As many of you may know, I have a habit of picking up a craft technique or style and working on a tiny scale, using the smallest needles and thread or yarn that I can find! It seems to be an addiction that I can’t (and won’t) give up! I am currently working on a miniature hexagon quilt, started Honiton lace (the finest of laces) and have taken my tatting to an even finer level than what I have already been working on!
I tend to scroll through Pinterest on a regular basis for inspiration or just because I can’t help but want to find something new and exciting to discover, as there is always something around the corner or behind the next pin!
Over the past year or so, I discovered micro crochet, but even more recently I came across a textile artist whose work is even more miniature than mine… in knitting!
Althea Crome is based in Indiana and she is most certainly a master at her work. She is a conceptual artist knitter creating the most stunning jumpers and socks that truly are pieces of art.
Her life as a miniature knitter started when she was at collage and used to make baby clothes with the patterns being intricate and complicated. She soon decided to build a Dollshouse but very quickly lost interest in the interiors and focused on the tiny knitted things that really made the whole thing feel so real. A true miniature.
Her work is very much inspired by works of art, reproducing them as knitted jumpers by using fine silk sewing thread and surgical wire as her needles which are no bigger than 0.01 inches. By using such tiny tools, she is able to create 80 stitches per inch.
Recreating Warhol’s soup cans as pockets and iconic Marilyn Monroe on the back of a jumper. Using art history such as Picasso (the lady in a yellow hat) and even a Greek amphora into a stylised jumper. But she has also created jumpers which meant something special to her – a scuba diving cardigan was made during a difficult time in her life when she was looking for new meaning. It was a time when she struggled to knit and took up diving which renewed her passion to knit again.
Her work can take anything from six weeks to six months to create from the design to the finished piece. For example, a knitted cable jumper takes a month and a jumper with an image of multiply colours is anywhere between four and six months. The process is long, starting with a concept, in which images are drawn. These drawings are then made into a chart with many colours. A paper model is often made up before the threads are chosen and the knitting starts.
Laika Studios in Portland contacted Althea through her website and commissioned her to make 14 jumpers using holographic thread and 5 pairs of striped gloves for a stop motion film called Coraline.
“… It’s not just about creating a minature cardigan that looks realistic. It’s creating a work of art.”
Isn’t her work just incredible… the detail, the time, concentration and love that goes into each and every piece. It really is amazing and Althea is such an inspiration. I will definitely never create anything knitted as beautiful as her but it is so wonderful to see her work.
Do you love miniature? Show us what you have created, we would love to see! Comment below and share your story.