Itty Bitty Teeny Weeny Sweaters!
October 16, 2003 5:01 PM   Subscribe

This is one of my favorite miniature knitting sites. I am a very bad knitter, being only able to make long rectangles (a.k.a. scarves), so I'm constantly amazed at the people who do this and do it well. I think I'll stick to Hardanger.
posted by eilatan (12 comments total)
Great link. I'm a knitter myself but I can't imagine knitting with a 1mm needle. Given how often I lose the damn things in the sofa, my boyfriend would probably veto the idea purely as a buttock safety issue. I'm more of the "simple project I can crank out while watching reality television" kind of knitter, really.
posted by web-goddess at 5:35 PM on October 16, 2003

Oh, if I could do more than put a simple knot in my shoelaces. I wish I could knit!
posted by contessa at 8:11 PM on October 16, 2003

I wholly recommend knitting, Contessa, I love doing it even though I have to stick to simple things like Eilatan does. The Vogue Knitting guide is a great reference-- $40 for the full book, and about $20 for an abridged version. It covers absolutely everything.

I think I'd go wild knitting on a 1 mm needle. I just bought US size 15s to make a scarf in a hurry and I love being able to knit a little and get a lot of result! I'm also impressed by the picot hem featured on the Japanese Web site... I tried doing that just last week and failed miserably. Back to the drawing board for me!

Thanks for the great FPP, Eilatan! I had no idea miniature knitting even existed!

posted by halonine at 3:19 AM on October 17, 2003

Wow, I'm still mastering knitting in general, let alone the miniature variety. Contessa -- if you're interested in learning I highly recommend checking out the yarn/knit stores in your area. They usually have beginner classes available. Also, if you know someone who knits, it's even better if you can get them to teach you. Once you get the coordination of the needles down, a scarf is pretty easy. has some great beginner patterns, and the book The Knit Stitch is a great beginner book.

... not that I'm addicted to knitting or anything. I can stop anytime I want.
posted by greengrl at 5:26 AM on October 17, 2003

People are usually surprised by the small stitches on the socks I knit--They are usually fingering/sock weight yarn on 2-3 mm needles. Next to this stuff, it looks huge. The trends in knitting today seem to be the extremes-- either tiny knitting, like socks and miniature things (there is even a book of Barbie clothes to knit), or the very large (thick or multiple yarns on needles bigger around than your thumb).
posted by Shoeburyness at 6:41 AM on October 17, 2003

There's a good book for learning to knit called Knitting In Plain English--once you gt past the author's insistence on holding the needles the way she thinks you should hold them--as long as you loop the yarn behind or front properly and in the right pattern, you'll be okay. I can't hold my needles the way she recommends because when I was 8, my Nana taught me another way. The same for her crochet book. But it is a good resource and she has instructions for lots of pattern stitches.

Fiber arts (both knitting/crochet and the needlework varieties) are really addicting. I have at least 15 needlework projects started and every time I go to the store, I leave with another one to do. It's out of control. And the worst part is, they can be expensive hobbies--the more skilled you become, the less satisfied you are with the patterns and materials at Jo-Ann Fabric or Michael's.
posted by eilatan at 7:39 AM on October 17, 2003

I knit quite a lot, usually turning out 2 projects a month. It kills time when I'm TTC'ing it around Toronto - I can spend that 2.5 hours a day making my Christmas presents for my huge family. And I'm good at it - I can design as well, and seldom make anything exactly the way the pattern calls for.

I'd never heard of miniature knitting before and although it's interesting I don't think I'll be taking it up. I made my six-year-old niece some Barbie clothes for part of her Christmas present this year and damn near went mad over the futility of it of it all.

Eliatan, I find a good cost saving measure is to not use the expensive yarns the patterns call for. There are some really good acrylics out there that never pill. Or you can use a blend yarn that's easier care anyway than the pure wools or cottons. I also get seconds yarn and usually make my sweaters for well under $20 each.
posted by orange swan at 8:56 AM on October 17, 2003

Most of my expenses are in the needlework part of things--I can only knit scarves, so good yarn isn't a requirement. It just needs to be warm.

In terms of needlework, though, the designers I like use a lot of hand dyed fibers that run around $2 a skein, versus $0.30 per skein of DMC. And there really aren't any good substitutes. There are two big lines of hand dyed fibers--Weeks Dye Works and Sampler Threads, and while the colors can be exchanged between them, they both cost about the same.

I could go on and on and on about this, but I won't. (I have vague aspirations to start designing my own needlework, but I'll be damned if I know where to start. With graph paper, I suppose.)
posted by eilatan at 9:23 AM on October 17, 2003

Is this needlework embroidery? Counted cross stitch? Needlepoint? My guess is you're referrring to counted cross stitch. Hmm, if you wanted to start doing design for that you might start by taking a picture of something you liked, draw graph lines on it, and then stitch it up.
posted by orange swan at 9:30 AM on October 17, 2003

My grandma taught me how to knit when I was a kid, but I forgot - so I took a knitting class last year and love it. I too have to hold my needles differently from the instructor (continental vs. English?) - isn't it funny how these things get so firmly imprinted on your brain? Especially since I couldn't remember for the life of me how to cast on or do anything else. But holding the needles? I couldn't possibly learn another way!

I love knitting and being productive while I watch favorite movies. Last year I got kind of burned out on the sweater I decided to make my dad for Xmas (finished w/about 7 hours to spare), so this year I'm sticking to a few scarves. For 'heady' people like myself, it's such a great way to relax - with one level of my brain occupied, the rest of the brain is quieter, if you know what I mean. At some point I will get into crocheting, but the mini-knitting would just frustrate me, I think. Want to get into cross-stitching too, but the patterns seem really expensive?

Thx for a great thread - will have to check out some of those books.
posted by widdershins at 9:41 AM on October 17, 2003

Counted cross stitch and samplers mostly--here are some of my favorite designers, orange swan: Bent Creek, Twisted Threads, Heart In Hand, Shepherd's Bush, Just Nan. Most of these designers start with cross-stitching, but they embellish the designs with different sampler stitches, particularly Shepherd's Bush and Just Nan--they both specialize in what are called band samplers, which are basically just bands of different sampler stitches. For the most part, though, the designs I like tend to veer more towards the folk art end of the spectrum and far from anything even remotely realistic. And if it's got an alphabet on it, I am so there. There's something wonderfully conforting about stitching the alphabet over and over and over again. I'd want to do something along those lines, maybe with some cut work thrown in, but I don't want to do something that looks too much like anyone else.

Patterns tend to be relatively inexpensive, widdershins, it's the materials that will get you. If you're going to spend countless hours making tiny little stitches--I'm working on a piece right now that is only 2"x2", but contains almost 4,000 cross-stitches--it's better to spend the money on good supplies. It's very tactile for me, anyhow, and working on aida fabric with cheap floss is my idea of hell.
posted by eilatan at 10:26 AM on October 17, 2003

Here's my favorite page of knitting and fiber arts links. My kids go to a school where knitting is actually part of the curriculum - yes, boys and girls both. They start in kindergarten with finger-knitting, move on through crocheting, knitting, weaving, etc. grade by grade. I dunno if they ever do needlepoint, though.
posted by soyjoy at 8:09 PM on October 17, 2003

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