Authors’ Introduction to Best in Show: Knit Your Own Dog
There are very many reasons why you might want to knit yourself a pet: maybe you aren’t allowed that ferret that you’ve always craved; your goldfish has moved on to the Great Goldfish Bowl in the Sky; there isn’t any room for a pony in your house; your cat might take too much interest in a real mouse. The knitted pet avoids many of the problems of the real pet, giving you lovely woolly companionship with none of the drawbacks. The knitted pet is perfectly house-trained, never nips, will not escape and will never die, and you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you made it yourself. Knit Your Own Pet is a book for the beginner knitter.
We have made our patterns simple so that they can be easily achieved. Some of our pets are quicker to knit and smaller than others and we have given each a rosette rating, from one to three, to help you decide where to start. It would be a good idea if you are a very new knitter to begin with a one-rosette pet, something very simple like the Mouse or Goldfish, which are small and quick to make and will give you a great sense of achievement. You can then move on to tackle something a little harder like the Cornsnake or Guinea Pig, which are also one-rosette pets and so still easy, but will take a little longer.
Then you can move onto the Simple Cat and Dog, which are larger and are two-rosette pets. Finally, when you have practised on all those, you can make the Shetland Pony and Ferret, which are the most complicated in the book and both three-rosette, but are still not very difficult. You can change yarns to make your pets in different colours to ours, and if you use thicker yarn and bigger needles, you’ll get a bigger pet. Bear in mind that if you want to give a pet to a small child, it’s best not to give those that have to have pipecleaners, like the Canary: you can get by without using pipecleaners in most of the animals if you make sure to stuff the legs firmly.
We hope that you’ll enjoy making the pets as much as we did.
Joanna and Sally