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

How to Knit Intarsia in Garter Stitch

Garter Stitch Intarsia
Garter Stitch Intarsia Swatch

Intarsia knitting can be a fun color knitting technique! The trick is in understanding how to prevent holes at the color changes. While a lot of intarsia projects are knitted in stockinette stitch, it’s easy to do in garter stitch if you know how.

Let’s work through this simple intarsia sample together, and I’ll show you how wonderful it can be to knit intarsia in garter stitch. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a video.

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

What is Intarsia Knitting?

Intarsia is a color knitting technique that uses one yarn color at a time to create blocks of color. You work across stitches in one color, then drop the old color and pick up the new color to begin working the next stitches.

The yarns are twisted around each other at the color change to prevent holes.

Compare this to stranded knitting techniques where you hold multiple colors across a row, or slip stitch techniques which use just one yarn and just one color across the entire row.

yarn balls and yarn butterfly
I’m using three colors. The pink is wound into a yarn butterfly.

You can use separate full balls of yarn, or wind your yarn into yarn butterflies or yarn bobbins.

In this sample I used full balls for the blue and the green and a yarn butterfly for the pink. I’m using Marly Bird’s Chic Sheep from Red Heart, and Clover Takumi bamboo knitting needles, size 5 mm.

Intarsia in Stockinette Stitch vs. Garter Stitch

If you’ve never done intarsia before, it can seem intimidating. Just remember that you are only holding one strand of yarn at a time, so how hard can it really be?

There’s a simple rule for remembering how to twist the yarns at the color change:

  • Hold the old color to the left
  • Pick up the new color from underneath (and to the right of) the old color
  • Begin working with the new color.

The trick is to cross the yarns on the wrong side at each color change to prevent a hole. In stockinette stitch this becomes intuitive, because the yarn is just where it needs to be, at the front or back of the knitting, as you come to it. In garter stitch, however, when you are knitting wrong side rows, you have to bring the yarn forward between the needles to allow that yarn crossing to happen on the wrong side.

Confused? Me too. I’d rather show you.

Reading a Chart

Garter stitch is usually worked from a chart. While there are different ways of presenting the information for a garter stitch chart, we’ll be working from this one.

Intarsia in Garter Stitch chart

I’ve made a printable pdf of the chart available to make it easier for you to follow along.

Download the PDF for chart Button

This chart is read in the ordinary way, with each rectangle representing a stitch. Right side (odd-numbered) rows are worked from right to left and wrong side (even-numbered) rows are worked from left to right. Note that all the rows are knit.

Intarsia in Garter Stitch chart

Cast On and Row 1

Garter Stitch Intarsia Cast on and Row 1
Cast on 10 stitches in each color.

You’ll read the chart beginning with Row 1, a right side row. If you use a long-tail cast on, you can count the cast on as Row 1. This is what I like to do when working garter stitch.

Using a long-tail cast on, cast on 10 stitches in blue, then 10 stitches in green. At this point, the cast ons will not be connected to each other.

Row 2

Row 2 is a wrong side row, read from left to right. Knit 10 stitches in green.

Garter Stitch Intarsia Row 2, photo 1
Bring old color between needles to the front.

Now that you’ve finished with the green for this row, it’s time to change to blue, but you need to twist the yarns to prevent a hole. This twist needs to happen on the wrong side. Since this is a wrong side row, that means that the twist needs to happen on the side closest to you.

Garter Stitch Intarsia, Row 2, photo 2
Pick up new color from underneath so that the old color crosses over the new color.

Bring the old color (green) to the front between the needles. Hold it to the left. Pick up the new color (blue) from underneath the old color and bring it between the needles to the back.


Bring new color to the back and knit with new color.

Begin knitting with the new color, and knit to the end of the row.

Row 3

Garter Stitch Intarsia, hold old color to the left
On right side rows, hold old color to the left.

This is a right side row, and the color change will happen on the back (wrong side). Knit 10 with blue, then hold the old color (blue) to the left


Garter Stitch Intarsia Pick up new color from underneath old color.
Pick up new color from underneath old color.

and pick up the new color (green) from underneath the old color. Knit 10 with green.


Row 4

Once more on a wrong side row, for good measure: Knit 10 blue, bring yarn forward between the needles. Hold the blue to the left. Pick up the green from underneath the blue and bring the green to the back. Knit 10 with green.

Row 5

Garter Stitch Intarsia Add pink on Row 5
Add pink on Row 5.

It’s time to add a third color! Knit 9 stitches in blue. Leaving a long tail, knit 2 stitches in pink. Hold the pink to the left and pick up the green from underneath, knit 9 stitches in green.

Rows 6-24

Work in pattern according to the chart, crossing the yarns when the colors change.

Bind Off and Weaving In Ends

Garter Stitch Intarsia Bind off closeup
Knit the last stitch of the blue with green yarn.

Bind off on a right side row, using the following trick to make sure you maintain a clean color transition. Beginning with blue, bind off until there is 1 blue stitch on your right needle and 1 blue stitch on your left needle.



Garter Stitch Intarsia completed bind off
This bind-off method prevents the blue from creeping into the green section.

Knit the next stitch in green (turning the blue stitch into a green stitch). Continue binding off in green.


Garter Stitch Intarsia Weave in ends.
Weave in ends.

Use the remaining pink tails to close up the holes at the beginning and end of the diamond, then weave in those ends on the wrong side of the pink section. Weave in remaining ends.

What are you going to knit next? Will you give garter stitch intarsia a try?

Free Knitting Pattern: Easy Two-Toned Pillow

This easy two-toned knit pillow uses the simplest of stitches to create a modern geometric design. Gauge isn’t crucial, because you just knit until the size is right.

Easy Two-Toned Pillow for beginners designed by Edie Eckman

Instructions for the pattern are listed for free below, but if you’d like an easy-to-print and easy-to-carry ad-free version, buy the pdf.

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

The Yarn

Craft Yarn Council 4-medium weight yarn
Craft Yarn Council 4-medium weight yarn

Medium-weight (worsted-weight) yarn is easy for beginners to use. Lion Brand Feels Like Butta has a dreamy-soft feel that you really want to snuggle up to!


Feels Like Butta yarn

I choose Pale Grey and Charcoal for a modern neutral palette, but the yarn comes in eighteen colors, so you are sure to find a couple of colors that appeal to you. It only takes one ball of each color.


The Pattern

Garter stitch is the first stitch pattern that beginners learn, because there’s no purling involved. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a versatile stitch! You can do all sorts of incredible things with just garter stitch!

Matching the pattern gauge is always important, but sometimes it’s more important than others. In this pattern, you want to at least get close to the pattern gauge so the fabric you are knitting is tight enough and so you don’t run out of yarn. However, don’t fret if it’s not EXACTLY the same; you have a little bit of leeway so you can knit until the size is right.

Easy Two-Toned Pillow

One Size: 12″ [30.5 cm] square

Materials
Lion Brand Feels Like Butta Yarn (100% polyester, 3.5 oz [100 g], 218 yd [199 m]), 1 ball each #150 Charcoal (A) and 149 Pale Grey (B)

US Size 7 [4.5 mm] knitting needles or size to obtain correct gauge

2 stitch markers or bits of waste yarn

Tapestry Needle

12" square. pillow insert

12″ {30.4 cm] square pillow insert


Gauge
21 sts and 42 rows =4″ {10 cm] in garter stitch. Although gauge is not crucial in this pattern, it’s is best to take time to check gauge. Watch How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch.

Abbreviations
garter stitch: knit every row
k2tog: knit two stitches together
kfb: knit in front and back of one stitch
RS: right side
st(s): stitch(es)
WS: wrong side

Instructions
Make 2 pieces alike, as follows:
With A, long-tail cast on 3 sts.
Row 1 (WS): Knit.
Row 2: Knit to last 2 sts, kfb, k1—1 st increased.

Place a marker on the front of the row just knit to indicate the right side of the fabric.

Repeat Row 2 until there are 85 sts on the needle, or until one shorter edge of the piece measures about 11″ [28 cm], ending by working a WS row. Cut A, leaving a 6″ [15 cm] tail.

With B, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1—1 st decreased.
Repeat this row until 3 sts remain.
Bind off.

Finishing
Weave in ends.
Hold pieces with wrong sides together and with colors matching.
With tapestry needle, sew around three edges using mattress stitch andmatching yarn color.

Insert pillow form. Sew final seam. Weave in ends.

Other Projects

Check out these other easy knitting patterns:

Quick & Easy Summer Placemats

Blue Springs Double Cowl

Easy Quick-Knit One-Skein Tea Cozy

Molly Hat

Stoneybrook Shawlette

Zig Zag Eyelet Scarf

How to Graft Garter Stitch

Are you a knitter who runs away as fast as you can from a pattern that requires grafting on garter stitch? I’ll show you how to graft garter stitch. Never fear, it’s easier than you think! (And I think it’s easier than grafting stockinette stitch.)

Grafting, also known as Kitchener Stitch, uses a yarn needle to join two pieces of knitting invisibly. The short and sweet written version of how to graft garter stitch follows, but scroll on down for the more in-depth video description.

The Set-Up

How to Graft Garter Stitch-two pieces of garter stitch

Because you’ll be creating a row of “knitting” , one of your garter stitch pieces needs to be one row shorter than the other. If you have ended one piece with a right side row, you’ll need to end the other piece with a wrong side row. (See the video to help you recognize which piece is which.)

Hold pieces with knitting needles parallel, with wrong sides together and with the shorter piece in back.

Grafting Step-by-Step

Cut a yarn tail at least 3 times the length of the pieces you are joining.  In my example my working yarn is the yarn tail from the blue swatch.

Thread a blunt-tip yarn needle (tapestry needle).

How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 1Step 1. On the front needle: Insert the needle purlwise (as if to purl) through the first stitch and pull the yarn through.
How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 3

Step 2. On the back needle: Insert the needle purlwise through the first stitch and pull the yarn through.

How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 3A

Step 3. On the front needle: Insert the needle knitwise through the first stitch and drop that stitch off the needle;
How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 3Binsert the needle purlwise through the next stitch and pull the yarn through.

How to Graft Garter Stitch Step 4BStep 4.  On the back needle: Insert the needle knitwise through the first stitch and drop that stitch off the needle;
insert the needle purlwise through the next stitch and pull the yarn through. Note that this is the exact same thing you did on the front needle!

How to Graft Garter Stitch adjusting stitchesRepeat Steps 3 and 4 across. Every few stitches, stop and adjust the tension of your stitches so that they match the size of the surrounding stitches. 

On the last two stitches (one front and one back), insert the needle knitwise through the last stitch on the front needle and pull the yarn through, then insert the needle knitwise through the last stitch on the back needle and pull the yarn through.

How to Graft Garter Stitch completedTake one more look at your grafted stitches and adjust them to size. If you know how to graft garter stitch carefully, no one will be able to tell that the stitches were grafted and not knit!


To see grafting in action, watch the video:

Looking for more knitting resources? Check out Knit: Basics & Beyond.

 

How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch

knitted garter stitch closeupThe first knitting stitch you learned was the “knit” stitch, and the first stitch pattern you learned was probably Garter Stitch. Measuring gauge in knitted garter stitch is pretty straightforward, but if you are unfamiliar with the concept of measuring gauge or counting stitches and rows, a few tips are in order.

To create garter stitch, you knit every row (or purl every row) when knitting back and forth. When you work in the round, of course, you have to knit one round, then purl one round to make the same stitch pattern.

Watch this video that covers the basics of measuring gauge in garter stitch.  In future posts, I’ll talk you through what to do when you run into problems like uneven stitches or varying stitch counts.

Do you have questions about measuring gauge in knitted garter stitch? Or questions about gauge in general? Let me know in the comments.