A-Z of miniatures crafts: K for knitting

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22 December 2020
Jan Pearce of Jan’s Mini’s gives an overview of the history of knitting, along with two miniature knitting projects in the form of a pot holder and dish cloth!

Once you know how to knit in miniature, you can create a wide range of garments, decorations and soft furnishings for your dolls house and miniature scene. The below projects are the perfect introduction to master the technique. But first let’s find out more about the history of knitting... Over to Jan…

History of knitting

During my research on the history of knitting, I found many theories of how it all started. Some saying it was invented by Arabian nomads who carried the craft into Egypt. From there the craft moved through North Africa and into Spain where it was picked up by travelling members of the Catholic Church and spread rapidly throughout Europe in or about the eleventh century.

Moving on hundreds of years, it’s still interesting to see all the patterns that were used over the years still being worked. Fair Isle knitting, a technique which uses two colours of stranded wool worked into intricate patterns, originated on a group of islands north of Britain. This technique gained popularity when the Prince of Wales wore a Fair Isle sweater at a public event in 1921 and is still used today. Fishing communities off the British coast were responsible for styles of Guernsey’s from the end of the eighteenth century onwards.

These garments, often intricately patterned with textured stitches, and were knitted in the round and so tight they were water and wind proof. The sleeves were knitted from the shoulder to the wrist, so only the bottom of the sleeve needed redoing for cuff repairs. 

In my opinion, Japanese knitting patterns are the most intricate of all with stitch movement on both the front and back rows. Not many Japanese patterns are translated for the UK market.

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Knitting in miniature

Mini knitting is a wonderful hobby, and we take our stitches from full size knitting. Many mini knitting enthusiasts try to knit smaller and smaller, just for fun. Using basic stitches try these easy patterns for your dolls house.

Love learning new techniques that you can apply to your dolls house or miniature scene? Check out Dolls House & Miniature Scene magazine which has everything you need... from step-by-step projects and expert advice, to inspiration and ideas to fuel your creativity! 

Miniature pot holder and dish cloth tutorials

By Jan Pearce.


You will need

  • 1ply cotton (2/16cc) in ecru and blue
  • Cheap thin sewing machine cotton
  • Size 19 needles (1.00mm) for the pot holder
  • Size 16 needles (1.6mm) for the dish cloth

Plain pot holder

  1. With ecru, cast on 12sts loosely.
  2. Knit 24 rows.
  3. Cast off loosely.
  4. With blue, over stitch all round and add a small hanging loop.
  5. Place under a damp cloth until dry, and your pot holder will be nice and flat ready to hang on the wall.

Easy dish cloth

  1. Cast on 12sts very loosely.
  2. Knit one row.
  3. Slip stitch (don’t knit it, just slide to the right hand needle) then knit to the end.
  4. Repeat this row 22 times.
  5. Cast off very loosely.
  6. Sew cotton ends back into the knitting. Drape over your miniature taps and spray with hair lacquerer. Hold until dry or pin in place.

Feel like you've got the hang of it? Take the next step and try this charming miniature cushion tutorial by Jan.

Or why not boost your skills and master more techniques from our A-Z miniature series? Go back to ‘J for jam making’ and learn how to make jars of jam, perfect for your miniature larder!

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