Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

By Ann Shayne
November 24, 2020

Leave a Comment

  • Love the colors for your intarsia project. I think I’ll splurge on Rowan felted tweed after Christmas.

    • Ask for MDK gift cards from everyone…That’s my plan.

      • Alas, they don’t have gift cards yet! I’ve asked and hope they are working on this. There is nothing quite like having a juicy gift card just waiting to be used.

        • We’re very sorry not to have gift cards for you right now!

  • I love straight needles and will use them in preference to circs. any day. I tuck one under my right arm, which then remains still, I can knit at twice my speed on circs. I use 16 inch needles which will take just over 400 stitches in DK at a push!
    I’m doubling the size of the small house pattern, using two strands of wool, to make a long sausage draft excluder. Much need in my old cottage. And yes there is the occasional marled roof!

    • I’m in need of draft excluders as well. Have you got a pattern to share or some simple instructions to follow!?!? Great idea!

      • What is a draft excluder, please?

        • PT, they are to tuck under your door where there is a gap between the door frame and the floor, so the wind can’t get in. Excluding the draft, so to speak.

      • Houses are worked as a row (road) along the length of the sausage. Depending on your tension 3 or 4 roads depth allow a road to be in view when in use. If you have made the scarf use it as a swatch measure.

        • I bought the gray kit, but added an extra pink— “Barbara”—am making two-tone pink backgrounds with pops of the other colors and grays, for a friend who adores pink:) I’m sure I can get at least two cowls out of the kit! The gray one for me. Or maybe two-tone greens?

    • I LOVE that you park one needle under your arm!!! I put one between my knees and friends are impressed with my knitting speed and the consistency of the fabric I get. Someone once told me in a gig scratchy voice, “you’re knitting the wrong way.” Whatev. Also, very poke-y with circs. Onward fellow speed knitter!

      • I think it’s a super traditional way to knit. I have a friend whose Italian grandmother knitted this way.

        • Yup, similar to the belts they use to hold one needle in shetland too.

    • I, too, love straights, hold them just as you describe, and can knit much faster than on circs. It is very hard to find modern sweater patterns written for straight needles. Frustrating!

      • I like knitting sweaters in pieces–there are so many good Rowan patterns that are knit in pieces, that’s where I’d start.

        • Thank you!

      • Patty Lyons who does ask Patty on here does nearly all her patterns in pieces, and she has lots of gorgeous designs 🙂

    • I remember that Debbie Stoller said exactly this in her SnB books, about tucking a straight needle under her armpit. I am diehard for circs (my vintage straights are in a vase for display purposes), but everyone should find what works for them!

    • Wow 400 stitches on a straight needle is amazing! Good luck with your long sausage draft excluder . . . that’ll cozy things right up!

      • 400 is an opportunity not an obligation!

        • This is my new motto. I told my husband I can apply this to anything. 10 push-ups is an opportunity not an obligation.

  • This pattern too could be a pillow, or blanket, or a throw. (The larger scale and bold, saturated colors seem very Amish quilt.) These design motifs are so versital. The original, small scale motif could even be used for a very interesting tunic or vest. (I started knitting so I could have more sweaters.) Or you could just go really bold there also…And you are so right about Kaffe’s colors, they all play well together.

    • So many possibilities once we start thinking about it.

  • It’s beautiful! Maybe I need to knit the cowl!

    • I too am having an intarsia moment. Any suggestions for additional patterns that would work well with my rapidly accumulating stash of Felted Tweed?

      • Any of Kaffe’s designs in Field Guide 13: Master Class (stripes and stranded designs) or Field Guide 16: Painterly (intarsia) would be fantastic stash busters. As Kaffe said, these two Field Guides are the keys to the kingdom of knitting with color.

        • Jen Arnall-Culliford’s book A Year of Techniques has a great intrasia shawl pattern… I have been thinking of making it with some of my MDK supply of Felted Tweeed…

  • It’s beautiful! Love your improvisation.

    • Thank you! It is really superfun to feel free to try out a color and just see … what … happens …

  • Love your idea for a scarf…that is what makes Fassett’s patterns so wonderful. You can really make them your own by color arrangement. Also allows the “designer” to use stash of other yarns and colors. Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! I hope you find some gravy and a nap along the way. And knitting, of course.

  • That’s just beautiful!

  • I just started knitting this but am following the colors in the pattern. I am just learning intarsia and this pattern is very approachable. Using different colors in every block would make it harder to accidentally pick up the wrong strand of the white or black too (BTDT). I will have lots of colored yarn left over and this idea will be great to use for cowl number 2! Thanks for sharing!

    • So happy to hear you’re giving it a go! I have made every misstep possible as I get into intarsia, but somehow it’s not getting me down. I think it has to do with something I read recently about how it’s OK to be a beginner at something. OK to not really know how to do something. This was a liberating thing for me to hear, because I’ve been knitting so long that I think I ought to get the hang of it instantly. It’s OK to be a mediocre intarsia knitter! I’m getting better already.

      • Yes, I have made quite a few mistakes too and am on my second start but this one, while not perfect, does look a lot better. I figure the back is where my mistakes are so no one will see that. You can only learn things that you don’t already know so if you are going to grow you need to try new things. My mother was an expert knitter and knit many sweaters with intarsia. Unfortunately she is no longer with me but I think she’s looking down and is encouraging me to persevere.

      • Ok, I’m going to order and try intarsia. I’m also waiting for more Squid Ink Yarn Bomb

  • I keep looking at this pattern and thinking……could it be a sweater? I’m thinking solid sleeves. Any thoughts on the neckline?

    • Vee-neck, i think, in keeping with the diagonals. Because of the intarsia, the body would need to be knit in pieces. Then it gets tough for me to figure how many squares to use. Two for front and two for back gets only 36 inches around, while 3 and 3 results in a 54 inch sweater. I’m between those sizes. So, either use the smaller squares? Or include a significant solid block at each side?

      • I don’t have the pattern in front of me, but it looks like you could change the size of the blocks, as long as the center square was a third of the width. So maybe 21 stitch squares with a 7 stitch center block? Sounds like a job for colored pencils and some graph paper (said the Luddite…).

        • Way to go, Martha!

        • Pencil and paper is always best for serious working out 😀

      • How about using the large squares for front and back with a vertical band of small squares at each side to get more width? I think it would look stunning!

    • SOMEBODY please knit this up as a sweater! Want to see it!

      • It won’t be me I’m afraid, I’m currently obsessed with my Pressed Flowers done with Freia minikins…..maybe in January….

      • Dag-nabbit I wish you’d planted this idea before I went and ordered my Rowan Felted Tweed. Now I’m going to have to get a few more skeins of Scree to execute on this sweater idea.

  • This scarf is such a great way to start my day. Love it!

    • Thank you! Itching to get back at it during the daytime when the colors are really vibrant. Harder to choose colors once the sun sets these days!

  • Thank you for the backside answer. I had wondered about fiddling to keep right side out while wearing, after ends are woven. Perhaps one embraces the whole shebang and doesn’t worry about a preconceived idea of perfect. The colors and pattern — Fassett’s and your variation — are beautiful and invigorating.

    • I’m pretty OK with letting the backsides of things show–stranded or intarsia. I like to think it’s a reminder that it was something made by hand, not a computer!

  • Gorgeous!

  • Oh, dear. Ann has fallen — or, rather, dived — down the rabbit hole!

    • It’s kind of nice down here in the rabbit hole. Who knew?

  • I’d make this a bit wider, knit 2 rectangles and seam them into an amazing poncho! With a striped I-cord edging!!

    • OK I challenge you to a poncho. Go for it!

  • Ann, it’s lovely. You go girl!

    • Thanks Susan! Come on in, the intarsia’s fine.

  • Is this yarn soft? I’m thinking a pillow would be awesome with these colors (and the back tucked inside the pillow!) but I would want it to be soft….

    • Softness is a subjective thing, but for me Felted Tweed is plenty soft.

    • You could always sub a merino or other soft yarn, as long as you don’t mind depilling occasionally.

  • Love this color set! It just makes me happy to see it. It’s definitely going on my wish list.

    • I think it’s that acid yellow, Sulfur, that got me. I am so not a yellow person, but in the mix it just adds such a zing to it all.

      • Like the Mineral color in Kaffe’s garter stripe shawl!

  • Love the creative innovation! Looking good.

  • I love this! And I second the motion for using straight needles for this. That’s what I used for my recent intarsia projects.

  • Love it, love it. love it!

  • Or is it stuffing? You are really tempting me with these!

  • I was thinking of doing something like this myself. Great minds …

  • This turns the Kaffe level up to 11! It’s gorgeous.

    I too am using straights for the first time in a long time, knitting an Easel sweater with some yarn I dyed. It was an adjustment, but there’s something extra relaxing about knitting back and forth on wood needles.

  • Love this pattern. Jumped into this cowl immediately with bits of my felted tweed ‘collection’.

    • Yes, a collection! Your archive!

  • Ann, how did you decide what colors to use together in each square?

    • Just eyeballing combinations and picking pairs that I liked. It’s going to be interesting to see when and if I start a repeat of the pattern. Eight Ball says Not Clear!

  • What would be really really wonderful is if Rowan would make mini skeins of the “splash” colors and package those with the background colors. That would work much nicer for those of us who don’t want that much extra yarn of one typ hanging around in our stashes.

  • My mother ran out of a brown when doing an ancient Kaffe Fassett kit. She was distressed. She only needed one more skein. I offerred to go to Liberty’s in London when I was there anyway, match a sample and bring it. Ok. I went. The woman who helped me got the story. She laughed heartily and said she had worked for Kaffe in his studio. She said “He would say, well pick a color you like and just bung it in there.” Sounds like you have gotten the message loud and clear!!! Love it!

  • I thought you were going to say you’re knitting an apartment block instead of houses. I really like how it’s looking so far, it will be a gorgeous scarf <3


  • Beautiful!!!

  • Beautiful. Now I want to learn Intarsia. Do you have a suggestion for a good teacher?
    Enjoy Thanksgiving and lots of dressing.

  • Love both the cowl and your creativity in alteration to create a new scarf. Have to say, the little thing that caught my eye was the yarn-covered hanger that is in the featured cowl photo. That brought back lots of memories when I was a very young girl learning to knit. My leftover pieces went to making yarn-covered hangers for my mom. Cherished memories……

  • l like your versatility. I would like to knit a rectangle cushion 23 in by 15. My tiny brain tells me that I can follow your lead. Can you comment as to my thinking and specify in tchnical terms. If you you have a moment and don’t mind.
    Happy Saturday.
    Stay safe and stay well.

  • I am planning on doing a scarf and I wondered if you needed more yarn than the cowl pattern? I have leftovers from the last field guide. I guess you can never have too much felted tweed.