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Free Knitting Patterns for Beginners

Pot holders are usually a favorite with knitting novices.
Pot holders are usually a favorite with knitting novices.

­When you first start out knitting, you may not be ready for elaborate Aran sweaters or other technically demanding projects. You may not even want to take on long, time-consuming projects. That's why we have assembled some easy-to-make project patterns that will help you learn and perfect some of the basic techniques. And maybe one day, you'll be able to knit that sweater without even giving it a second thought.

­On the following pages, you'll find great inspiration and free patterns for such projects as wine sacks, pot holders, dishtowels, and more.

Are you ready to start knitting? Click on the next page and learn how to knit a herringbone belt.

Free Herringbone Belt Knitting Pattern

A belt is always a great accessory, so why not knit your own?
A belt is always a great accessory, so why not knit your own?

This stylish belt is simple to knit, with a combination of knits, purls, and slipped stitches that, combined with the suedelike yarn, creates an interesting texture. Close the belt by knotting the long fringes together around your waist.

Size

Width: 1.75 inches (4.4cm)

Length: 34 inches (86.5cm), not including fringe

What You'll Need

Yarn: Worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (110m)

We used: Berroco Suede Tri-Color (100% nylon; 120 yards [111m] per 50g ball): #3797 Django, 1 ball

Needles: US size 8 (5mm)

Notions: Size H/8 (5mm) crochet hook; tapestry needle

Gauge

24 stitches and 55 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

Note: All stitches are slipped purlwise.

Making the Belt

With crochet hook and tapestry needle, cast on 204 stitches using the crochet chain cast-on method.

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 with yarn in front, with yarn in back knit 2, *slip 2 with yarn in front, with yarn in back knit 2; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, knit 1.

Row 2: Slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 1, *slip 2 with yarn in back, with yarn in front purl 2; repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, purl 1, with yarn in back knit 1.

Row 3: Slip 3 with yarn in front, *with yarn in back knit 2, slip 2 with yarn in front; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, with yarn in back knit 1.

Row 4: Slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 3, *slip 2 with yarn in back, purl 2; repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, slip 2 with yarn in back, with yarn in front purl 1, knit 1.

Rows 5-12: Repeat rows 1-4 twice.

Row 13: Slip 3 with yarn in front, *with yarn in back knit 2, slip 2 with yarn in front; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, with yarn in back knit 1.

Row 14: Slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 1, *slip 2 with yarn in back, with yarn in front purl 2; repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, purl 1, with yarn in back knit 1.

Row 15: Slip 1 with yarn in front, with yarn in back knit 2, *slip 2 with yarn in front, with yarn in back knit 2; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, knit 1.

Row 16: Slip 1 with yarn in front, purl 3, *slip 2 with yarn in back, with yarn in front purl 2; repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, slip 2 with yarn in back, with yarn in front purl 1, with yarn in back knit 1.

Rows 17-20: Repeat rows 13-16.

Rows 21-23: Repeat rows 13-15.

Bind off while working row 16.

Weave in loose ends.

Make the Fringe

Make 14 fringes as follows: Cut fourteen 24" (61cm) strands of yarn. Place belt flat on table with right side facing. Beginning at one of the short edges, *insert crochet hook from back to front into the edge of the belt. Fold one strand in half and hold cut ends together to create a loop. Place loop on hook and pull it halfway through the knitted piece. With hook still in place, pull cut ends of fringe through the loop to make knot. Pull fringe ends to tighten. Repeat from * 6 more times, spacing fringe evenly along belt's edge. Repeat fringing at opposite end of belt. Trim all fringes to 11" (28cm) in length.

Knitting is not just about clothing. There are so many other accessories that are easy to knit, like the cell phone cozy that comes next.

Free Cell Phone Cozy Knitting Pattern

Making a cell phone cozy will keep your phone safe and secure.
Making a cell phone cozy will keep your phone safe and secure.

Keep your cell phone in good shape while giving it a unique look with these knitted cozies. We've included patterns for two popular cell phone models -- a flip phone and one with a display window.

Techniques

Backstitch

Binding off -- BO

Casting on -- CO

Knit 2 together -- k2tog

Mattress stitch

Stockinette stitch -- St st

Weaving in yarn tails

Size

Blue cozy: 21/2x3 inches (6.5x7.5cm)

Pink cozy: 23/4x33/4 inches (7x9.5 cm)

Gauge

14 stitches=4" (10cm)

What You'll Need

Yarn: 30 yards (27m) boucle yarn for each cozy

We used: The Plymouth Italian Collection Firenze Boucle (30% wool, 30% acrylic, 40% nylon): #442 pink, 1 skein (for pink cozy); #418 blue, 1 skein (for blue cozy)

Needles: US size 7 (41/2mm)

Notions: Tapestry needle; 5/8" (1.5cm) button (for blue cozy); long sewing pins with large colored heads; sewing needle and thread to match; 2 stitch holders; 1/2" (1.3cm) snap (for pink cozy)

Note: Because different models of cell phones have different measurements, adjust the stitch counts accordingly. Use your gauge as a guide.

Making the Blue Cozy

Cast on 8 stitches. Work in stockinette stitch for 7" (18cm).

End with knit row.

Shape the Flap

Row 1: Bind off 1 stitch (space for antenna), purl to end. (7 stitches)

Row 2: Knit.

Rows 3, 5, 7, and 9: Purl.

Row 4: Knit 4, knit 2 together, knit 1. (6 stitches)

Row 6: Knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 1. (5 stitches)

Row 8: Knit 2, knit 2 together, knit 1. (4 stitches)

Row 10: Knit 1, knit 2 together, knit 1. (3 stitches)

Bind off all stitches.

Make Buttonhole Loop: Cut yarn about 18" (46cm) from last stitch; thread on tapestry needle. Insert needle into beginning stitch of bind-off row and carry the yarn to end stitch of bind-off row (other side of flap), leaving a big-enough loop for button to fit through. Wrap yarn around loop several times to strengthen, and secure yarn by backstitching several times on wrong side of work.

Finishing the Blue Cozy

Fold piece in half with right sides together to form the cell phone pocket (don't include the flap). Pin side edges together. With sewing needle and matching thread, whipstitch side seams closed. Remove pins.

Make the Handle: Cut length of yarn about 36" (90cm) long. Thread tapestry needle and secure 1 end of yarn on inside of side seam, under the top edge. Insert needle through side seam on opposite side, under the top edge, leaving a loop about 13" (33cm) long. Wrap yarn around loop several times to make a stronger handle, then return needle to first seam and secure end by weaving through side seam on wrong side of work. Turn piece to right side.

Attach the Button: Fold flap over top edge of pocket, and match loop with the place to attach button. With sewing needle and thread, stitch button in place. Weave in ends to wrong side of work; secure firmly.

Making the Pink Cozy

Cast on 11 stitches. Work in stockinette stitch for 71/2" (19cm). End with purl row.

Make the Display Window: Knit 3 stitches, bind off 5 stitches, knit to end. (3 stitches on each side of bind-off). Place first set of stitches on holder. Work stockinette stitch over remaining 3 stitches for 1" (2.5cm); end with purl row. Cut yarn, leaving 6" (15cm) tail to secure later. Place stitches on second holder. Slip stitches from first holder onto needle. With wrong side facing, rejoin yarn at beginning of bound-off stitches. Purl 3 stitches. Work even in stockinette stitch for 1" (2.5cm).

Next row: Knit. At end of row, cast on 5 stitches using either knitted cast-on or cable cast-on. Knit stitches from second holder (11 stitches). Work in stockinette stitch for 1" (2.5cm). End with purl row.

Make the Strap

Next row: (right side) Bind off 3 stitches, knit to end of row. (8 stitches)

Next row: (wrong side) Bind off 4 stitches, purl to end of row. (4 stitches)

Continue working strap on 4 stitches for a total of 5" (12.5cm). Bind off all stitches.

Finishing the Pink Cozy

With right sides together, fold cozy in half (don't include strap). Pin side edges together. With sewing needle and thread, whipstitch side seams together. Remove all pins. Turn piece to right side. Sew 1 side of snap on wrong side of strap, about 1/2" (1.3cm) from end. Fold strap in half and, on back side of cozy, mark where to attach other half of snap. Sew snap in place. Weave all yarn ends to wrong side, and secure.

Now that you have you cell phone all secure and good-looking, why not try the next pattern for an eyeglass case?

Free Eyeglass Case Knitting Pattern

Bright stripes will help make sure that you can always find your new eyeglass case.
Bright stripes will help make sure that you can always find your new eyeglass case.

Eyeglasses will be well protected in this densely knit case. Choose a multicolor yarn to display the subtle texture of linen stitch. The whole case is worked as one piece, which makes it a perfect project for a beginner.

Techniques

Binding off -- BO

Cable cast-on

Casting on -- CO

Knitted cast-on

Mattress stitch

Slip stitch purlwise

Size

31/2x71/2 inches (9x19cm)

Gauge

26 stitches/40 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

What You'll Need

Yarn: 100 yards heavy worsted weight cotton

We used: Plymouth Fantasy Naturale (100% cotton): #9709 multicolor in blues, greens, and purple, 1 skein

Needles: US size 8 (5mm)

Notions: 7/8" (2.2cm) button; scissors; tapestry needle; sewing needle and thread to match (if buttonholes are too small to use yarn)

Making the Case

Cast on 49 stitches.

Row 1: (right side) Knit 1, *bring yarn to front of work (as if to purl), slip next stitch purlwise, take yarn to back of work, knit 1**; repeat from * to ** to end of row.

Row 2: (wrong side) Purl 2, *take yarn to back, slip 1 purlwise, bring yarn forward, purl 1**; repeat from * to ** to last stitch, end with purl 1.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern. Work pattern until piece measures 71/2" (19cm) in length, ending with wrong-side row.

Next row: (right side) Bind off 26 stitches at beginning of row, work remaining stitches in pattern. (23 stitches)

Next row: (wrong side) Bind off first 2 stitches, work remaining stitches in pattern. (21 stitches)

Make Flap: Work in pattern on remaining 21 stitches for 13/4" (4.5cm). End with wrong-side row.

Make Buttonhole: Work 8 stitches in pattern, bind off center 5 stitches for buttonhole, work remaining stitches in pattern.

Next row: (wrong side) Work in pattern up to bound-off stitches, cast on 5 stitches using knitted cast-on or cable cast-on. Finish row in pattern. Work even in established pattern for 3/4" (2cm) more from buttonhole; bind off all stitches.

Finishing the Case

Fold piece in half lengthwise, leaving flap free. With tapestry needle and yarn, sew together bottom and side seams using mattress stitch. Fold flap over opening; sew button in place. Weave yarn ends to wrong side and secure.

Now you may be ready for a slightly bigger project. On the next page, you'll find a great pattern for a knitted wine sack.

Free Striped Wine Sack Knitting Pattern

Make sure that your gift of wine is remembered with this wine sack.
Make sure that your gift of wine is remembered with this wine sack.

A bottle of wine makes a nice gift, but presenting it in a one-of-a-kind hand-knit, felted wine sack makes a nice gift unforgettable.

Size (after felting)

Length: Approximately 131/2 inches (34.5cm)

Circumference: Approximately 10 inches (25.5cm)

Tie length: Approximately 50 inches (127cm)

What You'll Need

Yarn: 100% wool worsted weight yarn, about 175 yards (160m)

We used: Noro Kureyon (100% wool; 109 yards per 50g ball): color #154, 2 balls

Needles: size 8 (5mm) double-pointed, set of 4

Notions: Open-ring stitch marker; tapestry needle; size I/9 (5mm) crochet hook

Gauge

15 stitches=4" (10cm) in circular stockinette stitch (knit all rounds)

Note: Superwash wool and synthetics will not felt; do not use for felting projects.

Making the Sack

Loosely cast 42 stitches onto one double-point needle, then divide stitches equally onto 3 needles (14 stitches on each). Join into circle, being careful not to twist stitches. Place open-ring stitch marker in first stitch to denote beginning of round, and move marker upward every few rounds.

Round 1 (wrong side): Knit.

Round 2 (right side): Purl.

Round 3: Knit.

Round 4: Purl.

Round 5: Knit.

Change to circular stockinette stitch (knit all rounds) until piece measures 17" (43cm).

Purl the next round (on right side of work).

Decrease Rounds

Round 1: (Knit 5, knit 2 together) to end of round. (36 stitches)

Rounds 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10: Knit.

Round 3: (Knit 4, knit 2 together) to end of round. (30 stitches)

Round 5: (Knit 3, knit 2 together) to end of round. (24 stitches)

Round 7: (Knit 2, knit 2 together) to end of round. (18 stitches)

Round 9: (Knit 1, knit 2 together) to end of round. (12 stitches)

Round 11: (Knit 2 together) to end of round. (6 stitches)

Round 12: Knit. Remove marker.

Cut yarn leaving 6" (15cm) tail. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and pull through the remaining 6 stitches, pulling tightly to close. Weave in loose ends to wrong side of work.

Make the Tie

With crochet hook and yarn, make a crochet chain about 56" (142cm) long. Beginning in second chain from hook work 1 single crochet in each chain to end of row. Fasten off.

Felting

Felt wine sack and tie in washing machine.

The tie is finished felting when you can gently stretch it to about 50" (127cm). Let sack dry with wine bottle inside so it keeps its shape.

Tie overhand knot at both ends of strand, and tie around neck of wine bottle.

Another project that would make a great gift is a set of knitted lace hand towels. Go to the next page to learn how to make them.

Free Lace Hand Towel Knitting Pattern

Delicate hand-knit hand towels look much more compl­icated than they are.
Delicate hand-knit hand towels look much more compl­icated than they are.

Add simple knitted lace edging to everyday hand towels, and smile as guests admire your handiwork. These edgings are worked sideways after casting on a few stitches. Work the lace in any length, and apply to pillowcases, afghans, scarves, and more.

Techniques

Binding off -- BO

Blocking

Casting on - CO

Knit in front and back of same stitch - k1f&b

Knit 2 together -- k2tog

Purl 2 together -- p2tog

Slip slip knit decrease -- ssk

Weaving in yarn tails

Yarn over -- yo

Gauge

Natural edging on sage towel: 24 stitches/36 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

Natural edging on natural towel: 24 stitches/38 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

Sage edging on natural towel: 24 stitches/32 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

What You'll Need

Yarn: 50 yards (46m) sport weight 100% cotton (natural edging on sage towel); 70 yards (63.7m) sport weight 100% cotton (natural edging on natural towel); 70 yards (63.7m) sport weight 100% cotton (sage edging on natural towel)

We used: Needful Yarns Lana Gatto Skipper (100% cotton): #124 natural, 1 ball each for natural edging on natural towel and natural edging on sage towel; #123 sage, 1 ball

Needles: US size 2 (2.75mm)

Notions: Tapestry needle; long pins with large heads; sewing needle and thread to match

Miscellaneous: 16x24 inches (40.5X61cm) hand towel, or desired size

Natural-color Edging on Sage Towel

Cast on 8 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 3. (9 stitches)

Rows 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10: Knit.

Row 3: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 4. (10 stitches)

Row 5: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 5. (11 stitches)

Row 7: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 6. (12 stitches)

Row 9: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 7. (13 stitches)

Row 11: Knit 3, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 8. (14 stitches)

Row 12: Bind off 6 stitches, knit to the end of the row. (8 stitches)

Repeat rows 1-12 for pattern. Continue in pattern until the edging, when slightly stretched, fits across bottom edge of towel. Complete edging, binding off all stitches at row 12.

Natural-color Edging on Natural Towel

Cast on 12 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 4, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 2, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2. (13 stitches)

Row 2: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 11.

Row 3: Knit 3, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 2 times, knit 2, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2. (14 stitches)

Row 4: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 12.

Row 5: Knit 4, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 2 times, knit 2, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2. (15 stitches)

Row 6: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 13.

Row 7: Knit 3, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 3 times, knit 2, yarn over, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2. (16 stitches)

Row 8: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 14.

Row 9: Knit 3, [knit 2 together, yarn over] 2 times, knit 2, knit 2 together, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 2 times, knit 1. (15 stitches)

Row 10: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 13.

Row 11: Knit 2, [knit 2 together, yarn over] 2 times, knit 2, knit 2 together, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 2 times, knit 1. (14 stitches)

Row 12: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 12.

Row 13: Knit 3, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2, knit 2 together, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 2 times, knit 1. (13 stitches)

Row 14: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 11.

Row 15: Knit 2, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2, knit 2 together, [yarn over, knit 2 together] 2 times, knit 1. (12 stitches)

Row 16: Yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 10.

Repeat rows 1-16 for pattern. Continue in pattern until the piece, when slightly stretched, fits across bottom edge of towel.

Complete edging, working row 16 of pattern repeat as follows: Yarn over, knit 2 together, bind off 1 stitch (this will be the yarn over the stitch remaining from the decrease), *knit 1, bind off 1 stitch**. Repeat from * to ** to end of row. See Finishing, below.

Sage-color Edging on Sage Towel

Cast on 8 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 5, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 2. (10 stitches)

Row 2: Purl 6, increase in next stitch by knitting into front and back loops, knit 3. (11 stitches)

Row 3: Knit 4, purl 1, knit 2, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 3. (13 stitches)

Row 4: Purl 8, knit 1 front and back, knit 4. (14 stitches)

Row 5: Knit 4, purl 2, knit 3, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 4. (16 stitches)

Row 6: Purl 10, knit 1 front and back, knit 5. (17 stitches)

Row 7: Knit 4, purl 3, knit 4, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 5. (19 stitches)

Row 8: Purl 12, knit 1 front and back, knit 6. (20 stitches)

Row 9: Knit 4, purl 4, slip slip knit, knit 7, knit 2 together, knit 1. (18 stitches)

Row 10: Purl 10, knit 1 front and back, knit 7. (19 stitches)

Row 11: Knit 4, purl 5, slip slip knit, knit 5, knit 2 together, knit 1. (17 stitches)

Row 12: Purl 8, knit 1 front and back, knit 2, purl 1, knit 5. (18 stitches)

Row 13: Knit 4, purl 1, knit 1, purl 4, slip slip knit, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 1. (16 stitches)

Row 14: Purl 6, knit 1 front and back, knit 3, purl 1, knit 5. (17 stitches)

Row 15: Knit 4, purl 1, knit 1, purl 5, slip slip knit, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit 1. (15 stitches)

Row 16: Purl 4, knit 1 front and back, knit 4, purl 1, knit 5. (16 stitches)

Row 17: Knit 4, purl 1, knit 1, purl 6, slip 1 knitwise, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over, knit 1. (14 stitches)

Row 18: Purl 2 together, bind off 5 stitches, purl 3, knit 4. (8 stitches)

Repeat row 1-18 for pattern. Work in pattern until the piece, when slightly stretched, fits across bottom edge of towel. Complete edging, binding off all stitches in pattern at row 18. See Finishing, below.

Finishing the Towels

Weave in all yarn tails to wrong side of work. Block. Pin edging to 1 end of towel; thread sewing needle with matching thread, and attach edging to towel with overcast stitch. Remove all pins.

Go to the next page for another style of towels that you can easily learn to knit: Designer dishtowels.

Free Designer Dishtowel Knitting Pattern

Dishtowels so easy to make that you can watch TV while you're knitting.
Dishtowels so easy to make that you can watch TV while you're knitting.

Making dishcloths is a great way for a knitting novice to practice new stitch patterns.These projects are quick, fun to make, and useful. Try the three patterns shown here, and beware: They're habit-forming!

Techniques

Binding off -- BO

Casting on -- CO

Garter stitch

Knit stitch -- k

Purl stitch -- p

Weaving in yarn tails Size

9x11 inches (23x28cm)

Gauge

Blue dishcloth: 19 stitches/32 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

Yellow dishcloth: 18 stitches/28 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

Multicolor dishcloth: 19 stitches/33 rows=4" (10cm) in pattern

Note: Exact gauge isn't necessary; the finished dishcloths will either be slightly smaller or larger if your gauge is a bit off.

What You'll Need

Yarn: Worsted weight cotton yarn, about 75 yards (69m) for each dishcloth

We used: Lily Sugar'n Cream (100% cotton): #26 Light Blue, 1 ball; #86 Lemon Chiffon, 1 ball; Lily Sugar'n Cream Crafter's Cotton (100% cotton): #201 Cool Breeze, 1 ball

Needles: US size 7 (4.5mm)

Notion: Tapestry needle

Making the Blue Dishcloth

Cast on 43 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 3, *purl 1, knit 3**; repeat from * to ** to end of row.

Row 2: Knit.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 110 (28cm). Bind off. See Finishing, below.

Making the Yellow Dishcloth

Cast on 42 stitches. Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) for 6 rows.

Begin main pattern

Row 1: Knit.

Row 2: Knit 4, purl 34, knit 4.

Row 3: Knit 4, purl 5, [knit 4, purl 6] 2 times, knit 4, purl 5, knit 4.

Row 4: Knit 4, purl 34, knit 4.

Row 5: Knit.

Row 6: Knit 4, purl 34, knit 4.

Row 7: Knit 8, [purl 6, knit 4] 3 times, knit 4.

Row 8: Knit 4, purl 34, knit 4.

Repeat these 8 rows for pattern. Work even until piece measures about 101/4" (26cm), ending with row 8. Knit 6 rows in garter stitch. Bind off. See Finishing, below.

Making the Multicolor Dishcloth

Cast on 43 stitches.

Row 1: [Knit 1, purl 1] across row.

Repeat for desired length, beginning each row with a knit stitch to create seed-stitch pattern. Bind off. See Finishing, below.

Finishing the Towel

Cut yarn, leaving about 6" (15cm) tail. Thread tapestry needle, and secure yarn by weaving across a few stitches on wrong side of work.

Another beginners' favorite is the pot holder. On the next page we have found a great, classic pattern for you to try out.

Free Americana Pot Holder Knitting Pattern

These pot holders are classic pieces of Americana that won't go out of style.
These pot holders are classic pieces of Americana that won't go out of style.

This darling pot holder captures the special style of homespun early Americana. The crocheted edge and classic shades of red, white, and blue make the pot holder look special without involving complicated techniques.

Techniques

Binding off -- BO

Casting on -- CO

Crochet chain

Garter stitch

Single crochet

Size

Approximately 7x7 inches (18x18cm)

Gauge

24 stitches/48 rows=4" (10cm) in garter stitch

What You'll Need

Yarn: Approximately 100 yards (274m) each 98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic yarn in 3 colors

We used: Cascade Yarns Fixation: #8176 Ecru (color A), 1 skein; #2625 Blueberry (color B), 1 skein; #3794 Wine (color C), 1 skein

Needles: US size 5 (3.75mm)

Notions: US size G (4.25mm) crochet hook; tapestry needle

Notes: * Yarn is used doubled throughout. Wind color A into 2 balls before starting.* Special abbreviation: sl2kp. Slip 2 together as if to knit, knit 1, pass the slipped stitches over (a centered double decrease).

Making the Pot Holder

Cast on 71 stitches using 2 strands of color A held together as 1. Work as follows:

Row 1: Knit 34, slip 2 stitches together knitwise, knit 1, pass both slipped stitches over the knit stitch, knit 34. (69 stitches)

Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: Knit.

Row 3: Knit 33, sl2kp, knit 33. (67 stitches)

Row 5: Knit 32, sl2kp, knit 32. (65 stitches)

Row 7: Change to colors B and C (1 strand each color held together as 1); knit 31, sl2kp, knit 31. (63 stitches)

Row 9: Knit 30, sl2kp, knit 30. (61 stitches)

Row 11: Knit 29, sl2kp, knit 29. (59 stitches)

Row 13: Knit 28, sl2kp, knit 28. (57 stitches)

Row 15: Knit 27, sl2kp, knit 27. (55 stitches)

Row 17: Knit 26, sl2kp, knit 26. (53 stitches)

Row 19: Change to color A (2 strands held together as 1); knit 25, sl2kp, knit 25. (51 stitches)

Row 21: Knit 24, sl2kp, knit 24. (49 stitches)

Row 23: Knit 23, sl2kp, knit 23. (47 stitches)

Row 25: Knit 22, sl2kp, knit 22. (45 stitches)

Row 27: Knit 21, sl2kp, knit 21. (43 stitches)

Row 29: Knit 20, sl2kp, knit 20. (41 stitches)

Row 31: Knit 19, sl2kp, knit 19. (39 stitches)

Row 33: Change to colors B and C (1 strand each color held together as 1); knit 18, sl2kp, knit 18. (37 stitches)

Row 35: Knit 17, sl2kp, knit 17. (35 stitches)

Row 37: Knit 16, sl2kp, knit 16. (33 stitches)

Row 39: Knit 15, sl2kp, knit 15. (31 stitches)

bKnit 14, sl2kp, knit 14. (29 stitches)

Row 43: Knit 13, sl2kp, knit 13. (27 stitches)

Row 45: Change to color A (2 strands held together as 1); knit 12, sl2kp, knit 12. (25 stitches)

Row 47: Knit 11, sl2kp, knit 11. (23 stitches)

Row 49: Knit 10, sl2kp, knit 10. (21 stitches) bKnit 9, sl2kp, knit 9. (19 stitches)

Row 53: Knit 8, sl2kp, knit 8. (17 stitches)

Row 55: Knit 7, sl2kp, knit 7. (15 stitches)

Row 57: Knit 6, sl2kp, knit 6. (13 stitches)

Bind off remaining 13 stitches. Cut yarn, leaving tails of about 24" (61cm).

Hanging Loop: Using crochet hook and yarn tails, make a single chain of 13 stitches, attaching last stitch to other side of pot holder at beginning of bound-off row, forming a loop (see photo). Thread remaining tail end on tapestry needle, and weave between bound-off stitches to secure. With colors B and C held together as 1, join to work at 1 side of loop, and work in single crochet around edge of pot holder, including outside of loop (see photo). Do not work single crochet under loop, across bound-off stitches. Use tapestry needle to weave in all loose ends.

Looking to knit something that will straighten up your closet? We have a pattern for a padded hanger and sachet that just might be what you're looking for.

Free Padded Hanger and Sachet Knitting Pattern

With this project, your old hangers will soon find new life.
With this project, your old hangers will soon find new life.

Dress up an old hanger in an instant with this easy project. Fill the cute little sachet with your favorite dried flowers, aromatic herbs, potpourri, or cedar shavings.

Techniques

Binding off -- BO

Casting on -- CO

Crochet chain

Garter stitch

Knit 2 together -- k2tog

Mattress stitch

Weaving in yarn tails

Yarn over -- yo

Size

Hanger cover: Approximately 16 inches (40.5cm)

Sachet: 23/4x23/4 inches (7x7cm)

Gauge

21 stitches/11 rows=4" (10cm) in garter stitch

What You'll Need

Yarn: 60 yards (55m) worsted weight yarn for hanger cover (yarn A); 20 yards (18m) coordinating yarn for sachet (yarn B)

We used: Patons Grace (100% cotton): #60903 lavender (yarn A), 1 ball; #60005 snow (yarn B), 1 ball

Needles: US size 5 (3.75mm)

Notions: Size F/5 (3.75mm) crochet hook; tapestry needle; sewing needle and white sewing thread; 1/2" (1.3cm) decorative button

Miscellaneous: Straight wooden hanger with metal hook

Making the Sachet

Holding 2 strands of yarn B together as 1, cast on 15 stitches. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for about 5" (12.5cm).

Next row (eyelet buttonhole): Knit 6, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 7. Knit 5 more rows; bind off. Fold piece in half, and weave sides together using mattress stitch. Placing seam in middle of back, sew bottom together using mattress stitch.

Crochet Chain: Insert crochet hook into 1 side seam, just under top edge. Using 2 strands of yarn B, work a crochet chain for 7" (18cm). Cut yarn, leaving about 6" (15cm) tail. With threaded tapestry needle, attach chain to opposite side seam under the top edge and to the inside. Weave yarn ends through several stitches on wrong side of work, and secure. With sewing needle and thread, attach button in position on inside of sachet, opposite eyelet buttonhole.

Making the Hanger Cover

Holding 2 strands of yarn A together as 1, cast on 80 stitches and work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 23/4" (7cm). Bind off all stitches. Cut yarn, leaving about 30" (76cm) tail.

Find center of knit piece, and slip it over the metal hanger hook, taking care not to snag knitting. Fold knit piece in half lengthwise over hanger. Thread tapestry needle with yarn tail, and weave loose ends to wrong side to secure. Pull yarn snugly to gather and tighten side edge and enclose it over hanger end. Close other side in the same way. Weave loose ends to wrong side and through a few stitches to secure. Sew cast-on and bind-off edges together neatly. Weave last remaining yarn tail to inside, and secure.

A distinctive pattern can liven up your kitchen. Learn to make pot holders with an eye-catching checkerboard design on the next page.

Free Checkered Pot Holder Knitting Pattern

The eye-catching design of the Checkered Pot Holders stands out in any kitchen.
The eye-catching design of the Checkered Pot Holders stands out in any kitchen.

The perfect gift for your favorite chef! These checkerboard pot holders are knitted using the intarsia technique and then felted in the washing machine to make them good and sturdy.

Size

Before felting: Approximately 11x131/2 inches (28x34cm)

After felting: Approximately 8x81/2 inches (20x21.5cm)

What You'll Need

Yarn: 100% wool worsted weight yarn, about 121 yards (111m) each in 2 colors (makes 2 pot holders)

We used: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (100% wool; 110 yards [101m] per 50g skein): #23420 Coal (color A), 2 skeins; #23775 Fog (color B), 2 skeins

Needles: US size 8 (5mm) straight; US size 9 (5.5mm) double-pointed, set of 2

Notion: Tapestry needle

Gauge

18 stitches and 24 rows=4" (10cm) in stockinette stitch before felting

Note: When changing colors, drop the old color and bring the new color up from under the old color, twisting them together to avoid gaps. For each section being worked, you will need 2 balls color A and 2 balls color B.

Making the Pot Holder

With color A and straight needles, loosely cast on 48 stitches.

Rows 1 and 2: Knit.

Row 3 (right side): With first ball of color A, knit 13, drop color A; attach first ball of color B, knit 11, drop color B; attach second ball of color A, knit 11, drop color A; attach second ball of color B, knit 11, drop color B; attach third ball of color A, knit 2, turn work.

Row 4: Still working with third ball of color A, knit 2, drop color A; pick up color B, purl 11, drop color B; pick up color A, purl 11, drop color A; pick up color B, purl 11, drop color B; pick up color A, purl 11, knit 2, turn work.

Rows 5-20: Repeat rows 3 and 4 eight times more.

Row 21: Repeat row 3 once more. Turn work. Cut all yarn except for the ball of color A that is at the working end of your needle.

Row 22 (wrong side): With attached ball of color A, knit 2, purl 11, drop color A; attach first ball of color B, purl 11, drop color B; attach second ball of color A, purl 11, drop color A; attach second ball of color B, purl 11, drop color B; attach third ball of color A, knit 2, turn work.

Row 23: Still working with third ball of color A, knit 2, drop color A; pick up color B, knit 11, drop color B; pick up color A, knit 11, drop color A; pick up color B, knit 11, drop color B; pick up color A, knit 13, turn work.

Rows 24-39: Repeat rows 22 and 23 eight times more.

Row 40: Repeat row 22 once more. Turn work. Cut all yarn except for the ball of color A that is at the working end of your needle.

Rows 41-78: Repeat rows 3-40 once more.

Rows 79 and 80: With attached ball of color A, knit all stitches.

Bind off all stitches very loosely. Weave in all yarn ends to wrong side of work.

View Enlarged Image                              The diagram for our checkered pot holders.
View Enlarged Image The diagram for our checkered pot holders.

Make the Hanger

Using double-point needles and color A and leaving a 4" (10cm) tail at beginning, cast on 4 stitches. Work in I-cord for 6" (15cm); cut yarn leaving 4" (10cm) tail. With both yarn tails threaded on tapestry needle, stitch both ends of I-cord securely to upper left corner of pot holder to form a loop.

Felting

Felt pot holders in washing machine.

Most of the projects that we have looked at so far have been quite small and quick to make. For something that might take a little longer, try the next pattern -- the zigzag throw.

Free Zigzag Throw Knitting Pattern

This great throw makes for hours of fun knitting followed by comfy, cozy warmth.
This great throw makes for hours of fun knitting followed by comfy, cozy warmth.

A hand-knit throw makes a cozy and thoughtful gift. The bulky chenille knits up quickly and comes in a dizzying array of colors: Just choose your favorites.

Size

Width: 37 inches (94cm)

Length: 43 inches (109cm)

What You'll Need

Yarn: Bulky weight yarn, about 1,000 yards (914m)

We used: Lion Brand Yarns Chenille Thick and Quick (91% acrylic, 9% rayon; 100 yards [91.4m] per skein): #125 Chocolate (color A), 5 skeins; #108 Dusty Blue (color B), 5 skeins

Needles: US size 13 (9mm)

Notion: Tapestry needle

Gauge

11 stitches and 16 rows=4" (10cm) in zigzag stitch

Zigzag Stitch

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in back, knit in front and back of next stitch, knit 4, slip slip knit decrease, knit 2 together, knit 4, *(knit in front and back of stitch) 2 times, knit 4, slip slip knit decrease, knit 2 together, knit 4; repeat from * until 2 stitches remain, knit in front and back of stitch, knit 1.

Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, purl to end of row.

Row 3: Repeat row 1.

Row 4: Repeat row 2.

Making the Throw

With color A, loosely cast on 100 stitches.

Begin with row 2 (wrong side) of pattern and work rows 2-4 of Zigzag Stitch pattern. After row 4 is finished, cut color A leaving 4" (10cm) tail to weave in later.

With color B, work rows 1-4 of Zigzag Stitch pattern. After row 4 is finished, cut color B leaving 4" (10cm) tail.

Continue working rows 1-4 of Zigzag Stitch alternating colors A and B until piece measures approximately 42" (104cm) from cast-on edge and last color worked is color B.

With color A, work rows 1-3 of Zigzag Stitch.

Bind off loosely purlwise.

Make the Tassels (make 15)

For each tassel: Cut 6 strands of color A each 6" (15cm) long, cut 2 strands of color A each 9" (23cm) long, and cut 6 strands of color B each 6" (15cm) long. Holding all 12 of the 6" (15cm) strands together, tie them together at their midpoint with a 9" (23cm) strand of A. (Don't cut the ends of this strand; they will be used later to attach the tassels to the afghan points.) Fold the 12 strands in half at the tie and with remaining 9" (23cm) strand of A, tie them together approximately 1/2 inch (1cm) down from fold. Evenly trim strands at bottom of tassel.

Attach Tassels to Cast-on Edge: Thread a tapestry needle with the remaining tails of a 9" (23cm) strand of color A and sew the tassel to one point along the cast-on edge of the throw. Repeat for each of the 6 remaining points.

Attach Tassels to Bind-off Edge: Attach tassels same as for cast-on edge, attaching a tassel to each of the 6 points of the bound-off edge and at each of the 2 "half points" at the far right and far left side of the bound-off edge.

The last project we will introduce you to in this article is one that will be great for those cold autumn evenings: A felted Christmas stocking that you can decorate to your heart's desire.

Free Felted Christmas Stocking Pattern

These beautiful hand-knit stockings are great as is, or you can personalize them with your own decorations.
These beautiful hand-knit stockings are great as is, or you can personalize them with your own decorations.

Bring your mantel to life during the holiday season! Select your favorite shade of wool for this elegant stocking, or choose several. Just imagine how festive the mantel will look when you hang a different-color stocking for each member of your family.

Techniques

Binding off -- BO

Casting on -- CO

Felting

Joining new yarn

Knit 2 together -- k2tog

Picking up stitches

Purl 2 together -- p2tog

Slip a stitch knitwise, purlwise

Slip slip knit decrease -- ssk

Stockinette stitch -- St st

Weaving in yarn tails

Size

After felting: 16 inches (40.5cm) in length, 11 inches (28cm) circumference

Gauge

13 stitches=4" (10cm) in stockinette stitch, before felting

What You'll Need

Yarn: 200 yards (183m) heavy worsted weight 100% wool yarn for stocking (do not use superwash wool for felting projects); 50 yards (46m) fuzzy yarn for trim

We used: Brown Sheep Lambs Pride (85% wool, 15% mohair): M145 Spice (yarn A), 2 skeins; Garnstudio Pelliza (100% polyester): #5 red (yarn B), 1 ball.

Needles: US size 101/2 (6.5mm)

Notions: Tapestry needle; 2 stitch holders

Miscellaneous: Washing machine; dishwashing liquid

Making the Stocking

Cuff: Holding both yarns together as 1, cast on 50 stitches. Purl 1 row. Work in stockinette stitch for 7" (18cm). End with a knit row. Cut yarn B, leaving a 6" (15cm) tail; thread tapestry needle and weave tail to wrong side of work.

Stocking Leg: Continue stocking with yarn A only. Work in stockinette stitch for 11" (28cm), measuring from last row of yarn B to the row beneath needle. End with a knit row.

First 1/2 Heel Flap: Purl 14 stitches; slip remaining 36 stitches onto stitch holder. Turn and work in stockinette stitch for additional 15 rows, ending with a knit row.

Heel Turn: The heel is turned using short rows, which means that some stitches in the row are not worked until later.

Next row (Row 1): Purl 3, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn work (leave remaining 8 stitches on needle).

Row 2 and all right-side rows: Slip first stitch knitwise, knit to end of row.

Row 3: Purl 4, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn work.

Row 5: Purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn.

Row 7: Purl 6, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn.

Row 9: Purl 7, purl 2 together, purl 1, cut yarn. You will have 9 stitches on the needle. Slip them onto a second stitch holder.

Second 1/2 Heel Flap: Starting at other edge of stocking, slip 14 stitches purlwise from first stitch holder onto tapestry needle (leave center 22 stitches on holder). With wrong side facing, rejoin yarn at 14th stitch; purl to end of row. Work in stockinette stitch for additional 14 rows.

Heel Turn

Next row (Row 1): Knit 3, slip slip knit decrease, knit 1, turn work (leave remaining 8 stitches on needle).

Row 2 and all wrong-side rows: Slip first stitch purlwise, purl to end.

Row 3: Knit 4, slip slip knit, knit 1, turn.

Row 5: Knit 5, slip slip knit, knit 1, turn.

Row 7: Knit 6, slip slip knit, knit 1, turn.

Row 9: Knit 7, slip slip knit, knit 1 (do not turn). With 9 stitches on needle, pick up 9 stitches along side of heel flap; knit across center 22 stitches from stitch holder; pick up 9 stitches along side of first heel flap; knit remaining 9 stitches from holder. (58 stitches)

Gusset Shaping

Row 1 and all odd-number rows: Purl across all stitches.

Row 2: Knit 17, knit 2 together, knit 20, slip slip knit, knit 17.

Row 4: Knit 16, knit 2 together, knit 20, slip slip knit, knit 16.

Row 6: Knit 15, knit 2 together, knit 20, slip slip knit, knit 15.

Row 8: Knit 14, knit 2 together, knit 20, slip slip knit, knit 14.

Row 10: Knit 13, knit 2 together, knit 20, slip slip knit, knit 13. (48 stitches)

Work in stockinette stitch for 5 inches (12.5cm). End with purl row.

Toe Shaping

Row 1: [Knit 6, knit 2 together] 6 times. (42 stitches)

Row 2 and all wrong-side rows: Purl.

Row 3: [Knit 5, knit 2 together] 6 times. (36 stitches)

Row 5: [Knit 4, knit 2 together] 6 times. (30 stitches)

Row 7: [Knit 3, knit 2 together] 6 times. (24 stitches)

Row 9: [Knit 2, knit 2 together] 6 times. (18 stitches)

Row 11: [Knit 1, knit 2 together] 6 times. (12 stitches)

Row 13: [Knit 2 together] 6 times. (6 stitches)

Finishing the Stocking

Cut yarn, leaving 18" (46cm) tail. Thread tapestry needle, and draw needle and yarn through remaining stitches to close toe. Insert tapestry needle to wrong side of work, and weave yarn tail through several stitches to secure. Fold stocking in half, and sew edges together using simple overcast stitch. (Cut more yarn and rethread needle as necessary.) Fold cuff in half, and sew edge loosely to stocking, working from the inside. Weave in all loose ends to wrong side of work, and secure. Follow felting instructions to felt stocking.

With these simple patterns, you'll be surprised at the number of things you can create with only your knitting needles and a ball of yarn. Now other knitting projects won't seem intimidating at all.

Contributing designers: Chrissy Gardiner, Darlene Hayes, Judith Horwitz, Lucie Sinkler, and Beth Walker-O'Brien

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