Sunday, May 1, 2011

April Pattern Review

Oh, Hello.  I didn't see you there, I was just enjoying the sunny view.

Today I wanted to tell you about this book:

It features me and some of my cousins:

Now, since I am obviously biased about how good this book is, I should hand the review portion of the blog over to someone else.......

 This month I was going to review a purse pattern, but I got distracted making TONS of Sock animals.  My little man has thoroughly enjoyed this distraction, and since I have been having SOOO much fun making these, I decided to review this book of 16 patterns instead!   

This book is just so much fun! 

I am finding these little sock "friends" all over the house. 

Criteria 1:
Organization of Instructions

The book starts with some very easy sock animals and builds up to more complicated ones.  Each pattern in the book is well laid out with easy to follow step by step instructions and clear, full color photos.
This guy was sneaking around a corner the other night. 
The book is a nice size and fits well on a book shelf right next to all of your  other books.

Criteria 2:
Ease of Instructions

These instructions are exceptionally easy to follow.  

A hamster in progress...he needs a face and a mouth. :) 

There is a page of stitching diagrams for when you need to do hand stitches (don't worry there aren't that many.  Most of it is machine sewing).  The rest of the book is full of easy to follow, clear pictures. 

This is little man's hamster.  He is slightly disproportionate & a little odd looking, but he LOVES him.  Soon you will see that you love them all, even the awkward ones.  
Are Additional Manuals Necessary
You will need to know how to sew with a sewing machine.  

The book is full of patterns for sewing cute animals and other creatures out of socks, but does not have instructions on how to use your sewing machine (I think this is a good thing, just stating it here to clarify).  

You may want some tips or further information on how to sew knits. 

Criteria 3:
Level of Experience Required

Beginner, Intermediate or Expert
I would recommend that you be at least a slightly experience beginner.  Or, a beginner with moxy.  Haha.  Here's the thing, sewing socks can be a bit rough.   Once you sew one however, you can do them all! ;)  

Even with experience you will need to be ok with the stitching not being perfect.  I mean socks stretch, and curl and you can't iron them.  Which is all really ok, because knits are are the socks! ;)   Once you turn them right side out and stuff, all those Oops! stitching spots are fine.  

That being said it can't be too difficult considering I've been making most of them with my three year old son. He has been helping me make these and it is a blast.  I let him help turn the socks right side out after I sew.  And he helps stuff.  He also strings the buttons/eyes onto the needle and even helps pull the needle through the fabric.

Now, he couldn't make them on his own, but the fact that I can put them together with his help shows how low stress they are to create.

Criteria 4:
Amount Of Time

Even with my sons help, I have been able to put together many animals in under an hour.  The stuffing and putting on faces probably takes the most time.

The easiest animals take me about 5 minutes to cut and sew.  Then 10 minutes to turn, stuff and close.  And  then 5-15 minutes to put on eyes and embroider faces if necessary.

The hardest animal took me 15 minutes to cut and sew.  3 minutes to turn, stuff and close.  And then about 5 minutes to put on eyes.  

So I guess it averages out to about 30 minutes per animal, give or take.  
I have been making about 2 - 3 per day in between cooking, cleaning, and other sewing projects.

Poor owl has a slightly deformed wing.  But he's still darn cute! :) 

Criteria 5:

Would I make it Again?

Umm YES!  I would make all the creatures in the book several times over!  In fact, I have already made at least 2 versions of some of the animals and I have plans to make more.  It's addictive.  I mean seriously addictive.  You just can't stop making them, and suddenly every sock you see makes you think of what animal you want to make it into. 

Would I recommend this to family, friends or other quilters?

I would recommend this to anyone who sews.  It is just plain fun.  Great for grandma to have around for making animals with the grandkids.  Great for moms to make with their kids, My little one and I have been having gobs of fun making these.  

Even if you just want a "sewing break", something that takes little thought but keeps you busy and sewing this book is definitely for you.

I really love making the star fish! SO Cute! 

The only person this book isn't for is the overly critical, "you cannot do that like that!" person.  Oh and my husband.  ;) Ha!  He can't get past the fact that they were originally socks.  They are all new socks but still the concept bothers his brain. 

Criteria 6:
Final Thoughts and Personal Experience 

At the very beginning of the book the author, Brenna, says "It's not as addictive as coffee, but once you master the basics, you may be hooked and no sock will be safe!"  I should have considered this fair warning, but I did not.   And now here I am continually cutting and sewing socks.  Trying to find 30 extra minutes in a day to make, just one more!  

"Peter", named by my son, got into my jelly roll basket! *gasp*

The book is so well written, it is no wonder that Brenna Maloney has won awards for her writing.  Beyond the instructions, her comments are extremely amusing.  I literally laughed out loud several times before I even started sewing.

Here he is tugging on his ears and apologizing.  
This book is just so much fun to have in your collection, to give as a gift, and to show off! :) 

So excited that Brenna has written a second sock friend book that is coming out in the fall called "Sockology".

It's ok Peter, we like to play in fabric around here.  He is quite relieved. 

And now for the giveaway!!

How does getting one of these books for your very own sound?  Are you rushing out of the house to go by an unworldly amount of socks?  I thought so. 

I am thinking it would be nice to really get a lot of entries on this giveaway.  So I am totally going to bribe you all with 2 books!

If I can get 100 comments, each from a different person (not 100 comments from just one person) then I will draw 2 names and send out 2  of these books!  So I will need your help spreading the word!  

And heck, just to help meet that goal I will make entering easy.  Just leave a comment, any comment. 

To enter:

1.  Leave a comment.  Any comment.  Maybe you would like to suggest other criteria?  Or have a question about this book?

Winner will be randomly drawn in three weeks on Sunday, May 22nd!


Tracy said...

I really like the format of your reviews - your criteria addresses the important aspects. Sure, it's great to know that a book has 'beautiful photography' - but if it's all just pretty pictures without decent/clear writing, that's not good.

Sounds like this one hit the ball out of the park!

Lindsay said...

These sock animals are so cute! I would love a chance to win this book. Also, thanks for the great tutorial!

Laine from said...

Just too cute! I love the first pic of the bunny(?) looking out into the yard.

Suzee said...

soooo cute! this giveaway made my heart smile. hope i win!! :)

Cat said...

This was a great review. Brought a smile to my face with all the fun sock relations. It reminded me of when I made finger puppets for my kids many years ago. I would love this book just for the smile value.

Jacqueline said...

Super cute!! Good choice ont he socks!!!

Egle said...

I would like to get one of the books to inspire me to create buddy's to my two sons :)

Marci Girl said...

I guess I'm going to have to get on twitter and tweet the heck out of this to spread the word so you can get 100 comments!

Great review, like always! I was curious about this book, but now that I've seen your owl....too cute, must make one!

Lora said...

Oh wow! What a great giveaway! Good luck getting 100 comments too...

<3 Lora;

Linda B said...

Those are so cute. Thanks for sharing.

A said...

I hope I win!! These are adorable!!!!

PrettyCoolShops said...

I am already eye-ing up all of the socks in my drawers! My son has some groovy teal argyle socks that would make a fantastic bunny.... or hamster.... or.....
Great review format,btw. I love it!

Samantha said...

My 10yr old daughter sews like crazy, and these are just the kinds of projects she likes. (Okay, and maybe me, too.) Hope we win!

Sharon said...

I love how the bunny introduces the book! So much fun! :)

stephmabry said...

What great gifts these little guys would make! :)

Michelle said...

They look adorable and mostly easy to make! I love all the pics and would love to have the book too ; )

Bek said...

what a gorgeous book of such cute, adorable little critters!!!!

Bek xo

Heidi said...

Very cute! and looks like fun! I have no idea how you did a star fish from a sock?

brookiellen said...

i LOVE the octopus!!!

Lindsay Conner said...

This book looks too cute! Thanks for linking up at Craft Buds!

Val said...

Adorable! I love the starfish!

Sarita said...

I am in love! Please, choose me! :)

sharon said...

I would like to make these animals, too.

britfrintner said...

Pick me!!! My son would love for me to make some of these for him!

britfrintner (at)

Kelly V said...

My kids would love for me to make some of these adorable sock critters. What a cute book!

Evelene S said...

Oh this looks so so cute. bimbi9 at verizon dot net

Kristy said...

Great looking book and very well written review! I know my kiddos would love all these fun friends!

*New follower too! :)

Lauren said...

What a cute book! I love making sock critters and these are new and unique!

Kate S. said...

These are so cute! Iva totally see myself making tons of these... And I have no compunction about using (clean) used socks - this would've a great thing to do with all those orphan socks!!

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