Sail away with Chloe Bailey's gorgeous ocean-themed bathmat, that uses tapestry crochet to create waves in Paintbox Yarns Recycled T-Shirt yarn - follow her simple tutorial to find out how...
To make the bath mat you will need:
Paintbox Yarns Recycled Tshirt (90% cotton, 10% synthetic; 800g/120m)
1 x Mid Blue
1 x Light Blue
12mm crochet hook
Large tapestry needle for sewing in ends, or a smaller crochet hook
7 sts / 7 rows = 10cm/4” square worked in double crochet
The finished bath mat measures 32 x 18.5 inches
The pattern is written and charted using UK crochet terms
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
How to read a colour chart
Charted patterns are usually presented as a cross stitch style chart. I love working from charts as you can clearly see the image which will gradually take shape as you work each row.
A colour chart is read from bottom to top, starting at the bottom right corner, working back and forth along each line (as shown in the diagram below); so for odd numbered lines you’ll be working from the right side of the work, and for even numbered lines you'll be working from the wrong side.
A pattern will always specify what stitch is represented by a square on the chart; for this bath mat, each square on the chart equals one double crochet stitch.
It is important to note when working from a colour chart that you should always work a turning chain at the end of each row. When you reach the end of a row, chain 1 before turning to work back along the next row, otherwise you’ll end up decreasing a stitch at the beginning of each row. When you start the next row, skip the chain stitch and work your first double crochet into the last double crochet of the previous row.
When you reach a colour change, you’re actually going to join the new colour in the last loop of the previous double crochet stitch.
Start the previous stitch by inserting your hook and pulling the yarn through, so you have two loops on your hook. Now drop the current yarn (do not cut it, just leave the yarn where it is) and pull your new colour through both loops on your hook. Continue working double crochet stitches in the new colour until the next change. Repeat along the row, following the chart.
Carrying the non-working yarn inside worked stitches
In tapestry crochet the non-working yarn is carried inside the worked stitches, so that you don’t have any stranded loops across the back of your work. It also means that your bath mat is reversible!
Having worked a colour change, insert your hook into the next stitch and make sure that the previous colour is also on top of your hook. Then yarn over and pull through with the worked colour, enclosing the non-worked yarn within the stitch.
By carrying the yarn through, it is right there when you are ready to make the next colour change!
Top tips for working with recycled t-shirt yarn
T-shirt yarn is very stretchy, but don’t be tempted to stretch it as you crochet! Keep your tension nice and relaxed so that the yarn isn’t pulled taught.
Pull the yarn from the centre of the ball! If you work with the yarn from the outside these 800g balls can become quite unwieldy, but they have been designed to pull easily from the centre!
When you change colours, don’t be tempted to tighten the first stitch in a new colour. Let it relax, or you may end up with uneven tension on your colour changes, particularly with stretchy yarn like this.
T-shirt yarn varies in thickness, from ball to ball, colour to colour, and even just within one ball! Don’t worry about the difference in yarn thickness, this is a wonderful feature of recycled yarn, and once your bath mat is finished any sections where the yarn was thinner won’t be noticeable!
Row 1: Using the darker blue yarn ch50, dc into 2nd ch from hook, then dc into each chain along to the end, ch1 and turn (49 dc stitches)
Row 2: Skip the turning chain and dc into each stitch along, ch1 and turn
Rows 3-9: Repeat row 2 until you have a total of 9 rows
At the end of row 9, join the light blue yarn. In the final dc stitch of the row, pull up a loop and then pull the new colour through both loops on your hook, ch1 in the new colour and turn.
Rows 10-22: Having joined the light blue yarn continue to work the colour chart below. Follow the tutorial steps above for changing colours and hiding the carried yarn within the worked stitches. (Don’t forget to make a turning chain at the end of each row!)
Rows 23-31: Repeat row 2 using light blue yarn until you have a total of 9 light blue rows. Using a large tapestry needle, or a smaller crochet hook, sew or hook in the ends and your bath mat is ready to use!