6 November 1998

Calling all you nifty knitters for Christmas

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QUICK knitters will just have time to create an endearing nativity scene and some cute cats and dogs before Christmas if they follow the patterns in two popular books recently reprinted by Search Press.

Patterns for the holy family, angels, shepherds, wise men, animals and even gifts are well illustrated in Jan Messents colourful book* and I can imagine that once knitted, it will make a Christmas scene that will be brought out year after year.

Joy Gammons book** is slightly diconcerting at first glance – the cats section is printed one way up and the dogs section is printed the other way, with corresponding covers. However there are some lovely characters to knit the most endearing of which is is a very shaggy Afghan hound pup, all lollopy and floppy. He is made in cut fur stitch – basically loops that are trimmed after you have finished knitting. Like the real thing, this dog will moult, so it needs careful handling and would make a gift for an older child or adult rather than a baby.

The moggies come plain or pampered and there is a pet to suit all tastes. They make sweet cuddly toys but as with anything made for children, care must be taken over the materials used, and pointers are given on this. Happy knitting. TG

*Knit the Christmas Story by Jan Messent, (£5.99). **Knitted Cats and Dogs, Joy Gammon, (£5.99), both published by Search Press which operates a books-by-post service for credit card orders: (freephone) 0800-146860.