Even if you are a very experienced knitter in human size, perhaps used to working on smaller size needles, miniature knitting is a new experience. If you have never knitted in miniature before don’t expect to start with a complicated lace or Aran pattern and be able to just knit it, some people might manage this, most will not. If you are still unhappy going straight to the tiny sizes, why not try a 1:6th scale pattern and then move down to a 1:12th scale pattern when you have achieved this?
Before you start knitting from a pattern:
- Try some of the ‘larger’ sized miniature needles first (1.50 mm or 1.25 mm for 1:12th scale and 2.0 mm for 1:6th scale), they are more rigid and easier to work with, especially for a first attempt.
- Get used to the tiny needles by knitting a few rows of stocking (stockinette) stitch using ANY yarn you have available. You will find it takes a few rows to adapt to the feel of the needles and be comfortable handling them. You may need to change your way of knitting, as the needles are often very short, this is necessary to keep the strength in the needles and stop them bending or snapping.
- Choose your introductory yarn wisely, some yarns will split easily, so should be left until you are more adept. Some yarns like silk or cotton can slip around on the tiny needles. For the first steps in miniature knitting most people find acrylic yarn is the easiest to work with.
- Now introduce the very fine yarn, (if you try to do this before you are used to the needles your brain will not cope) knit a few rows with the fine yarn to get used to the feel of the knitting. You may need to once again adjust the position in which you hold your needles.
- You may find you need a magnifier to see the stitches clearly, those that hang round the neck are perhaps the best to start with and are easily available from embroidery suppliers. It is better to discover this before you start on a pattern that requires really fine needles and yarn.
- You may find the knitting needles prick your fingers as you knit; this can be ‘cured’ by wearing a rubber thimble that is turned inside out, so the smooth surface is on the outside. Rubber thimbles – sold for counting money- are available online or from stationers shops, buy a size larger than your finger, as once it is turned inside out the bobbles will be on the inside. Don’t try and knit with a sore finger, wait for it to heal.
Part 2 – Introducing a pattern will be published next week