|a Collection of Student's Pieces from the Workshop
It was a two day workshop with over 20 students. The only requirement for the workshop was to know the basics of crochet and the objective was for everyone to go home with a piece of freeform fabric that they created.
Many of the attendees had never seen freeform crochet, so I brought a collection of my favorite Freeform books by Prudence Mapstone, Jenny Dowde, and James Walters & Sylvia Cosh, to show them.
We started off by learning to crochet a selection of textural stitches that work well in freeform. That took the entire first session. We ended the session by learning the Russian Join. I assigned them a little homework, which was to make a magic ball of yarn using the Russian Join. It is a good technique to know, and I thought it would be nice for them to be able to concentrate on the stitches instead of changing colors and where to change colors when making their first freeform piece.
For the second session, we got right to work freeforming! We played a game to create a "pattern". I had them pick stitch types out of a basket, and then roll the dice to determine how many of each stitch to make. The only thing they had to decide was where to place their hooks to make the stitches. It was a little hard for them at first to resist the temptation to work in rows or perfect circles. They kept asking me if what they were doing was "right". I told them there is no real right or wrong in freeform. If it looks good to you it is right! Once their pieces started to evolve, there were many "aha moments"! I only wish the workshop had lasted another hour, as they were just getting into it when we had to end the session. Since the workshop, I have heard from some of the students that they have done more even more freeforming, and they are really seeing the possibilities. They are sending me photos of their work and are saying that they can't stop freeforming, which is so amazing!
Below is a photo of Ranju Gandhi's first piece of freeform. Isn't it stunning! I can't wait to see what she does next!