& The Broken Rib Coaster Pattern
To skip the review and get to the pattern, click here.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bunch of yarn from a local Dollar Tree and posted a review on Premier brand’s ‘Just Yarn’. That yarn was a pleasant surprise – both a good value and a decent quality acrylic fiber for a basic knitting, crochet, or crafting yarn.
This week, I am trying out another Premier brand yarn, Just Cotton. I bought a bunch of skeins of this yarn because the Dollar Tree had some good colors in stock and I want to make replacement coasters to use on my deck as I get ready to head outside and spend more time in the backyard.
My collection of coasters is getting a little worn out so I figured I’d grab this yarn, try it out, and hopefully get some replacement coasters in the process.
Just Cotton: yarn review
The Just Cotton yarn comes in smallish skein and is a cotton-polyester blend (this is not a 100% cotton). From the label:
- Medium (4) weight
- 85% cotton, 15% polyester
- 104 Yards, 96 meters in a 2.1 oz./60 g ball
- Gauge: 18 sts x 24 rows = 4” square on US 7 needles (knitting) and 14 SC x 16 rows = 5” squaring on US 1-9 hook (crochet)
- Care: machine wash warm, Tumble dry low heat
Texture and Color
Overall, this yarn is softer than I expected it to be, and that’s probably because it contains polyester. The yarn was gentler on my hands than other cottons I’ve used.
The colors are vibrant and I was worried about it being a cheap yarn and the dye rubbing off on my fingers but fortunately there was not any color transfer or staining.
It is also a little thinner than I expected. Compared to the Lily Sugar’n Cream (also a medium weight cotton), the Just Cotton is lighter weight and knit up to a looser fabric on the US 7 needles.
This is the part that really surprised me when I came home to google the yarn. This yarn is priced at about 30% less than other worsted weight cottons. Compared to the regular prices of Lily Sugar’n Cream and Knit Picks Dishie, this yarn costs the least per yard of the three yarns I compared.
For the budget crafter: At $1.00 per skein for a 104 yards/ 60 grams of yarn, this is a good price point if you’re looking for an inexpensive option for a home decor knitting project.
BUT there is a caveat on the price difference: this is not a 100% cotton yarn. So if you do want a 100% cotton yarn, this isn’t going to replace your go-to cotton yarn. Coaster Recipe
Do I recommend Just Cotton yarn?
Overall, yes, I recommend this yarn as a basic cotton to add to your stash or grab for your home decor knitting.
While I want to see how the Just Cotton yarn holds up to extended use as coasters before giving my final opinion, but at this point, I’m really happy with this yarn and will keep it in my stash to use on home decor projects.
The color selection was good and at just a $1.00 a skein, I could pick up half a dozen colors without feeling like I was breaking the bank (this was the experience at my local Dollar Tree, we all know Dollar Tree’s do not carry the same products across stores so you’re experience may be different!). The knitting experience working with the yarn was a good one as the yarn was softer and gentler on my hands. All in all, I think this is a good yarn for home decor projects and I’m really happy with my new coasters.
Broken Rib Coaster Pattern
I knit coasters that are basically a 5″ by 4 1/2″ rectangle using the broken rib knitting stitch. The broken rib knitting stitch is good for coasters because it will lay flat to hold my mugs and glasses and the edges don’t curl very much (and you can wash and block them to ease any curling). This is also a good one for holding my larger mugs and water glasses with plenty of room around the glass.
Please note: This pattern idea is not unique to me and I don’t claim credit for it- there are a ton of simple coaster (and scrubbing cloth) patterns that use a broken rib stitch. This is basically my take on a classic.
I use coasters both inside my home as well as outdoors in warm weather. You may wonder why I use coasters outside when the deck furniture is intended to get wet and withstand thunderstorms and other weather….
But when the summer gets hot here in Rhode Island, having a coaster to absorb the condensation is the thing that saves my glasses from literally sliding across the patio table. If you’ve ever sat a glass down in a puddle of it’s own condensation and watched it just slide away from you, you know what I’m talking about!
My requirements for coasters is that they have to be pretty, provide a flat surface, and absorb liquids really well. Also, they must be machine washable. I’m not perfect and I do occasionally forget these on the porch. Plus, they just get dirty over time so being easily washable is a must.
What is the Broken Rib Knitting Stitch?
A broken rib stitch pattern is a two-row, two-stitch pattern repeat. You knit a column of knit stitches and, instead of a column of purl stitches knit to make a traditional rib stitch, you’ll knit a seed stitch pattern by alternating knits and purls.
- Row 1: knit all stitches
- Row 2: *k1, p1; repeat from * to end of row.
If you’re familiar with a rib stitch, you know that to make a ribbing pattern you knit columns of knit and purl stitches by always knitting your knit stitches and purling your purl stitches. This creates columns of stitches. For example, a 1 by 1 rib stitch is knit by knitting one stitch then purling one stitch.
For my coasters, I do add a slipped stitch at the beginning of each row to give the coaster a tidier, finished edge.
- Each coaster will measure approximately 5″ wide by 4 1/2″ tall
- Gauge: 18 sts by 24 rows = 4″ in broken rib stitch pattern.
This is an easily customizable pattern. If you want your coasters to be larger or smaller, cast on more or fewer stitches and knit more or fewer ribs to make the right size shape for your glasses. I’m sharing my version of this pattern that I’ve tweaked and found works well.
- 35 yards medium weight cotton yarn (Premier Just Cotton, 85% cotton, 15% polyester, 104 yards, 60g). Colors shown: Burgundy, Burgundy Marl, and Silver
- US 7 10” needles
- Stitch marker
- Yarn needle and scissors
- Bind Off: Bind Off
- CO: Cast On
- K: Knit
- P: Purl
- Sl1: slip one stitch with yarn in back
- *: Asterisks show beginning of pattern repeat or instructions to continue until the end of the row
- CO 23 stitches.
- Row 1: Sl1, *knit all stitches to end of row
- Row 2: Sl1, *k1, p1; repeat from * to end of row
- Repeat rows 1-2 thirteen times more (coaster measures approximately 5″ wide by 4.5″ tall)
- BO all stitches
To finish: Weave in your loose ends on the back of the coaster. Your coaster is ready to use!
Washing and Caring for Your Coasters
These coasters get a lot of use in my home and like anything that gets frequent use: they do get dirty.
I run my coasters through a wash cycle with other laundry but try not to machine dry them. You can put your coasters in the dryer, but they will shrink. I recommend laying your coasters flat to dry. This will help maintain their shape and help them stay flat when you use them.
These coasters are like the potato chips of knitting. They’re quick, satisfying, and I usually end up with more than I need. I can knit a coaster in about thirty minutes, so making a new set of a half dozen coasters is something I can do over a couple of week nights or over the weekend.
These are so useful and I keep them all over my house. And given the good experience I’m having so far with the Just Cotton yarn, I have new colors to add to the rotation.
As always, I’d love to see your projects. You can tag me on instagram (@knitmckinley) or use the hashtag (#knitmckinley) to share your coasters.
PS: Want to pin this post to save it for later? Here’s a pinterest image: