I learned how to crochet in one day with this simple kit
From zero to stuffed penguin in an afternoon
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While I’ve always enjoyed a good craft, the past year really gave me the chance to lean into the hobby. During the times of the most strict social distancing, I made two knit baby blankets, one knit cowl-neck scarf, one needlepoint lobster pillow, one macrame wall hanging, and one adorable crocheted penguin.
Unlike slowly teaching myself needlepoint and macrame through a flurry of YouTube tutorials and trial and error, a beginner kit from the Woobles made learning to crochet an actual breeze. I couldn’t believe how easily (and quickly!) a stuffed penguin came to life in front of my eyes.
Here’s what it was like to work with the Woobles—and why any amateur fiber artist needs their own kit, stat.
About the Woobles
The Woobles is a crafting kit business that offers patterns, video tutorials, and materials needed to participate in amigurumi, or the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed toys.
Once your kit arrives by mail with all the materials you need, a special login code lets you receive step-by-step written and video instructions to create your specific project, and helpful tips for when you inevitably hit a snag.
Beginner kits—including a penguin, cat, chick, fox, bunny, lion, and peas in a pod—start at $20, plus $5 if you opt to add a crochet hook to your order. Starting at $40 (plus $5 for the optional hook), larger intermediate projects include a hippo, fox, bear, crocodile, and rabbit.
What we like
Materials are high-quality
I used a kit to teach myself macrame, and the materials included a flimsy loom and a wooden “needle” that was prone to splintering. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Woobles kit included a standard crochet hook I could use well beyond this singular project.
The yarn is vibrantly colored and soft, and there was more than enough of it to go around. A seasoned crocheter may have even been able to make two penguins out of the supplies.
Instructional videos are very helpful
I love to teach myself new crafting techniques, so I’m no stranger to searching for tutorials online. The trouble is often in finding ones that are exactly relevant to my project, or that are specific enough for me to avoid sifting through 30 minutes of chatter.
With the special login code for my Pierre the Penguin project, I was able to easily follow step-by-step written and video instructions. Videos are specific—they’ll only show you what you need to know for that particular step—and they’re so succinct, you can replay them over and over until you have it figured out.
Videos, which have both right- and left-handed versions, cover everything from how to hold the yarn and crochet hook, to stitch technique, to how to carefully undo stitches if you need to start over.
Designs are adorable
While it could have potentially been easier to learn to crochet on something more basic, like a one-dimensional scarf, the cuteness factor of the Woobles helped make the entire process even more fun.
Great designs also mean that the Woobles make fun gifts. The finished products look store-bought (if I do say so myself), without a whiff of amateur DIY.
What we don’t like
It requires a lot of focus
It should have come as no surprise that a 3-inch-tall stuffed penguin with wings, a beak, eyes, and a tummy would require more concentration than a rectangular blanket. But, alas, the shape of the penguin and the different stitches kept me on my toes.
I kept hoping for a lull in the pattern, a spot where I could more mindlessly go through the motions. My favorite part about knitting, or any crafting really, is how working with my hands can calm anxiety and help me destress. There was no watching TV in the background on this project—it was challenging and entertaining, but definitely required my full attention.
The pattern isn’t available in full
While the step-by-step instructions and tutorials were helpful, there was no way for me to view the pattern in full, which was a bit frustrating. It was a beginner kit, but as someone who’s familiar with reading knitting patterns, I would’ve liked the option to read through all the steps in advance without having to click through numerous screens.
Providing the pattern for reference could have also allowed it to be more relaxing overall, had I been able to look ahead and spot a familiar stitch type. But that being said, I understand that a true beginner may not have as much need for this.
Should you buy a kit from the Woobles?
If you want to learn how to crochet, or even just how to create your own adorable animal friends, the Wobbles kits are an excellent buy. The step-by-step videos are invaluable, materials are high-quality, and the finished product speaks for itself. I still can’t believe I made an amigurumi penguin on my first attempt. (Pierre now sits proudly on my desk.)
A blanket or scarf would serve you better if you’re looking for a more relaxing project, but the Woobles will still help you learn a few key stitches and get you comfortable using the tools. If anything, it’s given me the bug to crochet something else since I feel so comfortable with the basics.
A Woobles kit also makes a great gift for the crafter in your life—or for you, any day you want to treat yourself.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.