I am really enjoying the Crochet Stories series from Dover. The latest volume is called Crochet Stories: Grimms’ Fairy Tales by Vanessa Putt. Just like the previous volume, Crochet Stories: E. T. A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker, this book intersperses stories with related crochet patterns. Only this time, the focus is on five classic fairy tales. (You can read my review of The Nutcracker here.)
The style of the toys and other crochet items in this book is significantly different from the previous volume, and this is because Dover has had a complete different designer take over the reins. (The forthcoming third volume, this time about Alice in Wonderland, will feature yet another designer.) I love the little simplified dolls that Vanessa Putt has created. Their bodies are chunky and their faces are very simple. But they are oh so effective. Rapunzel and her long hair, the giant and his bushy beard, Gretel and her braids. Everything is there and just right.
Each story has at least two accompanying dolls, and most have at least one accessory. For example, you can crochet a beanstalk for Jack, a tower for Rapunzel, and a fabulous gingerbread cottage for Hansel and Gretel’s witch.
Again, keeping in line with the previous volume, the instructions are very clear and well written. I had absolutely no trouble crocheting the witch. The book suggests a variety of yarns for the projects, ranging from Vanna’s Choice to Paton’s Classic Wool. A few projects need some slightly fancier yarns, like the eyelash yarn used for the hedgehogs in The Hare and the Hedgehogs, but even they can be easily found online if worse comes to worse. I chose to use Bernat Satin, my go-to yarn for toys.
There is no specific techniques section in this book, but it isn’t really required as the patterns are fairly straightforward. There is a small section on finishing, including some tips on faces and weaving in ends.
As for the stories themselves, they are fairly standard retellings. All the details are there, and they would make great bedtime reading for a child. Especially if you had made the dolls that go along with the story. 😉
Like last time, I highly recommend this book. The patterns are great, the stories are classics, and the price is pretty darn good. Because the dolls are small (approx. 3 1/2″ for the children, up to about 9″ for the giant), you could quickly whip up a whole little colony of fairy tale people for your favourite little person.