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Knitted Pee-wee’s Playhouse

A while back I had the silly idea to try and knit my own model version of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. A lot of people have asked me “Why are you doing this? Honestly, I don’t know. I just liked the show a lot when I was little and really enjoy the really unique styling/aesthetic of it even today. So, why not? Plus, I do like a good challenge and really enjoy knitting 3D models.

Here’s how it came together:

Reference photo from the opening credits of Pee Wee's Playhouse

The Sphinx. I cut the basic shape of the head and body using cardboard and then knit coverings using a circular knitting method on four double-pointed needles. I knit the face, nose and leg shapes on two needles and then sewed them on and stuffed them. I shaped the paws with cardboard arches and then knit semi-circles for the front and rectangles to wrap over the arches and sewed them together.

The lava lamp pillars. I also knit these with a circular method. I tried to follow the shape of the red lava of the ones in my reference photo as closely as possible. I did it freestyle as I knit without drawing any grids. To make the pillars stand I am using some cardboard kitchen rolls on top of beer bottles to give them weight at the bottom to hold up the Sphinx!

The front of the house. We move a lot so I opened up one of our sturdy moving boxes to cut the shape of the front. I cut the flaps off of one side but kept them on the other to help it stand. I knit the entire front just using basic stocking stitch with knit stitch and purl stitch rows. If you know these basic stitches you could knit something ridiculous like this, too!

The flowers. I knit Pee-wee’s flower box friends by first creating a circle using four double pointed needles. I started with just a few stitches and then increased by eight stitches evenly spaced every other row until I had a circle the size I needed. Then I decreased in the same pattern to create a solid, two-sided disk. I knit each petal separately and sewed on. To give them their shape I used a wool needle and some extra wool to create a stitch to pinch the centre of each petal. I bought some cute googly eyes at a craft store and just did some basic straight stitches to sew on a smile.


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