The Fabulous Freedom and Forms of Freeform Crochet

“Expiration d’un silence organique” by Artist Emmanuelle Loison
“Expiration d’un silence organique” by Artist Emmanuelle Loison
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What is Freeform?

Freeform is the freedom to create without a pattern, deviate from a pattern or patterns, and combine crochet, knit, fabric, and other mediums – usually textiles – in innumerable ways, shapes, sizes, and with various uses.

Freeform crochet is a technique that allows the crocheter to explore the creative and artistic possibilities of the craft in unexpected ways.

Traditional crochet is typically orderly; you’d expect it to be worked in well-organized rounds or rows. You could expect to work from a pattern, and the end result would be a useful project. -Amy Solovay (source)

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Spring

"Spring" by Artist Marianne Seiman
“Spring” by Artist Marianne Seiman

(source)

“Capelet is crocheted; bag is sewn and embellished with freeform crochet; dress is nuno-felted on silk. -Marianne (source)

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“Painting with Yarn”

"Painting with Yarn" Rug by Artist Tia Mia
“Painting with Yarn” Rug by Artist Tia Mia

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Painting with Yarn ~ A circular freeform rug, 3′-0″ in diameter…took 2 months to complete. I crocheted 3/4″ diameter tubes in varying lengths and then stitched the tubes together as I coiled them in a freeform manner. -Tia Mia (source)

Here is an incomplete version of the rug above

freeform rug partial_sm

(source)

The beginnings of a crochet rug ~ 3/4″ diameter tubes of different lengths and color are woven in and out creating a freeform crochet design. -Tia Mia (source)

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You can combine different stitches, make things up as you go, bunch things up (scrumble), basically wing it.

All-crochet scrumble by Mitsuko Tonouchi for Hyperbolic Reef project.
All-crochet scrumble by Mitsuko Tonouchi for Hyperbolic Reef project.

(source)

See how the same weight of yarn, same stitch, similar shapes combine well with slight variations of scale and color. Freeform does not have to be wild or dramatic. Those vertical valves add a lot. -Barbara Kreuter (source)

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Scrumble is a term associated with freeform crocheting, knitting, etc. A scrumble is to freeform like a granny square is to traditional crochet: scrumbles are small, freeform pieces that can be joined together into a larger piece.

Freeform Crochet Scrumble by Artist Marianne Seiman
Freeform Crochet Scrumble by Artist Marianne Seiman

(source)

A scrumble can be started by knitting or crocheting virtually anything at all – thin (sic) one begins [one can begin] with a small knitted square.  Now add something else onto it – say a few random crochet stitches; then add something else again – maybe a small crochet shell.  Now use your knitting needles to pick up a few stitches along any edge, and knit a little bit more…and then make another small addition somewhere else.  Next you could perhaps crochet a separate, circular crocheted motif… and attach it into place with a few crochet slip stitches…then maybe add another (or many).  Now knit another section directly onto the patch, or add another different crochet motif…then fill in some gaps, or work a few fancy stitches, in both crochet and in knitting too. -Prudence Mapstone (source)

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Finished pieces may be wearable, wall art, or other decor, sculptures, the sky’s the limit.

crocheted freeform purse
Freeform Handbag by Artist Analucia Bandoni

(source)

Borsa in cotone lavorata su rete con la tecnica freeform e foderata in lino grezzo -Analucia (source)

When Analucia posted her freeform handbag in our Crocheters Anonymous© Facebook group, we were WOWED! She wrote that it was her first freeform bag.

It looked to me as if she was a longtime pro at it; her other pieces are stunning as well. You can see more on her Facebook Page: Uncinetto d’autore.
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Whether the finished piece is art or craft (or both) depends upon the piece, much as whether the freeformer can be a crafter, artist, or both.

"Commando Kate" by Artist Jess of Knot By Gran'ma on Etsy
“Commando Kate” by Artist Jess of Knot By Gran’ma on Etsy

(source)

Commando Kate snubs her nose at the idea of underwear or any sort of undergarments. Monsters like her are free spirits… like the wind. Kate apparently wants to feel every bit of it! She proudly stands in front of her mirror, not minding at all that everyone can see her behind.

Commando Kate is crochet out of wool, acrylic and cotton yarns and threads. Her eyes are securely sewn onto her little body. Her fangy snarl is painted canvas and glued on with a permanent bonding glue. Kate’s monster body itself measures approximately 7 inches (17.8 cm) tall and her body is about 4 inches (10.2 cm) wide. She is firmly attached to her painted wooden base, along with her revealing mirror. The base has a diameter of 7 inches (17.8 cm). Commando Kate is stuffed with now recycled plastic grocery bags, so she’s eco-friendly too. -Jess (source)

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This high fashion crocheted dress and turban set has identifiable patterns and symmetry, yet it’s wildly free within those constraints.

Crochet turban and dress by Sandra Backlund.
Crochet turban and dress by Sandra Backlund.

(source)

Freeform doesn’t follow a written or charted pattern, although templates (in the form of paper patterns) could be used to obtain a good fit when using freeform patches to create garments. (source)

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This hat, on the other hand, is very asymmetrical and whimsical. The artist’s choices of colors and shades counterbalance its craziness with the calm consistency of blues and grays.

"Industrial Revolution" by Artist Sharon of Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs
“Industrial Revolution” by Artist Sharon of Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs
industrial revolution freeform
“Industrial Revolution” (side view)

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It takes so much pressure off, when you’re not trying to match everything… and you just allow the pieces to fall into place naturally… -Sharon (source)

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This freeform crocheted blanket makes me think of the artists Gustav Klimt and Vincent Van Gogh perhaps meeting in Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Freeform crochet blanket with circular motifs and random bands of crochet.
Freeform Afghan #2 by Artist Carlyn Clark

(source)

(10/18/10) I’m wanting something linear that flows around circular shapes. Usually I cut a piece of fabric in the general shape that I want the piece to end up. This time I made a paper template so I can draw in where I want the circles and can look at the big picture as I go instead of just randomly putting together shapes that have just sprung forth. (Which I love to do – just wanting to do something different this time.) I guess it could more rightly be called directed freeform.

My color choice is driven by an old Kaffe Fassett pattern featuring multi-yarn triangle shapes that I started about 5 years ago and never finished. I unraveled it, which made some interesting “Magic Balls” that got me started. I made up a bunch of different circle motifs, using patterns from “Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs” by Edie Eckman. This is without question the book I use more than any other in my library when looking for interesting patterns in inspiring colors with easy to read written instructions and charts.

(12/3/10) Finished! I decided I needed a border to finish it off. Used #54 from “Around the Corner Crochet Borders” by Edie Eckman. I modified it slightly – I did 2 base rounds in purple, then did round 1 in yellow and round 2 in green. This is the other Edie Eckman book that I use constantly. It’s got great pictures, and it’s easy to modify the instructions to fit the specific edging that you’re trying to achieve. -Carlyn (source)

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Crocheting a City

"I Crochet Portland" by Artist Jo Hamilton
“I Crochet Portland” by Artist Jo Hamilton

(Source)

A decade ago I traded paint and a brush for yarn and a hook. I create my large scale works one knot at a time using no graphs or patterns. I look, I work, I unravel and rework until I see the substance of a representation in my knots. The knotted yarn, so familiar in everyday life, takes the place of paint and allows me to examine the categories and conventions of western fine art as well as traditional craft, and to reinvent them. My subjects range from portraits to cityscapes, giant male nudes and mysterious masked women. -Jo Hamilton (source)

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Freeform Meets Fashion Fabulously

Freeform Crocheted Cape by Artist Prudence Mapstone
Freeform Crocheted Cape by Artist Prudence Mapstone

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It actually took me 8 months to complete this one. i did a little patch or two each day; the last month was spent sewing them all together 😉 -Prudence Mapstone (source)

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Freeform crochet is a very organic art form: it sprouts, blooms, grows, evolves, and even mutates into countless wild and wonderful forms.

"Expiration d’un silence organique" by Artist Emmanuelle Loison
“Expiration d’un silence organique” by Artist Emmanuelle Loison

(source)
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“Breathing the Organic Silence”

Cette sculpture à porter parle de la vieillesse, la transmission, l’héritage…
La sculpture N°7 a été créée avant la 5ème. -Emmanuelle (source)

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A few final words from freeform artist Prudence Mapstone before we go:

Freeforming enables you to create as little or as much as you want in any one sitting.  Freeformed fabrics can be full of texture and colour, and can be used to make a wide range of items such as clothing, handbags, hats & jewellery. – Prudence Mapstone (source)

~Pamela

Books by Prudence Mapstone

Books by Edie Eckman
(a Crocheters Anonymous© Recommended Author)

 

About Pamela 81 Articles
Founder, Crocheters Anonymous®

2 Comments

  1. Totally fantastic! I love it! I must do more freeform crochet and I looove the word, “scrumble “……cannot wait to scrumble something up…..happy Hooker that I am….

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