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Designer Spotlight: Kung Fu Knits by Elizabeth Green Musselman

After more than a decade working as a college history professor, Elizabeth Green Musselman was ready for a change. She traded in the textbooks for knitting needles, focusing on a future in knitwear design and editing.

Kung-Fu Knits is a combination knitting pattern and comic book that Elizabeth designed with active little boys in mind. The collection includes 6 patterns all knit in our Vintage yarn. There’s a full uniform, throwing stars, nunchuks and a sling-style bag to keep it all together.

Kung Fu Knits by Elizabeth Green Musselman
Kung Fu Knits by Elizabeth Green Musselman

How did you come up with these designs?

Just about anyone who has knit for boys knows that they can be a tough crowd. I can’t tell you how many handsome things I’ve knit for my son that have barely, if ever, been worn. “Too hot…too itchy…too tight…too big…” I’ve heard it all. I got to thinking: what if I’m going about this all wrong? What if, instead of making him clothes, I made him cool stuff? Stuff so fun that he couldn’t wait to put it on, to play with it. My son has been studying kung fu for more than three years, so that seemed like a natural focal point for this cool stuff.

The comic storyline that goes with the pattern book is designed both to grab boys’ attention and to tell a funny story about the relationship between kids and the parents who knit for them.

How did you decide on the yarn?

Berroco Vintage is my go-to yarn for lots of projects, but particularly children’s clothing. It holds up extremely well to all kinds of abuse, comes in a huge variety of colors and weights, and is very affordable. I chose a simple palette of gray, red, black and white. I liked the graphic quality of those colors together and the garments and toys wouldn’t seem too childish to older boys.

If you could knit something for anyone in the world it would be…? 

I have a fantasy that someday the Globe Theatre in London will want to hire me as their in-house knitwear designer. And when David Tennant someday plays Malvolio in Twelfth Night, I will knit him the finest yellow-gartered stockings anyone has ever seen.

What’s your favorite thing about knitting?

I love that it can be anything you want it to be. It can be as challenging as an heirloom lace shawl or as simple as a garter-stitch washcloth. I love what a tactile art it is. The feeling of yarn moving through my fingers is utterly delicious to me.

Throwing Stars
Throwing Stars

Do you have a cool design you want to share? Or did you recently finish a project with Berroco yarn? You can email Ashley: or post it to the Berroco Lovers forum in Ravelry.

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