I was first introduced to scrumbling in 2003, by the ever-so intriguing, Prudence Mapstone. Immediately, I realized crochet needed to become part of my repertoire of stitches. Further investigation uncovered The Crochet Workbook by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters, well-known crochet designers opened my worldview to Freeform. From NSW, Australia, Jenny Dowde also explores color, texture and freeform with her scrumbling, Freeform Knitting and Crochet along with FREEformations include many projects, I look forward to exploring.
Scrumbling/freeform swatches provide an opportunity for experimentation with different color and stitch combinations. The “no rules” policy of freeform liberates the fiber artist from the “usual” to the “spontaneous.” Combining the culture of knitting and crochet exposes an abundance of shape and texture.
I’ve also added dorset buttons to the mix…the purse form from Japan may be purchased at Lacis Museum and Textiles http://www.lacismuseum.org/ in Berkeley, CA. Crochet popcorns and bullion stitch are my next stitch challenges. I’m digging through my stash for different textures of yarn for a variety of visual interest.
Blossoms are blooming, bees are buzzing and I need to plant my sunflower seeds. A trekk to my my local nursery proved to be fruitful. I found various varieties of sunflower seeds along with hollyhock and zinnia seeds. I am excited to plant “Lemon Queen” (Helianthus annuus) a variety of sunflower grown for a multi-year bee count project to gather information about native bee populations. More than 100,000 citizen-scientists across the U.S. and Canada participate in the research by counting the number of bees that visit their “Lemon Queen” plants.
During a bout of Spring cleaning and organizing my stash, I found a group of knitted ribbon roses. The directions for the knitted ribbon motifs can be found in the Holiday 2004 issue of Vogue Knitting. “Nicky Epstein puts the metal to the petal with clusters of knit roses in Fonty/Russi Sales Serpentine.” The flowers are sewn together creating a piece of knitted jewelry. For my bouquet, I knit with Anny Blatt Victoria ribbon.
What should I do with my flora? Do you scrumble?
As mentioned, (see blog post Color, Pattern and Texture, dated 6/8/2012) pushing the limits of knit and purl stitches keep me awake at night. Waking-up at 5:00 in the morning with an idea energizes my creative soul. Last week, I discovered the Knitted Daisy Stitch/Star Stitch Pattern.
Colorwork, pattern and texture achieved using slip stitches offers a “freeform” of expression without the tangled mess of Fair Isle and Intarsia (my own personal experience). I played around with different color combinations, manipulating swatches like building blocks in order to construct an “aesthetic knitted architecture.”
Knitted Daisy Stitch/Star Stitch Pattern:
Cast on 13 stitches (12 + 1) . Row 1: (RS facing) Knit all stitches. Row 2: K1, *P3 tog leave stitches on the needle, yo, P the same 3 tog again and drop them, K1; rep from * to end of row. Row 3: Knit. Row 4: K1, P1, K1, *P3 tog leave stitches on needle, yo, P the same 3 tog again and drop them, K1; rep from *, ending last repeat with P1, K1. These 4 rows form the pattern. Repeat these 4 rows for desired length.
I’m mesmerized by the cones of yarn from HABU textiles. Silk stainless, paper moire, paper linen and tsumugi silk to name a few. Kushu Kushu merino and silk stainless scarf designed by Setsuko Torii, uses four different needle sizes which explores the effects of tension and gauge within the design. The co-mingling of the silk merino and silk stainless steel begin the scarf, while the silk stainless steel stands alone at the other end of the scarf.
The pattern consists of a numbering system familiar to Japanese knitters. The numbering system produces a straight-forward schematic, thus eliminating questionable interpretations associated with writtern instructions.
After knitting the scarf, I incorporated wooden beads secured with silicone rubberbands for resists, and lightly fulled the scarf by hand.
The subtle dimensionality adds interest to the delicate appearance of the scarf.
Look what happened…
I began each square with a new skein of yarn, casting on after finding the same color repeat in different places within the skein. Remember, my intention was not to seek perfection or precision. (See previous blog posts)
After playing around with the blocks, and the inspiration of Nicky Epstein’s, Block by Block, four blocks were joined. Below, are two ways the blocks may be worn.