Authors’ Introduction to Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat
Cats are the planet’s most popular pet: there are 500 million domestic cats. We are a world of cat lovers, although with some exceptions – Genghis Khan, Hitler, Mussolini and Napoleon Bonaparte are all reputed to have been cat haters…draw your own conclusions. The knitted cat has many of the advantages but none of the drawbacks of the live version. The knitted feline, like the real thing, will sit around looking beautiful and accept your devotion graciously, but it won’t claw the furniture, climb the curtains, or bring in half-dead animals and deposit them at your feet.
Our patterns are for all levels of skill; try starting with a one-colour cat, such as the Burmese, Devon Rex, Kittens, Black Cat, or British Shorthair. Once you are confident move onto the Siamese, Black & White, Turkish Van, Abyssinian, Tortoiseshell and Ragdoll, and then tackle the trickiest – the Persian, Tabby, Maine Coon, Marmalade and Bengal.
Most domestic cats aren’t pedigree, so rather than covering a lot of different breeds of cat, we have chosen a selection – some pedigree, some not – and shown them in different poses. We have tried to make our cats as realistic as possible, but do feel free to make our patterns your own: change the colours, the size, make them fatter or thinner, taller or shorter. Leave the tail off if you have a Manx or Bobtail cat, fold down the ears for a Scottish Fold, and make considerably shorter legs for a Munchkin.
You can make bigger cats if you prefer using thicker yarn and larger needles, and you don’t have to stick to the materials that we suggest, you can use any yarn that you have lying around. The stitches used to knit the cats are fairly basic, you don’t have to be an expert knitter, and the cats are small and so can be made fairly quickly.
We really want you to enjoy making these cats. Knit your own beloved, or the cat you have always wanted but are allergic to, recreate the cat you had as a child, make one for a friend whose cat has died (but who doesn’t want to have it stuffed), knit one cat or make them all and be a knitting Pussy Galore.
Joanna and Sally