Twenty-two or so years ago, I remember picking up my first crochet hook – it was actually my mother’s.
I recall watching her clumsily make granny squares and blankets one year for Christmas gifts, and had even helped her pick out a pretty variegated yarn for my Christmas blanket.
I loved watching the hook twirl and loop and make something from nothing: For an eight-year-old, it was as close to magic as you can get, magic wand included!
It didn’t take me long to begin begging my mom to show me everything she knew, which admittedly wasn’t much.
We spent a few afternoons together, with her patiently showing me how she held the hook, how to make a slip knot, and how to chain.
Once I had mastered chaining and double crocheting, Mom patted me on the head, told me I knew as much as her, and took me to the library to find a book on how to learn to crochet.
Thinking back to all the painful hours I spent staring down at an (even back in the late 90s) outdated crochet book with dusty old patterns, I get truly excited for beginner crocheters today and all of the wonderful ways they can learn this versatile and wonderful craft!
I would have greatly benefited from being able to search online for videos and patterns and tips, rather than being confined to making granny squares and tea cozies.
One of the ways folks can learn some of the basics of crocheting is through a beginners crochet kit. There are tons of kits out there, and they range the gamut from super simple to complex.
Crochet kits are fabulous ways to dip your toes in the water without having to shell out for everything needed to get started – most include everything you need to begin, crochet hook included!
Another great thing about kits is that you can experiment with different types of crocheting, too. Perhaps you’ve crocheted a little before, but haven’t forayed into making hats – a crochet kit might be the way to go to test it out and see if hat-making suits you.
That brings me to today’s topic of amigurumi crochet kits!
The folks over at The Woobles were gracious enough to gift me their Pierre the Penguin crochet kit for me to review. Ease of use combines with an irresistible cuteness factor in one straightforward package.
So, if you’ve never tried an amigurumi project before, or want more information about what all goes on inside of a Woobles crochet kit, dive in with me.
About the Woobles
Founded by Justine Tiu and Adrian Zhang, the Woobles offers amigurumi crochet kits that come with the materials needed to crochet your very own amigurumi plush, as well as a whole host of online resources to help you learn the basics of crocheting amigurumi.
They offer several kits at beginner and intermediate levels. Some of the cute projects you can choose from include a crocheted penguin, cat, fox, bear, and many others, including accessories and special limited edition projects like a frog or seasonal characters like a yeti.
I received the Wooble’s Pierre the Penguin kit. The kit contained:
- 4mm crochet hook
- Some of their “Easy Peasy” yarn in blue, white, and yellow
- Three stitch markers
- A pair of safety eyes
- A tapestry needle
- A packet of fiber stuffing
The kit also included an introduction card with a link and password to the site where the tutorial and pattern are.
This kit is geared toward beginning crocheters. The tutorials are extremely helpful and have several videos and tons of pictures to walk you through how to make your very own amigurumi project (in my case, a penguin named Pierre).
The tutorial is set up like a checklist, and looks great on both desktop and mobile (should you choose to crochet from a device like a tablet or phone).
As you progress through each step, it keeps track of what you’ve already watched and completed, so you can pause and come back if you need a break.
The kit has a pre-started project for you. It has the first six stitches of a magic loop completed so you can really see how it looks before you try it out yourself later on in the project.
As someone who’s taught basic crochet and amigurumi classes, this is a great idea. Magic loop is a difficult technique for beginners to grasp, so having something to start with is helpful.
The online tutorial that accompanies the kit covered all of the basics, such as creating a single crochet stitch, increases, decreases, counting stitches and the concept of working in rows, how to read a pattern, and the like.
I was very impressed with how thoroughly it covered these concepts! You can also come back at any time to view these tutorials, even after you’ve completed the kit.
Following along with the videos, I was able to complete my own penguin in around 45 minutes. I also referenced the typed-up pattern, which was beautifully done and well-explained in the tutorial videos.
I also love that each video has the option to turn the closed captions on – I personally prefer written instructions, and being able to see what’s being said makes things a little easier for me to follow.
- So pretty and professional looking: I was wowed with everything this kit has to offer, from the adorable packaging, the clean online step-by-step instructions and instructional videos, right down to the cute stickers used to seal the packaging with the fiber stuffing inside.
- Variability: There are tons of kits to choose from, and every single one is adorable.
- Quality: I really like the “Easy Peasy” yarn, especially for beginner crocheters. It’s easy to see your stitches, it doesn’t fuzz or fray like a normal yarn might, and the colors are vibrant. The hook that comes with the kit is ergonomic and well-made, too.
- Thorough and tech-savvy: The instructions are designed for the most beginner crocheter, and really set you up for success. They also utilize technology in your favor: Gone are the days of studying a dusty old crochet book from the 60s!
- Inclusivity of learning styles and accessibility: The option to read a pattern and/or follow a video with great captions is wonderful. There’s also a left-handed option for lefty crocheters.
- The cost: Starting a new hobby can be expensive. Clocking in at $25, this kit is an inexpensive way to test out crocheting before jumping in.
- Online resources and help: Purchasing a kit gives you access to the online tutorial for reference 24/7, as well as an email to contact for crochet help.
- Yarn stiffness: While I mostly like the “Easy Peasy” yarn, it was rather stiff and caused a little muscle fatigue while I was crocheting. The stiffer yarn is helpful for beginners to work with, as it holds the stitch shape and doesn’t fray – however, I found my wrist was a little sore from having to work a bit hard to pull the stitches to the correct height.
- Scalability: Once you’ve completed the kit, beginners may find themselves thinking “How do I do that on my own now?” It’d be great if there was a page online with resources for beginner crocheters to go to from the pattern – perhaps with a list of items they may want to purchase, such as safety eyes, yarn, and stuffing, or maybe some links to other relaxing projects that they can try their hand at with the skills they’ve just acquired.
- Working in the round as a beginner crocheter is difficult to do, and I typically wouldn’t list magic loop as a beginner-friendly technique. I almost always have students start off by working on a flat, square piece. However, I think the Woobles mitigates this by starting the first magic loop off for you and carefully explaining how increases and decreases work.
What I wouldn’t have given to get one of these kits when I was a beginner crocheter!
I love that the Woobles are making crocheting appealing to beginners of all ages with hip projects and tech savviness.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and fun way to try out a new hobby, give one of their kits a try. They take you neatly through the entire process.
And, of course, you’ll get an adorable animal friend out of the experience, too!