Thursday 30 January 2014

Knit Your Own Zoo

Knit Your Own Zoo by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne
Published by Black Dog & Leventhal
February 11th 2014
Hardback Edition
The Best in Show series is an outstanding global success. Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne are back - this time with designs for 25 wild animals. There is something here for everyone, with instructions for knitting spots, stripes, fur, scales, trunks, wings and beaks! The animals are surprisingly easy to make. It will only take a few evenings to create yourself an exotic pet or reproduce your favourite species. These knitted animals in miniature are much easier to look after than the real things - they don't need feeding, they won't make a mess and they take up hardly any room. This book is a real zoological tour of the globe with animals from all over the world. Patterns include tiger, crocodile, penguin, cheetah, anteater, ring-tailed lemur, camel, giraffe, panda and kangaroo. Idiosyncratic descriptions of the various species accompany beautiful photography, making this book irresistible for both keen knitters and wildlife enthusiasts.
Who isn't a zoo animal fan?  In this new book by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, there is definitely something for everyone, from cheeky monkeys to scary (or not so scary) crocodiles.  What better way to be able to own your own zoo animal than by knitting it?
The layout is clear and concise, as are the pictures.  The only problem for me is that most of the patterns call for the use of double-pins (or dpns) and despite having been knitting for decades (!) I still haven't found the courage to attempt this.  However, if this sounds like you too, then fear not, for there are still patterns within the book that call for the normal two-needle method.
I also liked the way that the book goes into detail about the actual animals themselves, making it more than just another knitting book.  This is the extract from the pattern on Orangutans:
Orangutan means 'person of the forest'; along with chimpanzees and gorillas, orangutans are apes.  You can tell an ape from a monkey as apes have no tails.  There is a legend that orangutans can speak, but they choose not to for fear of being made to work.  King Louie, one of the stars of The Jungle Book cartoon, wasn't in the original book, but popped up in the film to sing 'I Wan'na Be Like You' to Mowgli.  Bornean orangutans are endangered, and Sumatran critically endangered, largely due to deforestation.
My husband is a huge giraffe fan but I think I'm going to have to call on all my skills to be able to knit this beauty!
This review is for the Canadian publication of the book, but it is also out in hardbook in the UK.
Visit your wild side!
G x



  1. These animals look great, but waaaaaaaayyyyy to scary for someone like me to ever attempt! The giraffe is lovely isn't he! xx

  2. I just got my copy of the book and it is lovely. We need a support group on Ravelry!


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