Crochet Month Designer Interview Series: Get to know Mary Beth Temple!

Mary Beth Temple is an author and knit and crochet designer who has contributed to magazines including Knit Simple, Vogue Knitting Crochet, Interweave Crochet, and Crochet Today. She's also the owner and lead designer for the popular pattern line Hooked for Life.

Mary Beth is the author of the humor books The Secret Language of Knitters and Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot, both from Andrews McMeel Publishing. She has designed two booklets for Leisure Arts - DIY (Design it Yourself) Afghans, and The Perfect Pillow: Ten Designs for Every Space.

Her most recent book Curvy Girl Crochet: 25 Patterns that Fit and Flatter from The Taunton Press, and most recent booklet is Easy Cowls to Crochet from SoHo Publishing.

Want to get Mary Beth's crochet tips and tricks? Check out our Q&A session with her below!

BY (Bernat Yarns): What's your favorite type of crocheted item to design and why?

MBT: I love to make almost anything in crochet, but recently have been on a cowl kick. There are endless variations to make, and accessories are fun because they are relatively quick to make.

BY: What's your favorite piece of crochet advice?

MBT: When working into the foundation chain, stitch into the back or "bump"  of the chain rather than the front or "V: as many of us were taught. Working in the bump gives you a much neater edge, and is a great habit to get into if you want to try crochet techniques like Tunisian or Broomstick Lace.

BY: What's your favorite Bernat yarn?

MBT: Has to be Bernat Alpaca, especially in the Peony colorway. So soft!

Feeling inspired to get started on your next crochet project? We've got you covered! One lucky commenter will score a copy of Mary Beth's newest book, Curvy Girl Crochet!  To be entered to win, just comment on this blog post and let us know what projects you crochet most often! The contest is on until Friday, March 15, so make sure to get your comments in now!  We'll be announcing our winner on March 18th.

Want to see Mary Beth's crochet skills in action? Check out her adorable Sunny Toddler Cardigan, crocheted in Bernat Satin!

Sunny Toddler Cardigan
Designed by Mary Beth Temple

The minute the sun comes out and the leaves start to turn green, kids all over want to shed their winter coats. This thick sweater is a comfy play outside sweater for spring or fall, and its bright colors will entice your squirming toddler to put it on!

To fit child’s sizes: 2 ( 4, 6, 8 ) yrs.

Finished chest size 24 3/4” (25 3/4”, 27 3/4”, 29 3/4”) [63 (65.5, 70.5, 75.5) cm].

Bernat Satin (100 g/3.5 oz; 182 m/200 yds)
Main Color (MC) Tangerine (04700)  2 (2, 3, 3) balls
Contrast A Soft Fern (04221) 1 (1, 1, 1) ball

Size 5.5 mm (U.S. I/9) crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge. 6 buttons, 3/4” [2 cm]. Needle and coordinating thread to sew on buttons.

Gauge: 12 dc and 7 rows = 4”/10 cm

Ch – chain
Dc – double crochet
Rep – repeat
Rnd – round
RS – right side
Sc – single crochet
Sk - skip
Sl st – slip stitch
Sp – space
St - stitch
T-ch – turning chain
Yoh – yarn over hook

Special Stitches
Shell = 3 dc in specified st
Open shell = (dc, ch 1, dc) in specified st
Dc2tog = (Yoh. Draw up a loop in next st. Yoh and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice. Yoh and draw through all 3 loops on hook.
Sc2tog = Draw up a loop in each of next 2 sts. Yoh and draw through all loops on hook.

Note: Ch-3 counts as 1 dc throughout.

With MC, ch 41 (44, 44, 47).
Row 1: (RS). 3 dc in 6th ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, shell in next ch. Rep from * to last 2 ch, sk 1 ch, dc in last ch. Turn. (12 [13, 13, 14] shells + 2 dc counting t-ch)
Rows 2, 4: Ch 3, *sk 2 dc, open shell in next dc. Rep from * to last 2 sts, sk 1 dc, dc in top of t-ch. Turn.
Rows 3, 5: Ch 3, *sk 2 dc, shell in ch-1 sp. Rep from * to last 2 sts, sk 1 dc, dc in top of t-ch. Turn.
Row 6: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc across, including top of turning ch. Turn. (38 [41, 41, 44] dc counting t-ch)
Rep Row 6 until Back from beg measures 9½ (10½, 11½, 13½)”/24 (26.5, 29, 34.5) cm. Fasten off.

Fronts: Make 2
(you just flip one of these to make mirror image for other side of Front)
With MC, ch 23 (23, 26, 26).
Row 1: 3 dc in 6th ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, shell in next ch. Rep from * to last 2 ch, sk 1 ch, dc in last ch. Turn. (6 [6, 7, 7] shells + 2 dc counting t-ch)
Rows 2 – 5: Rep Rows 2 – 5 of Back.
Row 6: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc across, including top of turning ch. Turn. (20 [20, 23, 23] dc counting t-ch)
Rep Row 6 until work from beg measures 6 (7, 7, 9)”/15 (18, 18, 23) cm.

Decrease for neck edge:
Row 1: Ch 3, sk first dc, (dc2tog) twice, dc in each dc to end. Turn. (18 [18, 21, 21] dc)
Row 2: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc across to last 4 sts, (dc2tog) twice. Turn. (16 [16, 19, 19] dc)
Rep Rows 1 and 2 until 6 (6, 9, 9) sts remain.

Sizes 2 and 4 only: Fasten off

Sizes 6 and 8 only: Work 2 rows even. Fasten off.

Sleeves: Make 2
With MC, ch 29 (32, 35, 38).
Row 1: 3 dc in 6th ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, shell in next ch. Rep from * to last 2 ch, sk 1 ch, dc in last ch. Turn. (8 [9, 10, 11] shells + 2 dc counting t-ch)
Rows 2 and 3: Rep Rows 2 and 3 of Back.
Row 4: Ch 3, dc in first dc and in each dc across to last dc, 2 dc in last dc. Turn. (28 [31, 34, 37] dc counting t-ch)
Rows 5 and 6: Ch 3, sk first dc, dc in each dc across, including top of turning ch. Turn.
Row 7: Rep Row 4. (30 [33, 36, 39] dc)
Rows 8 and 9: Rep Row 5.
Row 10: Rep Row 4. (32 [35, 38, 41] dc)
Row 11: Rep Row 5.

Size 2 only: Fasten off.

Sizes 4 and 6 only: Rep Row 5 until work from beg measures 9 (10)”/23 (25.5) cm. Fasten off.

Size 8 only: Row 12: Rep Row 4. (43 dc)

Rep Row 5 until work from beg measures 11½”/29 cm. Fasten off.

Sleeve Edging:

Row 1: Join A with sl st to first foundation chain. Ch 1, working in opposite side of foundation ch, sc in first dc, sc in ch-1 sp, sc in base of shell, *2 sc in ch-2 sp, sc in base of shell. Rep from * to last shell, sc in ch-1 sp, sc in dc. Turn. (26 [29, 32, 35] sc)

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc across. Fasten off.

Pin garment pieces to measurements and cover with damp cloth leaving cloth to dry.
Sew Fronts to Back at shoulder seams. Sew sleeves to armholes. Sew side and underarm seams as one, using matching yarn.

Body Edging:

Rnd 1: With RS facing, join A with sl st in center of Back neck edge, ch 1, sc in each sc across to last 2 sts of Back, sc2tog, work 12 (12, 16, 16) sc evenly spaced along angled neck edge,  ch 2, 18 (23, 23, 28) sc evenly spaced down Left Front, ch 2, sc in base of first dc along bottom edge, 2 sc in each ch-2 sp and sc in base of each shell or dc across bottom edge, ch 2, 18 (23, 23, 28) sc evenly spaced up Right Front, ch 2, 12 (12, 16, 16) sc evenly spaced along angled neck edge, sc2tog over first 2 sts of Back, sc in each sc across to beg of rnd, sl st to first sc to join rnd.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc across Back to last sc, sc2tog over last st of Back and first st of neck edge,  [sc in each sc to ch-2 sp, sc in ch-2 sp, ch 2] 2 times, sc in each sc across bottom edge, ch 2, sc in ch-2 sp and in each of next 1 (1, 1, 2) sc, [ch 1, sk 1 sc, sc in each of next 2 (3, 3, 3 sc] 5 (5, 5, 6) times, ch 1, sk 1 sc, sc in last sc, ch 2, sc in ch-2 sp, sc in each sc across to last sc of neck edge, sc2tog over last st of neck edge and first st of Back, sc in each sc across to beg of rnd, sl st to first sc to join rnd.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in each sc across Back to last sc, sc2tog over last st of Back and first st of neck edge,  [sc in each sc to ch-2 sp, sc in ch-2 sp, ch 2] 2 times, sc in each sc across bottom edge, ch 2, sc in ch-2 sp and in each of next 2 (5, 5, 2) sc, [2 sc in ch-2 sp, sc in each of next 2 sc] 3 (3, 3, 4) times, 2 sc in ch-2 sp,  sc in last sc, ch 2, sc in ch-2 sp, sc in each sc across to last sc of neck edge, sc2tog over last st of neck edge and first st of Back, sc in each sc across to beg of rnd, sl st to first sc to join rnd. Fasten off.

Weave in ends, stitch on buttons to correspond with buttonholes.



Number wise, the projects I make the most of are slippers. They make great gifts and they're a portable project that are easy to slip into my purse and take with me to appointments. The pattern I use I've been making for many, many years so I have it memorized and don't have to take a paper copy with me. The type of thing I spend the most time on is probably afghans. I love them--making and cuddling up in. :)

It seems I always have a baby afghan in the works! I always make lots of scarfs for Christmas. I recently started making some hats - lots of fun! I made the lacy shawl collar vest in Bernat Satin for myself. Got lots of compliments. It's nice to make something for myself once in a while!

My favorite thing to crochet are blankets but every year I do branch out and make my mom a sweater for Christmas. She loves getting them and that is my favorite item of the year to make! Thanks for the chance to win!

Thank you for sharing your story! After I had crocheted afghans and more afghans for family and friends, I switched to smaller pieces, vests, scarves, children's clothes. I am currently making matching scarves for my 6-year old grandsons. I let them pick the yarn color, and sometimes let them help, a little.

Love crocheting for the wee ones! So many things out there for babies; glad you have not forgotten about the big kids!

I like to make scarves, afghans, and jewelry, but have been known to do anything. I'm currently having a broomstick lace moment.

We just recently added a new granddaughter to our ever-growing list of grandchildren. she is local to me, so baby items are high on my list of to do's.

I too use your trick of crocheting into the "bump" of the foundation chain. It makes for a neater edge and an easier job to pick up stitches. I'm looking forward to checking out the new patterns whether I win the book or buy it (although I hope I win it!).

Love her designs! My favorite go-to crochet projects are accessories. I enjoy the instant gratification factor!

I love to crochet baby layettes in Bernat Softee Baby. I also crochet prayer shawls for adults, and I get many requests for sleeping puppies (so cute).

I love the bag designs in the top photo. First time I've seen large crocheted bags that I want to make immediately for myself.

I love to crochet afghans, scarves & baby/toddler clothes. Bright colors and color combinations are a must.

those curvy clothes look so nice...I have such a problem finding clothes that fit well because I'm short and big on top.

I seem to do a lot of hats and I'm currently on a shawl kick. Mary Beth's book has been on my wishlist.

I've just recently added Tunisian crochet to my skills. Think I'm "hooked".

Love to crochet. I've been crocheting since I was a little girl, always scaves, throws, and blankets. I've been wanting to try a sweater, but always tbought I'd have trouble. I've gotten better with time but, somehow I always drop a stitch or add a stitch and things come out "a little off".

I do smaller projects most frequently- fingerless gloves, socks, hats. I'm trying to get into bigger projects though, especially sweaters. I actually checked out Curvy Girl Crochet from the library and loved it! :)

I love to make afghans, hats and scarves for friends and family. It's cheaper than buying presents and they will last a lifetime. I am going to try the sweater in boys colors for my 4 year old great nephew. He loved the deer hat and paws scarf I made him for Xmas.

I learned to crochet from my Grandma, it kept me out of her hair & stopped the "there's nothing to do" comments from me! Our local American Legion Post has sponsored a Veterans' Home for many years & I got into crocheting slippers for the vets. They always love getting them!

I've just started crocheting again after several years. I've been crocheting easy projects but I'm trying to learn to do harder projects. I learned to crochet into the v but the projects I've been working on uses the"bump" so I'm having a little bit of a hard time trying to work into the chain that way. I would love to win your book so I can learn new projects. I chain this way.

I love to crochet for others. I like to make afghans the best, but I also enjoy making scarves, hats, & toys. I haven't made any clothing yet, but I would love to try.

I love all types of crochet. My favorite is doilies. Old fashion I know, but I love to make the pretty lace. Right now I am making a shawl and I just finished a hexagon afghan for myself and made a Christmas afghan for my son and daughter in law.

I love making baby things and have a toddler grand to crochet for too!

I enjoy crocheting scarves, sweaters for babies and even a sweater for myself.

I love to crochet everything! Items for my grandchildren are top of the list,if they want it I make it!!

I crochet mostly household items, like colourful mats, dishcloths, organizing boxes using cottons. I have done afghans, hats and toys as well. I love the modern patterns for crochet, they are so inventive. I am dying to try some of the newer clothing options.

Most often has been baby items for my neice (3 mos) - this cardigan is so cute and will go on my list for when she is older. Thank you for the pattern and interview.

Love to make prayers shawls and unique baby blankets or special occasion afghans. Time consuming but worth the effort.

My mom taught me to crochet. Bless her! Afghans, covered coat hangers, "worms" and slippers I've done. My favorite is the baby blanket I made for my first granddaughter! I love everything I've seen and I want to do it all! So many little time!

I'm into all kinds of projects & enjoy challenging myself!

I love crocheting anything. Lately I have been doing mug wraps, cup cozies, bottle carriers, Ruffle scarfs and my own simple design scarf, which has removable flowers. I know this will probably lead to leaves, snowmen and lots of others things to be added and removed as well. I have started now with the infinity scarves. Would love to do a sweater.

I have more time to crochet now and I see a lot of new things & techniques I would like to try. Lately I was crocheting hearts Now I want to try shamrocks and finish the prayer shawl I started. I am excited about your book "Curvy Girl Crochet". My problem, small on top with a bulging stomach and derriere. It will be interesting to actually make something for me. Also want to crochet a necklace and collar for the tops with too wide a scoop. Thank you.

I am self taught and always have done the 'bump' method so very happy to read it is a good way. I love making my grandkids sweaters. They make up quick and so many looks availible. My second fave is doilies and crochet embellishments for my home.

I crochet a lot of scarfs, mittens and stuffed animals. Would love to win a copy of this book! The women in my family are curvy gals! Would be nice to crochet gifts other then my regular gifts for them!

I have been sticking to things that are easy - granny square based or scarfs ... because I am a hard to fit size ... This book sounds perfect for me. I would love to win it! Thank you Bernat for all the fun opportunities you offer us.

I am into graduation afghans at the moment but love to make hats and scarves too. Thanks for sharing and the opportunity to win.

I've made a lot of scarves this winter. And baby blankets. Would like to try a garment soon!

Having taught myself to crochet about 3 years ago, I've been searching for the perfect cardigan pattern ever since. I'm onto my 5th or 6th now I think. None of the others have turned out quite how I wanted them or how I was expecting, but I wore them anyway because I was proud of having made them. I also had a bit of a run of slippers for myself and for gifts, and ended up designing my own pattern as I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. For Christmas 2011 I resized that and made a pair for my Dad. It turned out to be the last gift I ever gave him, and he wore them constantly in hospital and at home in the last 4 months of his life as he battled a massive brain tumour. They now sit on my hearth. Resizing slippers is one thing, but as a relative newbie I'm struggling to resize garment patterns to be able to get the exact cardigan or shrug that I want. I always cover my arms so I wear a cardigan or shrug every single day. It sounds like your book will teach me the skills I need to be able to make what I like and make it fit right, and also to take into account the yarn weight issues I'm having as I'm in Australia and we don't have the same yarn weight system as in the US. I hadn't seen the book until today. I really hope I win it, but if not, I will be buying it.

Slippers are such a great project that are easy to make in anyone's size. They are easy to take along too. You can just slip them in your purse and work on them anywhere. Being a "curvy" woman, I would love to win Mary Beth's book.

Toys & slippers!

New to crochet, I have been making lap blankets for the palliative care ward at the hospital. I also have made all my family scarves, they love them. Now I'm making them a special blanket, but they do take time. Absolutely love crochet.

I am new to crochet and like making infinity scarves!

I am self taught and have always crocheted into the bump. Didn't know there was any other way! I have been wanting Curvy Girl Crochet. And those bags are very nice. Is there a pattern?

Looks like Mary Beth designs beautiful things! I too have taken on crocheting in the back of the foundation chain as it gives a lovely stable edge to the garments I make. I have just completed a prayer shawl in sunset colors and a scarf in a beautiful ombre. Just before Christmas I made Sock Monkey style hats with the top of the hats in team colors - all for my grandkids. Simply love Bernat yarns - great quality, affordable price! Thanks for all you share and the chance to win a great looking book.

Am a beginner with crochet and want to want to build confidence in this art form. Looking forward to crocheting stuff for my young nieces!

I'd have to go with sweaters and dresses for little girls! There are so many great crochet patterns out there that look adorable on them:)

The thing I make most often is hats to donate to the "knitting for noggins" program at Arkansas Childrens Hospital. I can make them in all styles and sizes, so I get to experiment. It's fun!

Cute cardigan pattern! Love it!

If your looking for what make the most of it would have to be scarves. I started a charity organization a few years ago and we give scarves to survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. I spend a lot of my time crocheting scarves for them. I also love to make baby blankets, totes, and things for my grandchildren. I just love to crochet, lol!

Hooray for a book of patterns for curvy ladies - nice plus-sized patterns have been pretty scarce to date. I'm definitely going to try the sweater for our brand-new granddaughter when she gets a bit bigger. Better yet, start it now & it will be finished by the time she grows into it.