Sunday, 24 March 2013

Knitting Book Review: Make your own knitted animals

This is a book intended for children, I was given it to review as a knitter and ex-teacher and I'm going to pass it on to a genuine child next! I'm hoping her mum will pass on her own opinion, but these are my thoughts, unscripted and "mine own".

The front cover promises "Learn to knit cute little animal characters" and sure enough there are patterns for 5 little critters: lamb, monkey, panda, bird with chicks and a rabbit. 

There are short tutorials with photos to show how to knit, but this is not, in my opinion, a book to learn how to knit. If your child can already knit (or if you are keen to help) then it's fine. (The back cover does say "prior knitting experience helpful and adult supervision recommended) I would especially question the method they suggest for casting on - but it does work, though very loosely.

I like the presentation! The plastic box at the top where the materials are stored is resealable so you can continue to keep your bits and pieces safely. There are 4 pieces of felt, two sizes of sewing needle, some sewing thread and two 4mm knitting needles (they're not marked, but I checked the size on my gauge)

No knitting yarn, but it is only £5.99 though, and yarn would put the price up.

The patterns are in the form of templates which may or not be a good thing, it depends how your mind works! What disappointed me a great deal is that there are no obvious clues to orientation. In the template below, looking at the finished panda tells me the body and arms templates need to be read sideways, but the ears and feet and tail are read upwards. I think that would be very confusing for a child (it was slightly confusing for me to be honest!) The templates are VERY small. The body template below is a mere 2.5 inches (less than 6.5 cm) wide and I found those tiny squares very difficult to count.

The ear liner template is clearly a circle above...yet when we get to the instructions - not so. Of course by then I'd already cut out my pink circles, so tough. I can hear my imaginary child wailing "I've gone wrong!"

The diagram seems much longer than my knitting...but it was ok when I sewed it up. 

Skipping straight to the last page, the author encourages us to now design our very own characters or animals, and shows four examples. Strangely, they're all crochet with the exception of the tall chap's hat.

The designs themselves are cute though...and here's my panda: I tried hard to stick to the pattern to give it a fair go but couldn't bring myself not to cast on properly! If you'd like to win her, just leave me a comment below with a way to contact you. I'll randomly pick a winner on Friday. ***NB GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED***


Goblinf said...

Actually I think the panda's really cute. Good review that.
And since I promoted your last giveaway leading to increased entries, and therefore reduced chances of winning, I'm trying again now....
Also for once I'm already logged in blogger...

Rachel (Mog's Togs) said...

Ooh can't have Toot running away with the panda, she needs a bit of competition! @mogstogs, on Folksy etc, I think you know where to find me!

Josh Morgan said...

I absolutely love pandas! I collect them! :) Hopefully signing in with Google will give you my email. Twitter is @DrJoshM

Goblinf said...

meh. I'm going to lose again aren't I? One day I'll be the only entrant and will win.


Tattooed Mummy said...

Briefly excited that I could learn to knit ...then read on and realised this would be too complicated! Bummer. Cute panda though ;)

Heather Leavers said...