Book Review: World of Knitted Toys

May 6th, 2006 | View Comments

Cover of World of Knitted Toys

Author: Kath Dalmeny
Publisher: David & Charles
Rating: 4 Skeins
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Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

You will find patterns for all of the above (p. 99, 23, and 81, respectively) and many, many more creatures in World of Knitted Toys.

The book contains 45 different projects and a few variations on a theme. The finished creatures are generally adorable with nice proportions. Kath Dalmeny gleefully branches out from the world of knitted bears and sheep to give us kangaroos, rhinoceros, wombats, and Mounties.


Yes, there’s a pattern for a Canadian Mountie.

The book is organized into seven animal environments—jungle, outback, farm, ocean, forest, safari, and snowy regions—each of which is anchored by a pattern for a representative person. Mr. Mountie happens to be the mascot for “Forest Friends.”

World of Knitted Toys is designed to be beginner-friendly, however it is not meant to be a beginner’s first knitting book. The book does contain the obligatory review of basic techniques, but someone who has no idea what to do with their needles and yarn would be better off picking up a copy of Stitch ‘N Bitch.

The projects require the ability to knit and purl, increase and decrease, add new colors, sew pieces together, and read patterns. The more advanced patterns may require some embroidery or duplicate stitch. The easiest projects in the book would be suitable for a knitter’s first project.

However, the beginner-friendliness of the patterns can be something of a bane to a more advanced knitter. Everything is knit flat, which means that there’s lots of sewing at the end so that you wind up with something that can be stuffed. The turtle (p. 70) is quite possibly the worst offender; the pattern as written requires you to sew up 16 different pieces at the end.

If you know how to adapt patterns for knitting in the round and to do some colorwork, I recommend doing so. Unfortunately, there are few charts or schematics to help you make sense of the pattern before you try to adapt it.

My other beef with the book is that the yarn requirements are only given in grams—not yards—which means that if you’re using a fiber other than wool, you need to do some math or take a wild stab at how much yarn you’ll need.

The photographs in the book are clear and plentiful, and in most cases you will be able to find pictures of the finished object taken from different angles. My only complaint about the photography in the book is that there are a few cases in which the photo of the finished object is not with the written pattern. In those cases, you’ll have to flip through the rest of the chapter to find the picture of your animal.

If you have children to knit for or to knit with, or if you are like me and love all things plush, this book is a must-have for your library.

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CogKnition posted this on May 6th, 2006 @ 9:38pm in Book Reviews | Permalink to "World of Knitted Toys"

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