My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm 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. Love it! and so would my little guys.
    Sligo´s last blog post ..Sophias latest

  2. My inner child is seriously drooling right now. If it were age appropriate I’d be jumping up and down jelling “Must have this! Must have this!”.
    And I think I saw a hypo in the group picture. So all I’m missing is a pattern for a horse (but the zebra form the same picture might work too), some yarn and I’m all set.
    And just in time for holiday knitting.

  3. Cheryl S. says:

    This would be great for some Christmas knits. If only I knit a little faster!!

  4. I love to knit toys! I have never knitted any from patterns: I designed my own octopus, jellyfish and a robot. But this book is too cute!!! I hope whoever wins it enjoys it thoroughly. If it’s me, I know I will 🙂

  5. Rachel Kappler says:

    Love it! I had made a zebra for my new niece and altered the back pattern to make it look more realistic. I love making wild animals.

  6. Roseanne Nichols says:

    What a great book! I bet someone would knit you a warthog.

  7. It is incredibly too cute. So cute, in fact, that we’ve sold out of our first shipment at the store.

  8. I will not be able to sleep, waiting for the drawing on Tuesday. I have 5 grandchildren and I am always looking for different animals to knit for them. THESE ARE PERFECT!

    yerkeb on Ravelry
    barb´s last blog post ..Wow- has life changed

  9. Judith Smith says:

    Thanks for letting us try for this one. They are so cute.

  10. Awwwwwwwwww… cute is that penguin?? My sister isgoing to be a grandma (the first child of that generation in my family) in February, and I’d love to have a penguin waiting for her when she arrives!
    Cricket54´s last blog post ..10-000 Hours of Knitting

  11. I love this book. It has been on my amazon wish list for several months. It would get put to good use at my house.

  12. Hey, if I win, I’ll make you a warthog of your very own (and one for Lucy too, don’t want a jealous kitteh!).

  13. ciuccmamma says:

    A few years ago I made a crocheted Noah’s ark for my kids – I think it’s now screaming for a couple pairs of knitted friends!!!! I’m having a hard time picking my favorite animal, maybe the zebra, maybe the monkey…..if I don’t win, I may just have to ask Santa Claus for this book:)

  14. Please let Lucy know that the only reason we would want to knit these animals is because we do not have a wonderful companion like her!

  15. I agree that if you want to keep this book, you should. At the very least, make a warthog before it leaves your hands. For a mother or grandmother, this would be a wonderful addition to their library. I guess that’s why I’d love to have this book.

  16. Ooooh, perfect knitting for a new baby on the way!

  17. I’ve got a new niece to knit for, and this book would be great.

  18. Love the little aminals. They can come and live at my menagerie anytime.

  19. Wow, I can’t believe you’re actually giving that book away. Those patterns are adorable!

    I’d love to win it, although the number of comments means chances are slim. Fingers crossed!
    Jenn C.´s last blog post ..The careless knitter and the two scarves

  20. Those are absolutely adorable. My kids will want one of each I am sure!!

  21. I *love* the penguin! Hope I get picked – or the lucky one knits the penguin for me!!
    Sue H´s last blog post ..Finally – PICTURES!

  22. Ooh! Want! I think I might need a warthog, too!

  23. Not ususally crazy about knitted toys, but that book is too cute. My kids may think they are too old for stuffed animals, but I think they are doomed to receive them. MUST get that book, ANd I could finally use some of the acrylic that seems to have been donated by myriad friends who clean out their mother’s house and donate it to the only knitter they know. I am totally impressed that your inner adult can overpower the child, maybe someday mine will.

  24. :0) I have grandchildren and am accustomed to making children (inner or regular types) happy – If I win the book I will gladly make you a warthog! Not a bribe, btw – debra

  25. That hippo is super cute! I’d love to win this book. 🙂

  26. Angie Martinez says:

    Unbearably cute is an understatement! I can see several of these being requested by my son and his little girlfriend, who is more than a little obsessed with ‘wuzzaphants’.

  27. My inner child wants a monkey . . . and a tiger! Pick me, RNG!

  28. Lordy, I hope my daughter doesn’t get a look at that cover! I’m already either in progress or in planning stage for 3 knitted gifts for her & she’d “have to” have that tiger. These are entirely too cute! I have young nieces! I NEED this book! (Are we tired of the “!” yet?) Seriously, how can we mortals get a job reviewing books about knitting? On second thought, if I had folks sending me lots of these books, I’d have to get a bigger house. But I could likely fit in one more…thanks for being so generous with your readers.
    Ann Devine´s last blog post ..Been there- done that

  29. a friend of mine has this book and has made the giraffe out it. its so adorable. i would love to have a copy to make some of these for my little nieces /nephews.

  30. Very cute. I’d love to make some animals.

  31. I have lots of little friends who would love one of these adorable animals! So, let the random picker choose me!

  32. My inner child has absolutely no shame. I would love to win the book, and will probably go out and buy it if I don’t.

  33. How can you not LOVE the warthog??????

  34. I’m in love with the elephant! Sooo cute!
    Thanks for having this give-away

  35. I knit a toy every year for our Guild competition and this would save my rushing around trying to find a pattern. I would be set for years to come!

  36. Lisa Haynes says:

    would love to have to knit some of these for my newborn son – thanks for the sacrifice

  37. Oh I love stuffies. I’ve decided to make my niece one every year for Christmas. At some point I am sure she will be old enough to catch on to what’s going on. 🙂
    LittleWit´s last blog post ..Labour Day Recap

  38. I don’t have small kids but someday I will probably be a grandma. What a good excuse.

  39. Thank you inner adult. Maybe you will get a wharthog out of it.
    Beverly´s last blog post ..Tiny Triangle Fingerless Gloves

  40. Those are indeed almost too cute for words. Thanks for the book give-away.

  41. Rebecca Zimmerman says:

    Looooooove that book – I have a stuffed animal aficianando (sp?) who would be so happy with some of those – if I win I might attempt the warthog for you…
    Thanks for sharing!
    Cheers and happy halloween from sunny Salem, MA

  42. Too cute book! I have two adorable grandchildren ages 1 and 3yrs. old. They would love these playful knitted toys. How spectacular. Thanks Wendy for revealing it to us! Blessings!

  43. These are just adorable! I think my favorite is the warthog also. I’m the year of the boar in the Chinese zodiac, so I think it’s a good fit. Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  44. Those guys are seriously cute. I wonder if the superwash Cascade would work…
    Kristen´s last blog post ..Completely smitten- a serious case of start-itis

  45. My blood sugar just shot through the roof! So Sweeeeet! I’m in.
    Lorraine´s last blog post ..Gah! Record-breaking gap in posts!

  46. ooooh I’ve been wanting to start knitting things for my daughter… yes. I would love to win this!
    Leah´s last blog post ..31-Bucktown 5K-10K-365

  47. I love it! Count me in.

  48. My daughter would love those animals.

  49. I think the monkey is too cute!

  50. My kids LOVE stuffed animals! How cute is that warthog???


  51. Yes – too cute! My almost 3 year old will want me to knit every single animal for him!
    Christina´s last blog post ..Halloween Begins

  52. this is such a cute book! awesome giveaway

  53. Another great give away.

  54. Karen W M. says:

    So……cute! Perfect gifts to make for my nieces and nephews.

  55. My two girls don’t want much of anything I knit for them EXCEPT critters. (even my almost 14 year old!) So count me in for the chance to increase the knitted menagerie in our household.
    Sharon´s last blog post ..Lunch with a rabbit named Elliana

  56. I agree with Lucy!

  57. OMG! I must have that giraffe. So friggin’ cute! As I am at the age wehre everyone I know has a baby at least once a year, this would be perfect! I think I’ll have to pick it up even if I don’t win. 🙂 But I hope I do!

  58. I’ve been looking for a knitted giraffe for my giraffe-crazed daughter. I’d love that book!

  59. Oh, how adorable! I’d love to knit some projects from that book.
    Kathy In Georgia´s last blog post ..Jacey-Kasey

  60. What fun little critters! I think I might enjoy this book.
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Proof of Spinning

  61. Those critters truly are cute.
    Deborah´s last blog post ..Stumped

  62. Too cute for words! My great-grandgirls need these!!

  63. I love to knit a snake as a xMas gift for my son, since he was born in snake year. He is a ophomore now. And I have been collecting all kinds of snake toys.
    Cindy´s last blog post ..靠枕

  64. I have two great nephews and one on the way but most of all I have a new granddaughter and would love to make some wild animals especially for her! But I agree you should make yourself a warthog!

  65. My adult self can’t help it. I WANT IT.

  66. Thanks for the chance. mb

  67. If I don’t have the good fortune of winning this charmer, I’ll buy it! I have great-grandbabies that would love these!

  68. Denise Katz says:

    What an AWESOME book – i love finding knitted ones…. most are crochet!

  69. cute!

  70. Eileen Bunn says:

    I know just who would love one of those cute guys…..ME. Please put my name in the drawing.

  71. The Koala’s ear tuffs are teh cutest yet.

  72. Too cute. I want to win.

  73. This is the cutest book I’ve ever seen! If I win, I’ll totally knit you a warthog!

  74. Geraldine Scott says:

    Oh that monkey caught my eye…not a lot of good monkey patterns around!

  75. Lucy is so correct. But I love the idea of havnig animals to donate to local charity groups fro children!

  76. How could Lucy imagine that you could love a polyfill fur person more than her! Though I agree the competition is stiff. Explain that they would be company for her when you can’t be home. Toys are such a treat!

  77. Oh my God, how cute! My inner child screams ‘I want! I want!’ but my adult self says ‘when will you have time to make any of them?’ Still, be still, my inner child.

  78. I would love this! I made my daughter an elephant and other stuffed animals and am always looking for something cute for her and the other nuts i call my daughters 🙂

  79. thanks for the give a way. I would make great use of this book with 5 babies to knit for that are due between December and February. Hope I win!!!!

  80. Jean Watson says:

    ok, I just might have to buy this book if I don’t win your copy. It looks wonderful! Thanks for offering it up. Jean

  81. Oh my! Adorable. I have grandchildren who would love these.

  82. Love the book and all of the cute projects! Would love to have it.

  83. How is there ever going to be enough time for me to make all of the things I see. . . including cute animals??!!

  84. My little boy would love these wild animals. He’s an animal fiend!

    I’m currently enjoying Socks from the Toe up. Thanks!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..this moment

  85. Indeed, too cute! Fun to knit too!

  86. Squeeee!!! (inner child jumping up and down with hand in the air)

    Utterly cute!

  87. Joan D. Robertson says:

    Gosh Wendy…if I get this I would knit you a warthog!!!!! Please enter me in the drawing.

    Joanie R.

  88. I was just watching Queen of the Warthogs last night and my boyfriend said I couldn’t have a pet warthog. Now I can make one for myself! Awesome!

  89. I love that giraffe! This book is now on my Amazon wishlist.

  90. Amy in Oregon says:

    I’ll make you a warthog! I would love to win this book!

  91. Oh what an adorable book! I can’t wait to make all of them! I know my kids would go crazy over them…Many happy hours of playtime for them! Thanks for the drawing!

  92. That book is g-r-r-r-r-e-a-t!!!

  93. that book is too cute for sure! I really want to make them all for my nephew!

  94. I’m a 30-something, my friends are ALL pregnant, and I need this book!!! Thanks so much for continuing to offer such great stuff to your readers!!

  95. oh oh, so cute! I have a new grandson arriving in March, I would so love to knit him a tiger to start with…they are all so adorable!
    Claire´s last blog post ..Le Roi est mort

  96. Never Fear Lucy, that’s why the book is moving to a new home…she has you.

  97. My grandchildren would love for me to win this book!

  98. Cute stuff!

  99. How cute!! I just saw this at the bookstore. I’d love to have it… so much cuteness to be had. 🙂

  100. Cute critters!