There are plenty of patterns to start with and the classic one is a scarf. You also can't go wrong with a wash cloth, tea towel or pot holder.
Easy Scarf Pattern
For a 60 inch scarf you'll first want to get yourself 3 skeins of worsted weight yarn (see above for some assorted variations) and size US 8 or 5.0 mm needles.
Start by using the long tail cast on method and put 40 stitches on your working needle. With the knit and purl stitches you can create at least four different patterns for your scarf:
- Garter stitch: knit every stitch on both right and wrong sides
- Stockinette stitch: knit every stitch on the right side and purl every stitch on the wrong side
- Seed stitch: alternate between knit and purl on right side and then swap to alternating purl and knit on the wrong side
- Ribbing: usually done in 1x1, 2x2, or 4x4 meaning 1 knit and 1 purl then repeat until the end; 2 knit then 2 purl then repeat until the end; 4 knit and 4 purl then repeat until the end.
Carry on in your preferred stitch pattern until you reach approximately 60 inches and then follow the bind off and blocking instructions below.
Wash Cloth or Tea Towel
Both of these are very similar to the scarf just smaller. You will want to switch to a US size 6 or 4 mm and a double knit (DK) weight yarn which is a little lighter. With these two items you can cast on as many stitches as you like and keep going back and forth until you have your desired length.
Making a pot holder can be a little tricky as you will want to make sure that the finished product is thick enough so as not to burn you or through to any surface the pot is sat on.
I would recommend choosing a thicker wool such as worsted or chunky and either double up the yarn whilst you are knitting or make double the length and fold in half and sew together if you wanted to put a heat resistance material in between.