Beanbag bomba

Paper storage facilities also work for textiles!
Something I have started to run with recently is freeform crochet. I haven’t done much research into freeform crocheting artists yet, but what I have seen I have really liked.

I wouldn’t say you were making it up as you go along but…

I think that to freeform you have to be coming from a place of intermediate to advanced crochet knowledge, as you have to have an understanding of a variety of stitches and their effects, as well as the effect increasing and decreasing stitches will have, needle sizes, and plys. At least, you should have this to really be able to run with it, to foresee events and plan your stitches to pre-empt any issues.
….I also would. You have something in mind, and you make it up as you go along because you are boss at crochet.

What are these issues? Bubbling, sagging, too tight in places, too small in general. Too large. No longer machine washable. Tension too tight when changing needles. Tension too loose. Ugly ripples. The curse of the Dreaded Flutter. Button holes are sucky. Buttons don’t fit. Sagging button holes (heh).

There’s a few.

A tip is to go mad with colour, but not too mad. If you’re gonna contrast, contrast, and if you want to compliment, compliment but don’t compliment AND contrast colours nimbly-bimbly throughout the work. Hold the next planned wool against the completed piece. Does the colour work? Does it not work in an interesting way? How much should be used before it overpowers all the other colours?

Lastly, say NO to browns, ochres, mauves, mustards, khakis, beiges, greys, off-whites, taupes, ivories or creams.

Textures are good provided you can work with the wool (I’m looking at you, Flutter).

Two-thirds done.
At the start I had crocheted an opening for the beanbag to be removed from (machine washable, delicate cycle). This meant that at some point I had to stuff the beanbag into the opening and crochet around it, reducing the stitches to make sure everything fit snugly. Next beanbag, I may try it another way. Freeform! There’s no rules here but the ones you have to follow.
Finally, that happy moment of completion:


As this was the ‘top’ of the bag, I went texture-happy. Lots of soft fluffy ones.

Then we take the glamour shots:



..bottom? Beanbags are so undefined.

This was a really good project for using up those last few metres of wools. It’s also kind of cool to look at it sometimes from the perspective of uniqueness. Only one with exactly this design on the planet, although this is not the only one ever made.

I took this to a festival recently and so many people were nostalgic of the similar thing they created in the seventies (and only that decade, for some reason) and I love that forty years is not long enough to forget a handmade thing.

Where are they all now?

About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
This entry was posted in Crafternoons, Crochet & Knitting, Experiments, Textiles, Works in progress. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Beanbag bomba

  1. Pingback: Crocheted croptops, bralettes and mandalas | kellymariemcewan

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