Book Review: Knit Your Own Zoo

When I saw “Knit Your Own Zoo” on Netgalley, I was pretty excited. I love animals, and I also love knitting miniature versions of them!

Image from

  • Authors: Sally Muir and Joanna Osbourne
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
  • Publish Date: February 11, 2014
  • 176 Pages

There are a lot of great things about this book. For one, I love the detail in the shape of each of the animals. Even from the cover picture, you can see that each of the animals has a huge amount of detail in the curves of its body, legs and head. Another thing I am impressed by is the use of pipecleaners to give shape and bendability to the limbs.

The variety of animals is also quite wonderful. There’s penguins and pandas and giraffes and seals…And before each pattern begins, there’s a few fun facts about each of the animals, which I think is a very nice touch.

All of the animals are knitted straight and then seamed together. For me, this is a sad point, because if I have to seam things, it will take me years to get around to finishing it. I admit, though, that you just can’t get the same detailing (especially some of that colour work!) if you are knitting in the round, so my laziness is entirely my loss.

I think the book might have been better if the animals were sorted by difficulty, or at least had a difficulty rating for each one. Some of the patterns are definitely harder than others, and I found that many of the animals had a lot of stitch shorthands I didn’t recognize, which was a bit overwhelming at first. However, one look at the stitch key in the back of the book assured me the mysterious stitches, in fact, were not too difficult.

My favourite animals were the Panda and the Penguin, although there were a lot of others in there I would be tempted to make as well. Is there enough awesomeness in this book to get me over my aversion to seaming? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy it for someone with less of an aversion!

Overall, I give it a 3.5/5.


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