Itty-Bitty, Really?

Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson is a beautiful book. Well written patterns, lovely pictures, cute knits. It’s everything I want in a toy book. I have only one, itty bitty complaint. Am I the only one who thinks that this is not “itty bitty”?

This is the hippo (he is affectionally named Pippo) that I made for Chloe last year. I followed the instructions like a good girl. The odd thing was, that even though I read the part about the finished item being “seven inches when sitting” and saw the pictures of a baby holding the “itty bitty” hippo, I expected an actual itty bitty hippo. What I got was really quite large. Just like the one in the book. Cute. Darling. Cuddly. Very loved. But large.

And this problem is not an isolated incident. The giraffe is 2 feet tall! The bird in egg is bigger than my hand. The snake is an inch and a half around. Project after project, toy after toy. Not one itty bitty toy. Well, the little puppy was itty-bitty, and oh, so cute!

All in all, that is only a small thing (no pun intended). I am a smart knitter. I like the patterns. I can make them smaller with minimal thought. So, with very little brain strain, I made this:

An itty-bitty bird in egg. (One of the cutest and most clever projects ever!) And then, I made the snake smaller also. (I have no picture of the snake, because all these toys that I am showing you were last years Christmas gifts, and my son has since turned his snake into some kind of dirt encrusted rope…) No problem. Then, I lost interest and moved on to other things.

But I always wanted to go back and try again with that hippo. I wanted to really strain the brain and create a truly itty bitty hippo with lace weight on size 0 needles. Doesn’t that sound like a ton of fun? Okay, maybe not to you, but I was so excited when I realized that I was going to have an entire ball of Malabrigo Lace leftover from Wispy! (Hey, MamaMidwife – that means I get a me-sized Malabrigo sweater for $18!!! Plus the pattern, but – hey, can you beat it?) Here is what I have so far (the body of the hippo):

my truly itty bitty hippo in Malabrigo Lace

I hope that I have not led you to believe that I don’t like this book. On the contrary, after borrowing it from the library three times, I purchased it and I love every page. It is clever and fun. Susan B. Anderson is a fabulous knitter and I love reading her blogs both here and here. I just had really been hoping for some teeny tiny knits, which is what I am getting with a little tweaking, so I am one happy knitter.

And, in case you were wondering, Wispy is coming along just fine. I work on her as often as I can and she should be done very soon (like, five more inches of ever increasing rows…) See?