I’ve seen Woobles ads on Facebook for a while now, but, since I already knew how to crochet, I hadn’t ever tried out one of their kits. Their kits look pretty awesome for people just learning to crochet, and you end up with a cute animal or other item in the end.
But what did they have for me, a semi-experienced crocheter?
Enter the Woobles Advent Calendar, perfect for someone who has a fair amount of crochet experience and also loves advent calendars. They recently sent me one to test out, in advance of the holiday season.
Who Is It For?
Tl;dr: The Woobles Advent Calendar is really fun and also a lot of work! I wouldn’t recommend it for beginning or even fairly new crocheters. Some of the items are really small, which makes them hard to work with, especially if you have to turn a small thing inside out. I recommend being at least a semi-experienced crocheter to do this. It could also be good for a parent and child to do together if the parent is patient and knows what they’re doing.
What’s It Like?
Like with any advent calendar, there is something to open every day of December leading up to Christmas. Starting on the first, you get surprises in each box, with a ton of projects plus tools, supplies, and a few extras thrown in.
You will need a few tools of your own, like scissors and a craft needle (and a crochet hook and stitch markers, depending on what order you open the boxes in), so make sure to have those on hand.
Every project has an accompanying card with a photograph of the finished product and links to the instructions. Once you access the online (password-protected) instructions, you can choose right- or left-handed instructions, and they’re available in both video and PDF format. I found it really helpful to have both formats, as I used them both at different points of each project.
The Woobles Advent Calendar is a really fun product. All the materials you get are of high quality, and the tutorials and instructions hold your hand every step of the way. It’s completely Christmas- and winter-themed, which is great for seasonal immersion. We were a little surprised to not see any animal projects, since the imagery I’ve seen on advertising for this product—and the branding on the product itself—shows some of their animal projects.
If you’re looking for non-Christmas/winter-themed Woobles projects, check out their whole line of projects.
What’s Great About It?
Advent calendars with projects inside are extra fun because they give you something to do throughout the holiday season. And Woobles projects hold your hand every step of the way, with video tutorials and PDF patterns, along with access to their basic crochet tutorials.
My daughter and I both learned some new crochet skills, such as how to wrap up a round invisibly and how to join colors as invisibly as possible. I also learned how crocheting into the back loop only gives you handy attachment points for other pieces. And the clear photos really helped with embroidery placement.
The Woobles kits use a special kind of yarn, which is made of fabric tubes that are stuffed with a little bit of stuffing. I’d never seen anything like it. It’s easy to work with, doesn’t split like regular yarn, it’s easy to see your stitches, and it has a nice texture. And you’ll end up with plenty of extra yarn and yarn pieces at the end to make extra crochet creations using the skills you learned along the way.
The patterns also teach you as you work through them. When you encounter a stitch or process that’s new, they walk you through it before moving on. And they explain what the abbreviations mean as you go, so you don’t always have to go back to the key (unless you forget what they mean).
The patterns even explain at the top how to read the pattern in the first place. They also tell you how many stitches you’ll have at the end of each round, which some patterns don’t do and is really helpful.
What Could Be Improved?
My daughter and I questioned the order in which the items were arranged, and how the boxes were numbered. For us, opening Day 1 was a bit of a letdown, and we thought it was better to start with a more interesting box. So, we propose an alternate order for opening the days’ boxes that will get you started quickly on the projects without having to dig out many of your own tools:
Day 1: Open Box 18
Day 2: Open Box 24
Day 3: Open Box 2
Day 4: Open Box 1
Day 5: Open Box 3
Day 6: Open Box 4
Day 7: Open Box 23
Day 8: Open Box 22
Day 9: Open Box 5
Day 10: Open Box 6
Day 11: Open Box 7
Day 12: Open Box 8
Day 13: Open Box 9
Day 14: Open Box 10
Day 15: Open Box 11
Day 16: Open Box 12
Day 17: Open Box 13
Day 18: Open Box 14
Day 19: Open Box 15
Day 20: Open Box 16
Day 21: Open Box 17
Day 22: Open Box 19
Day 23: Open Box 20
Day 24: Open Box 21
We do think that the project boxes are meant to be done in order because they teach you how to do things as you go. And, despite our suggested changed order above, the projects are all still listed in the same order; we just changed around the boxes with tools and other items.
I did find a few spots in the instructions where there was a typo in a PDF or a discontinuity in a video sequence—these weren’t a problem for us because we knew what they meant, but a beginner might not make the connection. Mostly, though, it was all very well put together.
The type of yarn that these kits use is a real advantage in some ways (see above), but it has a couple of drawbacks. Because your stitches are so clear to see, if you make a mistake, it’s easier to see your mistake and there’s no forgiveness. The yarn also makes it harder to hide strands that you’ve woven in.
Not every house has a craft needle, and using a regular sharp needle for the needle steps would have been a real issue, so it would have been ideal (for most people) if a craft needle, even a cheap plastic one, had been included. (We have plenty at our house, so that wasn’t an issue for us.) My daughter also would have benefited from a thimble or rubbery thing to protect her fingers for pushing the craft needle through on some of the steps.
One of my daughter’s comments is that some of the projects don’t stagger the increases in the rounds, so they may come out as more hexagonal than round. But that really wasn’t an issue in the end because the projects are mostly so small and it doesn’t make a big impact.
We did find that one of the projects was supposed to come with two yards of white yarn, and it only came with about 42 inches. So that took a few false starts before we got it just right.
I won’t give specific spoilers about what’s included in the Advent Calendar, or photos of any of our finished pieces, but we were a bit surprised that there weren’t any of the traditional animals that you normally see in Woobles kits, that you see in the advertising for this product, and that you see on the outside of the product itself. That’s okay, since there are plenty of other interesting projects inside, but just don’t expect to be getting a menagerie of animals at the end of this, despite what’s shown on the packaging.
The Woobles Advent Calendar is a little pricey for the budget-minded, at $125 on sale. But for those of you who have a little more disposable income, and if you look at it as an advent calendar, decoration, and crochet tutorial extravaganza combined, the price is a little easier to swallow. You can even reuse the items in future years as decorations, and reuse the tools with any crochet project. Plus all that extra yarn.
The package is sturdy and nice enough that you could totally reuse it, year after year, either with other crochet goodies or anything else you want, as long as you don’t mind the branding. I know I’ll be keeping and using the package for the years to come since we love celebrating the lead-up to Christmas.
And, again, if you want to try something a little less ambitious, Woobles makes a variety of kits.
Note: I received a sample for review purposes.