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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful
The patterns in this book are marvellous and the photographs charming; really it's a book that's worth owning for the pictures alone. As far as actually knitting the cats goes, the patterns are fairly clear, though the explanations of techniques in the back could have benefitted from some illustrations, and they produce much better toys/models than most other books I've...
Published on 21 Sep 2011 by Hello

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugly cats
I wonder if the people who like this book have ever seen a cat? There isn't one in this book that doesn't look deformed or some seriously mutated version of a cat. Very disappointing.
Published 23 months ago by Rachel Hart


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 21 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
The patterns in this book are marvellous and the photographs charming; really it's a book that's worth owning for the pictures alone. As far as actually knitting the cats goes, the patterns are fairly clear, though the explanations of techniques in the back could have benefitted from some illustrations, and they produce much better toys/models than most other books I've seen, but be advised, if you don't know how to wrap and turn or pick up stitches, you won't be able to knit the cats. Fortunately there are a lot of good instructional videos on YouTube (knitpicks videos are particularly helpful, I find), so this rusty knitter was able to brush up her skills and have fun.

In terms of equipment, the patterns call for needles of 2.75mm, both ordinary and double-pointed, and use 4-ply wool - though of course, you can still follow the patterns using different materials if you want to. You're also advised to use pipe cleaners to shape the legs and tail, unless it's a gift for a small child.

If you're just starting out you should probably begin with something easier, but if you're experienced or ready to hone your techniques, this book is lovely.

--

Thought I'd come back and add to this review having had some more practice with the book. The more I use it, the better I like it. Having had some practice with the basic techniques of wrap and turn and picking up stitches (though there are some patterns where you only need to do the former), I'm finding the patterns are quite straightforward. Having said it's not for beginners in my original title, I now think that if a beginner can teach themselves a few basics, it's actually a very good book to start with: the patterns are very well laid out and the whole book is easy on the eyes, the cats are quick to knit and rewarding. I've used it as a jumping-board, and now my knitting's a lot more advanced.

The making up can be a bit of a fiddle and if you don't do it very carefully the cats can come out wry-necked or twisty-legged, and the 'standing up' cats tend to get a bit melty-legged if you don't stuff and pipe-cleaner them very thoroughly, so I've tended to stick to the sitting and lying-down cats. There's one particularly good pattern near the end for a lying-down but not curled up tabby (pp 130-133), and if I have a complaint it's that, while the authors offer a lot of variations on the standing-up, sitting-up and curled-up cats, they only offer the one pattern for the short-haired lying-down one, and as it's one of the most attractive patterns in the book, as well as one of the most stable once it's made up and sitting on your shelf or desk, that's a real pity. I'd really like it if they'd offered more variations on that theme.

But that said, it's an extremely good knitting book. I've made a lot of cats as gifts for people since getting it, and they've been received with universal excitement, and now my friends are all impressed with me!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cats Kittens and Knits, 27 Sep 2011
This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
Marvellous guide to creating your own furry feline friends. Amazingly detailed instructions, but wittily and charmingly written so every page is a pleasure. Includes traditional moggies as well as more exotic and aristocratic cats - the rag doll is particularly adorable.
What a perfect gift for any knitter or cat person. A great sequel to the Best in Show DOGS which I already have.
As horse lover as well as a cat lover I hope this brilliantly creative pair will tackle a knit your own pony next.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty knitty stuff., 13 Nov 2011
By 
S. Lancaster (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
I have been hoping for a Knit Your Own Cat book from these authors because I was a big fan of their lovely Knit Your Own Dog book from a couple of years ago. More of my friends are cat people than dog people and now I can spread the word about knitting your dream pet much more effectively! If you're a fan of crafty projects with a bit of tongue in cheek charm then you'll like this: Clever patterns which are just difficult enough to be rewarding without being daunting and the result is a funky little cat in sits-on-the-palm-of-your-hand size. But what makes this book really special is the very funny narrative about all the different breeds of cat they feature. Full of quirky facts and anecdotes - any cat lover will love browsing through it, even if they never knit a stitch.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good book, 8 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
This is a really good book with easy to follow instructions just wish I'd found it earlier...will keep me busy for a while yet so thank goodness Winter's here!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another delightful bit of animal magic, 29 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. Alexander R. Nairne (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
Best in Show (with and for cats) is another wonderful example of extended creativity from Osborne and Muir - and for those of us who don't knit (or not yet) it is a great way of translating animals into new sculptural forms.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars witty catty delight, 14 Sep 2011
This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
I wish I could knit and can only admire all these lovely pussies all with full knitting instructions. Best of all, it's very amusing and informative. Did Isaac Newton really get so tired of letting his black cat out that he was forced to invent the cat flap? If you suffer from warts, you will be interested to know that rubbing a male tortoiseshell's tail in May will cure them. A delightful book of great use for all knitters with an abundance of left-over wool!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 30 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
this book is great, in fact i took it to college and my tutor borrowed it to show all the staff, i've not put it down since and now have knitted six cats!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knit Your own Cat, 27 Oct 2011
By 
K. Partridge "MissP" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
This was bought as a gift for a friend who, like mw, is a cat lover who enjoys handicrafts. Luckily, she appreciated the joke. I don't know how the patterns have turned out, but I expect I'll hear in due course......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun book, 2 Feb 2012
By 
J. Jones (Somerset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
This was a Christmas present for my niece, at her request. The book is great and we all had fun looking at the pictures. For the experienced knitter rather than the novice. My niece's view is: "Sadly I have not knitted a cat yet... and probably won't for a while. Have you seen the instructions?? So complicated. But it won't be wasted. I still appreciate the pictures and the excellent cat info! :)"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 23 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat (Hardcover)
This is a great little book and would be an amusing and great gift but .... the finished cats are very small indeed. The main issue, however, is that it is almost impossible to purchase the yarns recommended in the book. I have visited three wool shops as well as on line suppliers and the yarns are mostly disconinued or the colour required has been discontinued, and I have not found it possible to purchase alternative products. Has anyone come up with acceptable alternatives?

Since my previous review, one of the authors has made contact with me and given me a steer towards finding appropriate yarn - best place appears to be John Lewis. Other contributors have said that the cats can be knitted using a variety of different yarns as the finished size doesn't really matter!
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Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat
Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat by Sally Muir (Hardcover - 15 Sep 2011)
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