Have you noticed the trend in unbelievably tiny crochet lately? Most of the photos you've seen probably show a cute little animal balancing delicately on the crocheter's finger to show you the amazingly small scale. That type of crochet, in case you haven't had time to look into it, is called micro crochet .
You don't need to know any special crochet stitches to create micro crochet, but you do need to keep in mind some important tips.
Get ready to shrink your usual crochet!
Photo via Kim Lapsley
1. Work under plenty of light.
This is not one of those it's-dark-but-I-know-what-I'm-doing-so-who-cares projects. This crochet is tiny, and dim lighting will most definitely give you a headache. Use a desk lamp in addition to your usual lighting. Some specialty lamps from the craft store even have magnifying glasses built into them, which can be super helpful!
2. Take frequent breaks.
Micro crochet is going to give your hands a real workout. Using tiny hooks and thread can make your hands cramp, so be sure to take plenty of breaks. Try out these hand exercises for knitters and crocheters during the break.
Photo via Kim Lapsley
3. Use patterns you already own.
Just like you can change the hook size and yarn weight to make amigurumi larger or smaller, you can do the same with micro crochet. In fact, most of the amigurumi patterns you have can serve as micro crochet patterns if you simply change the hook size and the yarn you're using.
You also have the option of decreasing the number of rounds in a pattern to make it smaller. Bluprint instructor Stacey Trock has some really great tips for doing this on her blog, Fresh Stitches .
4. Work your way to miniature slowly.
If you're feeling dizzy just thinking about those tiny little stitches, work your way down to micro crochet gradually. Start with a 2mm hook and see how that feels, then change to a smaller hook when you feel comfortable. Maybe you'll never make a project smaller than a 2mm hook, but that's ok!
5. Invest in hooks with grips.
Some crochet hooks come wrapped in a nice rubbery grip that's much easier on the hands. You can buy Clover Soft-Touch steel hooks from online stores like Knit Picks . Bluprint has the same cushioned hooks ranging from size B-1 (2.25mm) to J-10 (6mm) hooks, as pictured above, for your non-micro crochet projects.
6. Sharpen those scissors.
You may find that your usual scissors are too large to really get in there and snip those tiny threads. If you're planning to do a lot of micro crochet, invest in pair of sharp embroidery scissors. They're smaller than the scissors you use to trim your yarn, so they can get in those tiny crevices and cut the thread neatly.
7. Try more than just animals.
Most of the micro crochet you'll see online is animal patterns, but you don't have to limit your micro crochet to just adorable critters. Think about mushrooms, cacti, teacups, fruit, your favorite fictional characters, cupcakes, hearts -- any of these can be micro crocheted!
8. Combine several micro crochet projects into a menagerie.
Once you go crazy crocheting these little creatures, you may find that they're slowly taking over your home and that you don't know what to do with them. How about combining them into a little scene? A ladybug can rest atop a mushroom. A whale can sit atop a mini boat. A heart can be placed into a teacup. Mix and match your micro crochet and see what works well together.