How to Freeform Crochet: 10 Beginner 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:

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.

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.

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:

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