Daily Color: "Making a cup of tea creates a space for just being.” –Nicola Salter

Lately, I've been making coasters. Mug rugs. Or, if you prefer, doll house carpets.

It's a great way to use up odd bits of yarn, or a great excuse to buy a bagful of colorful cottons. And it's also a great way to explore the colorwork possibilities of linen stitch.

All of these were made with various cotton and cotton/linen blends, light worsted weight and heavy sport weight, including Reynolds Saucy, Tahki Cotton Classic, and KnitPicks CotLin. All are worked flat in linen stitch on size 9 US (5.5 mm) needles over 24 stitches and 44 rows, from side to side. I cut the yarn after every row, leaving approximately a 2-inch tail, then tied in the new strand of yarn, knotting the new and old strands together as close to the work as possible, and then trimmed the fringe later. The only exception to this method are the two bird's eye coasters in the center of the photo above. While I could have worked them the same as all the others, instead I carried the inactive yarns up the sides.

Completed coaster showing the knotted tails at the end/beginning of every row, before...

...and after the trim

Each of the coasters uses four or more colors. Several use many (up to 11!) colors worked in two- or four-row stripes. But I have developed a few more-or-less set stripe patterns as well.

Linen Stitch

Worked flat over an even number of stitches

Row 1: *knit one, bring yarn forward, slip one purlwise, bring yarn to back of work*, repeat * to * across

Row 2: *purl one, bring yarn to back of work, slip one purlwise, bring yarn forward*, repeat * to * across

Hombre Stripe

Hombre stripe

Four colors A, B, C, D. Cast on with A. *Work 2 rows A, 2 rows B, 2 rows C, two rows D, two rows C, two rows B.* Repeat this sequence * to * twice more, then work 8 more rows in established sequence, ending with D. Bind off.

Bird's Eye

Bird's eye

Three colors A, B, C. Cast on with A. Join B, work one row. Join C, work one row. Continue this sequence (one row A, one row B, one row C) until 44 rows have been worked. Bind off. You may choose to cut the old yarn and tie in the new yarn, as with the other coaster patterns, or you may carry the inactive yarn up each side and leave this one unfringed.

Brocade I

Brocade I

Four colors A, B, C, D. Cast on with A. *Work one row each B, C, D, A, repeating this sequence until brocade stripe is 12 rows, ending with A. Work 4 rows A.* Repeat from * to * once more, then work 12-row brocade stripe, ending with A. Bind off with A.

Brocade II

Brocade II

Five colors A, B, C, D, E. Cast on with A. Work 12-row brocade stripe as for Brocade I using B, C, D, and E, and working 4 rows of A in between brocade stripes. Bind off with A.

To get your feet wet, try knitting a few coasters following these patterns, but then I hope you will lay the patterns aside and make up your own stripe and color sequences! Use as many or as few colors as you wish. Try bold or subtle color combinations. Enjoy!