Mary Beth Temple is a knit and crochet pattern designer. Her independently published pattern line is Hooked for Life, which is available online through Ravelry and Patternfish and at local yarn stores. She is also the author of The Secret Language of Knitters, Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot, and Curvy Girl Crochet: 25 Patterns that Fit and Flatter. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Knit and crochet designer and author, Mary Beth Temple, has just released her latest book, Bath Knits: 30 Projects Made to Pamper from Stackpole Publishing. Just as the title suggests, this book includes 30 original knitting patterns that will help create a spa-like feel right in your own bathroom. Designs include washcloths and mitts, a robe, slippers, pedicure socks, and room decor designs such as storage baskets, bath mats, wall hangings, and more. I think this Tab-Top Towel has to be my favorite ... with little ones at home this would be great for keeping my hand towels in place! Whether you're looking for a way to give yourself a spa-like experience, you want to create an inexpensive yet luxurious gift or you enjoy knitting useful but small items, Mary Beth Temple has written a book of projects that will satisfy your whims and needs: Bath Knits, 30 Projects Made to Pamper. In this book, you will find everything from washcloths with textures designed to exfoliate dead skin to bathmats, decorative towel edgings and basket linings. She's got a bath mitt, slipper socks, felted soap covers and even a lacy fabric to drape over a faux mirror (I admit, that one mystified me; maybe it prevents mist?). That last one was the most unexpected items, but two runners up are a knitted tray liner and pedicure socks, which might be especially good to wear to a nails salon if your feet get cold. I also counted eight different washcloths. When I was active in the Swap on a Budget group in Ravelry a few years ago, this book would have been a great inspiration for that group. Temple's projects are not expensive, but they have the cachet of luxury. It's not every day you find someone with a felted soap cover, a textured bath mitten, or personally decorated towels. I would have been proud to give or receive any of these projects as a swap gift... ... My favorite projects are the bathmats. Both are knitted with superbulky yarn, and I wouldn't mind sinking my toes into either of them. ... ... Bath Knits retails for $16.95, which comes to about $0.57 per pattern. Published by Stackpole Books, it should be available in local bookstores and yarn shops, as well as the big box stores and internet retailers. I think you will enjoy it a lot, especially the next time you need to make a gift for someone in a hurry. Mary Beth Temple is a friend of mine, as well as being a fantastic designer, so I was doubly excited to get to review Bath Knits: 30 Projects Made to Pamper. And I'm so happy to say it doesn't disappoint! Rather, it's full of amazing projects to help you create your own spa retreat right at home - luxurious knitted towels, accessories, rugs, and more. And they make great housewarming or new mom gifts too! The designs in Bath Knits are clean and modern looking, made with contemporary yarns. Most patterns are easy to intermediate in skill level, and quick too - perfect for those of us who knit a little slower! I made the Exfoliating Washcloth - it was indeed quick and easy! I even learned a bit more about chart reading for knitting, something I've been meaning to do, and this made a great excuse to take the time. I made mine using Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton. There's a great variety of projects included in Bath Knits! Of course there are towels and washcloths and soap covers, but there are also rugs, baskets, decoration pieces, tray liners, and a whole set to wear - robe, headband, and pedicure socks (and more)! So luxurious! Mary Beth Temple has created 30 projects that span from quick and easy to clever and pampering. While the page layout is traditional (to me it feels like a magazine), it is definitely clear and easy to navigate. The charts fill the page, something my eyes appreciate! The photos are styled in a way that feels both inspirational (my bathroom is rarely that tidy) and obtainable (it could be). While I don't think many expect me to work with 10mm needles, the Plush Bathmat looks super squishy and find I want to knit one! I think the lacy mirror is a neat accent idea for any room and would be a perfect to use yarn from a beginning spinner (if I were to put it in the bathroom, I'd stick to a cotton or linen yarn as suggested in the pattern). I found the Cabled Towels a quick and low-cost project that would dress up any bathroom. Don't worry, if bath knits means washcloths for you, there are several! I like the visual index at the end, we're visual people and having a featured image of the project next to the name is a nice and appreciated touch. -- Penny Glanz, Little Acorn Creations Video interview/review link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNPWjU9MTLA&feature=youtu.be -- Barbara Benson Bath Knits by Mary Beth Temple is full of creative ways to personalize your bathroom and create a lovely spa day for yourself. It not only includes washcloths, but many other bathroom and bath time accessories! Mary Beth starts with a nice introduction and a great "Before you begin" section with some really good advice! The first pattern in the book happens to be one of my favorites. Take a look at this Tab-Top Towel. How smart is that? My hand towels are always getting pulled to the floor, and this is a great way to avoid that fate! Of course there are a couple sets of washcloths in the book. I personally love the Slip Stitch Trio. Obviously you can make them in any color you want, but I am very fond of the colors Mary Beth chose, along with the patterns she created. There are plenty of ways to personalize your space in this book. You can add some colorful borders onto your store bought towels to tie in your own colors and style. The book is organized by color theme, but as I mentioned before, you can make any of the patterns in your own colors. However, Mary Beth certainly has an eye for great colors! All the patterns are well-written, as anyone who is familiar with Mary Beth's work would expect. There are charts and schematics as needed. Knitters of any level will be able to enjoy Bath Knits! I'm also quite taken with the chenille set towards the end of the book. Doesn't that robe just look heavenly?! There are even little booties that go with it! I highly recommend Bath Knits to anyone looking to personalize their bathroom, or who needs some knit gift ideas! -- Jessie at Home Bath Knits is full of projects to bring the spa right to your home with luxurious items like things to wear like robes, washcloths, and even beautiful pedicure socks! The book also has projects to transform the bathroom into a spa retreat with mats, storage baskets, even decor too ...The book is photographed in full color and many of the projects have a detailed chart to guide you along as well. There is a helpful abbreviation section in the back too! ... Many of the projects in the book are perfect for a hostess, shower gift, or a housewarming. I love the way the author uses variegated yarns in many of the projects. -- Fiber Flux Blog When designer Mary Beth Temple asked if I'd be willing to hop on the blog tour for her latest book, Bath Knits, I happily obliged. The cover promises that Bath Knits has "30 Projects Made to Pamper". As you would expect, there are plenty of washcloths here, because what knitter doesn't love to knit a washcloth every now and then? Washcloths usually don't require much thought, they are eminently practical, and they offer the opportunity to learn a new stitch pattern without a lot of pressure. Perhaps best of all, matching the exact gauge of the pattern isn't crucial with washcloths. Beyond washcloths, however, you'll find towels and towel trims, a bathmat, a bath mitt, baskets, and more. There's even a lacy mirror for your bathroom! As someone who has been looking for a moisture-friendly something to hang in my bath, that one really spoke to me. I've got plenty of yarn to choose from for this project, so you may be seeing this one pop up again in the future. The book's promotional copy says the skill level is for intermediate knitters, but I think plenty of the projects are easy enough for newer knitters who aren't afraid to try new skills. There are stitch charts as well as text for some of the patterns, as appropriate. I found the font, layout and use of white space to make the patterns very easy to read. Yarn weights range from sportweight (#2) for the socks, through worsted (#4) and bulky weights (#5), and up through super bulky (#6), although some of the lighter weight yarns are knit with multiple strands held together. Linen and cotton are particularly well suited for these spa-like projects. It's the perfect opportunity to try out some of those lovely fibers in anticipation of Spring. Some of the cotton yarns used are Premier Home Cotton, Premier Yarns Cotton Fair, a sportweight (#2) for the pedicure socks, and Fibra Natura Flax for yummy linen washclothes that get softer with each wash. You'll find projects worked in Universal Bamboo Pop, a 50/50 cotton bamboo blend, KnitPicks Dishie for the simple shaped washclothes, Plymouth Cleo DK Cotton (a long-standing personal favorite). You'll also recognize that familiar stand-by for washcloths, Lily Sugar 'n Cream. Mary Beth points out that the gauge for many of the projects is tighter than you might expect for the weight of yarn, in order to prevent the fabric from stretching out of shape when wet. Not all of the suggested yarns are cotton. You'll find bathmats worked in Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega and Berroco Comfort Chunky, Bernat Baby Blanket, and a tweedy storage basket worked with four strands of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice held together. Of particular note is the "Chenille Set", made up of bathrobe, headband and slipper socks. These projects are worked with a double strand of super-bulky chenille on US size 11 (8 mm) needles! Wowzers! All of these yarns are widely available, although it wouldn't be hard to find substitutes for the yarns called for. With Bath Knits, you can knit yourself a spa-cation without leaving your couch! -- Edie Eckman A couple of sweet washcloths can be knit and then stored in a knit basket. How fitting! Then there's a mod twist on the edging for towels. My first choice is the Textured Linen Washcloth, mostly because I've always wanted to knit with linen yarn, but never really had any idea of what to make. This fits the bill perfectly... After looking at the designs, I then turned the pages again to study the yarn choices that Mary Beth has made. There's a wide range of yarn thicknesses, from a finer fingering weight all the way to bulky. There's also a wide range in composition of the yarns. Lots of cotton, naturally, because of the durability, but other natural fibers are used as well, like linen, as I've already mentioned. The price range for these yarns is also great, making all the projects very affordable without using low quality yarns. Lastly there's a good range in purchasing options for the yarns, with some being common in big box craft stores and others in local yarn stores or online shops. What about the speed of making these projects? Well, I think there are enough patterns that would give process knitters some fun as they try short row and color techniques that won't leave you dumbfounded, but won't let you get bored either. And product knitters and beginners who would like to finish things quickly have lots of options as well. -- Charles Voth, Knit Much