Review: Ami Ami Dogs – Mitsuki Hoshi (aka. Bookshout is a Mistake)

Today’s review is a little different from what I’ve been doing lately for my book reviews but I’d like to take them in this new direction in the future (I’ll still be reviewing novels too, don’t worry!).

Before I jump into the review, let’s have a little detour to talk about Bookshout…

The Bookshout app / web reader is an absolute PAIN! I’m a huge fan of digital books, so the prospect of having my crochet books digitally is a dream come true! (or so I thought). I purchased my copy of ‘Ami Ami Dogs‘ directly from the publishers (Harper Collins) website. Unfortunately for me, this means that I am unable to have my book with the rest of my collection on the Kindle app, but am forced instead to use my book through Bookshout. I guess I can appreciate what the good folks behind Bookshout are trying to do; have a competitive product in the digital marketplace, but that’s about where my admiration ends. For some reason, every. single. page. has to be loaded any time you want to turn the page. This makes flicking quickly through the book an almost non-existent feature when compared to the smoothness at which the Kindle app transitions between pages. Ordinarily, I might be able to overlook this if I was reading a novel, but the nature of my ebook being a craft book meant that I needed to jump around the book a lot. In future, I think I’ll have to find an alternative licensed ebook seller that doesn’t lock me into using Bookshout, or bite the bullet and purchase a physical copy.

The book begins with a gallery of photos of the dogs you can make, recreated in their own scenes with props and all. The section containing the patterns is prefaced with a list of materials, and a step-by-step instructional of how to knit and assemble a dog with full colour pictures. Each dog is knitted and assembled in the same way as the instructional, with variations in their body shapes, colouring, and pose. A nice little detail also included is how the size of the hook used will affect the finished size of your dog!

The patterns themselves includes a list of materials, a stitch diagram for each body part, a corresponding table indicating the total number of stitches required in each row, and an assembly diagram. My only gripe with these patterns is that since some of the shapes are used for multiple dogs, it isn’t always clear which one you should be knitting, ie. the body of the miniature schnauzer is the same as the chihuahua, and hence the pattern for it is on the chihuahua page. Having to flick through the book like this became annoying on a digital copy.

I would rate the complexity of this book as being ‘moderate’. While it’s not extremely difficult to follow, this book has definitely introduced me to some new crochet techniques for making amigurumi; some of which took some time to get the hang of. I found I struggled with making the snout due to its peculiar shape, and changing colours seamlessly on tiny pieces was the most challenging. Even though I didn’t have any of the fancy safety eyes or noses the patterns recommended, it was quite simple to use small beads for the eyes, and embroidering the nose instead.

★★★★★

Needles to say, I will also be purchasing ‘Ami Ami Dogs 2’ sometime in the near future because I just can’t get enough of these super cute critters.

Thats all for now!

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