What you needabout 50 yards each of medium weight cotton yarn in red and white
about 5 yards medium weight cotton yarn in blue
size 7 US (4.5 mm) circular knitting needle, 12-inch cable
one set size 7 US (3.5 mm) double-pointed needles
8 stitch markers
Gauge is not that critical, but I got 16 stitches and 25 rounds per 4 inches (4 stitches and 6.25 rounds per inch) in stockinette stitch in the round.
Finished placemat is about 14.5 inches across.
Knitting the Placemat
Cast on 176 stitches in red, using the circular needle. Join in round, being careful not to twist. Knit 2 rounds.
*Knit 20, knit 2 together, place stitch marker. Repeat from * around.
Continue to knit a round and work a round where you knit 2 together before each stitch marker throughout the rest of the project. Switch to double-pointed needles when circumference is too small to work on the circular needle.
Continue to work in red until piece measures 1.5 inches.
Change to white and work 1.5 inches.
Change to red and work 1.5 inches. You should have about 72 stitches remaining.
Working the Star
I didn’t chart out the star, and depending on your gauge and how you actually want to work the star your numbers may come out a little different from mine. But I began the blue and the star on the same round, which was a straight knitting round. The star has five points, which doesn’t divide evenly into 72, so I knit 14 stitches in blue and 1 in white, then 13 in blue and 1 in white around to the last section, which is also knit 14 in blue, 1 in white.
I did the points of the stars in a strange kind of intarisa, with each point worked with a different strand of yarn that I just pulled loosely back to where I needed it, though I kept the blue as one strand all the way around. The back of the work will get really messy with the method, but just for a few rounds.
Continuing to work decreases and change colors as needed, on the next round I knit 3 stitches in white for each point, then 5 on the next round, then 7 for 2 rounds. After that the remainder is worked in white until you’ve worked a round that is knit 2 together all the way around.
Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, and thread it onto a yarn needle. Slip the stitches remaining stitches onto the yarn, pull tight, thread the end to the back of the work and weave in all your ends.
Alternatively, you can work the entire center section in blue (you will need about 20 yards of blue if you do this) and then just stitch the star on using duplicate stitch when you’re finished. The back will still not be pretty.