Notes on miniature crochet

miniature tablecloth
© F H Powell 2008

An example of 1:24th scale crochet worked with a 0.40 mm crochet hook

– Many full size crochet patterns will adapt to miniature work, very often using the same pattern with fine cotton and a very fine hook. Household items, scarves and shawls work best.

– When using a very fine hook such as a 0.50 or 0.40 mm it is useful to wear a rubber thimble on the finger the hook works against. These hooks are extremely fine and enter finger flesh very easily, especially if someone or something makes you jump!

– Remember that by its nature crochet work is very often more open than knitting and some items will not adapt well to smaller scales. For example a baby dress may look lovely in miniature crochet, but if you are a perfectionist regarding scale then remember each miniature stitch may well be over two inches (5 cms) if the garment was scaled up to human size.

History of crochet

– There is no record of crochet work being found earlier than Victorian times, this does not mean it could not have had earlier origins though.

– Most designs were worked by people copying designs from those they had seen at market or passed on by a friend. This led to slight variations between patterns. Patterns were not widely written down until mid Victorian times.

– Early crochet hooks were likely to be ivory, bone or wood as these were easier to carve.

– Sizes of hooks were not given in early patterns as hook sizes did not exist until much later when steel hooks were introduced.

– Crochet was the preserve of women, unlike the origins of knitting which were male dominated.

– Most very early crochet work was worked with very fine thread and hooks, which makes miniaturisation more difficult. Household items tend to look better in miniature than clothing does from this early period.

– Most early crochet was done in cotton, with very fine wool being introduced from about 1920.

– Large items of clothing were not often crocheted until the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, these often tended to be underwear, although some jumpers were crocheted. Until this time crochet had been used for trims, such as collars and cuffs, hats, shawls and scarves. Around late Victorian times until about 1910 nightwear (including bed caps) was given crochet adornment, as was bedding itself.

– Things like crochet wedding dresses and dresses did not come into fashion until the 1960’s and 1970’s when better yarns were available.

– Household crochet had a revival in the 1960’s and 1970’s, with larger items such as rugs, mats and throws (afghans) becoming popular.

pattern for dolls house bath mats
© F H Powell 2010