The title just makes you smile, doesn’t it? The lovely people at Black Dog & Leventhal publishers asked me if I would be interested in reviewing the brand new “Knit Your Own Cat” book. Who can resist a request like that, when it makes you smile?
I have to say first that I love cats, but I wouldn’t consider myself a cat person. These cats are pretty charming. The book has 16 different cats – sleeping, sitting, prowling and standing. There are complete instructions for each one, a small techniques section in the back of the book and several photos of each finished cat.
I decided that the best way to get to know the book was to knit a kitty myself. I picked the “British Shorthair Curled Up” on page 53. This was actually my Superbowl knitting project and the girls at the party agreed that the curled up sleepy kitties were the cutest ones.
I didn’t have exactly the yarn called for, but I did have a similar worsted (Patons Classic Wool) in a variegated grey. I couldn’t find my size 2 needles so I used size 3′s instead. Other than that I followed directions!
This is Bernadette.
What I liked:
- Directions were easy to follow, once I got the hang of the abbreviations.
- The small size. This went together in about 2 hours.
- The stitch counts at the end of the row. This is so helpful when you are doing something different every row to be able to count and see that you are in the right place. Also nice when you put it down to cheer for your team and then can’t remember what row you were on.
- I can see how these would be really easy to personalize to make it look like your own cat. So cute.
- If I had used smaller needles to get a tighter gauge, this could have easily made a cute toy for one of my nieces.
Things I wondered about:
- The materials list said I needed straight needles and DPNs. I did the whole thing on 2 DPN’s no problem.
- In the short row sections, the stitch count at the end of the row only counted the “after the wrap” stitches and not all the stitches on my needle. I figured it out, but it was confusing when sometimes it was the full stitch count and sometimes not.
Things that made me grumble:
- I have made a bunch of knitted stuffed toys and I wish patterns would say things like “You are starting at the nose.” Sometimes when you get a piece all knit up, you have no idea which end is which or what edge you are supposed to sew to another. What is obvious to the designer is not always obvious to the hapless knitter.
- The photos were not very helpful with assembling the kitty. Wish there were a few clearer details to help with placing parts. I unstitched several times before I got everything right.
- The eyes. I think the embroidered buggy eyes on some of the kitties were just creepy. I think they would be cuter with little black button eyes or something simple. (But that’s just my opinion.)
Overall, I think this is a really fun, quirky book. I think you need a little experience in making stuffed toys, especially when it comes to tweaking and shaping your finished kitty. (Mine has some extra gathering stitches in several places to help pull some bits in to shape.) There are lots of options and the colorwork on the Bengal and Tabby are beautiful! The designers use yarns and yarn combinations very cleverly to create all the different textures.
Are you totally intrigued? Do you want your very own knitted cat? You are in luck! The publishers have very kindly given me a copy to give away to one of my readers! Just leave a comment on this post and tell me the name of your own kitty (or your best friend’s cat or just a cat name that you think is awesome. I have a friend who has a cat named Phyllis. Phyllis is an awesome cat name.) On February 20, I will draw a winner at random and send you a copy of the book!
Please also check out the rest of the blog tour “stops” to see what other bloggers have to say: