Knits for Dogs and Cats
by Tina Barrett
When I first read the title, I thought I would find a sweater for a cat. The picture that popped into my head made me break out in peals of laughter. My Gus would never deign to put on a sweater and me trying to get one on him would be tantamount to a declaration of war and claws would not be sheathed! A dog sweater on the other hand is in the realm of possibility. My sister has a little Dachshund (named Padme by my Stat Wars crazy nephew) in cold New England. She is a bit yappy but I it might be a good project to test my fair isle on.
This book was originally published in the UK. It has a set-up with all the basic instructions in the back, after all the patterns. Each pattern is preceded by a cartoony drawing of an animal in the sweater. I think that the illustrations used are cute and very entertaining. but it is a serious problem for me that no real pictures of animals in the projects are included. Instead there are just a flat pictures of the knit project and it is difficult to envision it on an actual animal. Another issue is color - too much color! Pages are pink, yellow, purple, blue, green - pretty much every pastel under the rainbow. Blech.
The projects are broken down into two major categories - knitwear for dogs and accessories for dogs and cats. The sweater patterns don't do much for me and the "girly" sweaters for the dogs have a lot of novelty. I just don't think fur looks good on a furry animal but that could just be my aesthetic. The schematics are confusing for to me. They do not put the measurements on the picture but put them down below. Not a big change but it doesn't work. I do like the charts though. But they the color used which is beautiful in the book but would be a pain in the arse if you just took a photo copy. The construction of the sweater is mostly two-piece by choice so you can custom fit your dog. There is a section on measuring your dog.
The accessories are better. The throne is cute (thought too cute for me) and the kitten mitten is a good idea. And the shoe chew is priceless.
Still the few things that I do like don't make up for the whole thing. Now I like that some cuteness goes into a pattern book but to me it's compensating for the lackluster projects and pattern write-ups. I have just seen better books with animal patterns.
Reviewed by Allison Linehan
Allison's blog, Neophyte Knitter, can be found at http://gumdrop.typepad.com