Crochet taxidermy is a bit tongue-in-cheek, giving a whimsical, colorful spin to the tough sport of hunting and offering an animal-friendly alternative to decorating your home. I remember first seeing it a few years ago from artist Shauna Richardson, followed by other artists. It’s become more mainstream, now, with crochet taxidermy patterns available online. And you’ll find 30 of these patterns in the beautiful, fun book by Taylor Hart.
Crochet Animal Patterns
The book is subtitled “30 Quirky Animal Projects, from Mouse to Moose”. You’ll find quirkiness running throughout the projects, from their names to their facial expressions. The animals are divided into five categories:
- Woodland Creatures, where you will find the “meek mouse” and “monumental moose” referenced in the subtitle.
- Farm Friends, with projects including Baaaaad Sheep and How Now, Brown Cow
- Zoo Buddies, including the Cranky Croc and Timid Toucan
- Safari Friends, with patterns for Ellie the Elephant and Zippy Zebra
- Under-The-Sea Creatures, featuring the Colossal Squid, Cute Cuttlefish, Skeepy Octopus and Jiggly Jellyfish
Each section begins with the designer’s thoughts about these animals and how they inspired her life and work. And then each animal comes with its own little description that gives you a sense of the personality behind each plush creation.
Crochet Book Design
The design of the book is an interesting one. There are photographs, drawings and text in varied fonts. It’s a very artistic creation, one that’s visually pleasing. All of the crochet animals are introduced, section by section, in the beginning of the book before you get to the patterns. (It’s easy to flip to the pattern you want, though, with page number references on each photo.) This first part of the book almost reads like a little storybook. You could easily introduce your child to the characters and have him/ her pick the ones to make.
Learn How to Crochet Here
The book is written with the beginner in mind, providing all of the step-by-step instructions for someone new to crochet to easily learn the craft from the pages here. In addition to written instructions, there are photo tutorials with captions. There is detailed information about how to make animal faces, including the “sleepy-eye technique”. And of course there is information about how to mount and hand your animals so that they become crochet taxidermy rather than just crochet animals.
Taxidermy Crochet Patterns
After following all of the instructions in the guide to crochet, it will be easy to make any of the patterns in the book. They use many of the same basic stitches and ideas, with variations to create the details of each personality. They all use worsted weight yarn and a size F crochet hook. Most use two skeins of yarn (allowing for color changes that suit the animals). Some have additional details (sometimes requiring a different hook) such as the use of faux fur yarn for creating fur details on the animal. The variations come when creating antlers, ears, noses, etc … but it’s all built around similar shapes that come easier and easier with each pattern you make.
Taylor’s Voice Shines Through
From the introduction to the photographs in this book, the designer’s voice really shines through. This is what always make a crochet book special, different from the others on the market. She shares her story of learning to crochet during a move to Austin when her family was trying to change things up in their lives. She shares what she loves about the DIY life, which of these animals are her personal favorites, and how she came to mount her amigurumi animals onto plaques so that they became taxidermy home decor. She’s a likable author whose designs you want to follow and she makes the work easy with her clear instructions.
See all 30 taxidermy crochet patterns on Ravelry.