EXPERIMENTS WITH CURLICUE FREEFORM CROCHET
Here are the results of some fun I had playing around with curlicue freeform crochet. For this project I dipped into my stash of Queensland Collection Uluru Yarn. This is a fingering weight yarn. The primary fiber content is cotton and the secondary fiber is acrylic with metallic thread running through it. It has a slightly fuzzy “mohair” texture to it. I used a 2.55 mm steel crochet hook. That’s a size 0 in U.S. sizing.
I started out by crocheting either a square or circular mesh. For the square (or could be a rectangle if you want) I made the mesh as you would doing a basic filet crochet grid. Make crochet chains to the width of the grid you desire. Chain 6 more and then double crochet (U.S. crochet terminology) in the 7th chain from the hook. Chain 2, skip 2 chains, double crochet and repeat across to the end. Chain 4, turn, double crochet in the double crochet below. Chain 2, double crochet in next double crochet and repeat. Make as many rows as needed to get to the height you want. If you’d like a tutorial with pictures, scroll down to #10 at this link: Learn Freeform Crochet
This is the underside of the mat – can you see the grid in the middle?
Here’s an outline of the grid on the underside of the mat:
The base grid can also be made in a circular form. I started by making a circle of chains, and then just kept making chain-3 arches (chain 3, single crochet in circle or loop below) over and over again all around. To keep the circle flat, you’ll need to increase the number of arches in each round. I don’t count or do this in an exact manner. If it starts cupping, I add more arches. If it gets wavy I add less arches. One of the things I love about doing any kind of freeform crochet is that I don’t need to do much counting — I can just go with the flow and do what comes naturally.
Once the grid is made (square, rectangular, circular, or organic shapes – wherever your crochet hook takes you) I like to start somewhere in the middle. To make the first curlicue, I do a single crochet on one of the grid lines and then crochet a length of chains. For a basic medium length curl, I make about 8 chains. Then I go back down the line of chain stitches, doing 2 single crochet stitches in each chain.
Want a curlier curlicue? Make more stitches in each chain. The more stitches, the curlier it gets.
Want a less curly curlicue – more like a gentle wave? Do 1 single crochet in each chain. Or do 2 single crochets in the first chain, 1 single crochet in the next, and repeat by alternating down the length of chain.
You can also vary the length of the curlicues by changing how many chain stitches you make.
You can make all of your curlicues the same length and same curliness on the mat. Or vary the lengths and curliness throughout the piece. This is what makes it so fun! You can randomly play as you go. Or you can plan it out ahead of time if you have a specific idea in mind.
I also experimented with making pin loom squares using the Queensland Uluru fingering weight yarn. It makes a light and airy woven square. For more information on weaving with pin looms, see this POST
I then took the curlicue freeform crochet sculpture and combined it with a woven pin loom square.
In the picture above, you can see an experiment I did (bottom right), crocheting directly into a pin loom square. I used the woven square as my base mesh for freeform crochet. In addition to curlicues, I also did some wiggly crochet. It’s a fun piece, but the square grid does become somewhat crinkly and misshaped as you go. I’m just going to keep going and cover the whole mesh so it won’t be noticeable.
Happy experimenting, everyone!