There are two knitting books that I have purchased that feature farm animals. This Spud and Chloe book by Susan Anderson and also Sarah Keen's book Knitted Farm Animals. I have both books, and so to help knitters decide on what book might work for them, i've attempted to compare them both. I've knitted almost all of the animals (and of course Chloe) in this book and they came out very nice. There is not as much detail on the animals as the ones in Knitted Farm Animals by Sarah Keen, but the animals in this book are sweet just the same. I'm not a big fan of the story that goes along with the book...I think it could have been written much better. I feel it's more for adults than for kids.
All the animals are knitted on double point needles, so if you are not skillful with this technique, it could be a problem. The animals in Knitted Farm Animals are all done on two needles, so if you are more familiar with using two needles, i would opt for that book. That being said, once you get the hang of the double pointed needles...it is nice not to have to do much seaming.
I don't like that some of the basic techniques are not addressed in Susan's book, so if you are unfamiliar with a stitch, you would have to research how to do it elsewhere. Susan does offer on-line tutorials to address this, but i think putting in instructions for the techniques at the back of the book to refer to while knitting, would have been helpful. Sarah's book, at the back, addresses all techniques in great detail, that are used in knitting the animals. The facial features on Susan's animals are quite difficult to master. One wrong stitch placement can cause a weird look on an animal's face. The features on the animals in Sarah's book are time consuming to knit, but all in all give a much more realistic look. i like the technique used to make the eyes in Sarah's book as well.
The yarn suggested for the animals in spud and chloe is very expensive...so i opted to use encore plymouth yarn in worsted weight...and it is perfect. Something to realize however is that the hay bales and the pigs in Susan's book are in a different weight yarn. I don't know why susan did that. In my exuberance to purchase the yarn, I neglected to check out all the weights for each animal, assuming that they all used the same, so i bought the yellow for the hay bales and the pink for the pigs in the worsted weight...rather than in the chunky and fine weight respectively. Now i have to go out and purchase more yarn in the correct weights. My fault i admit...but it would be nice to have everything in the book knitted in the same weight yarn. Sarah's book uses all the same yarn weight throughout which is a DK weight. She doesn't suggest a yarn, and any DK weight yarn will work. I used Berroco Comfort yarn and Plymouth Dreambaby.
i have to say, the little chicks in susan's book are not very cute at all! (sorry, susan). actually...they don't even look like chicks...but more like little fish with fins. i decided to make the chicks from the Knitted Farm Animals...and they are much cuter. Susan's little chicks do have a shell that they "hatch" from...so I just made a few shell halves from susan's book to go with the chicks in Sarah's book.
All in all, i have enjoyed making the farm animals. I opted not to knit the barn...my husband made one for me out of wood and we painted it. I felt it was much more sturdy. the animals are cute and i know my grandson will love playing with them on "the farm". that being said...if you want farm animals with a lot of detail that come out adorable, the Knitted Farm Animals by Sarah Keen is the one to buy. Just realize, that they are very time consuming because of the detail I have made the rooster...and the detail is amazing! the chicks are too cute for words as well. the only problem is...many of the animals in Sarah's book are knitted in the sitting position, so having them prance around on four legs won't happen. susan's animals are knitted in the standing position which makes for great imaginative play.
i knitted most of the animals in Sarah Keen's knitted WILD animal book for my grandson, and even though they are also knitted in the sitting position, he loves playing with them. i'm just making the point that the animals in the spud and chloe at the farm book are perhaps more adaptable to imaginative play as a child can make them walk around.
Spud and Chloe at the Farm also includes farm accessories, like buckets, fences, and hay bales, that add to the farm decor and imaginative play. Sarah's book just has the animals.