Hand Knit Candy Corn Coasters

In honor of the coming month I decided to make these Candy Corn Coasters to help set the mood for Halloween.  I love October and everything it brings with the beautiful changing leaves, crisp air and not to mention the excuse of setting out candy in pretty dishes that doubles as decorative pieces and snacks, plus who could forget the scary movies!  Jamie Lee Curtis anyone?

I am so excited for October and yet terrified at the same time for it to come this Tuesday because I am scheduled to take the GRE that day.  I am super nervous so in between studying I have been constructing these Halloween inspired coasters to help evaporate some of my stress, and believe it or not it has kinda worked.  Try them out.  Knit them up.  Decorate your dinner table.  They are so easy and great for a beginner who is just learning to knit.  All you need to know is how to work the knit stitch and the basic knit 2 stitches together decrease.

Candy Corn Coasters

Size 8 knitting needles
Yellow, orange, and white worsted weight acrylic yarn

Start with yellow yarn and cast on 22 stitches
Rows 1-8: knit
Row 9: k1, k2tog, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1 (20 stitches)
Rows 10 -12: knit

Cut yellow yarn, and loosely attach orange yarn

Rows 13 – 16: knit
Row 17: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1 (18 stitches)
Rows 18 – 22: knit
Row 23: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 stitches, 2tog, k1 (16 stitches)
Rows 24 – 26: knit

Cut orange yarn and loosely attach white yarn

Row 27 – 24: knit
Row 35: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1 (14 stitches)
Row 36: knit
Row 37: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Row 38: knit
Row 39: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1
Row 40: knit
Row 41: k1, k2tog to last stitch, k1
Row 42: knit
Row 43: Bind off

Secure all loose ends.  Knit up four to make a complete set, enjoy!

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Seed Stitch Dishcloths

This past weekend we took a trip to Wilmington to spend some time with Trisden’s family.  On Saturday we spent the entire afternoon fishing on the Kure Beach Pier.  I should say everyone else was fishing, I spent most of my time knitting but I’ll get to that later.  I am so mad at myself because I forgot my camera!  There were so many good photo opportunities that I would have loved to share but can’t.  Of it is always the times that you forget your camera that something crazy happens and this was one of those times.  It was a beautiful day out perfect temperature, the fish weren’t really biting, but that was ok, it’s just nice to sit out there and enjoy the waves.  
After we were sitting out there for a while probably around dusk, we saw a shark!  Trisden noticed he had a sting ray attached to his hook and then we saw some big light colored thing circling around the sting ray, and realized it was a shark!  It was probably about 5 feet long, were not sure what kind, but does it really matter?  It’s a shark.  But Trisden reeled in the little sting ray.  It was so cute, they look like their undersides have a little smiley face, but anyway we untangled it from his hook and when he threw it back into the water the shark swooped in gobbled it up. 
 It was crazy, I have gone swimming there countless times and there were surfers that were not too far away from the pier.  The scary part was that we were fishing in the surf and not that far off from shore!  It’s kind of creepy to know what you’re swimming with at the beach.  But in addition to that shark, I guess Trisden had seen 3 earlier that day swimming around the pier so we are pretty sure that the fish weren’t biting that day because of the sharks.  Sorta scary!
But anyways back to knitting.  I have been wanting to make some of my own dishcloths for a while now and I finally came up with simple little pattern.  The majority of the cloth is made up of seed stitch which is really nice because because it is double sided and will make for a good scrubbie surface for washing dishes.  They knit pretty fast, and make for excellent gifts.  Knit them in all sorts of pretty colors to brighten up your kitchen.
Seed Stitch Dishcloths
I used size 8 knitting needles and Lily’s Sugar and Cream Yarn.  Gauge isn’t really important in this project but my finished dishcloth measures to about 7 x 7 inches.

Cast on 31 stitches
Row 1: knit
Row 2: knit
Row 3: knit
Row 4: knit
Row 5: knit
Row 6: (wrong side) k2, purl to last two stitches, k2
Row 7: (right side) knit
Row 8: (wrong side) k2, p2 *k1, p1; repeat from * to last 5 stitches; k1, p2, k2
Row 9: (right side) k4, seed stitch starts: *knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches; repeat from * to last 4 stitches; k4
Row 10: (wrong side) k2, p2, * knit the purls and purl the knits; repeat from * to last 4 stitches; p2, k2
Repeat rows 9 and 10 until piece measures about 6 inches from cast on edge.
Start on right side of work
1: Knit across row.
2: (wrong side) K2, purl up to last 2 stitches; k2
3: (right side) Knit across row
4: (wrong side) Knit
5: (right side) Knit
6: (wrong side) Knit

Bind off.  Weave in ends, your done!
Key:
k-knit; p-purl
Need a little help with seed stitch?  Check out this tutorial.
I linked up to these great parties:

The DIY Dreamer

Lovely Embroidered Bookmarks

I received a Nook for Christmas two years ago and I absolutely love it.  It’s great to take to the beach, and I can have lots of books without taking up lots of space on the bookshelf.  At first I was leery about getting one because I love books!  I love the way they smell and the pretty covers but after using the Nook for a while I quickly forgot about what I was missing in a physical book.  Plus the convenience of an e-reader is incredible, all I have to do is buy while I’m home in my pj’s.
But… last weekend we went into Barnes and Noble for the first time in ages and I realized I really missed going to the store and shopping for books!  The smell of paper, the colorful book covers and fonts and the faint smell of coffee from the Starbucks in the corner.  Barnes and Noble is probably one of the most relaxing places ever and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until this past weekend.  
So naturally when I went home I was inspired to make some pretty book accessories and decided to make some bookmarks out of scrap fabric I had laying around.  This tutorial is super simple and makes for great gifts for all the bookworms in your life!
Materials:
Scrap fabric
Embroidery floss
needle
strait pins
iron
pencil
paper
ruler or measuring tape
If first I figured out how big I wanted the bookmark to be and sketched out a pattern.  I measured out 5 inches by 1.5 inches and then added about 1/2 – 3/4 in around the entire thing for seam allowance.
Next, I ironed out my scrap fabric until nice and wrinkle free.
Cut out your pattern and pin it to your fabric.  Cut two pieces per bookmark for the front and back.
Sketch the design you want on the fabric lightly with a pencil.
Embroider over your penciled in design.  I used split stitch, it’s super easy and fast to do.
Flip your fabric over so wrong side is facing up, fold in edges to whatever measurement you had for a seam allowance and then iron it flat.  I also trimmed the folded in corners so they would be less bulky.
Attach the wrong sides together using straight pins.
Attach both sides by using blanket stitch.  Now go read a book and enjoy!
I linked up to these great parties!

$30 DIY Whimsical Porch

When I lived in Wilmington one of my favorite things to do was go to the beach, my second favorite thing to do was drive around looking at all the gorgeous beach houses that I hope to one day live in…a girl can dream!  One thing a lot of beach houses had in common (that I absolutely loved) was sheer curtains hanging on the porches.  Driving by those homes with the whimsical sheers blowing in the warm wind made me want to sit on their porch and read a great book.
I am no longer in Wilmington by the beach but I figured why not bring some beach-y-ness and whimsy to my little apartment!  Not only does it create a magical and relaxing outdoor experience but it also adds privacy while I’m outside on my tiny porch.  We are lucky enough to be on the third floor with a pretty flowering tree right next to us, so we do have some privacy already but the sheers really top it off.
This is a cheap project that can really add a lot to a small outdoor space.  It was super cheap for me because I already had the rods and sheers.  All I had to buy was the hanging hardware, which I am sure is somewhere, but couldn’t find the pieces.

DIY: $30 Whimsical Porch
2 adjustable Walmart curtain rods, nails and hardware should be included – $5
4 sheer panels, whatever length you want, mine are 84″ –  $20-25
hammer
level
Figure out the length you want the curtain rod to be and nail in the hardware.  
Clip in the curtain rod and make sure its level (or close to it, it doesn’t have to be perfect).  Take down the rod, and slide on the curtains and clip rod back into place.  You’re done, enjoy!

Parks and Rec: Ann Perkins’ Afghan Pattern

Ann Perkins' Afghan

If you are a fan of the show Parks and Recreation and appreciate a cute a crochet you have probably noticed the adorable granny square afghan on the back of Ann’s couch.

Through a little bit googling I found that I am not alone in loving this afghan but I couldn’t find a pattern.  So, I made my own!  I was however very excited to find the schematic for the blanket from Captain Hook’s Crochet Nook.  Click here to check it out.

If you look closely you can see that this is not a classic granny square.  The center starts with a circle and progresses out into a square.  Also, the holes are really small.
Just a warning my afghan is not yet completed but a work in progress.  I was just too excited to wait so I figured I would share the pattern now!  And of course, this is not exact but I think it is pretty darn close!

Because I haven’t completed this project I am not sure how much yarn will be needed for the entire afghan, but I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn in the following colors:
Tea Leaf
Pretty ‘n Pink
Cherry Red
Turquoise
Pale Yellow
Pumpkin
Amethyst
Crochet hook: size I (5.5 mm)
( I doubled up on the yarn to make it thicker, crocheting 2 strands of yarn together throughout the whole pattern)
I corrected the pattern and added some more detailed pictures of the process!
Pattern:
Forming the inner circle:
Round 1: 6 SC in magic ring, slip stitch in first SC to join (6 stitches)
Round 2: 2 DC in each SC, slip stitch in first DC to join (12 stitches)
Round 3: 2 DC in each DC, slip stitch in first DC to join (24 stitches)

Your circle should look like this:

To add a new color here, cut yarn and ch1 with new color before beginning the next row
Shaping the corners:
Round 4: [2 DC in first DC, 1 DC in each DC for next 5 stitches] repeat to end of round, which will be 3 more times; Also, don’t slip the first stitch at the end of this round. (28 stitches)
This is what round 4 should look like after the first sequence

Round 4 completed should look like this.  The corners will begin to form where each of the 2 DC in the same stitch were created.  To make it easier, I numbered each corner.

Round 5 begins in corner 1.  And…the granny square part starts!!!
Round 5: [2 DC in same DC, ch 2, 2 DC in same DC, ch 1 (Skip 1 stitch), 2 DC in same DC, ch 1 (Skip 1 stitch), 2 DC in same DC, ch 1 (Skip 1 stitch)] repeat 3 more times.  Then, slip stitch in first DC and second DC of round 5 to join.  Cut and secure yarn in ch 2 space of corner 1.
This is round 5 after 1 sequence.

Round 5 (almost completed) completed should now look like this.

Time to change color!  And now, its basic granny squaring from here…
Round 6:
Start in Ch 2 space of corner 1
Form corner: 2 DC in ch 2 space, ch 2, 2 DC in ch 2 space, then, [ch 1, 2 DC in ch 1 space] repeat this two more times, ch 1.  Repeat this entire step 3 more times.  At the end of last repeat slip the first 2 DCs  and ch 2 space of corner 1.
This is what round 6 should begin to look like.  Both corners 1 and 2 are formed

Round 6 is now complete, ending in the ch 2 space of corner 1.  Round 7 begins here.

Round 7: Keep working in the same fashion as round 6.  At the end of this round, cut yarn and secure in ch 2 space of corner 1 of round 7.  Change color!

Rounds 8 and 9: With the new color attached work the square just like the previous round

Beginning of round 8

End of round 9

Weave in all yarn ends (I hate this part!)
And again, you can use this great color schematic to figure out color combos and when to change colors
My squares measure to about 9″ by 9″
I am new to crocheting so if you are confused or find anything unclear please don’t hesitate to ask!  Enjoy and stay tuned for the completed project!

I linked up to these wonderful parties!
My Merry Messy Life’s Hookin Up on Hump Day
Crochet Happy’s Crochet Awesomeness Link Party