Recently I have been experimenting with freeform crochet. I was struggling for ideas for my postcards for the International Postcard Show. I was only limited by size (10cm by 15cm, depth of 5mm) I had tried and frogged and tried again. Then I decided I wouldn’t be limited by counting stitches or rows, patterns or rules and go a little crazy (well only 150cm² of crazy) and play around with freeform.
Here’s my finished postcard:
You can see more examples and other WIPs on my instagram @dominiquekmitchell
I really like the aesthetics, it was fun to make and very relaxing! I didn’t have to count endlessly and worry about missing stitches. I have since decided to make four larger freeform (around A4 size) pieces that I’ll frame and hang up somewhere in my dinky flat to bring a pop of colour. I’ll post about that when I’ve finished.
Anyway, I thought I would make a little freeform tutorial for anyone out there wanting to experiment, or for anyone wanting to take a break from rows and stitches.
Freeform Crochet Tutorial
Difficulty:: Intermediate (Requires colour changing , magic loop, HTR stitch)
sl st [slip stitch] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on your hook.
htr [half treble crochet] :: yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (threeloops on hook), yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook.
Equipment:: Crochet hook, scissors, yarn of your choice in multiple colours.
As long as the crochet hook is appropriate for the yarn choice the freeform will work fine. I’m currently using 2mm crochet hook and 2ply cotton yarn from woolwarehouse. I feel like it gives a lot of detail but obviously it takes longer, you could go for aran yarn and a size 5mm crochet hook and make something double the size in half the time!
The beauty of freeform is all in the name, free. So, I guess this “tutorial” is kind of paradoxical but hey ho.
You can start however you like but this time I decided to begin with a magic loop.
Round 1:: Chain 4, sl st into the fourth chain from the loop to make a ring. Work 11 htr into the ring. I joined the last htr to the first.
Round 2:: I crocheted 2 htr in every stitch around, again joining the last stitch with the first stitch with a sl st.(22st)
Round 3 :: Chain 2, htr in same space, *chain 2, htr after two stitches*, repeat * until you are back to the first chain 2 and sl st to join.
Round 4 :: Chain two, htr in same stitch. 10 Htr in each stitch around. Chain 10 and join to htr using slst to a stitch three gaps away.
Round 5 :: I worked so many htr across the chain then chained again and connected that to another half treble.
I lose track a little around here!
You see, it’s very random and mostly based on feeling. Where do you think it should go, where does it look good, what fits and what doesn’t. There isn’t really a set pattern. I recommend just experimenting with some yarn and a hook.
Round 6 :: Continue to htr across the chains.
Round 7 :: Continue chaining and working htr across the chains.
Now you can see it growing and it’s looking good.
Round 8 :: Keep going! But I think that’s enough orange for now.
TOP TIP:: Avoid adding too many stitches in one area or it will cause the piece to pucker and ruffle (unless that is the look you’re going for – I wanted mine to lie flat) occasionally lay out your piece to see if there is any puckering.
Round 9 :: Attach another colour yarn and chain 2, htr in the same stitch. Then continue as before, chaining and htr everywhere.
Round 10 :: It’s growing even more! I’m not really thinking too much about what I’m doing. I’m just hooking and adding chains and stitches where I think it looks good and until I’m bored of the colour.
Round 11 : I added another colour and I’ll keep going as before until I reach the desired size.
End of tutorial! I think that gives you a good idea of freeform!
Here are some other examples I’ve made (these will be framed once large enough):
I haven’t woven any ends in, I like to save that job for last!
So that was a quick tutorial about freeform. Sorry if it was a little confusing!
I recommend you experiment with different stitches (trebles, popcorn ect) and different fibres (mohair, alpaca, t-shirt) and see what you end up with.
In this tutorial I’ve stayed simple using one stitch and one type of yarn (cotton) because I prefer the end result but you’re welcome to root through you’re stash and mix it all up!
This is a great stash busting project!
Hope this was helpful and I’d love to see any of the freeform projects you make, tag me as @dominiquekmitchell on instagram and I’ll come and have a look.
Here are some futher links about free form crochet:
- Renate Kirkpatrick – What is freeform?
- Snovej Crafts – Two Colour Spiral
- International Free Form – What is freeform?
- Freeform Crochet – Examples and Photos
CROCHET ARTIST:: One of my favourite crochet artists, really uses hooks and yarn to paint masterpieces. Check her out here.
Thanks for reading