Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Knitted Coasters from The Knitter's Handbook

Hello, I'm Cleio from The Knitter's Handbook. On the nineteenth day of Halloween I'm here to share with you these super easy knitted Pumpkin Patch Halloween coasters.



You know, growing up in The Netherlands, Halloween didn't really exist aside from a curiosity that could sometimes be observed in American films and TV shows. We just didn't do Halloween. And then I moved to Ireland, married a local and was introduced to the delights of the holiday. Halloween is a big deal here. Lanterns, fireworks, bonfires, costumes, treats, the whole shebang.

 As a knitter and designer, Halloween is also a great source of inspiration. The colours are so vibrant. The bright orange of the pumpkins. The lingering greens, that are not yet gone for winter. Leaves in all shades of red and brown and yellow. Bright red berries, grey skies, the shiny brown of chestnuts; I could go on. I've done a lot of experimenting recently with knitting slip stitch colour patterns, and what could be better way to knit with the colours of Halloween? If you're not familiar with slip stitch colour patterns, they are a really easy way to create amazing colour knits. Seriously, if you can knit and purl you can manage these super simple pumpkin patch coasters! They look amazing, but are really easy to knit. You'll only be using one colour at a time, so no stranded colour work.

The pattern is created all through the magic of slipped stitches. For the sample coaster I've opted to use green and orange, as those are the colours most strongly associated with Halloween. But you can use any colour combination you like or happen to have the materials for. These coasters knit up in less than an hour, so experiment and have fun!

Materials: Aran weight cotton in orange and green. You'll only need a few yards of yarn for a single coaster. I used Drops Paris. A pair of 4 mm (US 6) size needles. Don't worry about gauge, it's not that important for this project.

Abbreviations K: knit P: purl St(s): stitch(es) Sl: Slip (always purl wise) Wyif: with yarn in front Wyib: with yarn in back Tip: make sure to keep the yarn fairly loose between the slipped stitches. If you pull it too tight, the fabric will pucker. Better to have them too loose than too tights, as too loose will even out during blocking!

Instructions: Loosely cast on 20 stitches with green. With green: Row 1: k all sts (wrong side). Row 2: p all sts (right side). Row 3: k all sts. Change to orange: Row 4: k1, sl 1 st wyib, (k4, sl 2 sts wyib)*3, sl 1 st wyib, k1. Row 5: p1, sl 1 st wyif, (p4, sl 2 sts wyif)*3, sl st wyif, p1. Change to green: Row 6: repeat row 4. Row 7: k1, sl 1 st wyif, (k4, sl 2 sts wyif)*3, sl st wyif, k1. Change to orange: Row 8: k3, sl 2 sts wyib, (k4, sl 2 sts wyib)*2, k3. Row 9: p3, sl 2 sts wyif, (p4, sl 2 sts wyif)*2, p3. Change to green: Row 10: Repeat row 8. Row 11: k3, sl 2 sts wyif, (k4, sl 2 sts wyif)*2, k3. Repeat rows 4-11 one more time. Repeat rows 4-7 one more time. To finish, continue with green. Purl one row, knit one row, then cast off loosely. Weave in ends.

To improve the shape if the coaster, you can block it by soaking it in water for an hour or so and pinning it into shape. However, blocking is entirely optional.

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