Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Yet More Crocheted Bookmarks (with instructions)


I set out to work on this post before noon today and was forced to take several detours--one of which involved a complete rearrangement of my laptop workstation for the third or forth time since my arrival here just before New Year's. Most frustrating in light of the hope that I'm less than three weeks from packing to go home. Sigh.

I took pics of the workstation makeover again for a possible post about it. But not this one. This is about my progress on the crocheted bookmarks and per request instructions on how to make them.

The variegated pastel with the pale green ribbon you see in the picture heading this post is the one I found in one of my Dad's books in late 2007. I asked my Mom a few weeks ago to take a look at it and see if she could teach me how to make one. But I told that story in previous posts.

To the left of it is my second finished bookmark (the first was mailed to my MIL two weeks ago for her b-day) made with a very fine thread and thus even though it has more rows it is approximately the same length as the pastel one. This was the first one that I started myself and made every stitch in.

To the right of the pastel one is my third one. Red and slated to have a black ribbon as soon as I can go shopping for it. I made it longer because the thead on the spool was getting so low I could tell it wouldn't make another twelve row one so I chose to keep going as long as the thread lasted. It has 18 rows.

Next to it is the just started forth one in a rusty brown. Also slated for a black ribbon.

Below you can see that brown one done (except for the ribbon and tucking the end threads in) with 20 rows with now better reason that I got carried away while watching TV and stopped counting.

The blue one to the right has 23 rows because the thread was getting low. (Most of the crochet thread in my collection was in my husband's grandmother's sewing basket given to me after she passed in 2007 and my first thought when finding that pastel bookmark was what a great idea for using remnants left over from other projects.) When I managed to reach 23 and a half rows though, I considered taking out back to row 11 and do a second one of 11 rows. But then I remembered that about four or five rows back there was a section of frayed thread that might not survive being reworked so I let it be at 23 rows. Because of the fragile thread though, I may keep that one for myself. It doesn't hurt that it's one of my favorite shades of my favorite color. It will have either a pale blue ribbon or a white one once I buy the white. But when I held it up to it, I liked the pale blue from the stash my cousin bought me two weeks ago when she took me shopping for the ribbon for the purple one I made my MIL.

Next to it is the start of my sixth bookmark in a slightly lighter blue. And in the top left corner is the spool of pale blue for number 7.

This probably looks like obsession and it might be. But it is also the fact that several b-days and Mother's Day are upon me and when I discovered how easy and fast it was, I thought why not see how many I can make in time for the events.

Below the picture I will close the post with instructions for how to make these crocheted bookmarks.




I don't know the lingo for crochet pattern instructions so I'm going to describe it plain English as I was taught and give you links where extra help can be found.

If you know that ubiquitous granny square stitch you know most of what you need to figure it out because, according to my Mom, it is just rows of two granny square stitches.

Begin by making a chain of twelve loops. Watch this video for a demo of a chain stitch.

After you have the chain of twelve, find the loop four back from the hook. This will be where you put the first 'granny square stitch' which is three double crochet stitches plus a single chain plus three double crochet. Watch this video for a demo on putting mutiple double crochet stitches into a single 'space'.

Don't forget that single chain stitch separating the two bunches of three double crochet as that is the 'space' you will be putting the 'granny square stitch' in on the next row.

The second 'granny square stitch' on row one goes into the loop four back from the end. Later that little tail of three loops is attached to the appropriate spot on the second row to simulate the row turn.

After you have the second 'granny square stitch' inserted into the fourth loop on row one, make three chains and then turn the work over so you are working right to left again and begin row two by making the 'granny square stitch' in the 'space' between the two bunches of three double crochet you just finished.

That is the algorithm--the series of repeatable steps-and you just repeat for as many rows as suits your fancy. Twelve rows using a medium weight thread with a ribbon sticking beyond each end about two inches is perfect for paperback books.

When you have the number of rows you desire you finish by pulling a loop through as though you are making a chain stitch but make the loop large enough you can cut the thread leaving a tail of about an inch sticking through your last loop. Pull the tail until the loop tightens down on it. Then thread the tail through the stitches.

Then at the beginning end take the tail behind that still dangling chain of three loops (it should be about an inch long as well) and thread it through the first loop of the chain of three that begins row two--just above it. This should bring the dangling three loops up around the end of row one to simulate the row turns on all other row ends. Though it won't look quite the same.

The ribbon is threaded in and out through the holes in the center between the two 'granny square stitches' on each row.

Several things influence size and look of the finished bookmark: thickness or weight of the thread, size of the hook and the tension you keep on the thread as you work. Learning to keep a steady tension from beginning to end is the only way to keep it from becoming distorted. You need to find a happy medium between too loosey-goose and too snug.

Here are a few sites with helpful aids for beginners and experts:

Annie's Attic
DMC
Needlepointers
Hass Design (where I found the videos demonstrating stitches)

All four of them have patterns, stitch charts, and of course products to sell from thread to patterns and books to classes (to videos in the last case)

3 tell me a story:

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