Some of you may remember my post and un-boxing video on the Aldi So Crafty special buys. If you missed them you can find the blog post here and the video here! I was at a bit of a loose end over the weekend and decided to make up the shark from the crochet kit.
Let me begin by telling you this. I really, really wanted to give this kit a great review. This blog is all about inspiring people to get crafty, even if they have never crafted before. To that end I am always on the look out for crafty bargains because no one wants to spend a lot of money on a new hobby when they don’t know whether they are going to enjoy it. This kit was sold at what I like to call a “try me” price.
Mostly this is covered in the un-boxing video, so I will recap. The box contained all the yarn needed for the project as well as a crochet hook, yarn needle, pattern and toy stuffing. The yarn was acrylic and felt of good quality. The price for the kit was £3.99. As I ordered more than £20 of items there was no delivery charge. So far so good. I was really happy with the kit, I thought it was great value and good quality for the price and I wanted to tell you how amazing this kit is.
The yarn was easy to work with, it did not shed fibres, tangle up, snag or break. There were more than enough supplies in the box. You can see what I have left from the yarn and toy stuffing in the phot below. The shark looks pretty nifty, even if I do say so myself.
The pattern is what let this kit down. Firstly the pattern was written in US crochet terms not UK terms despite the kit being produced for stores in the UK. Not a huge deal, but if you are in experienced then you may not realise that there is a difference. Secondly the terminology in the pattern was a little odd, making the pattern hard to follow. For example where a pattern may normally say dc2tog (double crochet two together) this pattern called it a single crochet decrease. The pattern also replaced all its US crochet terms with letters. So where the pattern would say dc2tog the letter A was written, which in the Aldi pattern was labelled as a single crochet decrease. Confused? Yes, so was I!
The pattern does not tell you if you are working a flat piece or in the round, when in fact you are making a one flat piece and one in the round. Again, most people who have made a crochet toy before may not have a problem with this. However as I said, this was sold at a try me price.
The instructions for the flat piece of crochet were not well written, there were decreases or increases on most rows. Instead of putting one increase/decrease at each end or both in the middle to make a neat symmetrical piece of crochet, the pattern instructed you to make one increase/decrease in the middle of a row and one at the end. I ignored these instructions and opted to put all my increases/decreases in the middle of the rows. Again, a more experienced crocheter may have no problem seeing this and adapting the pattern, however at £3.99 I would expect a fair few beginners to have bought this kit and may be disappointed with the look of their shark!
The pattern for the teeth was impossible to follow and I ended up going my own way with the teeth all together. There were instructions for changing colour, but no instructions on when to change back. I worked this out for myself, something a novice may not be able to do. As if that was not enough, the final nail in the coffin in this comedy of errors, the pattern was not even complete. There were no instructions on how to make the tail or the three fins, and no instructions for the making up/sewing up. The fins and tail of the shark were completely made up by me.