Looking back at 2021

I realize that the vogue thing to do was to have written this a couple of weeks ago, but 2022 has been a slow and gentle easing into the year. More like the painful creep into too cold lake water for a swim rather than the enthusiastic cannonball of getting it all over with at once and then shivering for 15 minutes. So midway through January, I’m just about ready to consider what, if anything, I managed to accomplish in 2021. (Spoilers: It didn’t feel like much, but there were a few things here and there).

First off, full disclosure time: No. I have not yet finished all 12 samples for my 2020 sampler of embroidery styles. I got stalled at nine, and my brain has just been absolutely rebelling at the notion of those last three. In theory, two of which are my favourites (open work and needle lace). I know I hate lacis (so far), but the other two should be a delight, but I’ve had a pattern on my desk for 4 months for a needle lace piece and not even a hint of enthusiasm, just dread. So I’m accepting that reality and we’ll see when it gets done. That’s okay. Life is heavy right now, I don’t need to be a harsh taskmistress upon myself, so it waits.

I did a lot of SCA teaching in 2021 on zoom. Mostly dye classes, a class on saponification (the chemistry of soap making), round tables and discussions. I acted as moderator and TA and general helper all over the place online and it was good. I should do that again. I’m still mad that I missed the deadline to sign up to teach at University of Atlantia this winter, but that’s besides the point. I taught at least seven times in 2021, and in at least 6 kingdoms, which is not half bad, really. Only possible via online events, I would be hard pressed to get to six kingdoms in a year (our most in our craziest travel year was 5.) I’m expecting 2022 to look much the same, provided there are online events to be had. We shall see.

When I went tallying up my finished objects for 2021, my list got to 20. I’m hoping I forgot at least one, so that I can happily claim 21 FOs in 2021, but it’s not the most complete list. Highlights.. I’m very proud of two different projects where I started with plain white silk and dyed all the colours I needed and then worked the project. One was a knit heraldic pouch for an exchange, and the other was leafy trim for a friend’s laureling outfit. (Yes, even the underdress that no one saw had hand dyed silk trim.) A good mix of modern sewing, medieval sewing, modern embroidery, medieval embroidery and a lot of dye work. I kicked myself into making an effort to try new things. Some of which I enjoyed very much, a few of which that I learned that I don’t like it at all. Both pieces are important information. I expect 2022 to look much the same really.

I’ve plans for 2022, a big dye project, some sewing .. currently a lot of nebulous uncertainty that fits well with the copious amounts of nebulous uncertainty swirling around the world in general. I do hope to share more projects here. Let’s see what the future holds! May it be colourful and gentle.

Coffee Sock

Inspired by Engineering Knits over on her youtube channel, I couldn’t help myself but go spend a little time in the late 19th century and knit myself up a coffee sock. Okay, so the pattern calls it a ‘knitted coffee strainer’, but coffee sock has such a better ring to it. Reusable coffee filters are not even a little bit of a modern invention, and a knitting book from the 1890s included a handy pattern. Engineering knits decided to be sensible and knit hers from a worsted weight cotton so that it would go more quickly. I am not so smart. I did, however, take a step up from the tiny size 10 crochet cotton up to the 16/2 weaving cotton, that’s something right?

From The Butterick Publishing Co “The Art of Knitting” published in 1892 https://archive.org/details/artofknitting00butt/page/n5/mode/2up?ref=ol&view=theater

The pattern calls for 124 stitches, but as I have neither a fancy 19th century coffee carafe, nor a desire to go back to the crochet cotton that might give me that gauge (it has no other measurements, perhaps the coffee carafe is huge, and my yarn is right? I suspect not.) and I’m trying to fit it into my beloved giant mug, I have 80 stitches on 2 mm needles. Knit a while, then do a row of holes to thread around a wire, then go back to knitting. And now? It’s a sock. Well at least a sock toe for someone with a very pointy foot. Knit around and around and around, decreasing as you go until it’s a cone. I ultimately decided to decrease 8 stitches (evenly spaced) every 3 rows, which would give my coffee sock a very rounded cone shape. I was aiming to have it fit in a coffee cup, not a tall skinny pot, so that suits my needs well.

In working it, and in playing with it for a while afterwards, the pattern never says to put the wire through the holes, the pattern actually says to hem down to that increase row, but as with most vintage patterns, lets you M1 however you see fit. I went for a yarn over, but there’s no actual holes in the picture, and the metal ring appears to have been based right to the top of the hem. So score one for assumptions. They do specify that they are only decreasing 3 stitches every 4 rows, which is why the picture is quite a bit longer and pointier than mine. To be expected, I am basically making a mini one.

I went and dug out some brass wire (in an effort to minimize the rusting of this), but its a little softer than I’d like, still. I hemmed that in, and gave it a try. Forgive the videography of the clip, no one in this house is especially good at filming.

For those who don’t want to watch 2 minutes of coffee pouring, the tl;dr of it.. it works! It works brilliantly, actually. No grit at all at the bottom of my cup, the coffee was nicely strong enough. After it was brewed, it was literally just a nice cup of coffee, no ‘well I’ll drink it because I really should’. I gave it a rinse out with water, and you can see that it’s a bit stained, but it dried fine and doesn’t feel gross or that it took unreasonably long to dry. Pretty much, success all around, other than my wire is too soft to support it full of coffee. Not insurmountable, but that’s the only downfall.

I promise I washed it!

Good night, 2020

Like most of the world, there’s no love lost between myself and 2020. I have been exceptionally fortunate in that the hardest part of this year has been being isolated from family and friends, and not unending levels of tragedy. It did come with some serious creative slumps and plans? Ha! The universe laughs at planning these days.

I aspired to two main ongoing projects in 2020, as I mentioned last year in the blog, and it was a mixed success. The Peppermint Purple SAL actually got completed! On time! It needs a good bath and framing, but the stitching is done. It’s cute, I’m grateful not to be doing the 2021 version, I look forward to a change of pace. To me, all the riotous mix of colours and patterns makes me think of a patchwork quilt. I am glad I did it.

The other ongoing project of 2020 was the more ambitious 12 samples for the 12 Athena’s Thimble categories. That was going along great until the plague, and then it was stumbling a little and then I hit May. May is counted work. I love counted work! I decided to do a piece that was 4 months of work as my ‘sample’ because I am an idiot who probably was unconsciously trying to show off how much I love counted work. (Still do!). I finished May’s piece in December. It looks fantastic, I’m very pleased with it, but it was a looming pile of guilt for 6 months. I dabbled in a couple of other samples.. I tried Lacis and just could not get my restless and not focused brain around it, which was stunningly disappointing. I made a mess of my first smoking sample, which is normal and reasonable, but I did not react reasonably and I just stopped anything new for weeks. Which is silly, but brains ARE silly as often as not. Halfway.. almost half way really, I will want to do another smocking sample is not bad for the year. I’m pleased with my progress and very pleased with 5 of the 6 pieces. There’s a lot of my own dyework in it, and I’m chuffed. Look for more of those in 2021.

I knit doilies this pandemic. I knit a lot of doilies in 2020. More than were in that picture above. They are my happy place, my comfort craft, my handwork mac and cheese. I knit myself a cozy shawl to wrap myself up in when I first started working from home. I am on the home stretch of a sweater I’ve been ignoring for 6 years. (I really do hate knitting sweaters). I’ve baked too much, cooked too much, eaten too much, gamed too much and lost my knack of road trips. I had a vegetable garden for the first time. We met our neighbours. I canned my way through the great canning jar shortage. We are hobbits, apparently.

And now the year is coming to a close, and I won’t be sad to see it go, but there’s been a slow comfort to it all. For me, it’s been a year of quiet comforts at home, and I know how very very lucky that makes me. I look forward to seeing what 2021 brings, it’s got a giant hole to dig itself out of in the big world picture. Be well, be safe and take care.

Sparkly Stupidity

There is something, apparently, about this time of year that prompts me into stupid knitting projects. With wire. This year is no exception at all. In fact, I got linked to a reddit post about other people who also do stupid things with knitting, and the die was cast, and this year’s stupidity was crystallized into being.

Thank you Amazon.

Clearly I needed to also knit with fairy lights, and because I do most of my knitting in the round, that was the plan. The initial plan was a doily, because of course it was, but ultimately I was struggling enough with the lights that I just did a glorious round blob of sparkly mess.

They plug in via usb, so they can be battery powered, and I knit with anything from 6 mm to 8 mm needles, depending on the minute and what I could find. If I ever do this again (seems unlikely), I’ll aspire to something with more shape. I didn’t try and cast off, I instead just ran another wire through the outside loops and then hung it on the wall. It’s stupid and so much fun. I’m rather pleased, all in all. I might try pulling it into a more interesting shape, blocking is pretty straightforward.. just pull!

Odds and sods

It feels like a great many of my posts could be titled this at the moment, although I’m grateful to be feeling a bit more like my creative self again. Apparently the whack a mole I’ve been trying to play with the brain weasels is working, for the moment. I was pretty sure I’d been doing nothing at all, because I haven’t done anything especially exciting, but it adds up. I tell others, all the time, that everything counts (sorry for the Depeche Mode earworm), and apparently I don’t listen to myself very well.

So what HAVE I been doing while trying to get myself back on some sort of new normal ish? Let’s wander through the projects littering my house. (As a note, apparently having people over is what keeps the projects from Taking Over.. the spouse is lucky I haven’t taken over his spot on the couch yet, but it’s a near thing.)


The scrappy side, full of ends.

There’s been some plain knitting, as best as I can manage on the plague shawl. It started out using up what looked like a failed warp in an inherited stash, and now has been just using up bits and pieces of whatever else is in the stash in about the right colours. I can’t work on it much, my arms hate every second of it, and it’s going to be CRAZY warm (I started it when my house was FREEZING to sit in all day), just in time for the weather to warm up. It is literally a triangle made by knit 1, yarn over, knit to the end of the row. Continue until you run out of yarn, or patience. Wait, no.. keep going when you run out of patience, you’ll run out of that early, cause damn it’s boring and those rows get super long by the end.


There’s been some modern textile collage, which was something I did long ago with an embroidery mentor. Basically if Sharron was teaching at our modern needlecraft guild, I took her classes. She is an amazing artist, and I wish I had a 1/10th her skills with a sewing machine. (Not enough to practice.. I happily stick to hand stitching). A modern embroidery page is doing mini challenges every week, and one of them was a collage, and I couldn’t resist the nostalgia. I’m trying not to overthink it, it’s not a stunning masterpiece, but I appreciated the distraction working on it. I’ve only done week 2’s challenge, even if they are starting week 6, but I appreciate watching everyone else’s work.

I have been baking and cooking.. basically every day. Nothing overly exciting, mostly dinner every night, and lunch every day. Granola and yogurt and candied peel and bread, so much bread, another sourdough starter, more bread, cake and curries and pottage and muffins and and.. cooking and baking has been my standby for creative work when I didn’t have brain for string. I’d say I can bake in my sleep, but I over yeasted my bread this morning when putting the dough together before coffee, but somehow it all has survived and it is perfectly tasty bread.

The mending box is.. damn near empty. Apparently global pandemics make me want to darn socks and patch holes in skirts. The clothes that need major alterations, well they might sit for quite some time to come, but that’s besides the point.


A wee tiny bit of knitted lace, to potentially end up on another textile collage that I can see in my head, which is generally a death knell to it actually looking anything like that, and destined to be disappointing, but we’ll see. It might end up just being another random bit of lace hanging out in stash.

I’m sure there’s been more, but those are the highlights that I can remember right now. What have you been up to?

How’re you doing?


Well. Goodness. I think all the memes about ‘well that escalated quickly’ basically sum up the world right now, with the pandemic changing the world around us by the minute it feels like. The vast majority of us are now at home full time, some with work to keep us busy, some chasing children who are bored out of their minds, some with unending amounts of free time stretching out to infinity and beyond.

There’s no one right way to handle this, by the by. Some folks are diving into big creative projects they’ve always wanted to try. Attending classes every couple of hours, driving from the firehose of online information and fresh productivity that comes from having copious free time all of a sudden. Some folks are retreating back a bit, not quite as delighted by a whole slew of MORE new things and finding solace in familiar crafts and media while everything else is in chaos of new. Both of these, and somewhere in the middle, are totally reasonable. I’m in the second camp. I am a creature of routine, and lists and expectations and suddenly things are changing ALL THE TIME. I will find my new normal and find some concentration and creativity again, but for the moment, I’m settled in on the familiar. A bit of (terrible) weaving. Some mending. My journal has come back out of hibernation as an invaluable spot to settle all those many thoughts into a non judgemental location. I’ve started a new utterly basic dishcloth shawl out of scrappy yarn, my plague shawl. Garter stitch and cozy wool. I can literally knit this in my sleep, and it provides a familiar motion for my hands while my brain is overly full. My social schedule seems to be just as full of zoom / FB live / etc etc meetings with friends to chatter and craft together. It’s not quite the same, but it’s a welcome sense of connection.


It’s okay if you don’t write the next great novel, or King Lear (the quip being that Shakespeare wrote it while in quarantine), or produce a pentathlon worth of perfectly researched A&S projects. (It’s awesome if you do, I wanna see the cool things!). Bake some cookies, watch a familiar movie and knit on your plague shawl. We will find equilibrium, and we will come together to hug each other close when we’re on the other side of this.

The Peacock

I’ve been teasing this project out on the book of faces and on instagram all through the progression of it, enough that I get surprised when I mention it as just ‘the peacock’ and someone is ‘uhh.. wtf are you /on/ about’. Social media, not always very social. But anyhow.


So it begins.

This project is over 20 yrs in the making. Allow me, if you will, to ramble a bit about the Good Ole Days ™ on the internet, aka the late-90s. It was a time when finding anything was /hard/. Google wasn’t yet a thing, but putting up a webpage, if you were at all technical, was pretty easy. Running a mailing list was very much a thing, most of us were some form of academics (students, staff, faculty) and the world didn’t much care what the weirdos did with the university computers as long as it didn’t break anything. Usenet was a thing, and most of us knitters found ourselves, at one point or another on The Knit List. It was THE list. A listsrv that required just having faith in arcane directions to join. It was where all the knitters of the internet hung out, and there was everything from ‘how do I start?’ to ‘I am knitting guru, and here’s some of my latest design work’. I fell into that first camp on the knit list, just so we’re clear.


Disaster dodged. (Spilled candle wax is bad for lace.)

Regular posters to the knit list became early internet superstars (very much like the ‘fame’ of costumers who are on YouTube these days. #Costube etc.) and I hung upon their every word and project. They were amazing, and one in particular was crazy. My sort of crazy. She knit tiny before knitting tiny was a thing, and I wanted to do that SO BAD. Not only did she knit tiny socks, and a tiny bag. She had knit doilies. A peacock doily. She noted that she’d used piano wire to make her needles and sewing thread for her yarn. I went out and found 0.3 mm piano wire (dutifully following her comments to the letter) and picked up a spool of navy blue thread from the stash to make a sample.


Hey look, peacock!

This was, in a word, a nightmare. That blue thread? Faintly fuzzy polyester of the ‘3 spools for a dollar!’ variety. Navy blue. About as easy to see as finding a black cat on a new moon night in a mud puddle. I never did get nice points on those damn wires, and it caught with every other stitch. I am notorious, legendary even, for having bulletproof tension. I was no different then, and even for sewing thread, I probably should have been up in the 0.75 mm or 1mm needles.

I knit a wee thing about 2 inches by 2 inches, determined that it was 36 stitches to the inch, and when we were packing to move almost 10 yrs later? Threw it in the trash. (I have regrets now, but at the time? It felt cathartic.)


But that peacock doily? I kept the pattern. Not only did I have the original pattern (found at a junk store back in those knit list days), but I had the reprint in one of my lace knitting books. And I was determined. The swatch may have been a hot mess of awful, but the doily.. that should be fine, right?

Reader, it was not fine. Terrible thread (at least I’d moved to a light colour!) and worse needles did not make a complex lace pattern easier than a swatch. I didn’t make it past half a dozen rows, ripped it all out and shoved the pattern back on the shelf.


The original

Fast forward, and I join the SCA. And I discovered more people who are quite reasonable about tiny knitting. And by now, I have acquired more than 20 years worth of knitting experience, and knowledge about thread, and some rather lovely tiny needles, and find myself in need of a distraction project. Thus, the peacock got another crack. An ode, perhaps, to how far I’ve come since the days of that hideous thread and those poor little wire needles.


Early in my bobbin lace learning, I bought myself a rather nice spool of cotton. (Brok 32/2 for those keeping track at home), and it’s been waiting for just the right project. This seemed like the time to break it out. I tried it with 0.75 mm needles (I know what tension is now!) and it was too tight, so 1.0 mm needles (5-0 for the Americans) and that was just about right. I am not going to say that this was the easiest pattern I’ve ever worked. There was language at a few spots and there’s a whole section that is just a mess of picked up tiny stitches and knit 3 togethers that is a nightmare at this size. I took off my glasses to get closer to see what was going on, and poked myself in the face with needles sort of miserable sections. The Interweave reprint has errata no longer easily available on the internet (thank you wayback machine) and even IT is wrong. Thank goodness for having the original available to refer to.



Most who, back in the day, knit the peacock in tiny (it was a /thing/ amongst a few crazy folks), stopped after the peacock section, and called it good enough, but I rather liked the extra border to make it a square, so I decided to do the whole thing. I have no regrets. It’s just about exactly 8″ square, and ultimately it will be tacked down to fabric, framed and hung on the wall. I’m not wholly delighted with my blocking, I might yet block it again, but for the moment, it is done.

Tiny Stupid Project

So those who know my crafting predilections, know that my happy place is putting holes in things on purpose and playing with tiny string. Usually it’s thin cotton, or linen, sometimes wool or silk. Pre-SCA, I tended to kick back with knitting doilies and table clothes and now .. well.. now I try everything, and weaving seems to have taken over much of my time, but that’s besides the point.

It’s been a stressy few months, for a variety of not dire reasons, but that doesn’t make it any less gnngargh in the moment and with not a lot of brain for taking on new things. So I turned to my one true love. (It didn’t hurt that I was trying to come up with an ornament to make for a lace guild exchange, so I was happily surfing small knitting lace patterns.) I found a little doily chart that was super basic, but cute enough. (Promenade for those following along at home.) A variation on a very classic spiral piece, knit from the outside in, which is unusual. (Not sure I’m a fan, but that’s neither here nor there.)


I decided that cotton was enh, fine, but enh, and then remembered that I had a small spool of copper wire that I’d acquired for wire weaving. Y’know, the stuff many in the SCA make lovely metal cords from, that I don’t love doing. I tried it, of course I did, but others love it more than I do (ditto with naalbinding for that matter) So clearly the only thing to be done was to knit a small doily out of copper wire. Because that’s what I apparently view as good stress knitting. (my tendonitis disagrees)


There’s something very satisfying about knitting lace that doesn’t need blocking beyond yanking it into shape, and I did learn that apparently when your tension goes funky you /can/ snap copper wire doing a knit two together. But hey, it’s not going anywhere, just squish that busted stitch in and move on.

I did find a lace pattern for my ornament exchange, so hopefully I can have that for you soon, as well as more silly ornaments. Apparently November is for tiny bits and pieces sort of knitting.

Little diversions

In consultation with my loyal readership (okay.. so I chatted it out with the dear spouse.. he counts as loyal readership!), I decided to include the non SCA stuff that I work on, because well.. it’s part of what I do. It’s stuff I think people might be interested in. So if you’re here for a strict regimen of pent worthy pieces, I apologize. You may wanna close this update and come back when I get those damnned heddles done.

As I’ve lamented before, I struggle with ongoing tendonitis, which limits my ability to indulge in my best beloved handwork, knitting. I embraced the dumb, and went on a knitting binge this autumn, and am now paying for it, thanks for asking. But! I got some sooper seekrit knitting done, and I got hooked on knitting little leaves.

It started with a thought that I’d knit a wee laurel leaf for a friend who recently got elevated, but I didn’t care for it once I’d knit it. (Knitted leaves are so spectacularly not historically accurate it hurts, but that is a whole different conversation.) Clearly, the only thing to be done was to knit another, because it was my choice of yarn. That’s it.

Reader, that was not it. I still didn’t much care for it as a representation of a laurel leaf in a different yarn.


I did, however, really enjoy the heck out of knitting leaves. So I started knitting more leaves. In other yarns. And other colours. And finding all the tiny (free) leaf patterns on Ravelry and knitting those. And then I had a windfall of little knitted leaves. A dozen or more, of various yarns and shapes.


I debated on what to do with them. I mean, they’re darned cute, but not exactly functional. Christmas tree ornaments? A possibility, but they’re pretty solidly autumn themed, and while I love Christmas trees, I do not put one up in autumn. A wreath? Also possible, but I was aspiring not to go buy anything, and I’ve no wreath forms, nor a deep desire to wire one up from coat hangers that I don’t own. A garland, however, that is something I can do! And the wreath on the front door died quite some time ago, and there’s nothing there. Garland it is.

I am going to say that lengths of worsted weight yarn about a yard each, perhaps less, are terrible to make icord from, but it was the perfect colour, so there’s a lot of joins. A lot of joins. An inch of cord per strand of wool, but it worked just fine, if irritating, and more bits and pieces used up! I’m terribly pleased with the outcome, I don’t take commissions, but I’d gladly teach you how to knit.


Tiny knitting

I am rather fond of my tiny knitting. I’m noted for working tiny, and I enjoy the heck out of it. Knitted lace out of size 30 crochet cotton is one of my happiest places. (Totally not SCA period, don’t even try. Think 19th and 20th centuries for that, and it doesn’t make it any less ❤ for me. )

What’s tiny? This differs for everyone, IMO, but pretty much if it’s more thread than yarn, it probably qualifies as tiny knitting. Certainly the article that’s been making the rounds about 80 stitches to the inch is tiny, but that’s an extreme. (I’ve never gotten much finer than about 32 stitches to the inch, but hey, perhaps it’s time for a virtual grudge match.)


I get a lot of requests to teach classes in tiny knitting, but it’s hard to get across the details in a class setting. Instead, while I’m starting <cough> another tiny knitting swatch for another piece, I figured I’d hit the highlights in blog form.

This is not a beginner project

I mean, I hate telling beginners ‘oh you shouldnt do that thing you really want to, go knit a dishcloth’. I hate it a lot. I am a firm believer in learning on a project that makes you happy, because then you’re motivated to actually progress. That being said.. shove knitting XP into other things before you dig out the thread and sub 2 mm needles. Hell, you want to start small, start with a sock (or two or ten). Sock yarn is small but not tiny, it gets you in the right habits. (Also, home knitted socks are delightful. It’s a lovely way to shove XP in a skill)


The first row(s) will suck.

This is a given for any project, but somehow it is felt so much more keenly when working in silk at (approx) 20 stitches to the inch. (A bazillion times more when you’ve got 8 stitches on 4 needles and they all want to fall out. Thank you doilies.) You get everything cast on, and you start knitting, probably in the round, and it sucks. The first row, or two.. sometimes even three.. suck. Always. Tension is weird, and stitches aren’t quite sliding right, and there’s nothing holding it together in the round and gnngh. It will get better. Keep knitting.

Starting over is not the end of the world

Sometimes, it doesn’t get better. Sometimes there’s a catastrophic dropped stitch and any efforts to catch it are just .. just no. Sometimes, there is less wailing and gnashing of teeth when you pull out the needles and reclaim the thread. This is not the end of the world. Look at all that xp you just put into this pattern! Win! (Still frustrating

as all hell, don’t get me wrong, but it happens. It’s okay.)


Good light is not optional

This might be less of a concern for those knitters who are under 35, but certainly for those of us who creep ever higher in that age tally, good light is essential. Actual natural daylight is the gold standard of good lighting, but let’s be realistic about the approaching winter, and the fact that I’m indoors a lot. The lighting sucks. I swear by my Ott light, but any good bright light is a boon. Some people swear by a lighted magnifier, I find it really distractingly disorienting, but see what works for you. Save knitting in the movies for when you’re doing a plain vanilla dishcloth or something.


This is not a weekend project

This seems to sneak up on people, and it should be obvious, but it is worth repeating. When you need to do 20 stitches (or more) to get an inch worth of stitches, there is a lot of knitting in a piece with tiny stitches. A few mm of progress is significant. This is not going to whip up in a weekend, so zen into the process. You’ll get there eventually. I find that crossing things off on the pattern really helps give me visual cues that progress is being made.


Practice in cotton

Or in wool, if you prefer, but if your aim is to knit in silk, then practice in cotton. Wool has stretch, it’s more forgiving to colour work, it’s more forgiving in general. Silk, and cotton are both threads with not a bit of elasticity, and they will put you in your place and show you want they don’t like, even if wool is easy going about it. There is no shame at all in doing pieces in cotton. It’s cheap, it’s easy to find, comes in a variety of sizes and if you rip it out 10 times and it’s grotty, it’s cheap enough to throw out. Know that different cottons /do/ look and work differently. Cotton can be mercerized or not, which affects its hand and shine. (Mercerized is more shiny, non is not)


Crochet cotton usually starts at about size 5 and as the number goes up, the size goes down, which makes it very natural for progressing through sizes as you want to try smaller work. My tension is unusual (aka bullet proof tight usually) so suggestions on needle sizes vary wildly, but for solid fabric I’m usually about 1mm needles with size 20 yarn, and for ethereal lace, I’m usually 3 mm needles with size 30 cotton. There’s no firm answer on needle size, use what gives you a fabric you like, your tension is yours.

I love tiny knitting, I love the challenge, I love the complexity, I love the satisfaction. The reality of slow progress is one I can live with, but tiny knitting isn’t really something one can teach in an hour’s class. Knit, and knit lots. Find something you love, and knit it smaller than you usually would. Do that lots.