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Customer Review

60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unclear Finishing Instructions, April 14, 2011
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This review is from: Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches (Paperback)
I was really excited about this book and was really looking forward to knitting and completing a number of the dogs in the book. My first project was the English Bull Terrier. I easily knitted the legs, body, neck and head, but when I came to the Tummy that was where the trouble started.

In the description it mentions "Work 50 rows st st (measure against dog, it should reach bottom of dog's chest, adjust rows if necessary)". This made me think that perhaps 50 st might not work and that I needed to do less or more, so I pinned the tummy to the body and tried to gauge where the dog's chest might be. I made a judgment on the number of rows and continued on in the pattern. I found when I got near the dog's head, the tummy seemed really short. So I unpicked and tried again, adding more rows. Again, it seemed to come up short. The third time, I knitted a little more to where I believed was still the dog's chest and this allowed the tummy part to reach the dog. I then followed the finishing instructions on seaming the tummy to the dog. This was again, where I had trouble.

The instructions say, "sew cast on row of tummy to bottom of dog, and sew bound off row to nose. Ease and sew tummy to fit body". I did this and found to my bewilderment that the dog's head was way up in the air and it looked utterly ridiculous.

I then realized that the reason that the dog's tummy does not match up with the body is because the tummy pulls the head down when it is sewn to the body. So, why on earth, did the authors not mention this? Why imply that you can add more than the 50 stitches, when if you do your dog's tummy does not match the body and head correctly? The instructions for putting together the dog is so vague. There should be a mention in the book about the tummy to body proportions (shorter tummy to pull dog's head down, etc) and placement when seaming. There is mention on knitting the body and head, stuffing the dog and sewing and stuffing the legs, but no mention at all on the very important aspect of piecing together the tummy to the dog.

Because of this, I had to abandon the dog. I just could not face redoing the head and body. I was really disappointed and feel that this book is really lacking in instruction. I've made toys before, especially from Susan B Anderson and her patterns and assembly instructions are excellent. In fact, its much easier to knit on double-pointed needles than to spend endless hours seaming which these dogs require. Very disappointing.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2011 1:08:52 AM PST
Diana Martin says:
I read this review before I bought the book, thinking perhaps I would have better luck. Not at all. The English Bulldog was to be a gift for a friend who breeds them, and I, too, have abandoned the project. The knitting instructions are excellent, but the finishing instructions are too vague. The piece of knitting I am working with looks just like a lobster, and is somehow supposed to transform into a bulldog.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2012 2:15:20 PM PST
I can't tell you how much this helped me. :) Mine too looked like a lobster so I thought I must be on the right track. :) So far, he's turning out bulldog-ish. I agree though, the finishing instructions are incredibly vague. And in some places it tediously tells you just how many stitches to knit and then it says "knit to end of row" and you can't tell what exactly they are talking about. At this point the stitches were broken up onto 3 needles, so is the end of the row the end of the row on that needle? or the end of the one on the last needle? Confusing. I just wanted to thank you for commenting about the lobster. :)

Posted on Nov 23, 2013 5:00:51 AM PST
Your review of this book is "spot on!" So far I have made 2 dogs and I struggled with bith of them. I contacted the author of the book and she suggested I uyse the wrap and turn stitching method instead of the pult stitch. There were also corrections on the lab pattern.

Posted on Feb 16, 2015 11:35:52 PM PST
Jamoche says:
I made the Jack Russell Terrier (adjusting the spots to match my brother's real dog) and threaded lifelines through after each increase or decrease row just so I'd be able to keep both sides consistent - well, it turns out that those inc/decs line up quite nicely with the dog's legs! Much easier than the instructions, as you've pointed out.

I don't know if this is true for the other dogs, but I wouldn't be surprised - I did wonder, when making the beagle kit for practice, why we bothered with inc/dec if we were just going to stretch it to fit. This book would be so much better with just a few pages on assembly!
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