The 2020 International Freeform Fiberart Guild’s Annual Challenge gallery is live! My piece for the collection is called “The Fire Inside”:
The IFFFG is a collection of freeform crochet artists from around the world. We gather online to select a theme for our challenge each year. Members interpret the theme however they wish. Our theme for this year was Brilliance—the Fire Within.
This theme had me stumped for months. I was 100% sure I wasn’t going to participate in this year’s challenge because I just had no idea what I was going to make. As the deadline approached, I decided to give it one last shot.
I started with color. I pulled a bunch of fiery embroidery flosses from my stash and started crocheting. My original thought was to make a brooch because it would be small and at least I would have done something. My brooch quickly grew into something larger, and this necklace began to take shape.
I’ve never made a necklace like this before, and I must say, I am really happy with it.
I’ll be teaching two classes at Fiber Fusion. First up is Introduction to Tunisian Crochet. A little bit crochet and a little bit knitting, Tunisian Crochet makes for highly textured fabrics that can range from dense to light and airy. In this class, participants will learn how to get a Tunisian project started, a few basic stitches, and how to cast off. Already skilled in traditional crochet? Many of the techniques used in Tunisian will feel familiar, but there are some new things to learn. Never picked up a crochet hook of any kind? Feel free to start here! Hook and yarn are provided. Students should bring scissors and a tapestry/darning needle.
I will also be teaching Introduction to Freeform Crochet. No patterns, no rules—that’s the fun of Freeform Crochet. In this class, participants will learn how to create a highly textured freeform project using scrumbles that will be combined to create a larger piece. We’ll use a variety of stitches and techniques to create works that are truly unique! For this class, students need to bring a variety of worsted-weight yarns in colors that go well together (3-5 colors would be great, and scraps are highly encouraged), crochet hooks to go with the yarn, scissors, and a tapestry/darning needle. Due to the pace of this class, I ask that students are comfortable making chain, single crochet, and double crochet stitches before coming to class. This class isn’t until May, so you have plenty of time to brush up on your crochet basics before the conference!
If crochet isn’t your thing, not to worry. Fiber Fusion is full of classes in all areas of fiber arts. You can learn about weaving and spinning and knitting and embroidery and marketing your art. There will be speakers and vendors and galleries and fashion shows and just so much awesomeness.
Download the Fiber Fusion information packet here.
The International Freeform Fiberart Guild’s Annual Challenge book is out now! My piece for the collection is called “BFFs”:
The IFFFG is a collection of freeform crochet artists from around the world brought together by the power of the internet. Each year the group selects a theme and members interpret the theme however they wish. Our theme for this year was Color Wheel.
From my entry:
Purple and red are my favorite color wheel buddies. I love the transition from regal, cool purples to fiery, warm reds. Like the best of friends, their qualities work together to create something beautiful. I wanted to explore the relationship between these two colors in this piece.
Twenty-two artists participated in this year’s challenge. You can preview and purchase the Color Wheel book at Blurb.
I am so excited to share this piece with you. I’ve been sitting on it for a few months waiting for the ok to show it to the world, and now is the time! This is The Universe Favors Spheres:
I created this piece as part of the International Freeform Fiberart Guild’s annual challenge. The IFFFG is a collection of freeform crochet artists from around the world brought together by the power of the internet. Each year the group selects a theme and members interpret the theme however they wish.
This year, we had a tie for our theme: Weather and Galaxies. We could pick one or combine the two. I chose Galaxies. I was inspired by Neil deGrasse Tyson to create my piece. Here’s the description I sent in with my entry:
On an episode of StarTalk, Neil deGrasse Tyson said that the universe favors the sphere. While Dr. Tyson said this to explain that there is no way that the earth is flat, his statement inspired me to create my own galaxy of freeform crochet spheres.
In my galaxy wall hanging, there are lumps and bumps. There are sparkles and bright colors. There are different shapes and sizes. There is effort and imperfection. All are welcome.
The science pretty much ends with the mention of Neil deGrasse Tyson.
I made so many whack-a-doodle balls of crochet for this piece! I did the bulk of the work on this one during the couple of weeks between selling our house and moving in to the new one. We stayed in a hotel at that time, and our room was full of yarn and Poly-Fil.
Twenty-seven artists participated in this year’s challenge. You can see everyone’s work in the online gallery. You can also see the galleries of past challenges on the website. You can also purchase a book featuring all of the pieces through Blurb.
We sold our house! Again! And for the last time! We’ve closed and are now living in a hotel until we close on our new house in a couple of weeks. Our hotel has a bed AND a couch, and feels super luxurious after spending months on an air mattress and the floor.
I was surprised how emotional we were when we finally left the house for good. We absolutely wanted to move, but, as Mike pointed out, we lived in that house longer than either of us had lived anywhere else in our lives. That’s not nothing.
I have been doing a lot of crocheting as I waited for our house to go from “Under Contract” to “Closed.” I finished two of the thread crochet pieces I showed you in my last post (well, almost finished—they are not attached to the canvas as well as I would like because all of our staple guns are in storage). This one is Texture Study: Bumpy:
And this one is Texture Study: Shaggy:
I’ve also been playing around with some freeform-thread-jewelry things, but that is a post for another day.
Everything has fallen apart with our home buying and selling. Our buyers lost their financing, so we are back on the market. Mike and I left town for the weekend and lots of people looked at the house while we took in three different zoos in three different states in three days! It was fun. We saw a ton of animals and I even got pooped on by a bird—what more could you ask for?
I am starting to go a little bonkers not having all of my supplies available to me. I have started making a lot of small things with crochet thread and embroidery floss, which is not something I thought I would ever do. It just seems so little and tedious, but I am actually having a good time with it. Here’s a photo of the freeform piece I am working on right now with some pearl cotton:
I tried starting with a frame on this one and working in to the center with this piece, instead of making the scrumbles first then building out. I think the later method works better for me—you can see my perfect 5″ x 5″ square is becoming misshapen as I work. It will all work out in the end, which is something I have been saying a lot lately, not just about crochet, but about life in general.
It looks like we’re going to be in our empty house for at least another week. Since all of my dyeing supplies are packed away deep in a storage space, I went to JoAnn to get some new yarns to play with while I am waiting to move.
I’ve been doing so much work with the subtle golds, yellows, greens, and browns of natural dyes lately that I decided to go in the opposite direction when I picked out my yarns. I went for a bold and bright rainbow. I’ve been making scrumbles with my yarn, little freeform bits that will eventually be stitched together into…something:
I’m having a good time playing with these guys while I watch TV on the laptop, but I am ready to have a real place to sit while I work and, more importantly, better lighting (I don’t know why I let the movers take my work lamp).
Hello there, fiber folks! How’s it going? Mike and I are camping out in our house at the moment. We are in the midst of doing some house selling and some house buying, but we are hung up waiting on some paperwork. All of our stuff is in storage, but we have clothes and camp chairs and an air mattress. I don’t know when we will actually get to move, but soon, I hope. Soon.
I have been crocheting away while sitting in my camp chair and watching game shows from the 1970s on the laptop. One of the pieces I finished before we started all of this packing and moving business is on display at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center right now. Our group of Kansas City Fiber Artists is putting on “The Nature of Fiber,” a collection of works relating to fiber and nature. I saw a few of the pieces when I dropped off my work and it is a cool exhibit!
I used yarns I dyed with marigolds in the fall to create my piece. This is one is called “Marigold Merriment:”
You can see my piece and the work of 14 other artists through January and February:
Gorman Discovery Center
4750 Troost Ave
Kansas City, MO 64110
Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM
Open until 7 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month
Open 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 9 AM – 4 PM
On January 16th, there will be a Meet the Artists event from 6 PM – 7 PM at the Center. I’d love for you to stop by, see the show, and chat with all of us. Yay!
I have several pieces I am working on right now, and several more that need to be photographed. Today, I am working on this one:
This one doesn’t have a real name at this point, so I’m just referring to it as “The Rainbow Thing.” I have been working on this piece on and off for a few months, but this week, I started piecing all of those colorful blobs together.
The yarn in this piece is all scraps from other projects, or yarn from projects that never really got off the ground. It is a mix of acrylic and wool, cheap and pricey, hand dyed and commercial dyed, smooth and novelty, and tiny bits and longer strands.
I am now in the process of filling in the holes where my randomly created blobs (they are called “scrumbles” in the freeform crochet world) don’t line up perfectly. I filled in between the orange and yellow sections and the yellow and green yesterday and this morning.
Once I get all of the holes filled, I’ll begin squaring off the edges. When finished, this freeform piece will be mounted on a 24″ x 36″ felt covered canvas for hanging.