What is Freeform

Incorporate every stitch you’ve ever learnt, together with the exciting colours and variety of yarns available today, mix in a little imagination and you’ve found the key to this fascinating technique of freeform.


No matter what level of skill you’re at, or how creative you believe yourself to be: if you allow colour, texture and form to lead the way … intuition, spontaneity and the sheer joy of doing to be your guide, freeform can take you on a fascinating adventure.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, from the very beginning the Australian environment has been my inspirational guide: the colours, forms and textures of our flora and fauna, landscapes and oceans never cease to amaze and excite the artist in me.010

An artist by nature but a teacher at heart, my main aim is to encourage you to be spontaneous, trust their intuition and never stop asking yourself, ‘I wonder what will happen if I try this or that?’ and then give it a go. The results aren’t always as expected, but more often give a fresh perspective to the work, sometimes producing something so special it becomes the centrepiece of the project.

For me, freeform has become an all-consuming creative art form – a fascinating vehicle for self-expression – while yarns have become my palette; needle and hook my pencil, crayon and brush. It’s a truly liberating technique relying entirely on the imagination. More often than not I’m guided by the colour or texture of a yarn rather than the project itself. For example, I may have a bag in mind – but as my patches come together a beret may look better, and so I go along that path. I’m never absolutely sure how it will turn out but I’m always surprised and excited by the result.

This open-minded approach, allowing your project to grow and evolve, applies to almost every one of my freeform designs. Even though I may use a template with the aim of defining the basic shape for say, a vest there is nothing stopping me from adding sleeves, a collar or extra length if I feel the garment will look and/or fit better.

This of course applies in reverse also, for example, I’m well on my way into completing a coat, I’ve been placing my patches this way and that over the template and no matter how many times I leave and come back for another look, it’s simply not working. Instinct tells me it’s never going to work – perhaps it’s going to be too weighty and overbearing, perhaps my colour choice is becoming far too over-the-top even by my standards. Okay, that’s fine, there’s no need for panic. I shorten the length, take away the sleeves and open up the neckline and suddenly it all falls into place – I have a great looking vest. The extra patches won’t be wasted because I’ll use them in other projects or they may even prompt the beginning of a whole new idea. I believe, if you allow yourself this freedom of design it will stimulate the latent creativity that’s hiding beneath the surface – bursting to get out. It will surprise and delight even the most staid of us.




7 Responses to What is Freeform

  1. Pingback: Tutorial:: Freeform Crochet – My Other Loves

  2. rensfibreart says:

    Thank you, Kricket… I wish you much success.. enjoy! 🙂

  3. Kricket says:

    I just found your blog and LOVE your work! I’ve just begun learning to crochet, but am so intrigued by free form. I’m hoping I can continue advancing and be proficient enough to make artwork of the world I see around me!! So exciting!! Thanks for your inspiration!

  4. rensfibreart says:

    Thank you, Rosemary… Freeform is a lot of fun… there are no mistakes, only artistic adjustments, so, enjoy the freedom of this new found crochet/knit/felt technique… you’ll love it… 🙂

  5. Rosemary L Bell says:

    Fascinating – only just discovered free form yesterday. I’m in my 60s I have seen pictures of it, but didn’t know what it was. Didn’t even know it was crochet. I must have a go at this.

  6. rensfibreart says:

    And that’s how it goes, Barbara… inspiration comes from all directions & often when we least expect it… just keep your mind open & eyes peeled for just the right yarn… & then, how to deal with & work those mountains will come to you… well, that’s how it works for me… but let me add… try any & all ideas that may come to you, no matter how dumb or obscure.. some may fail (use those for another projects) but I know you’ll surprise yourself with what you’ll come up with… sounds like a wonderful project… enjoy!!

  7. Barbara says:

    “yarns have become my palette; needle and hook my pencil, crayon and brush”

    I was very happy to read this as this is exactly how I feel. I drove through the Appalachian Mountains a couple weeks ago. The colors of the trees and cornfields changed with the elevation and light levels. I kept thinking about how I could capture the look with yarn and a hook. It occurred to me that a patchwork of single crochet with surface slipstitches might capture the look of autumn cornfields – but how to capture the mountain background of vibrant reds and browns in the circular patterns of the trees? I’m still stewing over it and trying to finish my last project before charging into my “fall cornfields in the mountains” project.

    Indian Head, Maryland, USA

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