One of my Christmas presents was copy of 'Knit and Purl Pets' by Claire Garland. It's a good fun little book. The photography is quite cute and isn't bad technically, which is a point I feel many knitting books let themselves down on. There are quite a few typos, though, which is exactly the kind of thing that drives me nuts. You'd think they could take a little more care. BUT, the really important thing is the patterns and I reckon it's got a pretty good variety of animals in there, to cater to all tastes. For instance, while I am probably never going to knit the pony or the labrador pup, as soon as I opened the book, I immediately started knitting the chameleon on pages 94-99. It was impossible to resist. I mean, LOOK AT HIM:
No, really, LOOK:
I also whipped up a quick chook as a birthday present for the Aunty who gave me the book. The book says the pattern is for a hen, but Aunty Liz and I agree that my result was much more like a rooster. So, I present to you, Randall the Rooster:
(I bet the henz all call him 'Randy'. You know what I'm saying? I know you do.)
I'm really pleased with how the colours look together. I was originally planning to do a more realistically coloured, gingery chook, but when I saw the teal yarn in my stash, I knew it was kismet. Just perfect.
The yarn is DK, but I used really tiny needles - 2mm or something like that - to make sure the fabric was tight and the stuffing didn't show through. This had the desired effect, but DAMN knitting DK on such tiny needles is HARD WORK. I whipped up most of him in one day, and almost gave myself some serious finger strain (as in, I spent a week waking up in the morning with my left hand curled into a wizened, traumatised claw).
So, remember, kids: knitting is X-treem and you can hurt yourself. Stay in school, don't start forest fires, and put your litter in a bin. But now you knit, and knitting is half the battle. < /PSA >