Scrumble scramble

IMG_6464For two years I’ve been promising myself that I would learn to scrumble and make a jacket for my one year one outfit endeavours. I’ve had a few false starts. Everything I read/looked at took the approach of creating small knitted or crochet pieces or “scrumbles” and then joining them together. Sounds easy? Yes, well. I began making these little fiddly things and then I had a whole pile of disjointed shapes that I found strangely unsatisfactory and they all somehow turned out to be similar colours. Then one day I was in an op shop and came across this book which had a totally different way of doing it and I was away.


Before I go into the details, I’d like you to know that scrumbling, or freeform knitting/crochet is a marvellous way to use up all those scraps of wool that seem to accumulate everywhere I look. Add to this the emotional attachment to the handspun, natural wool that I’ve been using for my outfits and the many tiny lengths of wool festering in corners and this is the answer to my prayers!

In this book you begin by cutting all different coloured and textured wools into 30cm or 12″ lengths. Whilst this is easy for the scraps, once I moved on to my skeins of wool, I found this to be the hardest thing imaginable, but got on with it – sort of. The lengths are reef knotted together and wound into a small ball. So far so good. Cast on 6 stitches, knit five or six rows, cast off five stitches, go round the corner, pick up stitches, knit a few rows, cast off all but one stitch, move to the crochet hook, and keep going.

I used a lot of wool that was naturally coloured or which I naturally dyed, and I also attempted spinning. This is not something I’ve mastered!

IMG_5817I have a drop spindle and I’ve been on a steep learning curve working out how to ply and set the twist in the yarn


I have really enjoyed playing with my spindle and lazy kate, and I really like the added texture that my poorly spun yarn adds to my fabric. Below is my first ever skein of homespun yarn.


This is the perfect winter activity and I have loved having the fire to dry my yarn after the twist has been set.


Adding texture – that’s some thick yarn!


I’ve also been dyeing my yarn, using indigo, passionfruit, correopsis, and puff balls, as well as onion skins, sourgrass and rosemary.


I’ve also done a fair bit using avocado pits, and red ink sundew bulbs which got dislodged when we cleared our firebreaks


I’ve now made quite a large piece of fabric and have been giving thought to the form of my jacket, which I now think will be a vest. Or a wrap. Or a blanket. Once again my plan has gone awry, but I’m enjoying the process!

To be continued…




20 thoughts on “Scrumble scramble

  1. Love your courage to try new things! Scrumble blessings to you! Here’s my tip. Throw away your hand spindle and buy a wheel. You’ll be delighted with the change in progress, (as i was), and with the things that you can produce without wasting energy on what is so frustrating or disappointing! Wheels on!

  2. Beautiful ‘fabric’ and I love your gorgeous hand dyed yarns too Sue. I agree with Bette Nordberg though, buy a wheel! Less frustrating and so therapeutic.

  3. So great that you started spinning! To me the drop spindle looks pretty heavy, I bet it would be much easier for you to spin with a spindle that weights around 30g. At least that is what I prefer and what is most often recommended to beginners. That being said, I really like the texture of your first yarn too! And all those colors! And this technique! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Ooh, I was just googling portable spinning wheels when you commented. Thank you for the advice re the spindle, I shall go and check out light ones.

  4. I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this and find your whole journey and process so incredibly interesting!! This piece is gorgeous Sue! You never cease to amaze me. So looking forward to your next installment. 🙂

    1. I might change it up a bit now. I have a basic design for the piece but am not sure if I can wrestle it into submission – it has a mind of its own!

  5. I haven’t heard of scramble but it looks fascinating. I really want to try this.
    ( Mentally adds to the mile long wish list…..)

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