My basics were enough to get me through scarves, hats, even DS and phone cases, but I wanted more.
The first book that caught my attention was Amigurumi! Super Happy Crochet Cute, by Elisabeth A. Doherty. This was the first crochet book that I had seen that didn't focus on how-tos, basic stitches, etc, etc... it was a book dedicated to making things.. cute things!
My usual rule of thumb is that I won't buy a crocheting book or magazine unless there's at least three items that I want to make in them. Reference material is great, but you really do need to have something usable.
The patterns that I have used in this book include:
Sandwich Cookie (looks like an Oreo!)
Cheeseburger with the Works (I improvised bacon)
Werner the Wiener Dog
When I first bought this book, it was before I had started making any dolls. My usual complaint is that I find patterns tiring to follow, and this was no different. I enjoyed making the smaller items (everything other than the Wiener Dog), but I found the little bits and pieces to the dog annoying. That's not the fault of the pattern, though -- that's just impatience on my part. As it was my first attempt at something "doll-like" it wasn't a complete success -- I had managed to twist it slightly so the head tilted to one side somewhat.
This was also before I had found my source of safety eyes -- this dachshund's eyes ended up coming from a stuffed animal I had purchased for the sole purpose of stealing its eyes.
The Skelly Fish is one pattern that I've followed several times, though, in various iterations. The classic colors are great, but I also made a "goth" version for a friend, that featured fuzzy black & red yarn. The pattern is just short enough for my attention span that I'm willing to repeat it. The burger wasn't bad to make either, and the lack of bacon inspired me to start crocheting my own bacon... so there's definitely a plus side to that.
It's not surprising that my favorite patterns are the non-doll ones in this book -- while I'm somewhat tempted to make the taller dolls, the time investment puts me off. I still want to make the strawberries, carrot and cutecakes, so this book still had some mileage for me.
Great pictures, easy to follow patterns and nice layout. It's quirky and fun without being over the top.
Available on Amazon: Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute (Affiliate link)