I’ve been knitting for almost 15 years. In that time, I have taught (and challenged) myself to learn new skills and master my craft – always looking to learn new techniques or to try something new. And although I love the challenge of a complicated pattern, I also adore the most basic of basic stitch patterns.
In this season of my life, I have found great joy and huge benefits in the simple things. In my knitting life, this means choosing patterns with long stretches of simple stitching, or easy-to-remember repeats. Simple stitch patterns allow me to dive deep into the meditative flow that the rhythmic and repetitive motions of knitting can induce.
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. These 18 simple, yet stunning knitting patterns – a mix of things for the home, slippers, cowls, shawls, and tops – show off the most basic stitch pattern, garter stitch in all of its glory.
Whether you’re a complete beginner, or seasoned knitter, you’ll be sure to find something to whet your knitting appetite.
- Traditional Dishcloth by Staci Perry via Ravelry – This is a traditional dishcloth pattern that has been used for generations. It’s super easy – perfect for beginners. What I love about knitting dishcloths is that they’re small and portable projects, they make great gifts when packaged as a set of three (paired with a lovely dish or body soap), and they serve a super functional purpose at home.
- Crate & Barrel Inspired Simple Knit Cushion via Just Be Crafty – We can get so much inspiration for our homes by browsing stores like Crate and Barrel. What joy when you can come home, rummage through your stash, grab some needles and replicate one of these beauties! You might already have a pillow form lying around that needs a new cover? (I know I do!)
- Super Easy Baby Blanket via Purl Soho – This has become a favourite for many. If you can cast on, knit, and bind off, you can make this gorgeous baby blanket. Imagine the possibilities for colour combinations! The simplicity of this blanket makes it truly spectacular. The garter stitch allows for the yarn to shine and makes for a beautifully squishy blanket to wrapped your loved ones in.
- Simple Baby Blanket via The Woven – Another beautiful baby blanket. I just love the colour combinations for this blanket. Cool and calming. Lovely.
- Hudson’s Bay Inspired Crib Blanket via Purl Soho – As a Canadian, I had to include this iconic Hudson’s Bay inspired blanket in this collection. I love that Whitney wrote: “I’m also tickled by the notion of a small child wrapped in the gear of a rugged adult.” Although sized for a crib, it doesn’t have to be for a baby. The quirky hand dyed colours give the Hudson’s Bay Blanket a fresh look, yet warm and bright. It would make for a gorgeous throw over your favourite chair, in front of a roaring fireplace.
- Hanging Bag via Wunderweib – Although this pattern is written in German, it includes a diagram for sizing and a picture for inspiration. If you know your gauge (stitches per inch), you can work out roughy how many stitches you’d need to cast on to get the required width. Knit every row until you have your desired length and bind off. Check the diagram, make the folds and sew up the seams. Make sure you allow space for a branch to poke through and voila!
- Garter Stitch Cowl via Yarnspirations – This garter stitch cowl is simple, yet simply gorgeous. It’s knit flat as a rectangle, then the ends are joined to form a continuous loop. Gorgeous. Chunky. Cowl.
- Drea’s Shawl – via Loopknits – This beautiful garter stitch shawl is packed with colour. Without being difficult or complicated, it’s a fun opportunity to experiment with striping and colours. I’d play with a variegated yarn as the contrast colour and pick out a solid colour to match. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild.
- Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter via Ravelry – This elegant shawl is knit almost entirely in garter stitch, but is finished with a stunning eyelet and picot edging. And it uses only one skein of sock yarn! What’s not to love?
- Drachenfels Shawl – via Craftsy – The long stretches of garter stitch and bold striping attracted me to this stunning shawl. The pattern is easy to remember, which makes it my go-to meditative knitting project at the moment, but the striping keeps in interesting. The kit on Craftsy includes the yarn needed and is available in several colour combinations.
- Cross-over Slipper via Joe’s Toes – I love this pattern because of the potential to repurpose an old pair of Toms or flip-flops to create these gorgeous slippers. The pattern includes step-by-step instructions for attaching the knitting to the sole. Extra “green” points if you use up some of your stash in the process 😉
- Simple Garter Stitch Slippers by Hanna Leväniemi via Ravelry – These slippers are knitted flat in garter stitch and seamed with neat crocheted finishing. The patterns calls for sock yarn held double – another great stash-busting opportunity?
- Fox Scarf via Gina Michele – This fox scarf is simply adorable! It’s a fun take on the fox stoles that were popular in the 1920’s and 30’s. Not only is this one cruelty-free, it’s really easy to knit! And you can make a mini one for the mini people in your life.
- North Handbags via Tex Yarns – What’s not to love about these garter stitch bags? Knit as separate squares, they’re joined to form a box. Attach a large coconut or wood button for the closing and there you have a perfect little handbag to hold your most precious things (i.e. knitting).
- Audrey Cardigan via Jane Richmond – This cardigan is a perfect example of how garter stitch can really steal the show. The simplicity of the stitch is the perfect compliment to high quality, hand dyed yarn. Knit from the top down using a seamless construction, it features slip stitch ribbing along raglan shaping and the sides of the body to create an attractive false seam.
- Jessie’s Girl by Elizabeth Smith via Ravelry – Garter stitch is used to create this simple, oversized sleeveless top. Perfect for the warmer months (especially if knit in cotton or linen blends), this drapey top is knit from the bottom up on larger needles, to create a looser, more open stitch.
- Sideways Garter Vest via Purl Soho – A rectangle of garter stitch with two well-placed slits for armholes, nothing could be simpler to make… or wear. As Laura (the creator of this masterpiece) explains: “My co-workers usually rush for the sweaters and shawls, but I always beeline to a Super Easy Blanket. I adore its comfort, how its garter stitch is so sumptuous and cushy and how its ridges embrace me. Then one day I thought, Why not just pop some holes in that blanket and let the fabric speak for itself? And the Sideways Garter Vest was born.” Gotta love it!!
- Garter Stitch Swingy Sweater by Jenn Perllerin via Ravelry – A simple, asymmetrical top-down raglan cardigan, worked in squishy garter stitch. Take care to choose a couple of gorgeous, unique buttons (or a shawl pin) and you have a stunning cardi to throw over your shoulders on cooler days.