Today I have another book review for you, this one for Knitted Wild Animals:
15 Adorable, Easy-to-Knit Toys by Sarah Keen.
Published by Watson-Guptill, it was released earlier this month.
**Warning: This book is almost unbearably cute. Proceed at your own risk.**
The book has a full-color gallery at the front with photos of each of the 15 wild animals in the book. They are: an elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, giant panda, tiger, crocodile, monkey, snakes, hippo, rhino, warthog, koala, moose, and penguin.
While it is hard to choose, I think the warthog is my favorite.
How could you not love that guy?
There are a couple of group shots of all the critters together:
The next section has all the patterns for the animals. Each pattern starts with a fun tid-bit of information about that animal, followed by complete instructions for making it.
Every pattern in the book calls for “any light worsted weight yarn” (a dk weight) and all call for polyester fiberfill for stuffing (but of course you could stuff with something else.
In the back of the book, the techniques section, it advises you that an acrylic yarn is a good choice for washability. All of the patterns are knit on 3.25mm needles at a gauge of 26 stitches and 34 rows to 4″, so it’s a good form gauge, appropriate for toys — you wouldn’t want a loose gauge here so that stuffing would leak out.
My first thought upon seeing these designs was “Cascade 220!” because of the amazing color range, but of course if you want a toy that will be machine washable and dryable, that wouldn’t do. But I think Encore and/or Encore DK would work great. If you go into Ravelry, you can do an advanced search of yarns that have acrylic in them and are DK and/or worsted weight and come up with lots of choices.
I estimate that the animals in this book range from about 8 to 12″ inches in size, so if you wanted to make a larger one, you could conceivably use a bulkier yarn and bigger needles. Just make sure you use the same type of yarn for all parts of the animal (if it used more than one color).
In the Techniques section of the back of the book there are step by step instructions for pretty much everything you need to know to make these animals, including casting on, and forming a knit and purl stitch, increasing and decreasing, working intarsia, binding off and assembling the pieces, and working embroidery and tassels that are needed for some of the critters.
One-stop shopping for everything you need to know.
I had a long talk with myself about how it would be much nicer of me to give this book away instead of greedily keeping it since I do not have children to knit for. My inner child screamed “But I want it!”
Lucky for you all, my inner adult won out, so I’ll give away my review copy to one of you lucky readers. (But my inner child is pouting. I want a warthog!)
Leave a comment to this post and on Tuesday, November 2 at 4:00pm Eastern Time the Random Number Generator will draw a name to receive my review copy.
“Why would she ever want one of those stuffed animals when she has me?”