My current work in progress:

Rona, by Alice Starmore, knit from Alice Starmore Hebridean 2-Ply, using 3.25mm needles.

Almost Too Cute for Words

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:

Adorable photo-styling!

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.

Lucy sez:

“Why would she ever want one of those stuffed animals when she has me?”


  1. MY inner adult would NOT have won. But I’m working on a library of toy/animal books and this one is on my list. My niece and nephew would be quite happy if I was lucky enough to win your review copy.
    DPUTiger´s last blog post ..Sleeve Island

  2. A zebra would be the best. Or may
    be a stripped tiger. Hummmmm. It would be hard to decide which one to knit first but I’d have to really hurry to finish before Santa makes his annual appearance. Last year my little one wanted a plush alpaca. Go figure. Maybe she’s gone to the LYS with me a few too many times.

  3. OOOOH, me want to make animals! Love them! Please pick me! I don’t know how you can give up the book!

  4. Pick me! Pick me! I know a child that would LOVE to have all of these!

  5. So cute! They all look adorable!

  6. Becky Steffens says:

    Adorable!! My grandsons would LOVE these! I will definitely be adding this to my Christmas list! Thanks for sharing!!


  8. I don’t have kids either so I feel kind of guilty commenting…. but I do make lots of gifts for kids! This book looks adorable.

  9. FABULOUS! I just discovered the fun of knitted toys and *so* want this book!

  10. My son-in-law would love the knitted monkey, so count me in for his sake..
    PlainJane´s last blog post ..Another Farewell

  11. They are cute…

    And at least you wouldn’t be enticed into knitting something you’d never wear!

  12. I love the adorable animals in the book! Too cute!

  13. Very Cute! Wash them? Oh, I guess you were thinking of giving them to kids. 🙂

  14. You are soo generous, thanks for the opportunity to win a special book! Hi Lucy! ;o)

  15. Oh I would love to win this book since I will be a new mommy very soon! How adorable are those animals. 🙂

  16. My son Pieter would love for his Mama to make him some of these toys!

  17. Cute-cute-cute!!! I want that hippo!!! Looks like a great book.

  18. kelly-ann (on ravelry) says:

    I have had my eye on this for awhile – it just became available once again and I would love to knit these animals for my kids.

  19. So cute! I want to knit them all.
    Lynn Z´s last blog post ..Crafting for Others

  20. I like the pair of snakes. I too have added this book to my wishlist. Thank you for reviewing.

  21. Oh, I have two new babies coming soon and they would make some great gifts for them. I hope I win.

  22. I’ve been researching knit toy books. Those are the cutest collection I’ve seen.

  23. My grandson would love these toys….if I win the book I will get right on it. If not I will have to find a copy of the book and then make them.

  24. Oh, my! That warthog is adorable, but I think I am in love with the koala. My niece’s children would love to get any of those.
    LoriG´s last blog post ..Hope for a Troubled Teen

  25. Ooooh… I wonder if it has all the animals in “Good Night Gorilla”. I’ve been wanting to knit the animals and act out the story for the kidlets. Throw my hat in the ring…

  26. Perhaps the winner will back you a warthog as a thank you.

  27. Wendy, you are generous, as always. What a cool book!

  28. Maybe you should make it that whoever wins, has to make you the warthog 😉
    However. there is a Tiger! and a Rhino! I’m in love with that book already…
    My step-son would have to have a monkey (his nickname is monkey face – dont ask, I dont understand it myself)

  29. Replace “back” with “make” in previous comment. (I hate colds.)

  30. I’d love to win this book – I’d (probably 🙂 ) give it to a friend who is just learning to knit and loves to knit little animals for her 3 year old son. If I didn’t give it to her, I’d at least tell her about it!

  31. This would be a tough one to let go of. Thanks for making the sacrifice. ♥
    Susan´s last blog post ..There was knitting and it was good

  32. Thank you so much for offering this book, Wendy! I think that the stripey snake is my favourite, but that warthog is a close second 😉

  33. I’m hoping for grandchildren – what a great book! Thanks!

  34. I’d love to win this book. How cute are those animals!! A friend is getting ready to have twin boys, so this could be the perfect gift!

  35. Would love to knit a hippo 😉

  36. pharmaknit says:

    What a lovely book! The monkey is my favorite.

  37. Oh, what cute little animals. I have so many nieces and nephews to knit for so this would be awesome for me.

  38. My daughter says that the koala’s ears aren’t right, they don’t match her beloved stuffed Katie’s ears! So we are going to go check it out, tomorrow! Thanks for the biology lesson. Holly

  39. I see great gifts for grandkids in this book!


  40. Oh man, between my kids and all the friends’ kids I keep meaning to knit toys for? I could find a lot of use for this book! 🙂

    sunnyday on Rav

  41. oooo, I want a warthog too!

  42. Too cute! My boys would love those.

  43. Oh, they’re so cute! My daughter would love the monkey and penguin.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  44. Too cute! Must Win!

  45. I only have a dog-baby, not a people baby but he’d love a stuffed buddy or two. Thanks for giving us the opportunity!

  46. How cute is that Book I would love to be the one that wins We have a bunch of new babies in the family (two here and two still on the way) and a bunch of toddlers as well I could put that book to very good use. I have to tell you about how much I love Lucy`s catattude She reminds be so much of my Jazz …cute and sassy

  47. That tiger is the cutest! Hope i win this book!

  48. Lone Hansen says:

    That book looks great – one of those that can be used just for looking through over and over again… just like candy!

  49. Hi Wendy,
    this book would be perfect in my library, as I have a son who loves knitted toys, and his mother can’t resist them either. 😉 And I would totally knit you a warthog, should I win. Thank you for the give-away!
    Daniela from France
    Daniela´s last blog post ..FO

  50. Lauren Kowalczewski says:

    HI Wendy,
    You could make those animals out of Cascade 220…there is a Superwash 220 now. That’s what I’m making my sailor caps with.
    I would love that book, those little critters are all so adorable….yes, even the warthog!!
    Cassie and Zoe say “Hi, how are meow?” to Lucy!

  51. If I promise to make you a warthog, can I please have the book? 😀
    Christina´s last blog post ..WEG 2010 Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle

  52. Super cute patterns,,,will add to wish list just in case!

  53. Sue Plantinga says:

    I’ll make you the Warthog first! I promise!

  54. I’ve done a few animals from Susan Anderson’s book and I’m having so much fun with them. Like you, I’m also taken with the warthog (A stuffed, velour one is currently gracing the wine rack in my dining room.), but I’d love to make the koala too!

  55. nawwwwwwww

  56. I love the picture with all of the animals together and the zebra has his arm around the koala with his back turned. Its soooo braty! lol

  57. Lucy, I totally agree with you!

    I purchased this book a week ago. It hasn’t arrived in oz as yet, so looking forward to making a few items for the kids for xmas.
    Janette´s last blog post ..Longing to revisit Paris

  58. Lynda Schwechtje says:

    So cute. Would love to have this book!

  59. My grandchildren would so love these animals! Thanks for the opportunity

  60. Ooh they are so cute. As though I don’t have enough projects cued up but the tiger would definitely jump to the top of the queue.
    Aporanee Schauer´s last blog post ..A picture paints a thousand words

  61. I <3 those critters!

  62. We just had a few recent additions to the family this week, so I would love to have this book and surround babies with soft, cuddly animals!
    Leah´s last blog post ..Sneak Peak

  63. Andrea in Tn says:

    how sweet

  64. They’re adorable – I’d love to make a couple (at least) for the 3-week -old granddaughter and the grandson who’s due at Thanksgiving!
    PJKite´s last blog post ..Shetland Shawl Update – One Complete- One More to Go!

  65. I owe a friend a knitted penguin anyway, so it would be nice to have a pattern for one. ^_^

  66. I would love to make the tiger and keep it in my office! I work at a zoo and everyone would just love it!

  67. A warthog?! Who woulda thought! Great book and great blog! Thanks!

  68. I love them all!!! I would make them and put them out…………. the grandkids would fight over which one they wanted. They would not be at my house for long. Beth in Co

  69. Adorable animals! I just heard an interview with this author on CraftSanity. Great timing!

  70. Arlene Hoose says:

    I have 12 grandkids and I know they would love a few of these guys.
    I think the giraffe is my favorite. Pick me!!!

  71. Heather Dee says:

    I love this book

  72. Good choice! The warthog is my favorite too!

  73. That IS a cute book.

  74. My inner child is agreeing with yours… “I want it!!!” 😉

  75. Those animals are adorable. I can understand why your inner child wants to keep it.
    Patty Madrigal´s last blog post ..Flowers in the Garden

  76. Knitasha1968 says:

    Seriously cute – I’m getting interested in knitting toys, so I’d love to win. Thanks.

  77. Wow I love those patterns, great book!

  78. Adorable!!

  79. Those are so adorable. I love it!
    Faith´s last blog post ..WIP Wednesday- Knitting for Cold

  80. Those animals are so cute! I’d love this book (and if I don’t win it, I’ll have to look it up anyway, because I need to make that girafe sooner or later).

  81. Oh, adorable! I’d love to make some of these toys for my upcoming twin nieces or nephews.
    Pirate´s last blog post ..In Which the Pirate Has Completed Mom’s Socks

  82. My grandsons would love these animals! My grandniece has a sock monkey that she carries everywhere, so my niece is asking for more animals. I just won a book, so I know I am being greedy, but I will probably buy the book anyway.

  83. Thank you for not listening to your inner child. But if it helps, I would share with you.Thanks for the peek into such a great book!!!

  84. Love your cuteness warning! I looked through this book last weekend at the book store, and it came home with me. I have no children. I’m telling myself that I can knit some toys for my dog. The patterns are so cute that I’m even considering knitting a snake. I HATE snakes! Don’t enter me in the draw, I don’t need a second copy. Just couldn’t resist commenting.

  85. Seems like you could whip up a warthog before you send the book off. In all your spare knitting time of course!

  86. Your description makes me think that perhaps even I could understand and execute these animals. . . . .Thank you for your willingness to share. . . .

  87. aww too cute! I like the elephant and the tiger 🙂

  88. Sandy Lopacki says:

    Incredibly cute. Must have this book. New twin babies in the family and such a perfect idea for presents for them. I will get it even if I don’t win!

  89. But the hippo is so cute too!

  90. Omg those are too cute, the girls would love them. I like the hippo, or the monkey, or….well all of them!

  91. meryl wendy aaron-stewart says:

    oooo my granddaughters will love these animals!! wiing this cute bok & knitting these should keep me out of trouble for quite some time!!

  92. This book looks amazing! Cute and adorable critters for kids of all ages! And so timely for Christmas knitting. 😉
    Ina´s last blog post ..How do you make Christmas stockings

  93. Too cute!!!

  94. I LOVE those little animals!!! And so would my son….he is learning to talk and his favorite things right now are animals since he loves to imitate the sounds they make. It would be so fun to knit these critters for him.
    And I would make a warthog for you too, Wendy! 🙂

  95. ooohh and just in time for Christmas gifts! here’s hopin’!

  96. wow – those are super cute. my soon-to-be-born niece or nephew might have to have a small stuffed zoo in her room from this book.

  97. I have an impending nephew that needs the rest of the jungle to complement the giraffe and elephant I already knit him! I love knitting stuffies!

  98. What a cool book! Thank you for bringing it to our attention. It looks like I’ll need more fiberfill.

  99. My inner child wants this so badly!

  100. Susan D. Smith says:

    And if I win it, I promise to make you a warthog! Heck, I’ll make Lucy something she can stare at and intimidate, too! 🙂 Thanks for the many opportunities to interact and win something…