Friday, 26 October 2012

freeforming

One of our customers Liz is a passionate freeformer.  She co-moderates the UK Freeformers group on Ravelry and has produced many amazing pieces of work using a mix of crochet and knitting.

This is a cardigan she made for an Autumnal challenge set on the UK Freeformers group.

Liz's freeform cardigan in Scrumptious Lace


the back view... she made this up!

You can read more about Liz's cardigan and her other freeform work on her Ravelry project pages.

Freeform crochet (or knitting or embroidery or felting etc etc!) is exactly how its sounds.  Its free. You simply take your materials and... doodle.  Some rules can be set... for example for the aforementioned Autumnal challenge the following 'rules' applied...

"Take 1 skein of a solid autumn coloured yarn, cast on 20 or make a foundation chain of 20. Without breaking the yarn, continue to knit and/or crochet till your yarn is finished. You can change direction, incorporate any pattern, cast off or on at any point, be doing crochet and/or knitting…..wherever it takes you! There is no restriction in the weight or size of your skein."

It can be great fun, a way to try out new techniques, stitches, yarns (and use up odd bits!) and its very liberating... no patterns to follow, no rows to count...  unless you want to!

When she was last in the shop, Liz mentioned another knit along/challenge that the UK Freeformers had...

"Have you been thinking about trying some freeforming, but not known how to start? Why not join us in making basic scrumbles from which we will make a bag. The plan is to use one colour: different shades and textures can be used. The bag can be made in knitting and/or crochet and will be lined with material or crochet. You can make it any size you wish."

Now... a scrumble means different things to different people... but it can be a collection of knitted or crocheted motifs or even just bits of crochet or knitted yarns that a joined together to form bigger pieces and so on until a desirable fabric or structure is created... In fact it doesn't even need to be knitted or crocheted!

...yes it does sound vague but then... it is freeform.  You can find some Google images of scrumbles here and of freeform crochet here.

I have undertaken the freeform bag challenge... and selected grey as my colour...

I haven't done much freeforming before.  A little embroidery and some knitted pieces.  So I'm very much a novice!  This is how I approached it.


leftovers


This is what I have made so far...

can you spot the piece of knitting? 


I class myself a knitter but I think my personal preference is to crochet if I'm freeforming... so I simply started  by chaining a few stitches and I either joined them into a ring and did some double and/or treble and/or other 'stitches' into the ring or I crocheted back and forth along the row of chains.  Stopping it when it 'felt' finished or I got bored.  I then started a new piece.  I tried to use a different type of yarn each time.  I  crocheted or sewed them together when I felt I had enough that looked nice joined up.

For my next set of pieces I'm going to try different combinations of stitches to get more height and thus texture for my bag.  Although I'm not entirely sure it will be a bag... or indeed which stitches will give me height!

It can seem daunting at first especially if you are new to crochet and knitting and you're not really sure what the outcome will be but you're really working on such a small scale.  If you don't like it stop and start again.

Keep the bit you don't like though, it may fill a spot later!

If you fancy having a go too, please take a look at the UK Freeformers Ravelry group.  The discussion board and gallery.  You can check out my freeform bag progress on my project page here.

This is the stunning bag Liz made for the bag challenge... I have a loooooong way to go!

Liz's freeform bag

If you'd like to learn more about crochet, remember we have our crochet workshop on Sunday 25th November (10am-4pm) in the shop.  You'll learn crochet basics -  how to hold the hook and yarn, basic stitches, changing colour, understanding terminology, working in the round. All materials are included and you'll make a washcloth or crochet hook case.  This is NOT a freeform class, but the skills can be useful to a freeform piece!