Wednesday 3 June 2015

Discovering Freeform

I have been fascinated by this art form for a long time.  Initially I was inspired by James Walters and Sylvia Cosh, who developed an artform called scrumbling.  Prudence Mapstone attended at least one of their workshops and her work evolved into some of the best work of its kind. And by the time I decided to have a go, myself, there were countless books and websites available, some of which incorporated knitting.  

I then found the International Freeform Crochet Guild.  After lurking in that space for about a year I thought I'd have a go, myself, and in 2008 I signed up for a global Round Robin.  

There were 22 participants - mostly from the US (I was the only person from the UK).  Each one of us had a colour preference (mine was shades of pink), with no other specification save that each piece of freeform crochet should measure approximately 10” x 10".  Some of the results were larger, some were smaller.  Because I make small pieces and hook/sew them together, I was able to ensure I produced the requisite amount even though some of the finished work was long and thin!   NB Some of the colour combinations requested, were challenging, to say the least.  Here are some of my favourite results.

I completed the project, but sadly not all contributors did, which meant that I only received 11 pieces of work in return for all my labours.  Unfortunately it became apparent quite early only that not everyone was as committed to quality as I was, so I wouldn't do it again, because I gave away some really nice work.  And, boy was it a slog, towards the end ;(   

I don't regret it though.  It was a great learning experience, and one of the highlights of my life. I had no idea I could do it! 

Marianne Vadgaard from Denmark asked for Green, or green mixed with the color family of the purple/pink family.  Preferably natural fibers, with the exception of the yarns added for effects.

Marie Hetherington from California asked for Deeper/richer colors - dark blues, burgundies, deeper purple; yellow is fine and so is sage green. I am open to whatever.

Atie Holmes from California asked for No particular color preference (not too crazy about a whole lot of orange).

Kathie Cureington from Alabama said, I will be happy with what everyone makes....  I love surprises. Use synthetic.

Kerri Lincoln from New York said Give me FIRE!

I submitted a piece of work in 2010 for inclusion in one of the Guild's annual publications (A Part of My World) and I still make freeform, from time to time.  I am currently working on a very large wall hanging, comprised of flowers, but as with most creative work it's time consuming (and arduous). However, I will finish it, eventually...


  1. What interesting and compelling pieces of freeform crochet! My favourites are images number three and four because of the harmony of colours and texture. I know I would be rubbish at freeform as I like to have structure and know where I'm going! Having said that, I've never tried freeform!

    1. Thank you, Sandra. I love the structure of patterns (I find the rhythm relaxing), but I nevertheless enjoyed the very creative challenge of this project. Let me know if you want to have a go. I have written an article about how make a start at freeform; and there are patterns (!)

  2. I am delighting in how happy the recipients of your crochet must have felt when they received your work.Very generous, talented and creative .. Sally.

    1. Thank you, Sally. Many of the recipients were very pleased! This was a fun project and I would do it again - probably...