Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Itty Bitty Knitting

Have you seen the Itty Bitty Toys book by Susan B. Anderson? It's one of those so very rare books where you actually want to make every.single.pattern. Really -- the classic toys, the quick toys, the sock yarn toys and then the irresistible reversibles -- I wish I had time for them all! But those reversibles really drew me in.

So for my first project from the book I chose the small and simple Egg to Bird. This was an easy intro as the egg side is quick and the bird only has a few details. The pattern also includes a nest which I haven't gotten around to quite yet. Raveled here
Yes he really does turn inside out into an egg, but that was too boring a picture to post. Instead, look at his silly face!

Next up I tried out one of the bigger reversibles and decided to mix and match from the pattern collection. So I took the Elephant and paired him with the Mouse. They just were my 2 favorites but I think they work together just fine!

For the yarn, I had bought some cotton boucle (KnitPick's Crayon) and decided to try it here. I started knitting it single but thought it was too flimsy. So I doubled the boucle, went up to a size 7 needle and it felt perfect. So I didn't end up with a giant toy I scaled everything down roughly 25%. So I cast on fewer stitches and skipped rows here and there. They end up a bit bigger than Susan's originals but a nice size.
Of course holding the yarn doubled meant I burnt through it quickly! For the Mouse side I used up all but 2 yards maybe and on the blue side I have not one bit left. In fact I had to skip poor elephant's feet and make his ears a bit differently. The pattern gave 2 ways to make them but I knew I needed to conserve yarn so I just did some garter stitch. They could definitely have been bigger but again, no yarn left! Raveled here

I love the details of the mouse. Of course they definitely slow you down but in the end they really make the toy. His ears are made from a grey ear, a pink ear, stitch them together then stitch to the head. And then repeat for the other ear. Not quick, but look how cute! My son only likes the Mouse side showing since it has pink. :)

Last Thursday my favorite yarn shop Loop was having yet another guest come in and they turned it into a really fun event. It was the Itty Bitty author, Susan, and instead of just a book signing they sold kits with an unreleased mini reversible Susan designed! The whole night was just chatting with Susan and knitting along. Susan is so friendly and easy to talk to and everyone was squishing the toys and having fun. She wrote a long blog post about the night with tons of pictures (I look kind of crazy in them) and even linked to my Mouse & Elephant project!

A few nights later I finished the kit project and it's adorable! It's a mini bunny and duck - how perfect for Easter and spring right around the corner. I'm debating making more of these as gifts I think it came out so cute. I love the little bunny face!
If you're interested in the pattern, I'd call Loop ASAP and see if they have any kits left (they will ship).

Of course I'm already working on another pattern from the book, The Mama and Baby Ducks. They are the classic duck pull toy and couldn't be sweeter. Wish me luck making the axles and wheels!


  1. Oh my goodness these are ridiculously cute!! :) Christine

  2. so cute!! this may just inspire me to learn how to knit!

  3. If you can quilt you can learn to knit definitely!