The Challenge of Tiny

transform fine lace knitting beadwork into beautiful, sparkly jewelry

Have you joined us to knit Lorna’s Light and stretch the limits on how small you can go with tiny needles, tiny thread and tiny beads?

Carry your tiniest, precious treasures in this miniature purse. I wanted to let you know that the pattern for Lorna’s Light Necklace Purse is available now at discount for May KAL participants. Click here for the KAL page with pattern info, etc.

Need supplies? My summer/fall away-from-the-studio schedule is approaching fast, which means I will be traveling more and will not be shipping orders for physical items from the KnitHeartStrings Online Store again until the late Fall. If you have been thinking about getting kits or supplies for summer stitching, please get your order in before May 15, 2014. Thanks!

How small can you go?

This month’s Precious Treasures learn-and-knit-along combines lace knitting and beadwork in the tiniest project we’ve attempted so far with tiny needles, thread and beads. We are knitting this tiny necklace purse/amulet bag

  • on tiny size 4/0 (1.25 mm) needles
  • with tiny thread (size 8 perle cotton or similar)
  • with tiny size 10/0 or 11/0 beads (approx 2 mm diameter)

I hope this little project doesn’t intimidate you. There are some suggestions I have below to make the knitting more doable if you find it too much of a challenge. And next month, I promise that we are going to have an easy, pleasy project as a rest from knitting tiny and tinier, lol. 

So hang in there — Just do your best and I bet you might surprise yourself at how tiny you can go.

Don’t want to knit a necklace?

Not interested in jewelry? There is also a choice of 2 bookmark versions included in the Lorna’s Light pattern.

Can’t handle such tiny needles?

Peggy L. wrote: “Still having a terrible time holding these microscopic needles, but things are going a little faster for me now.

It does get easier with practice. But if you are still struggling (or just don’t have such microscopic needles on hand), you can get by with using needles a bit larger.

Joy wrote: “I was wondering, can I get away with a 1.75 mm needle? Or will that make the fabric too loose?

The little purse will work up a bit larger on the larger needles and you should also allow more thread as necessary. Since the fabric will be looser on the larger needles, lining is probably advised so as to stabilize the fabric, especially if planning to actually carry a tiny treasure inside it.

Likewise, it should be fine on the bookmarks (although you might want to starch to give more body to the fabric if it seems a bit too loose with the 1.75 mm needles). Of course, they will also work up a bit larger, so allow more thread as necessary.

Don’t like to knit with cotton thread?

Cotton is inelastic, making it feel different when knitting as well as often making it more difficult to work some stitch sequences like decreases.

If you prefer to work with a more elastic fiber, try a lace weight wool or similar. If you do substitute an elastic fiber,  plan to line the little purse.

Don’t want to use beads?

That’s fine; just omit them. You’ll get a different look than pictured here, but the pattern stitch is so pretty that it can stand alone. If you don’t use beads, you can simplify the knitting even further by substituting plain purl stitches for all the p1tr twisted purl stitches!

Stay tuned for additional support articles. Meantime, if you have questions or comments, leave them here so we all can help each other.

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3 Responses to The Challenge of Tiny

  1. Ellen C says:

    This tiny project is certainly a challenge for my eyes! I find that drugstore readers help out somewhat. I finally completed the back piece and noticed a misprint in the written instructions for Chart E. The comment ‘All even-numbered rows 2 – 32: purl’ – should it read rows 2 – 28? or do you want us to pull the thread through the last three stitches after Row 27?
    I’m looking forward to your tutorial on the next steps in the project – assembling and the beaded chain – at least I hope you intend to cover those aspects.

    • jackiees says:

      Hi Ellen, Chart E is only 27 rows. So the comment “All even-numbered rows 2 – 32: purl” should actually read “All even-numbered rows 2 – 26: purl”. Sorry about that — I have no idea where that 32 came from!
      Yes, after row 27 of Chart E you pull the thread through the last 3 stitches.

      I agree that this tiny project can be a serious challenge for the eyes. Magnification can certainly help, as does working in good lighting.

      Congrats on completing the back of the purse! The front is not as much knitting, and you will already be more acquainted with the pattern, so it hopefully will go easier for you.

  2. Pingback: Counting beads needed for a project | Knit HeartStrings Learn-and-Knit-Alongs

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