No lie: Freeform crochet can be intimidating. Maybe it's freeform's arty reputation or lack of rules. Whatever the reason, this type of crochet gives many crafters serious pause.
We're here to boost your courage and get you into the freeform game. These tips will get you ready to tackle freeforming the next time you pick up your yarn!
1. Learn Your Terms
Freeform crochet, aka scrumbling, means using whatever yarns and stitches appeal to you and working in a multi-directional way without patterns. You can use freeform crochet to create artwork as well as clothes, accessories or anything else. One note: Although you've tossed out the rules, you may want to sub in a structure to help guide you as you crochet, at least at first.
2. Take a Scrumbling Class
The best way to get started in freeform crochet is to take a class, especially if open-ended crocheting makes you nervous. A class is a great way to find a structure that suits you.
3. Get Inspired
There's a host of dedicated freeformers out there willing to share step-by-step guides and pics of their masterpieces. You can find genius ideas on Freeform Crochet World on Facebook and at the site for the International Freeform Crochet Guild. Take a peek, then use them to spur your own creations.
4. Make a Plan
Don't get too ambitious right off the bat. Instead, start with simple projects. Draw a circle on paper and fill it in with your freeform crochet work. Take a T-shirt and add crochet pieces. Crochet a small 6-by 6-inch wall hanging. The beauty of these types of projects is that they're contained, so they're more approachable.
5. Let Go of Expectations
You can make anything out of freeform, from a functional blanket to a beautiful decoration. But scrumbling is really more about the process than the end result. Let go of any assumptions about what you're creating and just go on a journey.
6. Use Yarn You Like but Don't Love
Yes, you want your freeform project to look lovely. But you also want to take risks and make mistakes as you crochet. So don't opt for the priciest, hardest-to-find yarn in your basket — at least for the first few projects.
7. Celebrate Your Favorite Stitches
One of the best things about freeform crochet is that there's no math to work out. You can use any stitch you want, and in any combination, without having to worry about getting the right count across the rows. You can also go in any direction. So you could have five bullions followed by two popcorn stitches surrounded by some broomstick lace, or any other combo.
8. Try Multi-Crafting
As you get comfortable with freeform crochet, consider ways that you can incorporate your favorite crafts —macramé, crochet, knitting — into a single piece.
Once you begin experimenting with freeform, you'll see that the things that make it intimidating also make it exciting. Open yourself to the possibilities and have fun!