SYLVIA COSH : JAMES WALTERS : CROCHET

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The
background image
on this page
is a detail of Sylvia's
'Summer Scrumble'
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Sylvia Cosh and I worked together in the UK for twenty-three years – designing, making things, doing commissions, writing books, appearing in films and on television, and teaching. In 1995, '96 and '97 we had some fantastic times doing crochet workshops in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. In our travels we were lucky enough to meet many wonderful textile people all over the world, who love innovative and expressive forms of crochet. It was always our intention through this site to keep in touch with all of them and to share what we did with new people, too.

Sylvia died of cancer on 30 July, 2000, but her work lives on


"Scrumblers of the world, unite!
You have nothing to lose by making chains … single crochets … double crochets … "

'Scrumbling'

'Scrumbling' has always been our word for an easy approach to free-form crochet (that is, making things up as you go along), which involves making lots of different pieces more or less at random, changing colours, textures and stitches often, and then joining them. Our Worksheet here (#7) will help to you get started.

There is a whole range of different techniques and philosophies behind the idea – probably as many as there are people doing it. Ours have usually been about finding what suited us and took us in new directions. It is all about peeling off the layers of household grime which have accumulated around the infinitely popular, but limited, 'painting by numbers' tradition of domestic crochet and discovering underneath a brilliantly simple and expressive technique. Starting with a hook and a continuous thread of some kind, each of us can make fabrics and structures in two and three dimensions, allowing our eyes, hands and heart all to work together to create intuitively and immediately

What we have always tried to teach are down-to-earth, practical approaches to help people to develop their own creative personalities, rather than always to be measuring themselves against someone else's set-piece crochet 'recipes'. It is still my plan to use this space to help de-mystify the things that often confuse or intimidate people about crochet, so they can really begin to fly …

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'How to' video

For some years we were using camcorders 'live' in our workshops, since this has proved to be by far the best way to demonstrate techniques close-up in workshop sessions. It was of enormous benefit to make copies of the raw footage of these workshop sessions available to the participants afterwards, so we have also been planning to make properly edited, stand-alone programmes for general distribution of our special fabric-making techniques just as we had been teaching them.

I have now resumed work on these projects and will put the details up here as soon as anything becomes available. Meanwhile our workshop 'handouts' are available for download here

James Walters

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