Gallery 4



Pho Photo: Yara Cluver
Jewelry: Masha Archer

Today I live in Bloomington Indiana with my four children. I love to Knit and man, do I love a challenge!

I have knitted, in full-scale, since college. I find great joy and comfort in the creative process that knitting provides. The texture of the yarn, the smooth rhythm of the needles and the emergence of a pattern in my hands as I work has always been quite magical to me. But, by adding the challenge of creating an object for a physical world that is so small as to be almost beyond our grasp, is to add a new thrill to an already beloved art form.

In 2000, my fascination with this tiny scale merged with my love of knitting, and since then I have been pushing toward ever new technical and design challenges. Tough as it is to knit on such a small scale, the "bug-knit" scale has allowed me the freedom to create and experiment with designs which, on a larger scale, would be cumbersome and prohibitive. My success in developing commercial patterns and techniques for 1:12 scale gloves, socks and other garments has only inspired me to venture further into what I've come to think of as "extreme knitting.” Indeed, from the time I began my vocation as an extreme knitter, I have made very few full-scale garments.

In the past several years I have been incorporating portraits and images into my knitting. Inspired by my small collection of antique portrait miniatures and my love of ornament and art, I strive to capture the romance and allegory I find so playful and fascinating in the art I love. I use garments as my "canvas" because I find that it adds a dimension that is lacking on a flat surface. Many of my designs are created as a narrative, and by turning the piece and viewing it from sleeve to sleeve, you see not only a pattern emerge, but a story.

In my work you will see tradition and innovation combining and merging in surprising ways. As a miniaturist I have learned the importance of proper scale, as a knitter I have come to respect the art of traditional technique and pattern design and as an artist I rejoice in adaptation, discovery and experimentation. Traditional formats and styles provide the basic framework for my pieces, and suggest a range of likely motifs; the manner in which these motifs are selected, adapted, altered and combined is then left to my own imagination and desire for innovation. Every one of my knitted miniatures is rooted in tradition, but none are mere replicas of existing patterns or styles. It is with a spirit of continued curiosity and a desire to create new and original pieces that I will continue to pursue my love of knitting within the limitless possibilities of this miniature scale.

~Althea Crome

6859 E. Trailway Drive
Bloomington, IN 47408
(812) 330-8823

©All Text and Images are Copyright Althea Crome 2001