An Ode to Garter Stitch

The humble garter stitch: knit-stitch-only for row after row, with not a single purl or other embellishment to break the so-called monotony. It’s likely the first “pattern” we learn to knit, often left behind as we learn to yarn-over, knit-two-tog, and slip stitches for jazzier and more impressive knitting.

But lately, I’ve embraced the garter stitch as the ultimate in meditative, no-brainer knitting. Once you’ve mastered it (which can be done in an afternoon), you can mindlessly let your fingers work while you carry on a conversation, watch a TV drama, or just zone out. If you do make a mistake, rip it out and start over. It’s not like you’ve messed up some intricate lace work. You just get more knitting in.

Better yet, beginners and experts alike can make practically anything out of garter stitch – a simple bulky weekend sweater, a scarf, a placemat, a coaster. I once stayed at a beach house that didn’t have coasters for cold, icy drinks. Our family didn’t want to ruin the furniture, so I whipped out a set of coasters lickety split, leaving them in the house for the next vacationers. Garter stitch gets it done. 

Here’s my no brainer coaster pattern:

  • With cotton yarn and size 8 or 9 needles, cast on about 20 stitches (as you choose; I don’t micromanage these things).
  • Knit in garter stitch for about 20 rows (or about 4 inches), cast off
  • Add glass of cold iced tea. 

Happy Knitting! Cindy

Cynthia Coe is a blogger, avid knitter, and author of several books. Visit her Author Page on Amazon for more information and a complete list of her books.

Quick and Easy Knitting Projects for On-the-Go Knitting

Every yarn crafter needs a quick, easy, and portable knitting project to keep on hand. School pick-up lines, doctor’s offices, airports, and any kind of waiting room necessitates something to do to pass the time. I always have an easy, small project stashed away in my purse or tote bag to keep myself from getting antsy in such situations. 

I usually work on a place mat or dish cloth, but at this point in my life, everyone in my family has more placemats than they need. New ideas for quick and easy knit or crochet projects are always appreciated. 

Here’s my go-to knitting pattern for placemats, my favorite on-the-go project:

With size 4 yarn and size 9 needles (or smaller, as you choose):

  • Cast on 60 stitches
  • k2p2 for two rows
  • knit the following two rows
  • repeat until placemat is as long as you want, cast-off

You can also make coasters, small knitted pads to go under houseplants, table runners, or other rectangular knitted pieces to protect furniture or add a kick of color or pattern to your home.

Recommended Resource:

60 Quick Knits for Beginners: Easy Projects for New Knitters from Cascade. Lots of cold weather projects – hats, wristlets, cowls, pullovers, and scarves. Geared for beginning knitters, but we veteran knitters also like a quick and easy knitting project, too.

Knitting on the Go

Happy Knitting! Cindy

Cynthia Coe is an author, blogger, and avid knitter. Her books are available in paperback and e-reader edition on Visit her Author page and follow this blog for more info and news.