Free Knitting Pattern: Quick & Easy Summer Placemats

Easy Summer Placemats Free Knitting Pattern by Edie Eckman
Easy Summer Placemats Free Knitting Pattern designed by Edie Eckman

Brighten up your summer with these quick and easy summer placemats. They are a perfect first project for beginning knitters, and they make a great house-warming gift for new neighbors.

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The Yarn

Craft Yarn Council Size 5 yarn icon

Bulky-weight yarn makes the knitting go fast! Lion Brand Rewind Tape Yarn is fun to work with. Because of its construction, it’s less bulky than you would think, and it imparts a great texture to the fabric.

 

Lion Brand Rewind Tape Yarn

I love the exuberant colors that I used, but you can also choose from more muted shades to suit your taste. The instructions below are for two placemats in different main colors. If you want to make four placemats, two of each color shown, with a yellow stripe on each, you’ll need two balls each of the blue and pink, and one ball of the yellow.

 

The Pattern

Garter stitch is about as basic as a knitting stitch can be, and that’s all you need to know to knit these placemats! Minimal pattern-reading is required, and gauge doesn’t even matter all that much.

Easy Summer Placemats Free Knitting Pattern designed by Edie Eckman

Quick & Easy Summer Placemats

One size: 16″ x 13″/40.6 x 33 cm

Materials
Lion Brand Rewind Tape Yarn (70% polyester/30% viscose, 3.5 oz / 100 g, 242 yd / 221 m), 1 ball each color 148 Fish Bowl (A), color 195 Think Pink (B), and color 157 Make Lemonade (C) [See note above about yarn amounts for multiple placemats.]

US Size 10.5 / 6.5 mm knitting needles

Stitch marker or piece of waste yarn

Gauge
13 sts and 22 rows = 4″ / 10 cm in garter stitch (knit every row)
Gauge is not crucial in this project.
Watch How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch for more information.

Pattern Notes
Leave a 6″ / 15 cm tail for weaving in each time you begin and end a yarn.

Beginning knitters will want to knit the pattern exactly as written. More experienced knitters may create a slip-stitch selvedge by slipping the last stitch of each row knitwise with yarn in front.

Abbreviations
k: knit
RS: right side
st(s): stitch(es)
WS: wrong side

Instructions
With A, long-tail cast-on 42 sts. Knit 1 WS row. Turn work, and place a marker or piece of waste yarn on this side to indicate that the side is the right side.

Knit every row until piece measures 13″ / 33 cm from cast-on edge, ending with a WS row. Cut A, leaving a 6″ / 15 cm tail for weaving in.

With C, knit 10 rows (5 garter stitch ridges). Cut C.

With B, knit 2 rows (1 garter stitch ridge). Cut B.

With A, knit 6 rows (3 garter stitch ridges). Bind off.

Weave in ends.

Make a second placemat, substituting B for A and A for B in the instructions above.

Other Projects

Check out these other easy knitting patterns:

Blue Springs Double Cowl

Easy Quick-Knit One-Skein Tea Cozy

Molly Hat

Stoneybrook Shawlette

Zig Zag Eyelet Scarf

 

The Embroidery Project

Embroidery in Progress

Needle envelopeAs part of National Craft Month, I decided to try a few new crafts and share my successes and failures throughout the month. For this first project, I did a simple, no-fail embroidery project. Embroidery is not entirely new to me, but I’ve never done it in quite this way before.

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Remember those sewing cards you had when you were a kid (if you were lucky)? The holes were nice and big, which made it easy to lace your shoestrings up and down and back and forth and feel like you were really sewing. They were great, but I always felt like something was missing. All you could do with them was to take out the lacing and start again. As an adult, I want something to show for all that work!

Notecard PackagingLucky for me, Twenty Stitches has taken the sewing card concept to a whole new level, making embroidery-on-paper projects just right for the grown-up who wants to make and share useful craft projects. I ran across these kits when I was at Stitches West a few weeks ago and knew I had to try them. The product choices are adorable, the packaging irresistible, and the esthetic is clean and modern. 

Notecard kit unpackedI chose the Embroidered Notecard Kit (C1), which contains perle cotton, archival paper with laser-cut holes, a needle, glue dots, note card backs, envelopes, and clear instructions for embroidering my own cards. In other words, absolutely everything I needed for the first embroidery project that I’ve done in many years.


Embroidery in Progress

All I had to do was thread the needle and follow the superduperly clear instructions, choosing my own color placements. It was fun and easy.

I was going along, feeling pleased with myself and happy that I was doing such a great job. It was looking just like it did in the pictures! I’m so smart! I can read instructions! I can embroider!
Pride goeth before a fall, so this happened: Stitching Mistake

Look carefully, and you’ll see that when I stopped paying attention, I messed up. I had to carefully unstitch and re-stitch a couple of times. This happened more than once, each time when I stopped concentrating.  (There’s a lesson here. I still haven’t learned it, apparently.)

I used five stitches in this project: Smyrna cross stitch (shown in red above), diagonal straight cross stitch, Rhodes stitch (the messed-up orange one), lazy daisy and French knots.

Although I didn’t time myself, I think it took just over an hour, from start to finish, to stitch all four cards. I didn’t need an embroidery hoop, or to buy lots of extra thread (there was more than plenty).  I could easily tackle a larger fabric project after having worked these stitches as a kind of refresher course. This would be a good project for novice embroiderers, including middle-elementary grade kids and up.


And look! When I paid attention and didn’t mis-stitch, they turned out so cute! Since writing hand-written thank-you notes was one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’ll be putting these special cards to good use. Do something nice for me, and maybe you’ll get one.

So that’s it for my embroidery-on-paper project. Coming up next week: Shibori dyeing.