Can I just learn to knit or crochet in miniature?

We are often asked do you have to be able to knit or crochet in human size before you learn to work in miniature?

The answers for each technique differ so they are split into sections.

A. Knitting:

miniature knitting basket
© F H Powell 2008

1. You do NOT have to be able to knit in human size to learn to knit in miniature. In fact many people who can already knit find knitting in miniature very different from knitting in normal human size. Some people who would describe themselves as experts in regular size knitting may struggle to cope with miniature knitting. For example – A ‘simple’ thing like how to hold the needles can be very different in miniature, due to the very short length of miniature knitting needles. When starting to knit in miniature many people who are already able to knit, may need to learn how to knit again in a completely different style.

2. Many people are ONLY able to knit in miniature and have never mastered or wanted to master full sized knitting.

3. Many miniature knitters are self-taught and It is possible to teach yourself to knit. Websites such as http://www.learn2knit.co.uk/ has lots of help and advice.

4. If you decide to buy a starter knitting kit for miniature knitting, it would be best to buy an extra ball of yarn along with the kit. This extra ball of yarn could be used for practice before you started on the actual kit.

5. If you wish to learn to knit, you need to learn how to cast on the stitches and then learn how to work a simple knit stitch, practice knitting rows of this until you are confident and comfortable, then move on to other stitches or a very simple knitting kit.

6. Until you are confident knitting in miniature it is best to try a very simple kit or pattern, with no shaping (such as found on clothes) or fancy stitches like lace or cables.

B. Crochet:

crochet hooks
© F H Powell 2012

1. This is the same technique whether you learn in human size or miniature and someone could teach you how to do this in human size first.

2. Crochet hooks are a standard length so there is no relearning how to hold the hook.

3. The only thing you really have to get used to is the very small size of the hook and very fine thread.

NOTE: One thing to watch out for in crochet, is that the terms used in the patterns are very different in the UK and the US. Unfortunately not everyone tells you which terminology (UK or US) is being used in the pattern and this can lead to confusion, even for experienced crochet workers.

C. General:
1. It may help to have good light and possibly a magnifying glass when working in miniature. There are also many hints, tips and free patterns on our blog pages, such as:
http://store.buttercupminiatures.co.uk/newsblog/?p=23

2. Other hints, tips and more free knitting and crochet patterns can be found on our blog pages, web site pages and Ravelry store (http://www.ravelry.com/stores/buttercup-miniatures-frances-powell-designs although beware not all the designs on Ravelry are for miniatures)

3. There is a Buttercup Miniatures group for miniature knitting/crochet on Ravelry, where real time help can be given on a forum or in a chat room http://store.buttercupminiatures.co.uk/newsblog/?p=3058 has full details of how to join us (you need to join Ravelry first, although this is free.)