Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts Book Review - Fuzzy Felted Friends and Woolly Embroidery

Thursday, July 2, 2009
The next two books are courtesy of the Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts book series by Chronicle Books. The series includes four books: Amigurumi, Fuzzy Felted Friends, Lacy Crochet and Woolly Embroidery. Since I don’t crochet I only have the embroidery and felting books.

The books were originally published in Japanese and have been translated into English. We’ve all run into badly translated foreign movies, instructions, and websites. These are nothing like that. They have been remarkably well done. The only thing that gives away their foreign nature is the naivete of the text.

Woolly Embroidery begins with 33 pages of color photos of the motifs and projects. This is followed by a guide to wool embroidery, useful tools and materials and thread color charts. There are also clear illustrations for 30 different decorative stitches. I find that particularly useful. The patterns are adorable, some even having a touch of that 1970’s crewelwork look that’s so popular.

Fuzzy Felted Friends is laid out in the same manner, with about half the book being full color photos of the projects. Several pages of step-by-step photos of the different techniques follow. The instructions for the projects are next and, fortunately, have both metric and standard measurements. It includes projects for wet and dry felting, for both felted animals and pouches/bags, for useful items and purely decorative cuteness.

I would say these books are suited to the crafter who has had some experience.However, they do have projects that are do-able by the beginner with a little bit of patience. I do wish there was a little bit more substance to each of them but $15 for an 80 page softcover book is still fairly reasonable.


Rachel said...

Hello! I know I'm about 8 months late in responding to this post, but I just ordered all four of the Kyuuto craft books and am really looking forward to receiving them! I am definitely a beginner crafter in all respects (unless you count Girl Scouts many years ago) but I can't wait to get my hands into some yarn and wool!!