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KathyR
Permanent Resident

New Zealand
2969 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2007 :  2:41:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit KathyR's Homepage Send KathyR a Private Message
Here is a link to workshop notes by the late Sylvia Cosh and James Walters:

http://www.crochet.nu:80/scjwc/workshops/index.html

KathyR
Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
My Blog
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Gelsomina
Chatty Knitter

250 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  5:23:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit Gelsomina's Homepage Send Gelsomina a Private Message
I've taken a day-long class in free-form crochet. It was wonderful. The instructor was Barbara Chapman, at "the Black Sheep" in Encinitas, CA. I'm glad to have taken the class just to have been clued into other artwork that she creates.

She creates AMAZING free-form things, like coats, wraps, purses, delicious afgans.

The most important thing I learned is that deep, lucious colors in quality novelty yarns (such as ribbons) are key to creating breathtaking items.

I've seen some free-form crochet done badly (my own included), mistakes include trying to use the wrong kind of yarns, bland colors, not enough texture.

I really wish there was a website that showed her work. It's phenomenal.

:-) Gelsomina
http://gelsominalucchesi.blogspot.com
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janicerosema@hotmail.com
New Pal

25 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  11:03:44 AM  Show Profile Send janicerosema@hotmail.com a Private Message
Barbara Chapman's work is amazing and uniquely hers. That is what I love about freeform. I agree that there is a lot out there that is pretty awful (like the cat threw up a fur ball) but I think that is from yarn abuse and no sense of color or design. Sometimes, people take the "no rules" thing too far.

My work is very different and I am working with a lot of unusual materials as well as designing for Ozark Handspun where you can see some of the new things under their NEWS section (free patterns. Currently, am doing a lot with felted fleeces. These are a waste product of the shearing industry and are usually discarded. Based on the breed of sheep and the quality of the wool, these can be scoured, dyed and turned into some amazing pieces of wearable art as well as other projects. I do incorporate a lot of other things into my freeform including fabric fragments, ribbons, buttons, beads, feathers, felting, rug hooking techniques, etc. It makes it very exciting and lots of fun. If you Google my name you can see some pieces of my work (I am not the Janice Rosema who is a real estate agent). Have fun freeforming!

Janice
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Gelsomina
Chatty Knitter

250 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  3:20:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Gelsomina's Homepage Send Gelsomina a Private Message
janice,
I just googled you, saw your "spring summer winter fall". Do you have a website or a blog? I'd really like to see more or your work!

I saw that you're in Hemet! I'm in San Diego.

:-) Gelsomina
http://gelsominalucchesi.blogspot.com
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SteelMagnolia
New Pal

Australia
1 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  6:09:42 PM  Show Profile Send SteelMagnolia a Private Message
Boy, if Jenny Dowde does some workshops with you in the US you will be in for a real treat. Her work and her understanding of freeform crochet and knitting is fantastic. Very different......but then that is what freeform is about isn't it? Who wants to clone their work off someone else? LOL! Sure we get inspired, but somehow we do need to make our work with our own signature, so to speak.

Regards 'ugly' work. All in the eye of the beholder. And I for one, like to go back and see how my own work developed. Earlier pieces could be picked to pieces and disregarded as rubbish....but really........they are beginning pieces or articles that need to be treated with respect and gently......LOL! It's all in the learning and experimental process. I feel that when someone discovers something they click with.....they get very protective of their work......and they need to be encouraged, not put down.......so they will move on and really get to know their creative muse.



Cheers
SteelMagnolia
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JenD
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2007 :  7:45:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit JenD's Homepage Send JenD a Private Message
Hi everyone,

How nice to see a discussion about freeform happening!

I've been freeforming since 1997 (way before that if you count what I used to do on a knitting machine which was also somewhat outside the rules<G>)....and I was SO lucky to have been taught the original scrumbling method by Sylvia Cosh and James Walters, whom along with Jan Messent also of the UK, I consider to be the masters of the technique. I spent an entire week with James & Sylvia when they came to Australia to teach at one of our annual Fibre Forums and have been completely and utterly captivated ever since.

Sadly we have lost Sylvia although her legacy lives on through her beautiful work, and Jan has moved on to other things but James is still there encouraging and being supportive...and just being....James! He stayed with us for a few days in 2003 and he is just as delightful when not wearing the tutor hat as when he is. These days I'm proud to call him my friend and mentor.

It's very interesting to see how many directions freeform is taking these days. For example, many who work in the medium like to use a lot of textured stitches along with the fancy yarns - I was one of them in the beginning, but these days I prefer to let the yarn do most of the work with just the use of an occasional textured stitch as I find this results in a softer, more drapable fabric. Much better for our Aussie climate!

Now, having worked this way for some years I find I am diversifying and cross-crafting more and more and try to encourage this 'journey of discovery' in my books.

And then there is a woman here in Australia, Dorothy Findlay whom I first met in the Cosh/Walters workshop in '97. She had been 'scrumbling' for quite some time apparently, before doing the workshop and all she ever used was her own handspun, hand-dyed yarns. To create an interesting fabric she used lots of bobbles and other textures but the fabric was still not unbearably heavy or thick, possibly due to the fact it wasn't a heavy yarn to beging with. I'm not sure, but I think that Dorothy may be one of the pioneers, if not THE pioneer of the 'scrumbling' technique here in Australia. I shall have to check with James as I'm sure he'd know more of her history.

But it all goes to show that there is no single way of freeforming, nor should there be. Follow your own path I always say!

I truly hope my plans to travel to the US come to fruition. I'd love to meet some of you in person.

Thanks to 'steelmagnolia' for the very kind words and Wheat, it will be so much fun to spend time with you away from a computer screen<LOL>....

Cheers
Jenny



www.jennydowde.com
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janicerosema@hotmail.com
New Pal

25 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2007 :  6:08:03 PM  Show Profile Send janicerosema@hotmail.com a Private Message
I certainly agree with Jenny on the work of Sylvia Cosh. Her things still seem current and so incredibly beautiful in her use of color and approach to design. She inspires me a lot. There is such diversity in the freeform area that there is nothing that is really the "wrong way" of doing it. There are some things that are more appealing to me than others and I do like incorporating a more mixed media approach to it all. I keep saying I am going to get a web site up and I am working on it but so many other things are keeping me distracted that I never quite get it going. It will happen though. I have a bunch of projects in the works that will available in the near future (I'm aiming for the end of the year) and thus works will be more accessible for viewing then. Congrats on your new book Jenny and welcome to the forum.

Janice Rosema
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janicerosema@hotmail.com
New Pal

25 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2007 :  11:56:07 AM  Show Profile Send janicerosema@hotmail.com a Private Message
Well, I finally did it! I started a blog and put photos up on flickr. It was not as hard as I thought it would be (I am somewhat computer challenged). Hopefully, everything will work smoothly and now it will give those who are interested a place to see some of my work. The whole blogging thing will probably take a while to feel comfortable with but it sure seems to have possibiities.

Okay, here goes: you can find the blog by going to janicerosema.blogspot.com and the photos can be found by going to flickr.com and looking under either janrocrochet or freeform knitting and crochet. This is my first baby steps into this and any suggestions for improvement are appreciated. Janice
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janicerosema@hotmail.com
New Pal

25 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2007 :  11:57:30 AM  Show Profile Send janicerosema@hotmail.com a Private Message


Okay, I think I have it right this time. Give this link a try

http://janicerosema.blogspot.com and also

www.Flickr.comand search under People heading for janrocrochet and photos should pop up.

Sorry for my lack of knowledge in how to put in these links to a posting. Janice
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ChelleC100
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2007 :  07:11:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit ChelleC100's Homepage Send ChelleC100 a Private Message
Wow, somehow I didn't catch this post by Jenny Dowde until now. Welcome Jenny! I have both of your books, Freeform Knititng and Crochet as well as Freeformations, the newest one. May I say that your work inspires me a lot.

I live in the Midwest where Freeform isn't as "hot" nor information and classes as readily available in Freeform as they have been in Australia and the West coast of the US. But I love your books. You are such an inspiration to me.

I am a knitter by nature, but have learned to crochet so that I can have more variety in my freeform work. I've completed one Freeform project so far, a vest, but I hope to do much more in the future.

I am now working on what was originally going to be a Denim vest with Freeform sleeves, but I couldn't figure out how to put the scrumbles together enough to do the sleeves, so no I'm just making sleeves with a variety of different yarn stripes. Janice has said that I could try putting the scrumbles on OVER the knitted fabric. That's one possibility. Not sure. I'm not as creative as some of you long-time Freeform artists.

I one day checked a Cosh book out of the local library and studied it for several weeks until I had to return it. I felt like I'd found gold when I found that book.

I love your "Grow as You Go" sweater technique and hope to make a sweater like that as one of my future freeform projects. Thanks for showing up here Jenny! I hope to also find you over on Ravelry soon. There's a fairly active Freeform group over there. On Ravelry, I'm ChelleC

My blog www.hangingbyathinthread.blogspot.com



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JenD
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2007 :  7:27:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit JenD's Homepage Send JenD a Private Message
Hello ChelleC,

Thank you for all those VERY kind words about my books. You know, when I wrote them I hoped they would inspire as well as provide knowledge about the wonderful medium of 'freeform' and it makes me so happy to know that they do inspire.

If I can be of any help at all regarding the assembling of your fragments for your denim project, do let me know. It's not as difficult as it first appears once you grasp the concept.

I have to say that my favourite way of creating garments is the by the "Grow As You Go" method<G>...so much freedom! That jacket was a really fun one to make. Shortly after the book was released someone commissioned me to make another but I was deep into the Freeformations manuscript at the time so made the very difficult choice to sell her that one as shown in the book. I'm still regretting it! One day I'll find the time to make myself another one! I also let a favourite shawl go for the same reason ("Tracks" in the Freeform Knitting & Crochet book's Gallery)and I sometimes feel the need to make myself a similar one of those as well.
Then again, it's sometimes a good idea NOT to repeat things, even though you know they won't be the same because they are 'freeform'. It's sometimes just better to move on and explore new things.

I've registered for Ravelry but there are still 6010 people ahead of me so it will be a while before I get my invite. But when I do, I'll no doubt see you there!

Thanks again....

Jenny








[quote]Originally posted by ChelleC100

Wow, somehow I didn't catch this post by Jenny Dowde until now. Welcome Jenny! I have both of your books, Freeform Knititng and Crochet as well as Freeformations, the newest one. May I say that your work inspires me a lot.






www.jennydowde.com
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ChelleC100
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  09:50:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit ChelleC100's Homepage Send ChelleC100 a Private Message
Jenny, ah, you sold your Grow As You Go Sweater. Ahhhh. I loved that one so well.

I decided to try to just knit some sleeves first to create a general pattern that will work and that will fit my arms - a template of sorts to work on future freeforming sleeve ventures. I now have that down on butcher paper and will use it to help shape future scrumbling efforts. For this project, I just ended up with some striped sleeves but I think the jacket will be cute.

In assembling pieces, I had one project where I just made a variety of scrumbles and then put them onto a suede vest. That worked out pretty well. There's a photo of it in the February 14th entry on my blog:

http://hangingbyathinthread.blogspot.com/2007_02_01_archive.html


I like the Grow as you Go technique of yours a LOT and plan on using it in the future. I have some sweater and vest ideas.

Are you going to be touring the US anytime soon? Chelle

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KrazyKim
Chatty Knitter

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  4:10:43 PM  Show Profile Send KrazyKim a Private Message
Janice,
I love your blog and Flikr photos! I really love the purses with the Ozark Fleece. Can't wait to see if you get one of your bags in "500 Handbags".

Chelle,
I checked out your blog and we finally get to see your wonderful (and finished!) autumn vest! It turned out great! I remember when you told us you'd taken a Valentina Devine class and were so inspired by her. Now, I need to get back to my own WIP freeform projects. I can't believe I have so many unfinished...sheesh!

...And I thought I was 5'3" and 150 lbs. until my latest doctor's visit, when the nurse measured me. She told me I was actually 5'4"! 50 years old and I finally know my own height. I knew we had a lot in common, you and I. So maybe you should measure yourself again?

And "Hi" to Jenny!
I have both your books also, and love, love, love them!

Kim, Playa del Rey, CA
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janicerosema@hotmail.com
New Pal

25 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  8:34:36 PM  Show Profile Send janicerosema@hotmail.com a Private Message
Jenny, can't wait to see you on Ravelry. I've only been there a few days but it is such fun with all kinds of things to do. There are a couple of freeform groups on it and a lot of other folks are experimenting with freeform too. Thanks, Kim, glad you liked the photos and the blog. I'm working on it. All the photos got finished and ship out tomorrow for that book. Wish me luck! There are also some new free designs of mine on www.ozarkhandspun.com

I love, love, love their yarns and am working on a needlefelted alpaca felted coat using Ozark handspun yarns. It is looking so great so far. I can't wait to see how it comes out. I finally got to see Chelle's suede freeform vest too and it is wonderful.
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JenD
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  8:36:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit JenD's Homepage Send JenD a Private Message
Hi Chelle,

At least we still have pics of the Grow as you Go jacketG>...

I checked out your sleeves and they look perfect and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished project. Just goes to show that you can do anything with this 'freeform' approach and the end result will always be terrific and more importantly, unique to you!

I've also checked out the scrumbled vest and you did a really great job. I don't think you need any help at all! Just keep going the way you are....the method of sewing fragments to an existing garment is a really good idea and certainly makes the process easier but it's one that is not used much here in Australia because of the weight of the resultant fabric. On the whole, our climate is just not cold enough for such warm garments.

If you plan on using the butcher paper template a lot, esp for the fragment technique where you'll be pinning and unpinning the fragments during the design process, I would suggest you trace it onto fabric - old sheeting or calico which I think is muslin in the US...or anything that will hold up to the constant pinning. Since the vest is obviously a really good fit and a shape you like, you could also trace the outline of that onto fabric (or paper first if that's easier) and you'll have a really good vest template to use again and again.

As for workshops in the US....With the help of a US based friend we are currently working on a workshop tour of the States but it's a 'project under construction' at the moment. I really hope we can pull it off and if so I'll be sure to let you know. It won't be until around Jun/Jul 2008 though....

Jenny

www.jennydowde.com
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JenD
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2007 :  8:44:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit JenD's Homepage Send JenD a Private Message
Hi Kim.....I'm so glad you like my books so much. That's always lovely to hear!

Hi Janice...I can't wait to get my invite to Ravelry. Looks like it's going to be THE place to be<G>....One thing worries me a little though...if there are so many fun things to do there, WHEN will we find time to work<G>....?

I'm off to check out the rest of Chelle's blog and the Ozarkhandspun site and then I have to get back to an odd freeformed part knit, part crocheted concoction I'm working on.....not sure where it's heading except in my mind's eye. LOL....

Jenny

www.jennydowde.com
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janicerosema@hotmail.com
New Pal

25 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2007 :  4:04:34 PM  Show Profile Send janicerosema@hotmail.com a Private Message
In my opinion, you will love Ravelry. There is a lot to see and information that is useful. One thing I love is that unlike some of the Yahoo groups it doesn't seem to have that cliquish atmosphere that can be so stifling to creativity. There are a couple of freeform forums there which seem to be growing. Also, it is possible to interact with people on your own terms and still make use of everything they have to offer. I love, love, love it. Can't wait til you're on board. I happily found Chelle there and even got to finally put a lovely face to a very pleasant person.

This week has been hectic. I've had book submissions to get out and new designs that have to be sent for a November deadline as well. Well, I guess busy is better than idle. A little time to curl up and create would be great.
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KrazyKim
Chatty Knitter

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2007 :  1:54:52 PM  Show Profile Send KrazyKim a Private Message
Oh Wow! Janice,

I went to the Ozark Handspun site and looked around the Flikr photos and saw your needle felting in progress. It looks great!

(And I took your advice and signed up for Ravelry the other day. In two days, 816 people have gotten behind me in line! Looks like the end result will be ALL knitters/crocheters worldwide will be on Ravelry! Interesting...)



Kim, Playa del Rey, CA
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ChelleC100
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2007 :  7:40:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit ChelleC100's Homepage Send ChelleC100 a Private Message
Great to see this forum getting busy again!

Jen and Kim, you will get on Ravelry very soon. The line moves quickly and continues to speed up. I predict you'll both be on lickity-split. If you haven't already downloaded your project photos onto Flickr, go ahead and set up a Flickr account and start preparing now.

I believe that Ravelry will be a "must have" for most knitters and crocheters. For designers and authors, it will really be a "must do" for increased exposure etc.

I have so enjoyed talking to you over there, Janice! Your work is so creative and phenomenal. I love that Ozark site that has your vest pattern. When does your book come out?

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ChelleC100
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
459 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2007 :  7:49:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit ChelleC100's Homepage Send ChelleC100 a Private Message
Jenny, regarding the advice about making a cloth template - yes, I can see how that will be much better. I'm going to take your advice and do that. Also make one of the vest that fits me.

I keep hoping to lose weight, but in the meantime, I better make a template of what will fit me NOW and then if I lose weight, it will be a happy event to create a new smaller vest template.

I LOVE your Grow as You Go Sweater. I want to make one very similar to that. I want mine to have bright colors on the yoke and then probably the rest will be black.

You are right, that in the US, especially where I live in the midwest, it gets colder here and we can sometimes wear heavier winter pieces. But still, I can see the benefit of making less heavy items as well. I would like to start doing some full-out freeform vests etc. without the overlay so that the garment would be lighter and less bulky.

Janice, I love both your blog and the Ozark website you directed us to. I am really interested in cross-crafting, like needle felting, embroidery and other art mediums blended into my knitting and crochet.

Kim, we must meet sometime. I think we'd all have tons of fun getting together for a freeform session.
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