James Walters: A Crochet Pioneer

Hello everyone! Tara here—

Over the weekend, the crochet world lost a legend.

James Walters, a designer from Wales, was someone that everyone started keeping their eyes on after he won a nation-wide knitting and crochet competition in the 1970’s. He even participated in a BBC TV series in 1976 called Knitting Fashion.

James Walters Photo From the 1970's
James Walters From the 1970’s

He first learned how to crochet when he was 30 years old, and he began designing and working with his friend Sylvia Cosh shortly after.

The pair went on to write multiple books together, as well as deign numerous pieces for magazines and yarn manufacturers. They taught countless crochet workshops together, from the UK to the USA, and in Australia and New Zealand too.

One of their specialties was freeform crochet, and they coined the term “scrumbling” to help describe it—it means you’re making everything up as you go! From changing yarn weights and yarn textures, stitches, shapes and hook sizes, freeform crocheting has no true pattern and is all about having fun with your work.

Each piece is unique and a true work of art.

Not to say that there are no techniques for freeform crochet—there definitely are, and James and Sylvia were happy to teach everyone they could about them!

And, though both Sylvia and James have passed away, they are still teaching people that want to learn more about crochet.

You can find some of their amazing books on Amazon (the links are below).

Crochet Workshop

New Crochet Workshop

The Crochet Workbook

Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches

The Crochet Sweater Book

Let us know in the comments which of James’ and Sylvia’s books are your favorite!

– Tara Orchard, Editor of Crochet! Magazine

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