Learn how to knit a coaster! Knitted coasters are a quick and easy project for someone who is just starting out with knitting. If you knit coasters, you will be making something useful while practicing your knitting skills. A coaster knits up very quickly, between a half to one hour, so even if you make a whole set, it won’t take you very long!
How To Knit A Coaster Tutorial
Why create knitted coasters? Because they are wonderfully absorbent and easily washable. If you use ceramic, glass, or wooden coasters, you will still get drips of condensation running off them. A yarn coaster will absorb all those drips.
- k = knit stitch
- p = purl stitch
- CO = cast on knitting
- BO = bind off or cast off
- St (s) = stitch (es)
Supplies for a Knitted Coaster
- YARN - One ball of yarn will make a couple of coasters. DK or 8-ply yarn is good, as it will knit up really quickly. Cotton yarn or cotton blend yarn is also perfect, as it is very absorbent. Rummage around your scrap yarn.
- KNITTING NEEDLES - Choose a needle size suited to your yarn. The band on the ball will give you recommendations.
- YARN NEEDLE or tapestry needle for weaving ends.
|1 to 3
|13 to 10
|2.25 to 3.25
|DK (Double Knitting)
|5 to 7
|9 to 7
|3.75 to 4.5
|7 to 9
|7 to 5
|4.5 to 5.5
Best Sizes For A Knitted Coaster
The most common size for a knit coaster is about 5x5 inches (13x13cm). Some people prefer their coasters slightly larger at around 6x6 inches (15x15cm). It is easy to regulate the size you want by simply casting on more or fewer stitches.
Coasters are usually square in shape, it is also possible to knit other shapes, such as hearts or circles, but squares are definitely the easiest!
Mug rugs are usually between 4x7 inches (10x18cm) and 8x12 inches (20x30 cm). They give you a little extra space to place an edible treat next to your mug or glass.
You can adapt these patterns to make a dishcloth knitting pattern or potholder by making the squares larger.
How to Knit a Coaster, Step By Step Instructions
Here, I will show you 3 styles of easy knit coaster patterns. The easiest is style 1, which is a simple garter stitch coaster.
Step 1 - Cast On
How many stitches do you cast on for a coaster?
Cast On 18 stitches. If you want a larger coaster, cast on more; if you want it smaller, cast on fewer stitches. Leave a tail of about 6” (15cm) for weaving in later.
Step 2 - First Row
Knit across these stitches.
Step 3 - Second Row and Beyond
- Turn your work, take your yarn to the back, then knit across again.
- Keep knitting every row.
Keep checking if your coaster is square by folding your knit fabric into a triangle. When the sides of the triangle line up perfectly, you will have a square.
It will probably take around 25 rows to make your square. The garter stitch does not have a square knitting gauge; you need to knit more rows than you have cast on stitches to make the square. Depending on your knitting tension, you may have more or fewer rows to make the square.
Step 4 - Cast Off
Bind off your stitches, cut the yarn (with a long tail again), and secure the tail by pulling it through the final loop.
Weave in your thread's ends and trim any bits of the tail that are still sticking out.
Step 5 - Blocking Your Knit Coaster
To get your coaster nice and neat and square, you will need to block it. You can hand wash it, pin it out exactly to size and allow it to dry, or use the steam setting on your iron to block it.
Again, pin it out to size on a towel, then allow the steam to spray over the knitted square and allow it to dry. Read more about blocking yarn.
If you are using acrylic yarn, be careful not to touch the coaster with the iron; just hold it above and allow the steam to spray onto it. If your iron touches the acrylic yarn, even on a low setting, it will flatten the knitting and lose all its elasticity and texture.
Step 6 - Add Fringing
You could also add a fringe to the sides (especially for mug rugs!)
- Cut some lengths of yarn twice the length you want your fringe to be.
- Double them over and use a crochet hook to catch the loop through the stitch at the edge of the coaster.
- Pull the loose tails through the loop with the crochet hook and tug on the ends to tighten up your knot.
- Continue in this way, working into each stitch along the edge of your coaster or mug rug.
Stockinette Stitch Knitted Coasters
If you wish to knit the coasters using a stockinette stitch, you will need to create a garter stitch border to prevent curling. This also creates a very pleasing edging around your coaster. This style will have a right side and a wrong side.
- CO 18 sts.
- Rows 1- 5: k across all the sts.
- Row 6: k3, p12, k3.
- Row 7: k across all sts.
- Rows 8-21: Repeat rows 6 and 7 for approximately 21 rows in total. (Including the garter st edging.) You can use a row counter, make a check mark each time you complete a row, or just count the rows when you have knitted them. Again, depending on your knitting tension, you may need more or fewer rows.
- Stop on an odd row.
- Rows 22- 26: k across all sts. (Last 5 rows.)
- Bind off all sts. Secure the tail and weave in the tails.
- Block your coaster by washing and pinning it to size or steam it as described above.
How to Knit a Coaster in a Rectangle
Mug rugs are really just fancy coasters! They are usually larger, more rectangular in shape, and have more trimmings added to them.
You can adjust the size as you like by casting on more or fewer stitches or knitting for longer to get a more rectangular shape.
- CO 20 sts.
- Knit across your sts.
- Turn, move the yarn to the back, and knit across.
- Keep knitting until the mug rug is the desired size.
- Bind off, secure yarn tail, and weave in ends.
Troubleshooting How to Knit a Coaster
Because knitted coasters are so very quick and simple, not much can go wrong! But here are a few possible trouble spots"
- COASTER CURLING UP - If you are using a stockinette stitch or any related stitch, your knitting WILL curl! Even blocking won’t prevent this! The solution is to create the garter stitch borders as detailed above.
- COASTER HAS UNEVEN EDGES - Sometimes, the garter stitch gives a very bumpy, uneven edge. This can be solved by working a slip stitch at the beginning of every row.
- COASTER IS NOT SQUARE – It is very easy for beginner knitters to knit twice into one stitch, thus increasing a stitch and making the coaster bulge at the side. Similarly, accidentally knitting two stitches together decreases a stitch and causes dents in the side of the coaster. The solution is to keep counting your stitches and be sure the number is the same as what you cast on!
- COASTER NOT ABSORBENT - If you are using acrylic yarn, the moisture may just roll off the coaster, off the sides, or through the tiny gaps in the knitting. The solution is to use a natural fiber yarn such as cotton or bamboo. Alternatively, sew a felt square underneath your coaster to absorb any drips.
How to Knit Coasters of Different Styles
Knitted Coasters with Stripes
Whichever type of coaster you choose to make, you can vary the style by using different colors. Try changing colors every 2 rows for a fine knitted striped effect. You can just carry the alternate color yarn up the side of the coaster to avoid having to weave in too many ends.
You can also create a ‘color block’ style by knitting the first half of the coaster in one color and the second half in a toning color. Or a contrasting color! Whatever floats your boat! Or use 3 colors and divide the coaster into thirds.
Textured Knitted Coasters
Another option is to explore textural knitting stitch patterns in between your borders. There are loads of simple textural stitches that are very easy to work with as long as you know how to create knit and purl stitches. Examples of these would be seed stitch, moss knit stitch, basket stitch, or any of their variations.
It will be safest to work these fancier stitches with a garter stitch border, just to be sure they don’t curl up!
Decorating Knit Coasters
Above I showed you how to add fringing to your knit coaster, but there are a couple of other options.
- Tassels can be added to the corners of your knitted coasters. Learn how to make yarn tassels.
- You can add small pom poms to the corners of your coaster. If you have a pom pom maker, use the smallest size. Mini pom poms can also be made using a fork.
How to Knit a Coaster - In Conclusion
This is a great way to practice your knitting skills and still have that wonderful feeling of achievement from creating something useful in just a short period of time. Learning how to knit a coaster is great for making gifts - they are quick, easy, and something you can give to anyone! You can base your yarn color choices on the recipient’s décor colors.
As your knitting skills increase, you can make a set of coasters and mug rugs with more elaborate knitting stitch patterns, or try knitting different shapes! Enjoy making all the variations of knitted coasters that you can think of!
How to Knit a Coaster
- Knitting Needles 4mm, US6, UK8
- Yarn (DK, 8ply, light worsted)
- Cast on 18 stitches. Leave a tail of about 6” (15cm) for weaving in later.
- Knit across these stitches.
- Turn your work, take your yarn to the back, then knit across again. Keep knitting every row.
- Keep checking if your coaster is square by folding your knit fabric into a triangle. When the sides of the triangle line up perfectly, you will have a square.
- Bind off all stitches.
- Secure the tail, and weave in the tails.
Get more free coaster knitting patterns.