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?

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5 thoughts on “Itty-Bitty, Really?

  1. Uh! NO! I probably can’t beat that! 😉

    My “me” sized sweater is going to be at *least* $50.

    But I do LOVE the way that Wispy looks. And your hippo is going to be sooooo cute! Love the birdie!

    I must cast on something new! Must! Must! Must! I am seeing too many cute things here and there. (And I own that book, so I might as well.)

  2. I love those little knitted critters! The one time I tried to knit a little critter it just didn’t look all that cute. Not sure why! Was considering trying again, but I’m a little apprehensive!

  3. I love the photos and ideas in Itty Bitty toys, but HATE DPNs… but I’ve committed– mentally at least– to making the fruit toys for my son for Christmas (part of a whole kitchen-themed Xmas for my baby chef). Any thoughts or advice on converting to circs? Would magic loop be the way to do this? (I am totally in awe of your downsizing ability!!)

    • You could do all the toys with magic loop. The catch is that she gives the instructions needle per needle. (On first needle, do this. On second needle, do that…) So, you would have to rewrite it per row. It wouldn’t be too tough, and the result would be worth it (to me, anyway). I would be interested to see you do it. 🙂

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