L7 shawl or blanket

Super-basic, blank-slate, knitting pattern for square things (square shawl, baby blanket, coasters, whatever) . . . 

You'll need:
5 double-point needles, circular needle[s] for later when the project outgrows the DPN's.

This isn't dependent on gauge--you can use tiny yarn and tiny needles or big yarn and big needles or anything in between.  I used some old Sirdar Aran/worsted/4 weight and US8 dpn's here.

Set up:
Cast on 8 stitches (I used a long-tail.  Just don't use a bulky cast-on.)
Distribute stitches among four of the needles (two stitches per needle)
Round 1: *Knit 1, Knit front and back* (12 stitches/three stitches per needle)
Round 2: Knit all

Body of shawl/blanket/etc.:
Round 1: *Knit 1, make 1 left, knit to last stitch on DPN, make 1 right, knit 1*
Round 2: Knit all

I put a marker on the first needle so I wouldn't lose track of which one it was, but didn't mark the other needles since you repeat the stitch pattern the same way on each needle.  When I switch to a circular needle, I will place markers between each repeat (in the middle of the two knit stitches between the left increase and the next repeat's right increase).

After that, I guess the pattern would be:
Round 1: *Knit 1, M1L, Knit to stitch before next marker, M1R, knit 1, SM*
Round 2: Knit all

You could also use KFB or yarn-overs instead of M1R and M1L, of course.

UPDATE 2016 May 13: