Authors’ Introduction to Knit Your Own Zoo

Haven’t we all wanted an exotic pet at some time? I know for many years I desperately wanted a lemur, but it’s hardly the ideal domestic pet – now I can knit my own. We so enjoyed writing our dog and cat books that we couldn’t help ourselves and had to create a book of wild animals. If the knitted dog and cat were the perfect easy-care companions, the knitted zoo animal is even more so – you don’t have to adapt your house to accommodate your giraffe, bring home freshly killed wildebeest for your lion, fly in eucalyptus leaves for your koala, or build an extension for your elephant. You get all the pleasure of the wild animal, with none of the headaches. We couldn’t include every animal, so our selection is necessarily idiosyncratic. We have included many of the obvious – the lion, tiger, elephant, giraffe – but we’ve also added ones we just loved and felt we had to have – the fruit bat, armadillo and anteater – and the stranger-looking, less cuddly ones that we thought should have a place as well – the camel, crocodile and mandrill. You can knit your own endangered species, and for the more ambitious, with the use of some cereal boxes, straws and sticky-backed plastic, you can make your own actual zoo. You can even knit two of each animal and create your own, rather incomplete, Noah’s Ark. For the beginner, the one-colour animals like the bears and seal are a good place to start, working up through the slightly more complicated meerkat and lemur to the most difficult – those with several colours, like the tiger and leopard, and those that use several techniques, like the anteater and armadillo. With simply a pair of knitting needles, some yarn and a copy of this book, the animals of the frozen wastes of the Antarctic, the deserts of Africa, the jungles of Asia, and the outback of Australia can all be yours.

Joanna and Sally


Knit Your Own Zoo is Best in Show!

Knit Your Own Zoo was voted Best Book in the British Knitting Awards 2014.




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