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Updated on October 15, 2014

Freeform Crochet and Knitting Fragments

Scrumbles are little fragments of knitting and crochet, made without rules or patterns, although I did follow a set of instructions to make the fragment pictured opposite. But I'm a beginner!

All you need for scrumbling are crochet hooks or knitting needles, some yarn, a little crochet knowledge (or a book with a good bank of crochet and knitting stitches) and your imagination.

Make a chain of stitches, crochet into them, double crochet into them, learn some fancy stitches, make a bobble, crochet a circle - whatever tickles your fancy!

The fragment opposite was made from the instruction in Jenny Dowde's book - Freeform Knitting and Crochet.

My First Attempt at Freeform Crochet

This piece was one of my first attempts at just starting to crochet and not worrying about using a pattern.

I wanted to make a cover for my Filofax with some yarn I'd hand-spun.

As I'm not an expert at spinning, my yarn has come out with huge variances in the thickness and the amount of twist I added in - but this gave it a really interesting quality when I started to crochet with it.

I'm not terribly experienced with crochet so when I attempted to make bobbles from a set of instructions it went slightly wrong but I love the walnut or pineapple-like shapes that I got instead.

Crochet Hooks

Clover Takumi Getaway Soft Touch Crochet Hooks Gift Set, 8 Sizes
Clover Takumi Getaway Soft Touch Crochet Hooks Gift Set, 8 Sizes

A set of 8 crochet hooks in sizes C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J in a soft case.

This might be the perfect set to start you on your crochet adventures.


My First Attempt to Make a Crochet Fragment

I wasn't sure what I was doing when I made the piece below.

I decided to just crochet a shape and then work the white into ruffles around the edge, as I had in the piece above.

It didn't turn out very special!

I think it's important to learn a few more stitches before attempting freeform - I needed to know the rules before I could break them.

I might still work into this piece afterwards rather than discarding it.

Knitting Fashion

I adore this really old book. A friend gave it to me after she was clearing out a classroom and it's perfect for anyone wanting to know the basics of crochet and knitting. There also some great patterns in there for crochet in particular.

Knitting Fashion
Knitting Fashion

If you can find this book it'll tell you everything you need to know about getting started with knitting and crochet. There are a lot of stitches featured that I hadn't even heard of.

The patterns featured in the second half are so old that they're probably back in fashion - or could at least be considered vintage.


Bobble Stitch

I made the bobbly sample, below, following instructions from "Knitting Fashion".

How to Make a Bobble

Freeform Knitting and Crochet

This is a wonderful little book that's given me the kickstart I needed to start scrumbling.

Freeform Knitting and Crochet includes instructions for 4 different crochet and knitted fragments and 2 knitted fragments.

Why would you need instruction for freeform crochet?

Well, when you're starting it can be a little intimidating to just "start" so it's nice to have a base to work from.

I've started making fragments from the instructions and when I feel a bit more confident I'm going to start making up my own scrumbles. Perhaps first I will start with the instructions but then do something different - take out the bits I'm not comfortable with or add in some of my favourite stitches.

Freeform Knitting and Crochet (Milner Craft Series)
Freeform Knitting and Crochet (Milner Craft Series)

This is an awesome book for anyone who wants to start freeform knitting and crochet. It's packed with ideas, examples, finished pieces, special effect stitches and patterns.

There is even a section on crocheting with wire.


My Crochet Fragment 1

This is my attempt at making "Crochet Fragment 1" from Jenny Dowde's book.

I used yarn that I'd handspun myself. The fragment is a little warped in places due to the thickness of the yarn changing - but I love it!

My Crochet Fragment 2

I made the second fragment using a mixture of acrylic yarns - I still like it, but prefer the pieces I made with my handspun yarn.

I'm not sure I followed the instructions properly but I guess with freeform it really doesn't matter.

My Crochet Fragment 3

I love crochetting circles so I think I will make another piece that has more of the circular parts in it. I love that this piece looks like some sort of "at the bottom of the garden" fragment.


This is a leaf that I crochetted, following instructions from Jenny Dowde's book. I'd love to make a whole heap of these to decorate a shrug or shawl.

The edge of the leaf is decorated with picot stitch.


This spiral is also detailed in Jenny Dowde's book "Freeform Knitting and Crochet". I think these would look beautiful along the edge of a neckline or cuff.

Starting with a Magic Circle

One thing I know how to do is make a magic circle.

With the round piece below I started with a magic circle and then increased every stitch by two. Originally my intention was to make a flat circle, but because I don't know how to do that I ended up with this crazy piece that was curling in on itself.

I started to decrease the stitches for one round and then used the same amount of stitches and played about with that until I ended up with the interesting puckered shape below - I love it!

The Magic Circle

Another Increased Magic Circle

I think this piece is going to be more like the hyperbolic crochet shown in the video below.

I've been trying to decrease this circle, like I did with the one above, but it's not working so well - I think because I'm using a much smaller crochet hook - it's taking a lot longer to work.

Hyperbolic Crochet

DPN Knitting Needles Set

Carbonized Patina 7" Double Point Bamboo Knitting Needles 14 Sizes (70 Pieces)
Carbonized Patina 7" Double Point Bamboo Knitting Needles 14 Sizes (70 Pieces)

This set includes 14 sets of 7” double-pointed knitting needles, made from carbonized hard Moso bamboo.

The sizes are US 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10,10.5, 11, 13 and 15.

This might not be the best set you can buy but it’ll be good for starting you off on your scrumbling adventures.


What Can You Use the Fragments for?

I want to use all of these fragments to make a shrug or something similar to what I've doodled below.

I'm not sure how it's going to work yet, but I'm going to try pinning all the pieces to my mannequin as I go so that I can see how they all fit together and how many I'm going to need.

FREEFORM: Serendipitous Design Techniques for Knitting & Crochet

FREEFORM: Serendipitous Design Techniques for Knitting & Crochet
FREEFORM: Serendipitous Design Techniques for Knitting & Crochet

Freeform:Serendipitous Design Techniques for Knitting and Crochet is a book by Prudence Mapstone. Prudence can be found on and she has some of the most gorgeous and intricate scrumbles I’ve seen.

This book is now out of print although you may be able to find it on Amazon by following the link. You can also find an e-book version on Prudence’s website. Search for

The book includes ideas for choosing yarn and colors, pattern ideas, general tips and hints.


Freeform Crochet and Beyond

Freeform Crochet and Beyond: Bags, Cushions, Hats, Scarves and More (Milner Craft Series)
Freeform Crochet and Beyond: Bags, Cushions, Hats, Scarves and More (Milner Craft Series)

Freeform Crochet and Beyond includes directions on how to make scrumbled motifs in crochet, knitting and felting, how to fit them together and what you can make out of them.

Many reviewers describe this as the best book on freeform.


Tunisian Crochet Set

Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hook Set
Denise Interchangeable Crochet Hook Set

Tunisian crochet (AKA Afghan crochet) is a mixture of knitting and crochet and uses a special long hook.

This is a set of 12 hooks (ranging in size from F5 (3.75mm) to 19 (15mm)) with 7 cords and also includes buttons, extenders and detailed instructions for Tunisian crochet.

The set comes in a 7” x 8.5” case and the parts are guaranteed.


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    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I wanted to add, you had me at "scrumbles"

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Love this.... I'm a beginner/intermediate at crochet. This lenses inspires.



    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @Twmarsh: Thanks so much :D

    • Twmarsh profile image

      Twmarsh 7 years ago

      I really like the way you put this lens together. Nice photo examples and use of vids. Thumbs up rated!