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Whit's Knits: Simple Cotton Bath Mat


This bath mat couldn't really be easier to knit or more satisfying to complete. You end up with a real life, fully functional bath mat! Pretty cool! It's made out of easy-to-care-for cotton and has a perfect thickness and density to it. It makes me feel like I just snuck into a Ritz Carlton!







             2 balls of #263, "Bleached" (Color A)

             3 balls of #251, "Ecru" (Color C)

             1 ball of #303, "Sugar" (Color B)

             1 ball of #310, "Shell" (Color D)


The Pattern



4 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch with yarn doubled

Finished Size 

17 inches x 22 inches


  • The yarn is doubled throughout this pattern. When you are using an even number of balls (for example, the interior of the bathmat uses 2 balls of yarn), just pull one strand from each ball. When you are using an odd number of balls, you have a couple of options. One is to pull one strand from the center of the ball and one strand from the outside of the ball (my preferred method). The other is to wind the one ball into two balls as evenly as possible.

The Interior 

With two strands of Color A (see the Materials section) and the 32 inch needle, cast on 56 stitches.

Row 1: Knit. 

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 10 inches. 

Bind off loosely.


The Border

With the right side facing you and using 2 strands of Color B and the 32 inch needle, pick up 1 stitch at the right corner of the bound off edge.


Pick up 54 stitches along the bound off edge. Place a marker, and pick up 1 stitch at the corner.


Pick up 38 stitches along the selvedge edge (about 3 stitches for every 4 rows). Place a marker, and pick up 1 stitch at the corner.

Pick up 54 stitches along the cast on edge. Place a marker, and pick up 1 stitch at the corner.

Pick up 38 stitches along the second selvedge edge. Place a different color marker, indicating the beginning of the round.

You should have a total of 188 stitches.

Round 1: Joining for working in the round, purl.

Change to 2 strands of Color C. 

Round 2:  *K1, yo, k to marker, yo, slip marker, repeat from * to end of round. (8 stitches added) (Note: Make sure that you wrap the last yarn over of the round all the way around the needle, ready to purl the next stitch.)

Round 3: Purl. 

Repeat the last 2 rounds until the border is 3 inches wide, switching to the 47 inch needle when necessary. End with a purl round.

Here is what the each corner should look like:



Change to 2 strands of Color D.

Knit 1 round, without increasing at the corners.

Loosely bind off purlwise. 


Sew in the ends and block your new bathmat!

Reader Comments (16)

This looks wonderful and might get me to pause the crocheting for a while :)
August 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRox
That is so sweet looking! I love the colors you picked, too.
August 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbeans
Thank you! I love this!
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
This is a charming little project.
August 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNorma
So lovely and warm!
March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBath Mats
Your tutorial is like having my mother sitting by and showing me how to do different stitches. Thank you for that.
December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
This project looks great, but I wonder how many stitches I could add to make it bigger. What do you think of the idea?
January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoe
Hi Moe,

Great idea! The interior rectangle of this bath mat is 14 inches wide and 10 inches high and the border is about 4 inches wide. So, decide how big you want your bath mat, subtract 8 (for the borders) and multiply that number by the gauge (which is 4).

For example, a bath mat 30 inches wide: 30 minus 8 inches for the border (22) times 4 for the gauge equals 88 cast on stitches.

Don't forget to pick up more stitches for the border (one stitch for every cast on and bound off stitch and 3 stitches for every 4 rows along the edges). And you'll also need more yarn!

I hope you enjoy your BIG bath mat and good luck!

January 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
You have the best tutorials I've seen online! Your ideas are great and the execution of them is flawless - thanks.
May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMiss June
looks good I'll try my hand in it,soon.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia
Is there such a thing as a 47" circular needle? I have a set of Hiya Hiya interchangable and the largest is 40-42 on the cord so are you including the length of the needle with that? Why should I even mess with the 32 if I have a 40-42? I'm a new knitter so please don't be offended by my ignorance....I really want to know why I would switch cords. Why not just start out with the bigger one.
BTW, I am making this. I have all the yarn and everything. I am following your yarn and colors to a "T"! Love it!
July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSandra Licher
Hi Sandra,

There is such a thing as a 47-inch circular needle, and yes, it is measured from tip to tip.

The reason for the two cords is that the number of border stitches grows as you knit. So at first, 32-inches easily accommodates the number of stitches you're working, but then your needle gets very crowded and you switch to the 47-inch.

That being said, you may get away with using just your 40-inch circular for the entire border. It may just be a bit of a stretch at first and then a bit of a squeeze at the end!

I hope this helps! Thanks for your question!

August 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I can never get the picked up stitches to look as neat as in the picture, any tips? I struggle with the end of rows edge and I slip the last stitch on every row.
May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucie
Hi Lucie,

I think the most important thing for picking up stitches is consistency. So, when you've decided exactly where in a stitch you're going to pick up and how often, stick with your decision the whole way through! But, ultimately, neat pickups come from practice and experience, knowing the anatomy of knitting and having picked up lots of messy stitches along the way!

Thanks for asking!
May 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
When working the border, at what point do you join the work in the round? Is it when you pick up the stitches? Or on the first purl round? I am having the hardest time and have torn out the border twice...three of my corners look perfect but the one at the start of the round just is not right.
July 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
Hi Maureen,

Very good question! I added some clarification to the pattern, but to answer your question here... You actually join for working in the round when you make the first purl stitch of Round 1.

I hope this helps get you on the right path. If not, please let us know and we'll work it out! Thanks so much for pointing out that the pattern wasn't clear on this step and good luck!

July 2, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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