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IMAGINATION IS THE EYE OF THE SOUL Joseph Joubert. I am a mother of four...I still remember the smile that refused to go away for weeks after our daughters birth. To have a little girl appear after three sons seemed such a miracle. I have always enjoyed My Doll World, sharing it with Lara when she was little. Today I design knitted outfits for miniature dolls and enjoy every minute of it. The fact that the outfits are removable is what makes it so special for me. Using ever finer threads has opened so many MINIATURE DESIGN opportunities.

Monday, November 7, 2011

6 things I wished I knew when I started
1:12th Scale Miniature Knitting 

I can distinctly remember saying ....
I'll never use smaller than a 1mm knitting needle, 
in fact I would be nuts if I did

Never say Never

Now I wish I had started on that size, in the beginning.
I wonder how much further down my knitting path I would have been today! 

20/20 vision is such a bonus, so we need to get the younger knitters started in our miniature world.   

Having had my cataracts removed this year has opened up a whole new miniature world for me. Thank goodness I did my eyes now and did not wait until I was "do dally tap" or 95 in the shade.

I know there are risks in every type of surgery but what a pleasure my new eyes are and how colours have changed they are simply delicious again....when not seen as though through a mist.


               Some needles do rust or should I say tarnish with use, then they definitely begin to rust over time.
               You will find your stitches "stick" on the section of the knitting needle that usually rests between your thumb and index finger. It is to do with the acid content of the skin.
No amount of rubbing the needles in your hair one remedy I was told of or buffing up the needle, once the coating is gone it is gone and will begin to rust.
               A couple of years ago I took a human size shawl and knitted it in Venne 70 /2, just to see what would happen.
Firstly I should have used a larger size needle...so the result would never have pleased me.
               After having nearly finished the first side, I stopped working on it, leaving it on the knitting needle I was working with at the time.....

Well I came across the piece last week and found that where the needle had been resting on my skin it had totally rusted. 

The finish coating had worn away from me using the needle.....
the stitches cannot move at all in that section. it will need a lot of twisting to remove the work from the needle.

I'm happy that I did so, as now I have a perfect example of what happens to knitting needles that are not stainless steel and only have a coating.

You can see the rust that has formed on the needle and how it has damaged the fabric

For years I had used a pair of 1mm stainless steel  knitting needles that I had bought in Holland. 
Then horror of horrors one of the needles snapped. I felt as though I had lost the extensions to my hands.

I tried to find out who had manufactured the needles so as to replace them but to no avail. 

I bought and tried every miniature knitting needle available  on the market...homemade ones, lace knitting needles from Lacis, 
I felt a little like Goldilocks, these were too sharp, those rusted, others were too floppy, some were just too long,  some were too short, it turned out the ones most suitable at that stage were the Heidi Ott brand.
I discovered the HIYA HIYA brand

These knitting needles are stainless steel and they work PERFECTLY for me.
I have been using them for more than a year now with no sign of tarnish or rust on the needles.

NB      For the moment,  
I am not affiliated to the "Hiya Hiya" Brand in any way....

I'm just thrilled to have found these perfectly wonderful tools for knitting my miniature lace design and garments.
I happen to use the 0.7mm 24" circular needles, as straight needles for my layettes.
The length of the needle section is 5 inches, so they sit in my hands exactly as they should.

Not too long that the points stick into my clothing, making my knitting go every which way causing me to drop stitches. One needs to be careful that the cord between the needles does not get caught.

That has happened to me a few times much to my horror as I see stitches drop from the needle.

I have asked  

stockets of the Hiya Hiyas needles in the UK to please approach Hiya Hiya and ask them to make other sizes required for the miniature knitters of the world...namely 0.8mm and 0.5mm

1.     Don't be afraid of these tiny knitting needles they 
        don't bite.
        Saying that.....remember they will if the needles you 
        are using, have too sharp a point on them.
not so with HIYA HIYA needles the points ARE PERFECT

2.      Don't use knitting needles that are so sharp that they 
         cut through your skin, this is totally unnecessary.
3.      Always have a pair of finer gauge knitting needles than 
         the size you are working with,  in your knitting basket.          Perfect.....should you need to unpick a row. 
         I use the 0.5mm for unpicking            
4.      You need a range of knitting needles in various sizes
                    0.5mm for unpicking a row
        Unfortunately the smallest size Hiya Hiya make are 0.7mm
        I cannot remember where I bought my very fine needles 
                    0.7mm for knitting in a Madeira Catona 80 thread
                    0.8mm for knitting stocking stitch garments in         Venne 70/2 Cotton Thread.
        I use my Heidi Ott needles, which are the ones with the 
        gold bead on the ends, for the Bomber Jacket

        Hiya Hiya do not manufacture this 0.8mm either.
                   1mm for knitting lace patterns in Venne70/2 
         Cotton thread.
                    1.2mm for casting off when a garment has been   
         knitted using 1mm knitting needles
                    1.2mm when knitting shawls in the Venne 70/2 

        The finished fabric needs to be far more of an open      
         weave for shawls and the drape is marvelous.
5.      You need a range of crochet hooks in various sizes as well
               0.4mm when working with Madeira Catona Thread
               0.5mm when with working with Venne 70/2 Thread
6.      When sewing up your garments use a very fine No 12
         sewing needle.This gives a far neater finish.

Enjoy your miniature knitting experience 
hoping this post helps in some way



  1. I can't comment about kniting but I can about having my cataract removed. I chose not to do the left eye as I can still see up close with that one.

    I was legally blind in my right eye. Then the day after surgery I had 20/20 vision. What a miracle!!!!!!

    I was asked before surgery if I wanted near or far sight. I chose far sight. My thinking was I already was used to using magnifcation to see up close. I am happy with my lens choice even though I spend most of my day looking at something six inches from my nose.

    Which did you choose? I agree, colors are so wonderful now that I am not looking though a yellow haze.

  2. Catherine I choose both far, as I use a magnifying glass for my knitting. I can read without glasses, except if I need to see instructions on a packet which are printed for tiny people or mice I think. Then I pit on those cheap reading glasses it is like staring over...I have a pair for every room...
    Every day I am grateful for my new eyes.

  3. Love your bit about the cheap reading glasses and a pair in every room. I am fortunate that my long sighted vision is still perfect. However, my arms have grown shorter and I need glasses for reading and stitching, hence the need for a pair in every room. Do beware 'tho of the very cheapies I have found they vary in strength.