7 Dec 2017

Crocheted Bears and Other Shady Bay Buddies Books

I enjoy crocheting but I am no expert. I took up a massive crochet project last year in the form of the Sky Blanket. I also crocheted hats and scarves for my son and me. But I have not pushed myself out of my crochet comfort zone yet.

There hasn’t been much time to crochet this year and the red and gold stole is an ongoing project. Something about winter makes me want to pick up that crochet hook and challenge myself. I have decided to crochet a little animal for my son. Having never crocheted anything like this before, I was on the hunt for suitably simple patterns when I was offered Emma Brown’s book to review.

Crocheted Bears and Other Animals published by CICO-books, is a collection of crochet patterns showcasing Emma Brown's Shady Bay Buddies. There are 25 beautiful crochet patterns from bears, puppies and bunnies, to owls, fish and bumble bees. The patterns are suitable for beginners through to experienced crafters, From Christmas, to birthdays and christenings, these cute crocheted animals will make lovely presents for children of all ages.



Emma Brown, an expert in crochet, created a series of crochet creatures called the Shady Bay Buddies when her daughters were younger. They made up stories with these animals who lived on the faraway island of Shady Bay and had adventures there.



Emma designed these characters and wrote her own patterns for each of them. Crocheted Bears and Other Animals published by CICO-books, is a collection of these patterns showcasing the Shady Bay Buddies. There are 25 beautiful crochet patterns from bears, puppies and bunnies, to owls, fish and bumble bees. There are patterns for creatures called the Tree Toppers, a flower rug and bunting.


Each pattern has a name and a story to go with it. Ronnie the bear is the Ranger on Shady Bay and he takes his rucksack and cosy scarf on his outdoor adventures. Archie and Boris are two crafty canine brothers. Together they build homes for other animals on the island. Hodge is a shy rabbit with a big heart and Mustard is a mischievous monkey who is always inventing new tricks. Little details like a button patch, a bandana or a heart pocket adds to the charm of these characters.


The patterns are well laid out making them suitable for beginners through to experienced crafters. Every pattern has a section about what yarn and hook to use, how much you will need and stashbuster options. Abbreviations are explained and there is a guide to finished sizes as well. There is a section on technique, which is particularly useful is you are a crochet novice or a bit rusty.


The book is beautifully illustrated. As with all RPS and CICO books, instead of being illustrated with drawings, this book showcases scenes that are made, modelled and photographed.

I have started crocheting Woolie the Owl. I have used the pattern from the book, but with a few modifications. I  have used yarn from my stash and a size 4 hook. The eyes are felt with googly eyes stuck on top. Here is my Woolie.


Crocheted Bears and Other Animals is a fantastic book choice if you like to crochet. It is perfect if you, like me, are looking to crochet animal toys as presents. Any of the Shady Bay animals will make a gorgeous gift for a child no matter what their age. It will be personal, made with love and sure to be cherished for a long time.

That’s not all. Emma Brown’s Shady Bay Buddies have now been transformed into a series of books for little ones. They are designed to introduce young children to ‘firsts’ – first time at school, first time to the doctors and, coming in Autumn 2018, first sibling and first time moving to a new house. All the characters are made by crochet, modelled and photographed, giving these books a magnificent creative edge. Here’s what they look like.



You can win a copy each of two titles in the Shady Bay Buddies series: Archies' First Day at School and Archie Goes to the Doctor. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below to be in with a chance. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Crocheted Bears for this review. All opinions are my own.

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