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.
I am attracted to freeform knitting and crochet because there are no boundaries that restrain my creativity. Upcycling the traditional art of knitting and/or crochet based on ideas of my own, generates something unique. Sylvia Cosh and James Walters, authors of The Crochet Workbook believe, “free means to escape from the restrictions we all unknowingly impose upon ourselves through blind habit, which programmes our thoughts and responses so that they become automatic and so involuntary.”
After taking a class from Prudence Mapstone in December 2003, I purchased two of her books for reference and a soft plastic mesh foundation for a handbag. Recently, I discovered an eclectic mix of handbags decorated with freeform knitted or crocheted fabric of color, texture and shape found in Never Too Many Handbags, by Prudence Mapstone. The second book, Freeform: Serendipitous Design Techniques for Knitting & Crochet is a comprehensive guide for this artform.
Why not incorporate the circular shape of Dorset Buttons with the organic shapes of freeform knitting and crochet? The traditional method used as a fastener becomes an addition to freeform fabric. I’ve escaped from the restrictions of Dorset buttony and created my own look. I can’t predict the outcome of this project, but will continue to post my progress.