Indiana-based Althea Crome is a self-taught fiber artist who has pioneered conceptual knitting in small scale. As a miniaturist she appreciates the importance of scale, as a knitter she respects the art of traditional technique and pattern design and as an artist she rejoices in adaptation, discovery and experimentation. Althea's process of creating extreme knitting requires an incredible level of precision and skill to incorporate portraits, images and even personal narratives into her microscopic knitting. In order to achieve the level of detail required for her pieces, she makes her own knitting needles from surgical wire, some as small as .01 inches; she uses a fine silk sewing thread, rather than yarn, to achieve the tiny stitches that compose her works. Her needles can accommodate more than 80 stitches per inch. She designs her own original knitting patterns and adapts traditional patterns. Crome shares her love of micro knitting by teaching classes and workshops.
Crome’s work has been in many exhibits nationally and abroad including MAD Museum's Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting (2007) and Outside The Box;Cheongju International Craft Biennale (2009) in South Korea. Her work is in several museums and private collections around the world and has been featured in dozens of books, TV shows and articles. Taken to the silver screen, her miniature knit garments adorn the lead character of the 2009 stop-motion film, Coraline. Crome has also participated in community art projects including Jill Bolte Taylor’s Brain Extravaganza (2012) as well as working alongside others to co-curate and organize gallery and miniature shows including Grunwald Gallery’s The Miniature (2015). Crome holds the title of Fellow in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans and has won several awards for her unique art including being one of the winners of the T/m's Barbara Marshall Award for Artistic Achievement (2017).