Handmade Monday 104 – Experimenting with Free Form

If you’d like to take part in Handmade Monday or spend a few lovely hours browsing through the creations of bloggers all over the globe, then pop across to Handmade Harbour and find out more!

Stray Ends and Creative Ideas

Do you ever think about what to do with all those stray oddments of yarn you have lurking around?

A few years ago I came across freeform knitting and crochet but have to admit that although I experimented a little bit I really didn’t have the nerve to create pieces with it or take any steps forward. I didn’t believe I was creative enough to try it. However times have changed and as regular readers are aware I’ve been on something of a journey that is putting me in touch with my creativity – it all started with being made to draw in public and has developed from there.

#Creative Beings

Living in Southampton means I’m very lucky to have met Jani Franck, one of the creators of the Art House Cafe and also a designer and tutor of wonderful online craft classes and groups. I’ve recently joined her #creative beings group on Facebook. Its a group for creative people to share their work and I must admit I was a tad nervous joining. Each week we also receive a weekly prompt – this week’s is Earth – and this has lead to the creation of 2 freeform pieces, mainly in crochet.

Green Fields

In last Monday’s Hope post I talked about my recent trip to Devon. Driving from Hampshire to Devon means taking the A35  – a lovely route through rural Dorset and Devon, where you are surrounded by green fields, many with evidence of ancient hill forts or settlements created by iron age  chieftans and farmers.

When I got home I started making green leafy type shapes, just out of my head, and then wondered how they’d look sewn to a ball…….. and somehow they seemed to morph into the green fields I’d been driving beside all week:

I’ve taken 3 shots of the finished ball from various angles:

I Greenfields Art Ball Tryptic

Earth Note Book

I also thought about ploughed earth and the different colours of sands and soils surrounding us and made lots of random, textured shapes and flowers to create the front cover of an A6 notebook. I’ve designed it to be detachable so that it can be transferred to other notebooks in the future, added a back cover of a random crochet fabric and a button closure. I then edged the finished piece in a rich brown

Earth Flowers and Bullion Knots…. or Roll Stitch

Its fatal for me to get onto Pinterest in terms of time, but I decided I’d have a browse at the freeform pieces others were sharing and discovered it would be a good idea to learn a new crochet stitch – the bullion knot  – as many freeform artists make good use of it when creating their pieces.

Basically what you do is:

1. Wrap the yarn around your crochet hook between 6 and 12 times – I think you can do more wraps if you feel brave!

2. Insert the hook into the foundation chain or circle, wrap yarn over hook again and pull the stitch through.

3. Wrap the yarn round the hook again and carefully pull through all loops until you have 2 loops left

4. Yarn over hook again and pull through both loops

There’s a great pictorial tutorial here with a pattern for a flower brooch

There is a really useful video tutorial provided by “The Art of Crochet By Teresa”

So once I’d grasped the concept I decided to try bullion knots into a ring of random heights to create a centre for a flower. From there I experimented with various sizes of petals – using clusters of tall crochet stitches and chains,  until I found one I liked – I think it was a quadruple treble –  and came up with this lovely little brooch:

15 thoughts on “Handmade Monday 104 – Experimenting with Free Form

  1. I think its fantastic that you’ve discovered this new freedom with your creativity, who knows where it will take you! Somewhere wonderful i’m sure 🙂

    I love your interpretation of the beautiful west country landscape – living in that neck of the woods myself i constantly marvel at the beauty of my surroundings and try to think of ways to creatively interpret it.. both your pieces are so wonderfully textured and evocative of the natural world, i can’t wait to see what you make next! x

  2. You brave women. I really like the baubles but my favourite has got to be the earth notebook it’s gorgeous. Oh pinterest does seem to absorb a lot of time. Have a lovely week.
    Ali x

  3. I’ve tried freeform crochet and have made an odd thing which keeps growing but not sure what it will become! I enjoy it and like keep changing yarn and colour. I really like your earth themed note book cover with the flower – it’s quite different. x

  4. You are one of the reasons that I have got involved with a crochet project at our local botanical gardens. (that is meant in the nicest way of course). You blogged about it and got me interested so thank you. I too really love the book cover and the flower is beautiful with all the texture and shape. I am looking forward to seeing what else you come up with. (Well done on being brave too :))

  5. I adore your notebook cover. Daisies are probably my favourite flower (I know that might sound a bit mad, but it’s true) so I love the daisy adornment. It’s lovely to see your creative development.

  6. That looks like so much fun to do and the end result is super. Oh I do know what you mean about Pinterest and now there’s that video tutorial for me to investigate too. Not enough hours in the day – eh?

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