Posted: May 11, 2012 7:00 AM
All the cool kids are knitting these days. While it might look complicated, it’s surprisingly easy to learn the basic stitches. Once you’ve picked up the basics, learn to knit simple home decor.

Knitting isn’t just for hats and scarves. Even if you live in a warm climate, you can knit useful, fun items for your home and your friends. Yarn companies have released a wider variety of vibrant primary colors, so it’s easier than ever to knit up goodies that match your personal style.

Knit colorful washcloths

Knitted washcloths have a bumpy but soft texture that makes them perfect for washing your face or washing your kids. Pick up durable, washable cotton yarn in your favorite colors. They make great gifts -- for sports fans, try knitting a set of washcloths in their team's colors. Choose one of these four free washcloth patterns for different skill levels.

Knit a coffee cozy

You know those cardboard covers used to keep coffee cups from burning your hand? Stop wasting paper and switch to an adorable knitted coffee cozy. A basic cozy can be knitted in the round on double-point needles, or you can search for fancier cabled patterns. Once you’ve gotten quick with this project, make them for all the coffee lovers in your life. Try this basic coffee cozy pattern first.

Knit a baby shower gift

Even in the summertime, babies need blankets. Impress an expecting friend with a knitted baby blanket. Knitted blankets are functional, but they also serve as heirlooms. Nothing compares to the love and dedication put into a handmade blanket. Break the mold and knit a striped blanket in bright colors instead of typical pastels. Use this intermediate baby blanket pattern for a striped blanket with detailed edges.

Knit floor cushions for kids

Do your kids play on the floor all the time? Knit floor cushions in their favorite colors. Floor cushions are a unique alternative to the more commonly found pillow covers. This free floor cushion pattern teaches you how to make square cushions that are perfect for a kids’ seating area or in a time-out square. Keep a handful of these easy-to-knit cushions in the closet for game night and sleepovers.

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