For some of us, reading Sally Muir and Joanna Osbourne’s fabulous books on knitted dogs is the closest we’ll ever get to owning our own. So when Joanna volunteered to write a post on their new book, Patch’s Grand Dog Show, we jumped at the chance. Over to you Joanna…..
Dogs have always been part of our lives. In our twenties Sally got the lovely Fanny, a bumptious mongrel from Battersea Dogs Home. Consumed with envy, I then had to have one too, welcome Alice, a scruffy whippet lurcher. And so started our long partnership in knitting and dogs.
It seemed a natural progression to combine both these loves, so in 2010 we wrote Best in Show (published by Pavilion), featuring knitting patterns for 25 of the most popular breeds. The book was a huge success, clawing its way out of the craft section of bookshops and led to six more books: another 25 dogs, cats, zoo animals, pets, farm animals and finally dinosaurs.
We wanted to write a knitting book for children. Well, if you have ever tried to teach young children to knit, don’t…So we created a knitted world full of dogs. Our story, for three to five year olds, is about Patch, an odd looking lonely dog whose only friend is his ball. Then something spectacular happens to him and his life changes forever.
Writing this book has been a long process and much more difficult than we envisaged, often derailed by technology so we have used simple skills – sort of fuzzy felt meets Blue Peter with a dash of Aardman (apologies to Nick Park). All the sky, trees and grass are made of wool blankets or pieces of our knitwear, the airstream hot dog stand is a loaf of brown bread covered in silver knitting, the marquee is made of felted cashmere pieces. The dogs come alive, some sing, some laugh, some do acrobatics and the Jack Russell juggles. And you can knit your own Patch, the pattern is in the back of the book. After reading PATCH’S GRAND DOG SHOW perhaps some young children may want to learn to knit…..or even want a dog!