Free Range Knitalong -- no pattern required

Free-range knitting celebrates the unexpected. It’s a bit like setting off on a trip, map in hand, heading roughly in a certain destination while leaving yourself open for side excursions, serendipity and the joyful spirit of discovery.

If you think of a traditional pattern as a metaphor for rules, directions, responsibilities and confined expectations, a free-range knitting guide is more of a compass rose pointing you towards all the possibilities of the imagination. You set off in a general direction not knowing exactly where you’ll end up but trusting the result will be well worth the trip.

Topics covered: intarsia, stranded knitting among many others all guided here:

No pattern necessary. Just join the crew of like-minded adventurous knitters as we sail off on a voyage of discovery to knit a version of this in your own colors:

Join here: or

I gotta admit, I find the entire subject of free-range knitting FASCINATING! I truly wish I had the gift of imagination, and the skill of the artisit required for this type of work. MY GOD it’s beautiful!


okay, well, I got brave and decided to try this, all by me onesie. Anybody else want to join?

There are no rules. You knit with whatever yarn you want, no pattern, change yarns and stitches as the spirit leads, incorporate anything fancy you’d like - like beads, or feathers, and, in short, just go for it.

Please post pics of WIP’s and FO’s

Og Kush

hmm, i think this would make one nice stashbuster scarf

sorry camera’s not working :shrug:

Hi, Madame TJ!

I gotta say, I found myself really inspired by the thought of doing some free-range, “organic,” style knitting. I put down everything else I was working on and just started to go for it.

The link to the site above had a free-range scarf pattern that had a few “ground rules,” which I followed. I decided to try a triangular scarf/mini shawl for my first free-range attempt.

It said to start with a beautiful, handpainted, natural fiber yarn (which I already had,) then to incorporate eyelash, ribbon, ladder, etc. for texture. I went to LYS to find these. FORTUNATELY, an artist came in to do some shopping of her own while I was shopping. She saw what I was up to, and offered her invaluable assistance in matching yarns! Yeah for the wonderful artist’s help!!!

The guidelines said to make sure something had a bit of sparkle, so one of my yarns had a bit of gold thread in it, which worked for me - I really don’t like sparkle, but had to admit that it really helps to pull the other yarns together.

The it said to try to pick a “high” and a “low”, which are black/white substitutes - something I understood from quilting. To do that, you have to pretend you are taking black and white photographs. Would this color look like black/white if all the color were removed? My handpainted yarn had copper/teal/sage/chocolate tones. I went for the deep chocolate as my black, but since there was no white, I brought in teal/sages that had a tiny speck of ivory. I didn’t want to detract a lot from my beautiful painted yarn, so I minimized that aspect.

Then, I took my thinnest yarn, and prestrung a variety of beads on it - copper metal beads, tiny beads in the same colors teals, sages, copper-colored, etc., also ceramic painted beads in teals/coppers that I found. I skoooooched the beads down the yarn and just knit along, randomly, occassionally, I brought up a bead. The beads were such a perfect foil for my beautiful yarn - wish I hadn’t spread them so thin, because you really can’t see them as much as I would have liked. They are a bit of mystery that I really found exciting!! I think I would like to incorporate some beads in the fringe, when I get there.

So far, I am totally loving this experience, and learning so much! I am DEFINATELY going to do this again!

Hope you are having as much fun as I am!

I’ll try to attach a few pics for you. Hope you can see the details, but I am getting such color washout, it might be difficult. The bead close up pic has 4-5 beads in it (really,) but you can only see the one. Bummer! The shawl is still scrunched up on the needles, but it really is a triangle shape.

Strawberry Cough

I finished my freestyle shawl with some fringe and beads, and it came out pretty cool, for a first try.

Steroid Rehab Forum

I’m just absolutely stunned and amazed by the beauty of this piece. When I scrolled down and saw what you’ve created, my heart started racing (I get very excited by color and texture – can’t help myself). You really ‘get’ the whole concept of organic, free-range knitting.

Hey, I’d love to post your pic on my blog to inspire others. Meanwhile, check out the Knitalong site to see where others are taking their ‘not-a-poncho’ projects.

Anybody else out there ready to let your free spirits fly (knit?)?


Thank you Jane!! I read your tutorial (the one about the Tiki scarf) and just took a leap. I know I am still a little to rigid, and need to get a little more out of the box, especially when it comes to the “shape” of my garments. They are still very traditional and structured. I need to loosen up! But I truly enjoyed playing with color and texture. I want to do more of this in the future! Thank you for leading me in this new directions, Jane! By the way, you can use my picture on your website, if you like!

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