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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Monday, March 11, 2013

(Late) Book Review: The Itty-Bitty Series

I apologize for my asinine lateness with this book review. Real life got in the way and it's still in the way but I thought I had better get on this sooner rather than later. I'd rather not do two book reviews in the same week. A book review and a yarn review in the same week is fine (which will probably happen).

Anyway, the books in question are books that I have purchased (or someone bought me for a Christmas and/or birthday present) for my own fibery library. I have been given no money or other non-monetary forms of payment for my book reviews. The reviews are based on my own experience(s) and opinion(s) and may not necessarily coincide with the thoughts and opinions of other fiber enthusiasts (though they certainly may). I may also throw in some other fun information.

Yes, there's my disclaimer notice.

Moving on.....

This week, I'm bringing you a threefer. That's three book reviews for the content of one. Why three? Because it's a series and I can. It's my blog :)

Sooooooo, the series in question (in case you didn't actually read the title to this post): The Itty-Bitty Series by Susan B. Anderson.

Photo from Amazon (linky)

Photo from Amazon (linky)

Photo from Amazon (linky)

The Basics
Author: Susan B. Anderson (link to blog is above)
Publisher: Artisan (Itty-Bitty Hats, June 1, 2006), Artisan (Itty-Bitty Nursery, September 21, 2007), Artisan (Itty-Bitty Toys, October 9, 2009)
Hardcover: Spiral-bound, 176 pages (Itty-Bitty Hats), 164 pages (Itty-Bitty Nursery), and 167 pages (Itty-Bitty Toys)
Language: English
Cover Price: $17.95 each (USD, though you can buy them for less than that, $12.21 on Amazon right now)

Now that we have the basics, let's talk about Susan. I "discovered" Susan back when we were living in Wisconsin. She was one of the speakers at a monthly Madison Knitters' Guild meeting. Actually, I heard of her before then and I owned Itty-Bitty Hats but I didn't put them together until she was doing her talk. By then, all three books were out. I tried to purchase the other two but was only able to get Itty-Bitty Nursery. She was on her book tour for Itty-Bitty Toys at the time. Anyway, I had my two books signed (yes, I'm a nerd) and throughout the night, found out that she was from Madison. Wha-?! Yeah, she was totally local and totally sweet and is now totally famous in the knitting world (and maybe outside of it, too).

It wasn't too soon after her talk at the MKG meeting that I found out I was pregnant with Little Man. I started picking out projects and while only a few came to fruition for him, I remembered why I loved those books.

Here are some of the projects I've made from the books...

Little Man's Simple Baby Cap (2) (linky to project page)

Same as above

Sassy Girl's Pumpkin Hat (linky to project page)

Sassy Girl's Simple Baby Cap #1 (linky to project page)

Yes, this hat was made for Little Man's baby cousin but I took a photo of him wearing it because I wanted to make sure she could wear it for awhile...and she can :)

Christmas Elf Hat (linky to project page)

Again, a hat for Little Man's baby cousin...but it fit him and he was so cute wearing it (even though he was trying to yank it off again).

Sweet Girl's Hippo (linky to project page)

Little Man's Giraffe - front (linky to project page)

Little Man's Giraffe - side/back

Looking through my projects, it doesn't look like I've made anything from Itty-Bitty Nursery. I'm sure I will at some point...I just haven't yet.

Anyway, let's talk about Susan. She's from the Madison, Wisconsin area, is a blogger, designer, knitter, and mom of.......I think she has four kids. She is so sweet to meet in person and if you have questions about her designs, you can contact her and ask...and she'll even answer! Her blog features not only her designs, but other things she's working on, her kids, what her kids are working on (some are swimmers, others knit, I think one had a fairy garden last summer), and her life in Wisconsin.

She has designs, to date, in twenty-three books and magazines including Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, Knit Simple Magazine (2008 Holiday edition), Knitcircus Magazine (#10), and Weekend Hats. She has also self-published patterns (available through Ravelry or her blog) and a class on Craftsy.

But, we're not just here to talk about Susan...we're here to talk about Susan's books!

Each of the three books has a "how to" section where she talks about the basics of knitting: knitting, purling, knitting flat, knitting in the round, increasing, decreasing, YOs, and binding off. After that section, she starts out with the easiest of the patterns. In Itty-Bitty Hats, for instance, she starts with hats knit in the round using only knit stitches (Simple Baby Cap #1, #2, and #2). After that, she adds purl stitches, and eventually you can make some of the more complicated hats. Each pattern has the basics: suggested yarn, needle, gauge, and sizes available. The same can be said of the other two books. It starts out with the "easy" patterns and moves on to the more difficult ones. Of course, I, who had no experience knitting toys of any kind, started with the biggest toy in the book. Oops...but notice I said "biggest" and not "most difficult." Each project has colorful photos of the item from several angles and if there's a bit of tricky construction, there are helpful hints, some with photos, throughout.

I love these books because they're perfect for any knitter, new or seasoned. Also, the projects are totally adorable for babies and other small children and, because they're for small children, they don't take much time (except for blankets; blankets seem to take me forever). And, like I mentioned earlier, Susan is totally accessible if you have questions. There's also a group on Ravelry dedicated to these three books and Susan, in general.

Do I have anything bad to say about these books? No. Not really...just that I wish I had more time to knit so I could have made everything for Little Man. That's not something Susan can control, however :)

There you have it! February's (late) book review! Oh, and just so you know, you can buy most of Susan's books on Amazon including her new one, which is based on the Topsy-Turvy toy section of Itty-Bitty Toys.

I should be back later this week, maybe early next week with a yarn review...then the week after that with another book review :) Hope you're all having a lovely week!


  1. I have an Itty-Bitty book, but I think it is crocheted animals...yeah I just checked it's crochet animals...and I have one called Tiny Yarn Animals..good review..I'll check out her site...and thanks for the gift made me laugh out loud!

  2. These are adorabe! Before I say anything else, can say how CUTE little man looks in his baby shots!?!?!?! OMG! OK then, I think I might need to add these to my collection. I adore knits for little people.

  3. Love Susan. She is one of my favorite designers. Have you looked at Spud and Chloe at the farm? I made my little guy a cow and "Charlie" from the book. I haven't tried itty bitty hats, because the hats look a little impractical, but the ones you knit look cute and functional. I may have to pick those books up!

  4. I love Susan. She is my favorite kids designer. I haven't made anything from the itty bitty series, only because some of those hats looks a little impractical, however the ones you made look functional and cute! Have you tried Spud and Chloe at the farm? I knit my little guy a cow and a "Charlie"

  5. Hellooooo! I found you while doing a search for "exploding Blue Box" because I am a Doctor Who Junkie. I also just found Nerd Girl Yarns and squealed with delight. Anyways I just wanted to drop a note! Happy creating!