Staff Projects: Winging It, For Our Kids

So much of parenting is just figuring it out as you go along, right? In keeping with that idea, Alison and I have recently been crafting without patterns – just “winging it”, as we do in some form with our young kids each and every day. I hesitated about posting these projects, only because we get a lot of questions about our staff projects: what patterns we used, if/where we altered the pattern, how much yarn we used, and if that yarn still available. These three projects are an amalgamation of elements that came together without a specific plan, but I wanted to show you them anyway. Sometimes it’s the spontaneous things we create that turn out to be the most unique, don’t you think?


First up, is this watermelon slice that Alison made from our newest yarn, Tuff Puff. She used under 5 skeins of Pucker, 2 skein of Macaw, and 1 skein each of White and Black. Alison would like to report that she has aspirations for writing up this pattern, but would like to change how she did the decreases. In the meantime, she says her 1 year-old daughter will enjoy belly flopping on it, immensely. Job done!


Last year, I had a moment of great shame as a crafty parent when we bought a pair of mittens for my toddler. What the….???? My husband kept telling me how cold her hands were when outside, and I kept promising to make some. Then one day, he gave up on me, and rightfully bought her a pair which were well-used all winter. This winter I am not getting caught out! I am starting early on winter accessories for both my kids, so they may have them when the chill sets in. I made this set from 1.5 skeins of a (now sold out) Super Fine Alpaca Special Reserve yarn (Ravelry link). I made up the patterns myself, and embroidered on them with Stroll Brights and Swish Brights and a large darning needle. Winter, we’re ready!


Bright colors seem to go well with knits for kids, since Alison made her daughter this adorable pullover in Stroll (1 skein of Dove Heather and 2 skeins of Black) and Stroll Brights (1 Skein of Pucker and 1 skein of Pickle Juice).  Her kiddo can run, but she can’t hide in these stand-out colors! Again, this sweater has no specific patterns; Alison just went for it, and it worked out well, don’t you think?

Though I absolutely love a good pattern (and I especially love a good book of knitting patterns for kids), it sometimes feels good to just measure them up, cast-on, and see what you can make. Do you ever forego the pattern? What are some successes you’ve had, or some disasters? We would love to hear.


  1. Jenni / October 3, 2015

    These are awesome! I was thinking the watermelon was small, but if Alison’s daughter belly flops on it, it must be big. I too have been caught wearing store bought because I hadn’t taken the time to make something for myself.

  2. Carina / September 28, 2015

    Thanks for posting these! It’s so fun to see what you all are making!

  3. Lisa Henry / September 28, 2015

    These are beautiful, I am just so impressed that you all knit without patterns. All three projects are wonderful!