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on 31 December 2011
First thing to say: the patterns are often very nice, and the ones I've tried have produced pretty good results.

That said, though, I find myself using the book less than I'd hoped to. And a lot of this has to do with layout.

The knitting patterns (I don't crochet, so can't comment on those) are written in small print laid out in a rather cramped way on the page; this is particularly frustrating since they spend plenty of pages on illustrations which look nice but don't add anything information-wise, so they could have made better use of the available space. They also have an annoying habit of taking shortcuts - '2nd and 4th row' do this, '1st, 3rd and 5th rows' do that, meaning that you have to keep scanning back up the page to work out where you are in the pattern. Put together, it makes the patterns harder to decipher than they need to be, which is not helpful when you're knitting something small and fiddly; I'd like to be able to reserve my fiddly-things observation for my needles rather than having to use half of it reading the page.

The indexing is also rather poorly done. The opening pages show a lot of pictures with numbers to send you to the pattern - crochet and knit together, which is a nuisance when you want to pick a pattern and you only do one - but they're numbered by pattern rather than page, which takes longer to find. Meanwhile the 'Contents' page only lists 'Knitted designs' and 'Crochet designs', so to find a specific pattern by page you have to go to the index at the back and trawl through long lists of small print which refer you to the pictures as well as the patterns and generally need a lot of sorting through. There is nowhere you can just look for the right page to find the pattern.

So while the patterns are good, the book itself is a hassle to navigate, both in finding the patterns and following them. It wastes a lot of space showing photographs that could have been better used; it feels like its design is aimed towards making it look attractive rather than being efficient for actual use. If the authors do another book - which I hope they do - I hope they'll do it in a more streamlined way.

Also, I wish there were more knitting patterns; crochet outnumbers knitting by quite a bit, which is a bit frustrating.
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on 25 May 2011
such a beautiful and inspiring and well put together book. super bits to make, i am going to make some to embelllish things like teacosies, cushions and hats but also some as little brooches. although only thing is, the title, 'birds...' just be mindful there are only two. a bluetit and a turtle dove, no more birds. so if you're looking for plenty of those you can forget it. the other great thing is, the yarns are generic so you can easily use whichever brand you wish rather than them stating a specific.
The instructions are comprehensive and very reliable. I'm extremely pleased with this book and the one before it that is flowers. Both are exquisite and worth every penny!
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on 9 May 2013
Where else would you find so many patterns for this kind of item all in the one place? In that sense, the book really fills a gap in the market. Only thing that stopped me giving more stars is that the book only has one bird pattern (which is fabulous and knits up beautifully) but from the title, I expected birds - plural (and that's what I was looking for patterns for, really). It feels a little padded out with loads of leaves - still, the patterns are detailed and clear and easy to follow. If you're after loads of leaves, a few butterflies and one bird, it's a really great buy. If it's lots of birds you want to knit, you might feel a little short changed.
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on 22 June 2011
Having bought the first book, 100 Flowers to knit and crochet, I had to try this one.

I love this book! I'm not a knitter but an experienced crocheter and have really enjoyed doing all the patterns in that section. My sister is the knitter and has had an equal amount of fun doing those patterns. I bought the book for myself but relinquished it to her for a late extra birthday present when she oozed over the dove and bluetit patterns. So I bought myself a second copy.

Some of the patterns need reading through several times before commencing as, even with my 30+ years experience, I found them confusing at first glance, but the diagrams help on the crocheting side.

We do debate a lot about the fact no needle/hook sizes are given but then this adds to the fun. This way your not limited to "what it says in the book".

Maybe not a book for the those in a hurry. Best with your favourite beverage, little distractions and plenty of time.

Can't wait for the next one!
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on 14 December 2013
I bought this after having been given Stanfield's fabulous "100 flowers to knit and crochet". The examples in this book are equally neatly designed, but it's really an odd collection. There are only 2 birds. Yes, there are lots of butterflies and other 'beasties', including rock pool creatures. The book feels like a collection of items over too many categories with the result that within each category one wishes there was more and at the same time some other categories are of no interest. Shame really!
With such a specialised subject I would have preferred to have fewer categories in a book and those more at depth.
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on 8 August 2011
This is another lovely book, just to hold and browse through .
The bulk of the book is the instructions for the various birds, butterflies and beasties in it, so I think this book is real value for money.(How often do you buy a book of this nature, and then discover that a big chunk of it is taken up with telling you basic techniques? This one keeps such info to a minimum, and you get right into the patterns.)
It's clearly laid out, easy to follow, and you get all the birds etc illustrated first in "themes"
such as "spring", then you use the index at the back to track the actual instructions......easy peasy!And good for using up left-overs!
It also sets you thinking about how you could use these flowers , leaves and beasties to embellish other items eg some of the flowers or leaves could be used on a hat-band, cushion cover, blanket, even stitched onto a basket!
I can recommend this book, both for itself, and for your bookshelf.
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on 19 June 2013
When I order the book the title said 75 birds & Butterflies & beauitful beasties. I was really upset to find that the book had only 2 birds but 3 nests, butterflies and beasties. there are lots of flowers, leaves, vegtables and rock pools with fish. There is even a couple of snow flakes. I have loved all my books from search Press but this one has let me down. I have used the 100 flowers to knit and crochet lots ot time as I have a small group of ladies who love to craft togther. There views were the same. I hope you look into this as the title is very wrong. Out of 75 there are 32 flowers, leaves and vegtables and that not counting seaweeds and mushrooms.
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on 15 February 2014
I'm a crocheter, I bought this book to give me some ideas and I love the dragonfly which I made and turns out better than that shown in the photo. I'm not really over impressed with the book being split into two areas, one for knitters and one for crocheters, they have different designs in each part. So although I love the blue tit, it's in the knitters part and therefore I am unable to do that project. I'm also an entomologist and thought I would be happy being able to crochet bees, flies, honey bee?( looks more like a hornet in coloration), but unfortunately they are all in the knitted section too.

There are no birds to crochet in this book. It would have been a far better idea to have both knitting and crocheting instructions for each item.

If I could do both knit and crochet I would be delighted, but as I'm unable to use my hands like knitters do, I'm able to enjoy this book fully.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 July 2011
i wasn't sure whether to buy this, being a knitter only, but have no regrets. there are 35 knitting designs to 44 crochet, plus few extra projects at back, and i think once you've got the idea you could adapt crochet patterns to knitting if required. i LOVE the blue-tit, various butterflies, shells, bees, slug & toadstool (all knitted). while the crochet section has some gorgeous flowers i've not seen in similar books: foxglove, sweet pea, olives on a branch, plus snails, dragonflies & snowflakes. truly original
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on 26 September 2014
Birds, flowers, leaves, fruit, mushrooms, vegetables, insects....you name it, and it's in here for you to crochet or knit.

It is a stunning book. The illustrations are beautiful - pages of fabulous pictures to look at, AND THEN the same again in smaller pictures with the patterns above them. Set out in an easy fashion for all to understand.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for beginners and advanced alike to enjoy.
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