Kitchen Cotton Strikes Again

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Once again, my dear friend Sheila has deemed our humble site worthy of her awesome yarn knowledge. See her previous stellar contributions here, here, here, here, here, here, and here – or, find them all in the Guest Post section of our …Everything Else page. Today, she shares with us an amazing, yarn-stash-busting pattern for placemats and coasters that is both super stylish and practical! And do not fear any possible errant stains on these beautiful, ivory placemats and coasters… she assures me they are (depending on the yarn used) completely bleachable. I love having clever, crafty friends… ~Leigh

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Summer is a good time for small projects made with cotton; nobody wants to have woolly sweaters and afghans in their laps for hours at a time in July. I wanted to make a set of cotton placemats and coasters in a basketweave pattern, since I’ve always loved the neat and simple optical illusion of a good knit-purl basket stitch. I couldn’t pick just one from all the options in my stitch dictionaries, so I made a set from four different patterns, matched up by their garter stitch borders.

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The placemats are all roughly 10 1/2 to 11” (26-28 cm) by 16 to 16 1/2” (40.5-42 cm) and the coasters are about 4 1/2” to 5” (11.5-12.5 cm) square depending on the stitch pattern used. I have listed the multiple for each stitch pattern; to make your placement or coaster wider or narrower, cast on more or fewer stitches by that multiple.

Make the coaster version of each pattern first as your gauge swatch!

BWCoasters-e

I used a hardy kitchen cotton in ecru, so that the mats may be bleached and machine washed and dried without damage for many years.

Yarn: Lily Sugar’n’Cream Solids, in Ecru. 161-163 yards/148-150 meters per placemat, 17-24 yards/16-22 meters per coaster.
Needles: Size 6 (4 mm) 32” circular needle (or straights of any length for coasters only), or size needed to make gauge.

Glossary:
Sl1 Slip one stitch purlwise
M1 Make one stitch by backwards loop cast on (the Elizabeth Zimmerman method of M1; see tutorial here
Basketweave Stitch 1

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This is the “Basketweave” stitch from the venerable A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker.

Gauge: 19 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 8 sts + 5
Row 1 & 5 (RS): Knit
Row 2 & 4: K5 * P3, K5 *, rep to end
Row 3: P5 * K3, P5 *, rep to end
Row 6 & 8: K1 * P3, K5 * rep to last 4 sts, P3, K1
Row 7: P1 * K3, P5 * rep to last 4 sts, K3, P1

Cast on 25 stitches for the coaster, and 71 stitches for the placemat. End on Row 1 or 5 of the pattern.

 

Basketweave Stitch 2

BWStitch2

This is pattern no. 16 from The New Knitting Stitch Library by Lesley Stanfield.

Gauge: 18 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 8 sts + 2
Row 1 (RS): * K2, P6 *, rep to last 2 sts, K2.
Row 2: P2, * K6, P2 *, rep to end
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: K2 * K2, P2, K4 * rep to end
Row 5: * P4, K2, P2 * rep to last 2 sts, P2
Row 6: Purl

Cast on 22 sts for the coaster, and 70 sts for the placemat. End on Row 3

 

Basketweave Stitch 3

BWStitch3-e

This is the “Basket Stitch” from 1500 Patterns (No. OJ 84, Mon Tricot Collection).

Gauge: 20 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 6
Rows 1 and 7. Knit
Rows 2 and 8. Purl
Rows 3 and 5: * K1, P4, K1 * rep to end
Rows 4 and 6: * P1, K4, P1* rep to end
Rows 9 and 11: * P2, K2, P2 * rep to end
Rows 10 and 12: * K2, P2, K2 * rep to end

Cast on 22 sts for coaster, and 68 sts for the placemat.

End on row 1 or 7 of the pattern.

 

Basketweave Stitch 4

BWStitch4-e

This is the “Garter Basketweave” stitch from Charted Knitting Designs by Barbara Walker

Gauge: 20 stitches per 4”/10 cm
Multiple of 6 sts + 1
Row 1 (RS) and all other RS rows: Knit
Row 2 & 4: * K5, P2 * rep to end, K1
Row 6 & 8: K1 * P2, K5 * rep to last 6 st, P2, K4

Cast on 23 sts for the coaster, and 69 sts for the placemat.

 

To Make Coaster:

BWCoasters-e

Cast on the number of stitches indicated for each pattern stitch.

Rows 1-3: Sl1, Knit.

Begin working pattern stitch plus selvedge stitches: Begin each row Sl1, K1, work the pattern stitch, then K2.

Work to desired length, ending on row indicated for each stitch pattern.

Work Rows 1-3 again.

Bind off in knit.

 

To Make Placemat:

BWPlacemats-e

Cast on the number of stitches indicated for each pattern stitch.

Begin working pattern stitch plus selvedge stitches: Begin each row Sl1, work the pattern stitch, then K1.

Work to desired length, ending on row indicated for each stitch pattern.

Do not bind off. Instead, place marker, M1 stitch, and turn work clockwise with right side facing. Pick up 1 stitch in each chain stitch of the selvedge. At the end of the edge, place marker and M1. Turn and pick up one stitch in each cast-on stitch across the bottom of the mat. Place marker, M1, and turn again. Pick up one stitch in each chain of selvedge along right edge of mat. Place marker, M1, and turn again.

Join work and purl one round, slipping markers as you encounter them.

Next round, * slip marker, M1, K1, M1, knit to marker *, repeat to end of round.
Next round: Purl

Repeat these last two rounds one more time. Bind off in knit.

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Sheila Ralston

6 Comments

  1. I thought I’d whip up some coasters and placemats while traveling this spring. Hm, something is wrong with the pattern I think. I tried the basketweave 3 pattern but 20 stitches is not a multiple of 6. I tried it anyway slipping the first stitch, knitting 1, then the pattern, then knitting last two stitches. Pattern didn’t end properly and after completing 24 rows, I didn’t get the basketweave pattern at all. What’s up? Please respond because these would be really fun and easy to manage while traveling.

  2. Hi Janice, I’m glad you like the patterns. For Basketweave 3, you are supposed to cast on 22 stitches for the coaster, so if you subtract the 4 selvedge stitches, that should leave 18 stitches, or 6 x 3. I hope this works out for you!

  3. Hi Sheila,
    I’m new to knitting & really like your basketweave coasters– made all 4 and they are lovely. Tried a placemat and all is good until the end. I’m stumped with the “pick up stitches”. Hope you don’t mind my questions–
    1. Do I need another set of needles and new ball of yarn to do the pick up?
    2. If so, do I do all 3 edges (bottom and 2 sides) on these new needles in consecutive order?
    3. What happens to the row of stitches still on original circular needles?
    4. If this is a garter stitch border shouldn’t it be knit every row?
    Thank you.
    Gail

    • Hi Gail, I’m so glad you are enjoying the patterns! For the garter stitch border, you will leave the final row of stitches on the needles, then pick up the stitches along each side on the same needle, and with the same ball of yarn as you are already using. Then, you work the garter stitch border in the round. Just use the end of the circulars you’ve been using to pick up stitch as your right-hand needle, and start working into the first stitch on the other end of the needle, which you will hold in your left hand. You will purl this round; since the work is always facing the same way (in contrast to flat knitting, where you turn it over at the end of every row), you make garter stitch by alternating knit and purl rounds. You can see a video about making garter stitch in the round here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lysW0LFoT_k. Here’s another video just about knitting in the round on circular needles (though it assumes you are working from cast-on rather than picked up stitches, it works more or less the same). I hope these help!

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