The sun may have set on the official knitalong for Kaffe Fassett’s intarsia designs in Field Guide No. 16: Painterly, but I’m still at play in the fields of Felted Tweed. I certainly have plenty of it! I’ve reeled in my Kites Throw, which is now a Kites Cushion in progress. I’ll be knitting meditatively away on those sublime chalky triangles, for the foreseeable future.
But even after making more than a dozen small houses from the chart for the Village Scarf, I’ve still got houses on the brain.
I recently learned that a group of friends is using the Village chart as a jumping-off point for a group blanket for someone they admire. They are making lots of Kaffe’s houses, but because the only requirement is to knit a 12-inch (30.5 cm) square in Felted Tweed, the knitters are mixing up the house blocks with stripes and other inspired pattern play.
A houses-themed blanket? I wanted IN.
Knitting a square for this group blanket was a fantastic pretext to cook up a knitted interpretation of a quilt block I adore. You can see the inspiration on quilter Kim Smith Soper’s Instagram, where a new version of this strikingly clean-cut yet homey block is appearing every day for 100 days.
When I’m wild about a quilt, the first thing I usually want to do is knit it. So out came the Felted Tweed bits and bobs.
I’m only on my second house, but my mind is spinning with possibilities.
This little house is about as low an intarsia entry bar as you can find. And I’m loving working intarsia in garter stitch, with its more pronounced lines at the color changes.
I’m putting this here in case anyone would like to join me. It’s not a pattern so much as a template. Once you get the structure and proportions in your head (I’m still tinkering with both of those things), there can be one house or two houses, tall narrow houses, a little row of beach huts, or a hip-roofed shed. The background can be solid or striped, realistic or fantastical in colors. I feel like these blocks, like the houses in Kaffe’s Village Scarf, are a keepsake of these many months spending as much time as we can inside our own houses.
In the MDK Shop
Materials: Yarn of the same weight in several colors, needles that will get you the fabric that you would like for your quilt house block. For my 12-inch square block, I used Rowan Felted Tweed and size US 4 (3.5 mm) needles, for a blocked gauge of 5 stitches to the inch (2.5 cm).
Using Color A, cast on 61 stitches.
Knit 24 garter ridges (48 rows) in A. Cut A.
Ridge 25 (RS): Change to B. Knit 25 stitches in B, 11 stitches in C, 25 stitches in B.
Continue as set until the house body has 11 ridges on the RS. Cut B and C.
Ridge 36 (RS): Change to D. Knit 25 stitches in D, 11 stitches in E, 25 stitches in D. Repeat this row on the WS.
Ridge 37 (RS): Knit 26 stitches in D, 9 stitches in E, 26 stitches in D. Repeat this row on the WS.
Continue as set, reducing the number of stitches worked in the roof color by one stitch at each edge of the roof, until the roof has just 1 stitch remaining in color E. Repeat this row on the WS. Cut E.
Continue working garter stitch in color D until the block has a total of 61 ridges. Bind off, weave in ends, and block.
From House-bound to House Proud
Once you get this simple structure down, the variations are endless. One member of the group is already doing a version in which the house shape is outlined instead of color-blocked.
Will anything come of this besides the pleasure of doing it? I don’t know.
Does anything need to come of this besides the pleasure of doing it? You know my answer to that one.