If you don’t have any real pets at home – or even if you do – these characterful knitted cuties are the next best thing. Knitted Pets by Susie Johns contains patterns for a whole host of playful pets, ranging from puppies to parrots and tortoises to tarantulas. There are patterns for both novice and experienced knitters, with clear instructions. It's published by GMC, and costs £14.99.
Another fun book that caught our eye is Fiona Goble’s Farmyard Knits. Fiona brings her eye for detail and sense of humour to this delightful cast of countryside characters. This book is unusual in that it is a combination of patterns and story book. Most of the projects can be completed with basic knitting skills, and there is an eight-page illustrated knitting guide to help novice knitters.
Farmyard Knits tells the story of farmers Frank and Anna and follows them through a typical day on their farm, from collecting eggs in the morning to herding the sheep. You’ll meet the stars of the farmyard, including Bess the collie and Max the cat plus sheep, cows, chickens and more. There are 15 fun knits and a farm play mat that doubles as a cosy blanket. The book also includes a printed card cart to make up and harness to your knitted horse. It's published by Ivy Press and costs £9.99.
Following on from Best in Show Dogs, and Best in Show Cats, is this third edition: Best in Show: 25 More Dogs to Knit by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne. If your favourite dog wasn’t in the first Best in Show collection, you may be in luck! There are 25 more pups to knit in this follow-up, including a wrinkly Shar Pei, an elegant greyhound and a fantastic English Springer Spaniel. It's published by Collins & Brown and costs £12.99.
Noah’s Knits is another title by Fiona Goble, which contains 16 projects in a similar vein to Fiona's bestselling book Knit Your Own Royal Wedding. This new book features more of her figures that are packed with personality, this time in the guise of Noah, his wife, and a pair of every animal you can think of! Published by Ivy Press, it costs £9.99.
Knit & Purl Pets by Claire Garland is a gloriously bonkers collection, and the ideal gift for anyone who ever wished they lived in a menagerie, or who feels like they live in one now. There are 20 patterns, from hens to hounds, and each one sports bags of character.
You can customise the ‘Little Feathered Friends’ into quirky Christmas decorations by turning them into robins, while ‘Mittens and Socks, the Lop-eared Rabbits’ provide the chance to experiment with yarn… because what could lovelier than a cute knitted rabbit made from real angora yarn?
Whichever animal you choose, we think it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself chatting to your half-finished projects! Published by David and Charles, it costs £14.99.