My Material Life

Fun Summer Knit: Chunky Striped Bathtub Runner


In my last post I mentioned a bathroom of ours that just may have some disturbing issues of unknown origin. While we haven’t made any progress on that, I am happy to report that I whipped up a real cute runner for the tub that helps to take my mind off of it. Have you ever knit a bath mat before? It’s such a joy. Maybe because of the big needles or the ease of garter stitch (I always use garter stitch) or the way they knit up so fast. It’s probably all these things and more, actually.

You can complete a runner like this in a day or two if you’ve got some free time. Just pick it up when you can, maybe even take it out with you. By the way, did you know Knit in Public Day is coming up on June 18?

I didn’t allow myself to purchase any new yarn for this project and luckily I didn’t have to. This runner is made from four different cotton yarns of varying weights. I used multiple strands of each to get those chunky stitches. The white is Lily Sugar ‘n Cream, 100% cotton (three strands); the pink in the center is Brown Sheep Company Cotton Fleece, 80% cotton, 20% wool (four strands); the hot pink is Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, 100% cotton (four strands) and the purple is DROPS Cotton Light, 50% cotton, 50% polyester (five strands). This is a great project for using up a variety of cotton yarns. I knit them on size 15 knitting needles.

This runner measures approximately 28.5″ by 10.5″. I cast on 24 stitches and knit until I had five ridges on each garter stitch band before switching colors and binding off after the last one. I wanted a narrow strip as opposed to a standard sized mat because it’s a tight space and I didn’t want a tub mat that would encroach on the space in front of the vanity/sink. That’s the beauty of making your own things, isn’t it? You can make them whatever nonstandard size you desire. I thought I’d be very free with even more colors that I’d just change when the spirit moved me, but I didn’t like the results I got from that. So I decided to narrow my color range and create even stripes. I also determined that the best way to make my three colors work together was to separate them with bands of white.


Now I’m an old Sugar ‘n Cream fan, but do you know what my favorite yarn for this project was? The Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. I haven’t knit with it since Samantha was very young. If you like to knit for children I recommend you look for a favorite book called Barefoot Knits by Christine Schwender and Paula Heist. All of the projects in the book are made with Cotton Fleece. The small amount of wool in it gives it a sponginess that cotton lacks. My next favorite is the Cotton Supreme. This yarn is very soft and comes in great colors, but be prepared to pay more for it. The Cotton Light is pretty nice, but I wish it came in a heavier weight. The Sugar ‘n Cream is the least soft, but you can’t beat that white and it’s usually easy to find and inexpensive too. Do you have a favorite cotton yarn? I’d love to hear about it if so.



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