One of the nice things about doing books is that I frequently get to meet other authors at special knitting events such as trade shows and places like the Knit-Out and the giant Stitches Conventions. A couple of years ago I was invited to dinner to help promote my Kristin Knits book by the publisher Storey Books. Storey is owned by the giant publishing house Workman Publishing and so the dinner was a joint event with authors from all of Workman's publishing houses attending. We were in southern California in the winter which is a treat for me because it was warmish and there were flowers blooming in January.
I never know how these dinners are going to go. At this point in my career, I just go along and think about how I can promote my current project to get the book distributor to believe in my book and sell it. Going out to dinner with clients you don't know is always a challenge, no matter what industry. Sometimes I sit there thinking what I can say to entertain the person next to me. It can be a real struggle. And then sometimes there is serendipity as there was a couple years ago when I was asked to sit next to Susan Anderson, an author from Artisan (another Workman division).
I had seen Susan's beautiful books in the Itty Bitty Series published by Artisan. I had never heard of her and frankly wondered where this extremely talented designer had come from - basically out of the blue. Susan and I talked and talked and had a great dinner. I found out she was a mom to four kids and that she had a real passion for knitting and any kind of craft. She also told me her secret to getting everything accomplished was that she got up very early in the wee hours of the morning and knit! It was a delightful dinner, much to my surprise, and I had made a new friend in the knitting world. We frequently correspond now and we see each other at different trade and consumer shows.
Over the past couple years, we have both been working on new projects for upcoming books. I catch up with her once in a while and read her great blog. It was a nice day last week when I received a copy of her new book Itty Bitty Toys from her publisher Artisan.
As usual, Susan's new book is incredibly delightful. It is chock full of super cute knitted toys. As I turned the page, one toy was cuter than the next. I'll start out with Susan's rendition of "The Princess in the Pea." I've chosen this one because she used my Julia Yarn. Besides the "Princess" Susan knit several little mattresses and an amazingly cute little pea pod full of peas. How sweet!
My favorite projects from Susan's book are farm themed. No surprise there, right. Here's her adorable little lamb. I love the clodhopper feet she put on him, don't you? This little pink piggie is totally huggable for little ones. To me, he seems like a cross between a baby doll and a farm animal. Susan got his nose and big ears just right!
But I think my favorite project from the book is this reversible "cat and mouse." I can just imagine a little one spending hours flipping the toy from side to side. And it would be a great plaything to help a child develop their manual dexterity.
So, if you have any little ones in your life right now, run right out and buy this book! You'll have hours of creative knitting ahead of you. Even if you don't have little ones, knitting one of these little toys will make you smile. Check out Susan's blog now for a schedule of her upcoming events. Artisan is sending her on a Book Tour and she may be coming to a yarn or book store near you. I guarantee you will love to meet the lovely and talented Susan B. Anderson.