the toys I make, so kids actually play with them. For my purposes, then, tiny is not good since I want something large enough for a child to cuddle.
Now onto the minuses of this kit. According to the description on the box all of this comes in, this is “perfect for beginning crocheters.” While I think this kit is super adorable and would make a very cool gift for someone, I would never consider giving it to anyone who has not done a fair amount of amigurumi before. I looked over a few of the patterns, and probably the easiest would be the Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the East, but even those I would not consider to be for a beginner. It is nice to have supplies ready to go in the kit, but the patterns call for worsted weight yarn, and to me the yarn in the kit is not thick enough to be consider worsted. I would say it is more sport weight. Finally, I did some looking around the web, and there are complaints that the patterns have errors in them. It is not necessarily unusual for crochet books to have errors, and most seasoned knitters and crocheters expect some errata to be published some time after a book comes out. However, so far the only errata I have found is from Makerknit.com’s blog. She bought the kit and made Dorothy, and she found a bunch of errors but was nice enough to publish the corrections on her blog
. From what she said and from reading through a few of the patterns, it looks like the stitch counts included at the end of some of the rows is not correct. If you just ignore the number and follow the instructions, it works, but someone didn’t add up the stitches correctly when writing the patterns.
Okay, so like I said, I still like this kit, and I’m super thrilled that I get to give one away too! I know making crochet toys is not for everyone. Some think they are just too “fiddly,” but if you have some amigurumi experience and love the Wizard of Oz, then here is how you can win this book. Oh, and sorry, but I have to limit this to the continental US because of shipping costs (don’t hate on me hat on the PO!)
Here is how you can enter to win. Simply tell me who your favorite Wizard of Oz character is and why in the comments of this post. I will randomly pick a winner and send his/her name to the publisher who will ship out the kit. The deadline for entering is April 8, 2014. Make sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you, and I will give the winner 3 days to get back to me. And, of course, there is the usual “I’m not responsible for a darn thing contest gibberish so don’t sue me stuff.”