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Friday, August 12, 2005


Thanks, Lee, for the lovely compliment! (In the comments).

Scrumbling is my true obsession. Legal, too! It's also known as freeform crochet (or freeform knitting and crochet, or just freeforming). There are some disputes as to who originated it and its connections (or otherwise) to modular knitting/crochet. I came across it when browsing the Net about three years ago and found Prudence Mapstone's site. It wasn't quite as exciting then as it is now, but even then it was a moment of perfect synchronicity for me. I had been looking around for a new knitting challenge, having got bored with Kaffe Fasset (sorry, Kaffe!) - I'd signed up for a knitting class that sounded interesting, with lots of embellishing, but that was cancelled - and I found this site. I immediately ordered her book and set to work. There was a fair bit of crochet in it. I could crochet, but tended not to, so that was a bit of a learning curve!

Not long after I had started scrumbling, we all went up to Sydney for two weeks while George did some urgent work, instead of having a summer holiday. I did my best with the kids on my own, but Wombat was at his autistic worst and it was hard. We spent a lot of time sitting in our air conditioned apartment, and I scrumbled while he watched cable TV. It saved my sanity and gave me an enduring love for what is, essentially, a form of patchwork.

How do you do it? Well, any way you like! One of the things I love about it is that there are no rules and you cannot make mistakes. Some scrumblers are more rule-bound than that, and their work is lovely. If I want to follow rules, however, I use a pre set pattern. When I scrumble I like to go with the flow.

When I make a scrumble I do this - I make a centre piece, in either knitting or crochet, about an inch or so across - a square, a triangle, a rectangle, a circle or something misshapen. Then I work around it, adding bits here and there, either knitting or crocheting straight onto it, or doing separate pieces and sewing them on afterwards. When the overall piece is approximately the size of the palm of my hand, I stop and make another one. What I do with them depends on what I think I might make out of them - for the cape I made lots of scrumbles and sewed them together at the end, and then added some bits and pieces here and there to fill in gaps. I deliberately left some gaps because I liked to effect they gave. I sewed some beads on in various places, just for fun.

I made a hat for Baby Bear recently, in which I did separate pieces and attached them as I went, using a hat block for shaping. I am writing up a pattern for that which will be on sale by the end of the month (hopefully!) at Sheepeasy Designs.

Anyone interested in scrumbling will find lots and lots on the Net - Prudence's site gives some interesting links and a Google search will come up with lots of things too. Big warning, though - you either love it or hate it, no-one seems to be lukewarm about it!!

And for anyone who thinks it is a great way to use up your oddments of yarn - well, it is, but I guarantee that you will end up buying twice as much again, because you keep seeing things that would be perfect for it. I can rarely resist buying a multitude of single balls of new and novelty yarns, because they will be great for some freeform project or other.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Thanks for the explanation! I will check out that link.