Thursday, 3 October 2013

Some Basics on Micro-crochet

My Micro Octopus ... Fine copper wire was used in the tentacles.

Micro Stag ... He is 2.5cm long.

I've spent a lot of time this year micro-crocheting and I've started selling some pieces in my Etsy store. I've been sharing my micro projects on Facebook and recently Deviantart but, for no good reason, I've not yet talked about it on the blog. So here we go … I'm going to show off some of my pieces and talk about some of the basics on micro-crochet.

Micro-crocheting is basically what it sounds like - it's crocheting on a very small scale, using thread and steel hooks. There are some amazing micro-crochet artists and if you're interested in trying it out yourself, I recommend taking a look at some of the work out there to get a feel for it. Crochet Concupiscence recently did a round-up titled Teeny Tiny Crochet. This would be the perfect place to start browsing.

Don't be intimated by what you see when browsing. Making and seeing such tiny stitches may seem impossible but it's not. It just takes time and practice. Trust me, when you balance that first tiny object you've made on your fingertip, you're gonna feel like a champion and it will be worth all that initial frustration.

If you're looking for patterns, don't think that you have to use patterns specifically written for micro-crochet projects. It's the size thread and hook that will have the biggest influence on the size of your project. To start, choose a pattern that requires very little joining and with no complicated shaping.

I have a couple of micro-crochet patterns (Micro Pig and My Tiny Heart) and here are a few free ones from some talented designers that you can find on the internet:

Amigurumi Mitsu from Sue Pendleton
Miniature Purple Panda from Amigurumi To Go
Miniature Thread Totoro also from Amigurumi To Go
Teeny Tiny Mushroom from Crafty Queens
Sauerkraut the Miniature Sock Monkey from Ronda Chapman

I started with a 0.6mm hook. In hindsight I should have probably started with a 1.0mm in order to ease myself into it. I've now moved on to the 0.4mm hook which I purchased from the Etsy store, Threads and Links. I crochet with common polyester sewing thread because it's cheap and strong. I have used embroidery thread and cotton thread and have found that they sometimes rip. This may be because I'm a little heavy handed.

A good pair of embroidery scissors is a must. When you start to get really tiny, you'll also want to find some fine needles to use for joining. I like using beading needles*. They are a bit bendy but I find their length can be handy sometimes. For stuffing, you can use polyester stuffing. You won't need much. Also, some fine point tweezers are handy when it comes to stuffing.

* Pony size 10 Betweens/Quilting needles have been recommended to me by an experienced sewer. They are as fine as beading needles but not as long and are less likely to bend.

Hummingbird and flower ... He is about 2cm wide. 

How do you see?!!!!
Okay, so the truth is if you don't have the best eyesight this is probably not the activity for you, particularly if you are longsighted. Your eyes will get tired. Good lighting is essential. Craft lamps are brilliant (pun alert!) but they can be expensive. It is probably wise to make do with the Sun and regular lamps with a bright fluorescent bulb to start with. The same goes with a magnifying glass. It's not essential and probably only necessary if you find yourself micro-crocheting all the time.

Micro whale named Blue.

A tiny polar bear.

There you have it. I hope you find that helpful. If anybody has any other tips, please leave a comment below. My next micro project will probably be a tiny boat and a calf to go with my micro whale. I hope to share it with you soon.

Cheers, guys!

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