Knitted Critters for Kids to Wear by Jean Adel is a collection of over 40 animal themed accessories to knit for kids. Dozens of different animal hat patterns are included, many with matching scarf and mittens.
The patterns are all quite basic. Hats are basic stockinette-in-the-round patterns. Mittens are basic four-fingers-and-a-thumb creations with ribbing at the wrist. Scarves are largely stockinette pieces, sometimes with a trim or a stripe. The differences come in in the finishing. Buttons are added for eyes, mouths are sewn on with scrap yarn, and ears are knitted separately and sewn on after.
You are sure to find your kid’s favorite animal amongst the wide variety of critters: frog, fish, panda bear, mouse, whale, horse, lion, hippo, pig, bunny, and several variations of cats and dogs. The projects are separated by difficulty level. Even the “more difficult” projects in the intermediate chapter are pretty easy – a knitter on their second or third project should have no problem with the intermediate chapter. The projects are great for gifts. They are small (requiring little yarn, and allowing you to use up leftovers that you probably have laying around) and simple to knit. Any of these projects could be finished in an evening, making them great for last-minute gifts. The projects are so simple that they are great for kids to do themselves. Perfect beginner projects for your kid, or great child-parent bonding activities.
There is a distinct lack of sizes in this book. Patterns are offered for kids aged 3 years, 4-5 years, and 6-7 years. Any of these patterns (namely the hats) would be adorable for newborns, but if you want to make it for a baby, you are going to have to do a bit of math to shrink it down. Not hard, but sometimes annoying when you just want a quick knit. Likewise, if you are a nutty grown-up like myself and want a fish hat, you will have to work it out for yourself. Yes, I would wear a crazy animal hat – I made myself a sock monkey hat that gets compliments whenever I wear it.
This book is a bit repetitive, and experienced, long-time knitters will probably find it redundant. However, it is full of really fun, cute ideas, and is a great way to bring kids into knitting.