Monday, January 26, 2009

Smaller and smaller....

Well I've managed it! I can now crochet with a 0.6mm hook (usually used for fine lace-making) and single thread wool yarn (more commonly used for weaving cloth). It's mainly my poor eyesight that makes it tricky, the actual action of crocheting is exactly the same as on a normal scale.

I made a tiny woolly bobble hat! It is about 19mm in diameter (60mm circumference) and 15mm tall (not including bobble). I used double crochet stitch (that's single crochet if you're American) for most of it and treble crochet (double crochet if you are American) to give it a ridged edging. It is 38 stitches around at the widest point. The tip of my (slightly scarred) index finger is in the photos for scale.
Here it is actual size (assuming you are viewing this the same size as I am).

I've worked out that if it is supposed to be an adult sized hat then it is between 1:10 and 1:9 scale. To be honest I think this is as small as I can go - once the stitches get smaller than 1mm square, my eyes can't cope anymore!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yarn heaven and mini crocheting...

Inspired by Emmyymme's recent miniature knitting exploits (plus the fact that I just treated myself to a full range of 21 crochet hooks ranging from 0.6mm -10mm), I decided to have a go at some miniature crochet. The first thing I made was a mini blanket. I used 2ply woollen yarn and a 1mm crochet hook.

So far it is about 13 cm square (about 5 inches) and I am going to finish it off by edging it in another shade of blue. I'm also going to make a mini 'granny square' patchwork blanket as soon as I get some more 2ply wool in different colours.

Next, I decided to make a miniature crochet monster:

She is 9cm / 3.5 inches tall (not including tufty bits) and her name is Delilah Axolotl (on account of her tufty 'gills' and the fact that axolotls are my new favourite creature after seeing one on QI last night). My usual woolly monster puppets are about 10-14 inches tall, so Delilah is small enough to be a doll for one of them.

I have not tried crocheting with single ply yarn and a 0.6mm hook yet. To be honest I'm not sure whether it's really necessary to go that small for my purposes - I'm never likely to work at 1:12 scale or smaller!

I have also discovered possibly the most amazing discount yarn supplier in the world. For anyone who likes doing any kind of needlecraft or textile work and can feasibly travel to Heywood (near Bury/Bolton in Lancashire, northwest England) - it is essential that you visit this place!
The shop is only open to the public on Fridays 10am - 5pm (other times by arrangement).

They have an old Co-operative store which has two rooms literally full, from floor to ceiling, of thousands and thousands of part-cones and balls of surplus yarn in every variety imaginable. Wool, cotton, linen, silk, synthetic, metallic, mohair, cashmere, alpaca all in every thickness and colour you could imagine. I'd estimate that most of the cones have 200g-1kg of yarn left on them, and you pay for them by weight. At least half of the yarns are priced as low as 99p/100g!

They have even supplied Cosgrove Hall with yarn for mini-knitting of puppet costumes.

I bought a ball of black and a ball of white acrylic doubleknit (always handy), a cone of turquoise mohair (great for fuzzy monsters), a huge cone of burgundy pure wool doubleknit (or four-ply, it's hard to tell) and some periwinkle blue 2ply and single ply green wool for mini crocheting. The can of 7up is there for scale. I am going back again next Friday to get more colours!