As an attempt at “learning how to do freeform” I’m taking part in a free-form bag Crochet-along (CAL) run by Ravelry UK Freeformers Group . I decided to blog along each step so I could follow what I did and my thought processes and repeat for future endeavours. Hopefully anyone thinking of taking up freeform can see its not as daunting as it first looks. I’d highly recomend any one new to freeform joins in with a CAL so you can get feedback and tips on what you are doing, see how others are progressing and get lots of encouragement and support as you go along.
These are just my own interpretations/ideas around free-form crochet, there’s lots of different views about what does and doesn’t classify and how to do different things. I’ve put a set of links to what resources I am using to learn on the links page.
Things I’ve learned so far.
Flowers, leaves, stitch patches etc are all called pieces they are not scrumbles until artistically joined together. Therefore a scrumble is when you put pieces together to form something containing multiple pieces in different textures/stitches. Or crochet/knit a scrumble all in one go changing yarns as you go along. Scrumbles have no size or shape limits. It is all open to interpretation!
Random holes in the scrumbles are allowed, even encouraged. But you can also fill them with pretty sparkly beads and buttons.
Scrumbles can be put together to form free-form objects. Otherwise known as majestic, artistic creations.
Scrumbling is highly addictive and can make time disappear into a bright spark of creativity.
Looking at other people’s scrumbles is highly addictive and can make time disappear into a bright spark of inspiration.
Firmly rewind your yarns after each time you use them otherwise you end up drowning beneath a tangle of yarn and create a nest for the little dog to play in and further mess up yarns.
Yarn change regularly. Learn to love weaving in loose ends or crochet them in as you work.
Fairy wings are awesome to create and curve beautifully around flowers. Bullions however are nightmares invented to make you throw down your crochet hook in fury and storm off to make a cup of tea.
Freeform is pure artistic expression, there are no rights or wrongs, its about having fun and letting your imagination run wild.
When I posted my first scrumbles I got some lovely feedback on the CAL forums that breaking up the big blocks of red and adding in more yarns would improve them. My first attempt is shown in an earlier post. The group is very supportive and there are ton’s of tips shared on yarn selection, how to create scrumble, what to improve, stitches and yarns used, how to line a bag etc.
So for my second set of scrumbles I endeavoured to use less red and try to balance them out more. I followed the guidelines of creating about 5 pieces and joining them together to form a scrumble. But as you can see they are still rather plain, and I felt looked basic compared to the beautiful creations I’d seen described as freeform. The great thing about this was it gave me an excuse to do more “research” and look through a few hundred or so examples of what other people had created. The sheer amount of talent was amazing. I came away feeling daunted but also incredibley inspired. The main site I used for an idea on how scrumbles could look was Prudence Mapstones A Scrumble a Week blog. Her creations are jaw-dropingly artistic. Go take a peek at her site for examples of just how beautiful freeform can look.
I was happy with the overall shape and feel of my scrumbles. So these scrumbles became the foundation from which to build upon and add in more detail.
For the leaves I added outlines/extra parts in different coloured yarns, often just using a row of sc or surface crochet. On one leaf I weaved in a length of contrasting yarn to emphasise the stem.
Holes in flower centres were filled with glittering beads and buttons to add a bit more sparkle to the scrumble.
I covered over gaps with tiny flowers crocheted with crochet cotton.
Using a greater variety of yarn and adding more stitches to each one added more detail and interest. The hard part was then knowing when to stop before it all turns into a mess of yarn!
I now have the first scrumble that I like and can be classed as completed.: