Crocheting Blog

Explore Your Creative Possibilites With 10 Freeform Crochet Tips

What is your gut reaction to freeform crochet? Many people think that it’s interesting, appealing and inspiring but they also find it intimidating. Freeform crochet is more “art” than “craft” because it is patternless. This causes a lot of people to hesitate to try it; there’s a fear of the “blank page” that comes along with the craft. However, it’s not as frightening as it might seem.

Here are ten freeform crochet tips to help you get over the fear.

freeform crochet scarf

Freeform Nature Scarf image via Craftsy member EthnicDesign

Tip #1: Learn what “freeform” means.

Freeform crochet, also called scrumbling, simply means that you are free to use the yarns and stitches that appeal to you and to work them in a multi-directional way without a pattern or rules. You can use freeform crochet to create art pieces as well as clothing, accessories and other items. Although you are free to be rule-less, you can approach freeform crochet with a plan and a structure to help guide you in the work.

Tip #2: Take a freeform crochet class.

The best way to get started in freeform crochet is to take a class, such as Freeform Crochet with Myra Wood. Anyone who has a fear of the open-ended, artistic, patternless nature of freeform crochet can find comfort in the lessons and information that are provided by a class.

Click here to sign up! »

Tip #3: Find freeform crochet patterns and recipes.

Even though freeform crochet is patternless, there are actually plenty of patterns out there. That is because there are people who are willing to show you step-by-step what they did to make their own freeform projects. You can copy these projects to learn the skills to eventually design your own freeform crochet pieces. 

Tip #4: Look for freeform crochet inspiration.

crochet spirals

Crochet Spirals & Scallops image via Craftsy member rensfibreart

Even when you’re ready to branch out into your own designs, you don’t have to start from a blank slate. You can look around at all of the other work that has been done to get inspiration for your freeform crochet. A few favorite sources for freeform crochet inspiration include:

Tip #5: Start simple.

It’s a mistake to try to create a huge, detailed, “perfect” art piece your first time out the gate. Start simple instead. Draw a circle on a piece of paper and fill in the circle with your freeform crochet pieces. Take a T-shirt and add crochet pieces on top of it to fill out the shape of the existing garment. Make a small 6″ x 6″ square wall hanging using freeform crochet techniques. This type of contained project helps slim down the possibilities and makes freeform crochet less intimidating.

Tip #6: Let go of expectations, rules and the end product.

You can make many beautiful, wearable, functional, special items using freeform crochet. However, this is a niche of the craft that is truly more about the process than the product. Let go of your expectations for what you are going to create and commit yourself to seeing what develops in front of you. Play!

spiral file

Spiral File image via Craftsy member Hannah of Mars

Tip #7: Use yarn you like but aren’t in love with.

It’s important to use yarn that you like and want to play with when you do freeform crochet. It’s what adds excitement to a piece. But you also want to feel free enough to “mess up” the yarn during the process of creation, so you probably don’t want to use your rarest, most expensive yarn in your early freeform crochet pieces.

Tip #8: Celebrate your favorite stitches.

One of the best things about freeform crochet is that you can use any stitch that you want, and any combination of stitches, without having to worry about getting the right count across your rows. There’s no math to work out. You can work in any direction. So you could have five bullions followed by two popcorn stitches surrounded by some broomstick lace … or any other combination of favorite stitches that suits your fancy.

freeform crochet bracelet

 

Crochet free form bracelet image via Craftsy member Fibreromance

Tip #9: Consider multi-crafting.

As you begin to get comfortable with freeform crochet, consider the ways that you can incorporate other crafts into a single piece. Macrame, crochet and knitting all go together well in one piece, for example. Check out the wearable art in the knitting and crochet sections of the book Art to Wear by Julie Schafler Dale for some great inspiration in this area!

Tip #10″ Learn more.

There are many different places where you can go to learn even more about freeform crochet. Immerse yourself in it! Here are some links to get you started:

5 Comments

chris

That scarf is hideous and makes me not want to learn any more about ‘freeform’ crochet. It looks like a pattern that went terriby, terribly wrong!

Reply
Sara

Chris, if you google you will find pieces that will have you filled with awe at their beauty and other pieces that will have you frowning! It is a very experimental art. I have seen stunning pieces from people but not all their work is like that, they make wonderful things sometimes and then the less appealing at others but it is in the doing the mundane that they learn the techniques that produce the amazing things. Besides it is all a lot of fun, regardless of the outcomes. Going with the flow is very much part of it and sometimes you get better results than others. I can honestly say that the stuff that ‘works’ is some of the most gorgeous and beautiful crochet out there and I am bowled over by what is possible. It is also subjective, so if you don’t like that scarf other people will really love it. Did you know some people are able to do crochet ‘paintings’ which are just phenomenal – google freeform crochet painting (images) and some will come up. Some people do 3d sculptural things and abstract patterns. There are no barriers to what people can and do make – clothing, pictures, art-work, utilitarian stuff like bags and cushions, jewellery. Some you will love and some you will hate. But isn’t that just like anything?

Reply
Niki

I agree that some pieces do look hideous but I believe colour and yarn choice can make so much difference and of course like all artwork someone needs to have that creative eye/feel, Ive seen some wonderful pieces, some wonderful hand cuffs, my friend is very talented and some delicately done pieces can look edwardia

Reply
Suzanne

To my eye, the scarf is stunning. It makes a clear statement about the creativity of both the maker and the wearer.

Chris, I hope you’ll learn freeform techniques and make something that pleases you!

Reply
Larina Bhremmer

Awesome! I love it, your content ir very cool, and i’ve learned many others good things with you that i´ll bring to my job, thanks!

Reply

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