What is Scrumbling?

What is Scrumbling?

In response to my post pointing toward Crochet workshop sheets to download Christine asked if scrumbling was suitable for children. I thought it a very good question so decided to expand a little on this morning.

I think if the stitches were kept simple and the scrumbles small it would make an ideal activity and encourage creativity as the activity is freeform. Children have not been told they can or can not yet do something and are not stifled with notions of the “right” and “wrong” way. There are lots of cheap yarns on the market and I am sure a good scrap scavenge would harvest plenty of yarns for a childrens group to use. I would love other peoples opinion on this but I think children would love it.

If you don’t know what I am talking about when I refer to scrumbles take a look at these. Some people refer to it as scrumbling and others call it freeform crochet and knitting.

I love scrumbling but never seem to get enough time to do it. Free form crochet is a modular technique. The image above is an example of what the scrumbles look like before they are assembled into a larger piece of fabric. This can be anything from a bag to a cape!

Because the pieces are made or stitched together in different directions they do not drop. Prudence Mapstone has described how to create a scrumble . As you can see they built up motif by motif. For a simple scrumble Myra Wood has Freeform demo on her site. As you can see even those with basic crocheting skills can create a scrumble. Marlo Cairns has also illustrated how scrumbles are built up.

The next step is to combine the pieces. They are either stitched or crocheted together. Here you can see the pieces being joined together (As a tip I weave in the ends as I go as it is a huge job!)

To help Christine and to spark the interest of anyone else who is curious about freeform crochet I thought I would pull together a few links on the topic.

If you are interested in garments take a look at Myra’s freeform wearables and her blog

For heaps of inspiration (and getting lost for a few hours) browse the 8 exhibitions on the A girl can never have too many handbags site. Another series of exhibition can be found on the If the hats fits site.

60 Odd a Fiber Odyssey was a challenge in which 61 freeform practitioners swapped 61 five yard bundles of yarn and then set about scrumbling. Take a look at the site to see the results.

Another inspiration site is A celebration of freeform crochet. Have a look at the scrumblers gallery. Yet more visual stimulation can be found on Bonnie Pierce’s site Elegant Freeform Crochet

If you are interested in scrumbling the Free Form Crochet Guild runs a Yahoo discussion group FFCrochet

I couldn’t find many blogs that are devoted to freeform Crochet. Leave a comment if you know of any as if there are any out there I would love to know of them. There is a flickr tag scrumbles and a Freeform Crochet group which will keep you browsing for way too long. Now the problem with posts like this is that I am now in the mood to dig out my half finished scrumbles and I have work to do. It’s painful I tell you!

On another note.

I am taking a few days off blogging but will back on Tuesday with the next challenge stitch. I have a busy weekend coming up, Jerry and I are both on leave  and we plan a little break.

Also I have turned off snap preview because after my question yesterday the majority don’t like it.


  1. Sharon, you ave to know I’m a huge fan of yours and I’m so excited we finally crossed paths. The first thing I do when I teach FF embroidery classes is give everyone the link to your wonderful site!!

  2. As some one who sometimes feels stifled by my apparent lack on spontaneity, I would say absolutely this is suitable for children. I was the sort of child who tried hard to always colour inside the lines. Maybe that is my true nature and I am not capable of being ‘messy’ but I feel that my Dad was over critical of everything and always wanted my brothers and me to do ‘better’. I think his constant criticism has contributed to my need to aim for perfection. I vote we allow youngsters to express their creativity in whatever way feels right to them, to praise there efforts and encourage them to explore their own possibilities.


  3. my take on this is children invented it
    it was just discovered by adults : )
    go forth and prosper!
    would be a good response
    a person that doesn’t understand spontaneity
    needs a jolt now and again
    order and chaos
    they are at peace with each other
    i breathe in
    i breathe out
    complete clarity
    late night with kate : )

  4. Hi Sharon,

    I’m sure many kids would love scrumbling. In fact I did similar stuff for fun when I learned how to crochet. I soon proceeded to stuff that met the grown up’s expectations better back then. I didn’t try that myself since then, but I’m sure I will when I find the time.

    Kids are so different with arts and crafts projects. Some will be perfectly happy to play arround with yarn and hook inventing their very own way of scrumbling, those should not be held back by a nitpicking teacher. Others need instructions and directions how the finished piece should look like until they are comfortable with a new technique. Keep that in mind and you can teach them almost any craft, and make them like it too. (I have been leading a kid’s group in the local environment protection club for a few years).

    Also, it might be helpful to have a few example pieces at hand, that often teaches more than explanations. And of course pink yarn for the Barbie obsessed …


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