Free Knitting Pattern: Star Coasters

star coasters on table

It’s a party any time you use these cute star-shaped coasters! Use them for Independence Day, birthday parties, or holiday decor. They are quick and easy gifts for everyone.

Looking for a beginner project that teaches new skills? Check out the video tutorials below. You’ll increase, decrease, use stitch markers, seam, and weave in ends, but you’ll never have to purl!

Star Coasters by Edie Eckman

The star is made by knitting five separate points first, increasing from the tip of each point toward the center. Then the points are joined and the center of the star is worked back and forth in rows, decreasing toward the center. When the decreases are complete, there is one short seam to sew.

The free knitting pattern is below. You can also purchase a printable ad-free pdf that includes links to the tutorials.

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About the Yarn

Symbol for 4 weight yarn

Each coaster takes just 25-30 yards [23-27 m] of medium-weight yarn. Mix and match colors to increase your stash-busting potential. Or use a bulky wool and large needles to create a pot holder or hot pad!

I used a variety of stash yarns for my samples. The red star pictured is knit from Red Heart Soft (100% acrylic) in color Really Red. I used US size 8 [5 mm] knitting needles.

image of Red Heart Soft yarn in color Really Red

Gauge is always important, but it’s not crucial in this project. As long as you are happy with the fabric you are knitting, a slight variation in size won’t matter.

Knitting Skills Used

This is a perfect project for beginners willing to take on new skills. If you know how to knit (you won’t have to purl), you’re ready for the next step.

The pattern uses the knit front and back increase (kfb), knit 2 together (k2tog) and slip, slip, knit (ssk) decreases. Once you have practiced those, you’ll have a chance to learn the slip2-knit-pass (s2kp) double decrease. You’ll also see how stitch markers are used to mark shaping.

There are video tutorials for the whole thing, so you have plenty of support!

And if you aren’t a beginner? This is a quick, easy and portable project.

Red knitted star coaster

Star Coasters Pattern

Finished Dimensions

Approximately 6″ [15 cm] tip-to-tip

Materials

Worsted Weight Yarn: approximately 30 yds [27 m] of any color desired C. Red sample used Red Heart Soft Yarn (100% acrylic, 5 oz [140 g], 256 yd [234 m]), 1 skein Really Red

US size 8 [5 mm] knitting needle or size to obtain correct gauge; you may choose to knit back and forth on a circular needle .

Stitch markers; tapestry needle

Gauge

20 sts and 18 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in Garter Stitch (knit every row)

Gauge is not crucial in this pattern. If your gauge is different the size of your coaster will also be different, and you may use a different amount of yarn.

Abbreviations

dec: decrease
inc: increase
k: knit
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
kfb: knit into the front and back of the stitch
pm: place marker
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
RS: right side
s2kp (slip 2, knit, pass): slip next 2 stitches together knitwise, k1, pass 2 slipped sts over the knit st
ssk (slip, slip, knit): slip next 2 stitches one at a time knitwise, insert left needle into the fronts of these 2 stitches and knit them together through the back loops
st(s): stitch(es)
WS: wrong side

Red, yellow and blue star coasters

Pattern Note

Leave at least a 4” [10 cm] yarn tail to allow enough length for weaving in ends.

Instructions

Star Point (Make 5)

Long tail cast on 3 sts.

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: [Kfb] 2 times, k1—5 sts.

Rows 3-5: Knit.

Row 6 (Inc Row): Kfb, knit to last 2 sts, kfb, k1—2 sts increased.

Rows 7-9: Knit.

Rep last 4 rows 2 times—11 sts.

Cut yarn; leave sts on needle. On last point, do not cut yarn. You will have 55 sts on your needle. Make sure that each point is arranged with the ending yarn tail on the right edge, ready to work a RS row.

Star Center

Row 1 (Joining Row, RS): [K11, pm] 4 times, knit to end.

Rows 2-3 (Dec Row): [Ssk, knit to 2 sts before marker, k2tog] 4 times, ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog—35 sts.

Row 4: Knit.

Rows 5 and 6: Rep Rows 3 and 4—25 sts.

Row 7: Rep Dec Row—15 sts.

Row 8: Knit, removing markers.

Row 9: [S2kp] across—5 sts.

Row 10: Knit.

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail for sewing. Thread yarn tail through remaining stitches and pull tight. With RS facing, sew open edges of star center together. Weave in ends.

Looking for more easy knitting patterns?

Easy Colorblock Knitted Washcloths (or Dishcloths)

Easy Knitting Colorblock Washcloths-6 designs shown

Whether you use them as dishcloths or as washcloths, knitted squares are a useful and popular project for knitters of all skill levels. Who doesn’t love a beautiful, soft hand-knit cloth to pamper their face, or a cute and sturdy cloth for that thankless chore that is kitchen cleanup?

This collection of six knitted washcloths (or dishcloths) helps you brush up on your knitting skills.  Links to video tutorials help you with unfamiliar techniques. 

Easy Knitting Colorblock Washcloths or Discloths-6 designs shown

With these patterns, knitting garter stitch was never so rewarding! Relax into the meditative rhythm of all-over knit stitches and enjoy the beauty of color. 

Beginning knitters will be comfortable knitting stripes, then progress to knitting on the bias. After that, step up to the joy that is a mitered square. Garter stitch intarsia techniques take you from beginning to intermediate skills in easy steps. There’s no purling needed!

This post contains affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra. Many thanks to Trailhead Yarns, who provided the yarn for this project. 

Easy Knitted Colorblock Washcloths by Edie Eckman- rolled up

The free pattern for the easiest cloth, Team Colors, is presented below. Buy a printable downloadable pdf of all six patterns, and knit your cares away.

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The Yarn

Use a cotton or cotton-blend fine- or light-weight yarn to make these soft and absorbent projects. The pattern calls for five colors, so this is a perfect time to try out a colorful pack of mini skeins!

Basket of 5 colors of yarn ready to knit

For the cloths pictured I used Trailhead Yarns Appalachian Trail Yarn Crew mini-skeins. Appalachian Trail is 65% cotton, 35% nylon. I used about 108 yds [99 m] each of five colors to complete all six washcloths. 

Other knitters who tested the pattern had good success with Cascade Ultra Pima Fine, Ultra Pima DK, or Premier Yarns Cotton Fair.


Finished Dimensions

The finished size will vary based on the yarn and needles you use, and your particular gauge. The washcloths shown measure about 6 3/4″ [17 cm] square. 

Size is not crucial in this project, but if you substitute yarns, choose a needle size that results in a fabric that is not too dense and not too loose.

Easy Colorblock Washcloths arranged in a basket

Materials

Fine-weight yarn: approximately 40 yds [36.5 m] each of two colors (Color A & Color B) for the Team Colors cloth below.

US size 2 [3 mm] knitting needles or size to obtain appropriate gauge

Gauge

30 sts and 22 rows = 4″ [10 cm] in garter stitch in fine-weight yarn

See note above about gauge.

Instructions

Team Colors

With Color A, long-tail cast on 50 stitches.

Rows 1-23: Knit. You have 12 garter stitch ridges. Cut A.

Rows 24-75: WIth Color B, knit. You have 26 garter stitch ridges in B, Cut B.

Rows 76-99: With Color A, knit. You have 12 garter stitch ridges in A. 

Bind off. Weave in ends. 

What’s Next?

Knit: Basics & Beyond offers links to help you improve your knitting skills.

Check out these other easy knitting patterns:

My First Scarf
Easy Two-Toned Pillow
Quick & Easy Summer Placemats

Free Crochet Pattern: Easy Little Baskets

Basic crochet skills are all it takes to make these Easy Little Baskets. Looking for a good project for a new crocheter? This is it!

Using just single crochet and small amounts of yarn, you’ll be soon be turning these out by the dozen! They’ll hold your crochet hooks, pencils, paperclips, glasses, keys, or tiny treasures.

Round, Oval, and Square-to-Round shapes can be crocheted with any yarn. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn you have on hand!

This post contains affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything, but may provide a small income to me.

Instructions for the baskets are given below. You may also purchase a downloadable ad-free pdf of the pattern which includes stitch diagrams for all three baskets.

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The Yarn

You can use any medium-weight yarn you have on hand, in any colors you like. Depending on the yarn you use, you’ll be able to get several baskets out of a single skein. Use a smaller hook than you normally would with your chosen yarn, as you want to create a stiff fabric.

For the baskets pictured I used Universal Yarn Yashi, a 100% raffia tape. The raffia fiber is stiffer than regular yarn, but it adds a unique look to the crochet.

Each ball of Yashi has 1.41 oz [40 g], 99 yd [90 m]. I used 1 ball each #106 Hot Green, # 104 Super Pink and #105 Bright Aqua.

Finished Dimensions

Round: 3″ [ 7.5 cm] diameter x 3½” [9 cm] high
Oval: 6″ [15 cm] long x 3¼” [8 cm] wide x 3″ [ 7.5 cm] high
Square-to-Round: 3¾” [9.5 cm] square x 4½ ” [11.5 cm] high

The finished size will vary based on the yarn and hooks you use. Size is not important in this project.

Materials

Worsted Weight Yarn: approximately 200 yds total for all 3 baskets.

US size I-9 [5.5 mm] crochet hook for raffia fiber
US size G [4.25 mm] or H-8 [5 mm] crochet hook for acrylic or wool yarn.

Stitch marker

It’s easy crochet: you’ll use single crochet, double crochet and slip stitch.. There are no seams at all; it’s entirely one piece. Crocheters just beyond the beginner level should find this bag within their ability.

Gauge

12 sc and 16 rnds = 4″ [10 cm] with 5.5 mm hook and raffia yarn
16 sc and 18 rnds = 4″ [10 cm] with 5 mm hook and medium-weight yarn

Gauge is not crucial in this project. However, you should use a hook size that results in a slightly stiff fabric so that the basket holds its shape.

Pattern Notes

  • This pattern uses American crochet terminology.
  • Color designations are made as MC (main color) and Contrasting Color (CC) or Contrasting
  • Color 1 (CC1) and Contrasting Color 2 (CC2), because it really doesn’t matter which colors you use. Use the photos as a guide if you want to copy the colorways shown.
  • Baskets are worked in unjoined rounds. Leave at least a 4″ [10 cm] tail of yarn in order to have enough yarn to weave in ends securely.

Abbreviations

CC, CC1, CC2: contrasting color, contrasting color 1, contrasting color 2
ch: chain
MC: main color
pm: place marker
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
RS: right side
sc: single crochet
sc2tog (single crochet 2 together): [insert hook into next stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop] 2 times, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on hook
st(s): stitch(es)

Round Basket

Easy Little Crochet Basket Round, bottom view

With MC, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.

Rnd 1 (RS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st), 6 sc in ring—6 sc. Pm in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in first st, 2 sc in each st around—12 sc.

Rnd 3: Sc in first st, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] around—18 sc.

Rnd 4: 2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts] around—24 sc.

Rnd 5: Sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st] around—30 sc.

Rnd 6: Sc in back loop only of each st around—30 sc.

Rnds 7-16: Sc in each st around, changing to CC on last st of Rnd 16. Cut MC.

Rnds 17-18: With CC, sc in each st around.

Slip st in next st. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Oval Basket

Easy Little Crochet Basket Oval, bottom view

Ch 9.
Rnd 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 6 ch, 3 sc in last ch; continuing across the other side of the foundation chain, sc in next 6 ch, 2 sc in last ch; do not join—18 sc.
Pm in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next 3 sc, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in last 2 sc—24 sc.

Rnd 3: Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 2 times—30 sc.

Rnd 4: 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sc] 2 times—36 sc.

Rnd 5: Sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next st] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 2 times—42 sc.

Rnd 6: 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 sc] 2 times—48 sc.

Rnd 7: Sc in back loop of each sc around—48 sc.

Rnds 8-16: Sc in each st around, changing to CC on last st of Rnd 16.
Cut MC.

Rnds 17-18: With CC, sc in each st around.

Slip st in next st. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Square-to-Round Basket

With MC, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.

Easy Little Crochet Basket Square to Round, bottom view

Rnd 1: Ch 1, 8 sc in ring; do not join—12 sc.
Pm in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—16 sc.

Rnd 3: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—24 sc.

Rnd 4: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 5 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 5 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—32 sc.

Rnd 5: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 7 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 7 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—40 sc.

Rnd 6: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 9 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 9 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—48 sc.

Rnd 7: Sc in back loop only of each st around—48 sc.

Rnds 8-15: Sc in each sc around.

Rnd 16: [Sc2tog, sc in next 10 sc] around—44 sc.

Rnds 17-19: Sc in each sc around.

Rnd 20: [Sc2tog, sc in next 9 sc] around—40 sc.

Rnd 21: Sc in each sc to last st; on last st, change to CC1. Cut MC.

Rnd 22: With CC1, sc in each sc around.

Rnd 23: Sc in each sc to last st; on last st, change to CC2. Cut CC1.

Rnd 24: With CC2, sc in each sc around.

Slip st in next st.

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

What’s Next?

Looking for more ways to up your crochet game? Check out Crochet: Basics & Beyond.

My First Scarf: A Story and Free Knitting Pattern

The beginning of the first scarf I knit

This is the story of my first knitting project. It’s a story that spans 50 years. It’s about yarn and memories and connections that come full circle. And it includes a free beginner pattern.
This striped garter-stitch scarf is a good beginner project for novices who have the patience to knit a whole scarf. Don’t want to knit so much? Make it a coaster or cowl instead.

This post contains affiliate links.

In the Beginning

When I was about six, one of my favorite books was A Gift from the Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. In the story, The Lonely Doll —whose name is Edith—knits a scarf for her dad, Mr. Bear.  She knits diligently at every possible opportunity and (spoiler alert) the scarf ends up too long. It’s worth reading the book for all the adorable details.

A Gift from the Lonely Doll cover image

Like my doll heroine, I wanted to knit a striped scarf for my father’s Christmas present. The scarf must be red and black, the team colors of his beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs.

My First Knitting Project

My maternal grandmother lived with us and was happy to teach me to knit. We started with a skein of black Germantown worsted wool, some leftover bits of red Germantown, and a pair of straight needles. She showed me how to cast on—the German twisted cast on, no less!—and how to do the knit stitch.

I knit and knit. The stitch count changed from row to row, but that didn’t matter to me.

The subtle shaping was due to inadvertently added stitches. Surely a design element, right?

I knit and knit and knit. I learned to change colors, although not always on the correct side.

I clearly didn’t have an idea of “right side” and “wrong side”.

I knit and knit and knit. The scarf grew slowly. Yarnover holes and incomplete stitches magically disappeared overnight. It’s the only time in my life that the Knitting Fairy has corrected my knitting.

 I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit. Now it was starting to look like a scarf. I tried it on frequently to see if it was long enough.

Is it long enough yet?

I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and knit . Nana kept urging me to knit a few more rows, but I was on deadline and anxious to finish on time. (Sound familiar?)

Just in time for Christmas, the scarf was long enough. Because the edges were so wobbly, Nana single crocheted around the whole thing to tidy it up. We wrapped it up in anticipation of the big reveal the next day.

On Christmas morning, Daddy opened the package. He made all the appropriate noises about how beautiful the scarf was, and how hard I must have worked to make such a special gift. Apparently it was the best gift ever!

I never saw him wear it, and I eventually forgot about it.

About 25 Years Later

Visiting my parents’ house, I caught a glance of red and black rolled up in the back of a drawer. It was my first scarf! Daddy had saved it all those years!

But that photo doesn’t really do it justice. Let me help you understand the scale of this scarf.

It is 4″ wide x 22.5″ long. Despite all my efforts, and even trying it on my skinny six-year-old neck, it was way too small to be worn by an adult male! Furthermore, we lived in Georgia where scarves aren’t even needed. The scarf came home with me, to remind me how much my technique had improved.

About 25 Years Later

As I wandered the aisles of a trade show, my eye caught a familiar sight: Germantown yarn from Kelbourne Woolens.  I’m pretty sure I squeed out loud. I may have jumped up and down a little bit.

Germantown Yarn colorful skeins

About Germantown Yarn

For that first scarf, and for many projects after that, Brunswick Germantown Worsted was my go-to yarn. 

Knitters who have been around for a long while will remember this ubiquitous yarn. There weren’t nearly as many yarns available as there are now, but Germantown was a classic worsted weight standby that came in many colors.

Germantown Yarn in black and red

Read Germantown: Redesigning a History for the story of how Kelbourne Woolens revived the brand, then read A Brief History of Germantown Yarns for a fascinating look at this American yarn. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do that.

When Kelbourne Woolens owner Courtney Kelly heard the story of my first scarf and what Germantown meant to me, she immediately suggested that I make another scarf, and provided the yarn for me to knit it.

My First Scarf Knitting Pattern

So here, fifty years after the original scarf, is the pattern for My First Scarf. This version is meant to be easy enough for new knitters to knit, and long enough and warm enough to actually be worn by an adult.  

Presented in Georgia Bulldog red and black, of course. Note that black is not the best choice for beginners; feel free to use different, lighter colors for easier visibility.

My First Scarf

The free pattern is below; you also can purchase a printer-friendly pdf.

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Want to knit it in Germantown yarn? You’ll get 10% off the price if you use code EDIEECKMAN at checkout here.

Materials

Craft Yarn Council Icon for 4 Medium Weight Yarn

Kelbourne Woolens Germantown (100% North American wool, 220 yds/201 m, 100 g), 1 skein each #005 Black (A) and #625 Scarlet (B), or colors of your choice.

US size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles or size to obtain correct gauge

Stitch marker or safety pin

Finished Dimensions

3.75″ (9.5 cm) wide x 61″ (155 cm) long

Gauge

20 sts and 39 rows = 4” (10 cm) in garter stitch (knit every row)
Gauge is not crucial in this pattern, but for best results match the gauge of the pattern. Watch How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch.

Pattern Note

Leave a 4-5″ [10-13 cm] tail of yarn each time you change yarns so that you’ll have enough yarn to securely weave in the tails. Each time you change yarn colors, the yarn tails should be on the rightmost edge of the scarf.

Instructions

With A, long tail cast on 19 sts.

Row 1 (Wrong Side): Knit.

Turn the work and place a marker on the right side to help you keep track of the right and wrong sides.

Rows 2-15: Knit.

At this point you have a total of 8 garter ridges and you have ended by knitting a wrong side row.

Cut A.

Rows 16-27: With B, knit. End by knitting a wrong side row. You have 6 garter ridges of B.

Continue working alternate stripes of 8 garter ridges (16 rows) in A and 6 garter ridges (12 rows) in B, until you have 20 stripes in color B. End by knitting a wrong side row.

Last stripe: With A, knit 8 garter ridges (16 rows). End by knitting a wrong side row. Bind off on a right side row.

Weave in all ends. Block.

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.

This post may contain affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra.

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