Why would anyone ever work the plain garter stitch xxx? Why would anyone just make a simple crochet block all the same? There is nothing wrong with plain and simple. For beginners it is all about practicing the new and that is great. We all need to practice the new. It's how we get better at what we are learning.
It also holds the power to soothe a troubled person. Recently, my family had a minor tragedy occur. Everyone is fine as in not in a hospital. Everyone is not fine in the respect that we carry on as before. We see this all the time when major tragedy hit our country in 2001, when loved ones are lost, when tragedies strike whole communities.
Simple garter stitch, plain granny squares, double crochet squares, garter and ribbed slippers, all these are quick to craft but more importantly, they hold the rhythm that lulls us into not feeling overwhelmed, kind of like a rocking chair for some, back rubs for others. They give the rest we sometimes need and can't get watching television or cleaning or any of the things we have to do to get through our days.
What has helped me? Garter stitch dish cloths. I now have quite a few and these don't wear out nearly as fast as those I bought.
Here is the pattern I prefer to use. I don't have to think for any of it.
Materials needed: worsted weight cotton yarn. I use Lily Sugar & Cream and Peaches & Creme. They are affordable and easily found in my area on store shelves. Mid sized needles, with my favorites being US size 6 - 8. Use whatever size gets you the density you desire. When I'm stressed, I have been known to go up to size 11 or 13 to get a gauge that doesn't result in cardboard.
Cast on 3.
Row 1: knit1, yo, knit 1, yo, knit 1. (5 stitches now. This will increase by 1 stitch every row)
Row 2 - 35 -50: knit 2, yo, knit to the end of the row.
Next Row: knit 2, yo, knit 2 together, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row. (The yarn over keeps the pattern the same on the decrease side. The first knit 2 together keeps the stitch count the same. The second decreases by 1. This row will decrease you back down to about 4 or 5 stitches.)
You decide when it's big enough. Want a blanket instead? Keep increasing. Then continue down the other side. For a blanket I would use something soft and easy to use that doesn't have a lot of "stuff" for me to think about. But that is just me. On better times, I might use a novelty yarn with an easy pattern. I'm on familiar ground but still get something that looks different and unique.