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My favorite relaxing knitting projects…

It’s day two of Knitting and Crochet Blogging week!

4th Annual knitting and crochet blog week

Today’s topic is to write about a project inspired by your mascot. If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll remember that I’m a Manatee, because I love to knit projects that are fairly simple and relaxing.

So today, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite patterns for relaxing knitting!

What is relaxing knitting?

Relaxing (or mindless) knitting usually means that you’re knitting slightly below your skill level. For example, if you just learned to do cables, then a cabled sweater isn’t going to be relaxing. However, if you’ve been knitting cables for 20 years, then a lovely cabled sweater might be very relaxing for you!

I’m accomplished at knitting cables and lace and sweaters… but with these skills, I still find myself checking the pattern often, so they aren’t relaxing to me, yet. Projects that are relaxing to me are typically ones with an easy-to-memorize pattern or repeat, simple colorwork or short rows are allowed.

For me, relaxing knitting doesn’t mean boring knitting. Sure, I could do a blanket in garter stitch… but what’s the fun in that? To be fun, a project needs a little bit of interest!

I’m going to show you some of my faves… feel free to check them out for yourself! Who knows… you might find these patterns either too complicated or boring… but I highly recommend that you find your own collection of relaxing patterns for yourself!


Wingspan by Maylin is a simple-to-memorize and beautiful shawl pattern. I’ve knit two!

Wingspan knitting

Although the pattern is easy once you get it, you have to do a repeat or two to internalize it. I’ve written some tips for knitting Wingspan to help!

Stripe Study

I’ve knit three shawls from Stripe Study by Veera Valimaki… because it’s such a pleasure to knit!

Stripe Study Shawl by Vera Valimaki

The pattern uses simple colorwork (changing colors every couple of rows, with the yarn carried up the side), an easy-to-remember short row pattern and increasing (placed at stitch markers) to create this delightful shawl!

The main downside is that it’s asymmetrical, and so is tricky to wear. It’s the only thing that’s stopped me from knitting a fourth!


Pogona by Stephen West is another fabulous shawl. I’ve knit two!

Pogona by Stephen West

It’s a little bit of effort to start up (you’re placing quite a few stitch markers!), but once you get going, it’s just stockinette and reverse-stockinette with regular increases at the stitch markers. Love it!

Basic Sock

The Basic Sock by Churchmouse Yarns is my default knitting project. Take any sock yarn, and you’re guaranteed to get a great pair of socks!

Basic sock pattern knitting

A sock isn’t relaxing the first (or second time), but once you’ve knit a few pairs, you get the ‘formula’ of the sock. I cast on, knit the cuff for a while, check the pattern for the heel-turn instructions, knit the foot and then decrease for the toe. That’s a lot of relaxing knitting in there!

I’ve knit 6 pairs from this pattern!

$5 in Paris

$5 in Paris is a fabulous top-down sweater pattern… I’ve done two with plans for more!

$5 in Paris by Anna Peck

A sweater isn’t usually very relaxing, because there’s lots of shaping and seaming, but this one is different! Starting at the neck, you increase regularly until it’s time to separate the sleeves, then the body is plain and simple knitting! The color changes of the stripes keep it from being mundane.

Because they’re 1/2-length sleeves, there isn’t even any shaping, there! Easy!


Citron by Hilary Smith Callis is another fabulous, but simple shawl. I’ve made two!

Citron Shawl Knitty

The cute little ruffles are made by increasing and decreasing quickly… and the remainder of the shawl is made by regularly-spaced increases. Cute and easy!

And you?

What are your faves? What’s your ‘go-to’ relaxing knitting project?

Any of my faves that you’re looking to try?




  1. Justine SAYS...

    I commented on yesterday’s post that I’m a Monkey. I think that “relaxing” and “mindless” are not always the same. For me what is relaxing is to have my brain occupied. Therefore a really good book is very relaxing because I’m immersed and lose track of time and my surroundings. Also knitting needs a certain amount of attention.

    • Justine SAYS...

      knitting THAT needs a certain amount of attention.

      I have made two Color Affections which are dead easy, and I enjoy them because of the interplay of colors.

  2. I should make a $5 in Paris sweater. I find stockinette or simple ribbing in the round sweaters to be really relaxing. Ditto plain socks but I figured out that a flap and gusset heel doesn’t work on my very pointy heels.

  3. I totally get what your saying about relaxing patterns… I do knit and have made sweaters and socks… But my main craft is Crochet and same as you,,, Patterns that I don’t have to read carefully every row are the most relaxing… I have been really into Granny Square items… Very relaxing… Thanks for your post!

  4. I love all the projects you’ve listed. My favorite mindless knitting is plain old stockinette socks. They have just enough to keep me knitting but mostly it just round and round.

  5. Ashley H SAYS...

    My go-to pattern for mindless knitting is a grandmother’s dishcloth. I make a lot of them when camping with friends since I know I won’t mess up while not paying attention. Recently, I’ve been finding plain socks good for that too, but I need to pay attention for the toe and heel 🙂

  6. I really like how you’ve classified the house of Manatee. I’ve been wanting to try the $5 in Paris sweater, and you might have convinced me!! Well, after I’ve finished *my* mascot projects 🙂
    I also like that you’ve called this relaxing knitting, and not necessarily boring knitting. I did not interpret the House of Manatee as being a boring house at all, and I see that you are thinking along similar lines.

  7. Your Stripe Study is beautiful and really makes me want to get back to mine.

    I’m sitting in the House of Bee but seeing all the great and attainable projects you’ve listed makes me long for a few less projects than I have on the needles.

  8. Wow! Love ALL your projects..the sweater especially. I find any knitting or crochet relaxing just the process and knowing that the project is underway! Really lovely post.

  9. The Wingspan link goes to the citron 🙂

    I love both the wingspan (have made 2) and the $5 in Paris (made 1 and am planning another one). Relaxing knitting indeed, and I just adore the way they turn out 🙂

  10. My favorite relaxing knitting project is a cowl in any simple pattern repeat.

    Hmmm… Your shawls gave me an idea to try more colorful shawls instead of constantly knitting lace shawls. 😀

    Thank you!