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Summer Knitting Project: Take-Along Lace Bookmark

Jul 15, 2009

Lace bookmarkI recently took a day-trip and the project I took with me was a tank top. I worked on it in the car, but it really took up too much room in my bag and in my lap and I was wishing for a small, purse-friendly project.

I can hear you all saying "How about a sock?" I know, I know--socks are the perfect traveling project (and I should be farther along on the KAL!). But I like to change things up a bit, and since it's getting towards time to start knitting holiday gifts, I thought I'd see what else was out there that would be car/park/lounge chair-appropriate.

I took a stroll through PieceWork's magazine's free pattern archive and I came upon this lovely bookmark pattern.

PieceWork has been one of my favorites for a long time. I love reading about the tradition and history of knitting and PieceWork does such an amazing job of keeping that tradition alive. I have a history with cross-stitch, too, and PieceWork almost makes me want to pick it up again! (So does the beautiful cross-stitch sampler Jeane Hutchins, the PieceWork editor, has in her office.)

Ave Coleman's Lace Bookmark is the trifecta of summer knitting: portable, gift-worthy, and a tiny bit challenging. There are four beautiful lace patterns in this piece, so you'll get a taste of lace on a small scale. And I love knitting with small needles, so this project is perfect for me.

I also appreciate the cotton thread called for in the bookmark pattern. It's all about cotton (or linen or hemp or silk) for my summer knitting. In hot weather I simply can't knit with wool or alpaca, unless I'm in an air-conditioned room (and there's not much AC in Spokane) or if I'm sitting directly in front of a fan (and then my pattern blows all over the place). So you see the terrible problems I face. I do make an exception for sock yarn, which is usually so tiny that I can handle the wool content.

(I think I've added two items to the trifecta: small needles and cotton yarn. The lace bookmark is now a five-fecta!)

Be sure and check out the July/August 2009 issue of PieceWork for even more wonderful ideas, including a whole article on "take-along" projects: a knitted scarf, an embroidered bookmark, and a pair of knitted wrist warmers. Sock knitters might like to try the mitten patterns in this issue, too. They're not socks, obviously, but the techniques are similar.

I think I'll make one of the lace bookmarks for each of the women in my family, and a couple for myself, too.

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tinyknitter wrote
on Apr 27, 2010 3:57 PM

i am  intriqued by  lace  knitting but  have'nt  tried  it  yet  i  would  love  the  pattern  for  the   lace  bookmark   skeins,

NancyW@2 wrote
on Jul 25, 2009 5:02 PM

I just tried to work this pattern and have a very dumb question.....since you cast on 18 stitches, is that the same number of stitches you will be working on EACH ROW....or does this pattern have increases and decreases in the number of stitches worked?   This is only my second attempt at knitting lace, the first being a market bag from Knit Picks, which turned out nicely.  

Mary BethK wrote
on Jul 22, 2009 10:40 AM

I am excited to start this.  I haven't the perseverance to finish my first lace attempt.  Perhaps it was the variegated lace-weight silk I chose for a full-length scarf! Cotton crochet thread is a much better introduction.

Nancy@4 wrote
on Jul 20, 2009 3:43 PM

A trip to my local 'expert' yarn store has solved the problem I was having with the instructions for the Lace Bookmark.  I should have read the instructions more closely for following rows and would have discovered that the yo's were removed in later rows.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  Nancy@4

Nancy@4 wrote
on Jul 19, 2009 9:59 PM

Oh My, I've just read my comment and realize that I've given an incorrect row number.  The row's that don't make sense to me are rows 37 and 41 (not 39).  Sorry for this.  Nancy@4

Nancy@4 wrote
on Jul 19, 2009 9:43 PM

HELP!!.  I'm knitting the bookmark but find a problem with the instructions for row 37 and row 39.  The number of stitches don't add up to 18, and also the are yo's but no ktog's??  Please someone with more experience than I have, look at this and let me know if there is an error in the pattern, or if I've finally gone over the top.  Thanks  Nancy Lanyon (

on Jul 17, 2009 11:34 AM

Hi Michelle@132,

There aren't instructions for the fringe, but what I would do is use a double strand and feed it through the cast of row stitch by stitch, using a knotted fringe (use a crochet hook to slip the loop through the stitch, slip the ends through the loop, and pull the ends until secure).


on Jul 17, 2009 10:31 AM

Hi Gerri,

If you go into my original blog post and click on the highlighted word "here," you'll be taken directly to the pattern. There's nothing to download--the pattern is written out on the webpage. Here's another link you can try:

Hope this helps!


Michelle@132 wrote
on Jul 17, 2009 10:00 AM

Along with many of the people who have posted comments, this looks like a great project for gifts.  In fact, I ran out and bought yarn yesterday thinking to start one at lunch today. . .however, as with another poster, I don't see the fringe instructions.  Zooming into the larger picture, it looks like single strands, one for each stitch, single knot.  But it would be nice to have Ava's directions on how she would construct the fringe.

on Jul 16, 2009 9:26 PM


I am trying to get the pattern for your take along bookmark.  However, everywhere I try to enter there is no pattern.  when I first went looking I found the pattern but can't find it now.  Would appreciate help.  Thank you.


KD Sandi wrote
on Jul 16, 2009 3:50 PM

Hi folks...Sandi here! You can find the What's On Sandi's Needles? blog here:

I'm busy writing and designing now, having handed over the reins of Knitting Daily to Kathleen earlier this month. But I still read KD regularly, and I'm touched you're still thinking of me. Hugs to all!

CoralS wrote
on Jul 16, 2009 3:37 PM

Lace bookmarks seem like a good idea at first until I use one in a book.  They are pretty to look at but too thick, just my opinion!  :)

Ann@149 wrote
on Jul 16, 2009 9:04 AM

Had to comment on this.  Last summer I spent a lot of time finding lace bookmark patterns on the internet.  I knitted with crochet thread #3 or #5 and only did one of each.  Ended up with about 30+ and gave them to club girls for Christmas and other people I know who are voracious readers.  Even did one in gold for the parish pastor for his bible. Used #3 bamboo needles.  Had a great time and would knit more if I find any different patterns.  Even framed some I kept (the lace sampler was one I kept).

Ann Perkins

PatH wrote
on Jul 16, 2009 7:35 AM

The lace bookmark is beautiful but small needles??! I am avoiding projects with anything smaller than needle size 2 for several reasons, I knit slowly and it already takes me what seems to be forever to knit anything. I don't have a great deal of time to knit. That coupled with my slow speed makes the idea of tiny stitches overwhelming.

Have fun!

raineya@2 wrote
on Jul 16, 2009 7:15 AM

You are in Spokane? Better find some AC for this week, it's going to be hot. I'm pretty sure ALL the knit shops in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene (A Grand Yarn, Sew EZ Too, Paradise Fibers, Harmony and CDA Yarn and Fiber) have AC.

I love Piecework.

EllenD wrote
on Jul 16, 2009 5:23 AM

Um, that would be quinquefecta or quintfecta.  Latin vs Germanic.

Have a look at:

GerdaP wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 5:22 PM

Hi Kathleen,

I too love the Piecework Mag, I ordered it just for the Alice Starmore baby bonnet and was pleasantly surprised with all the content in this tiny magazine. It does not feel as substantial as Interweave Knits but the projects are just as delightful.

I enjoy your column, well done!


AnnetteL@5 wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 3:50 PM

This is great, now I can try lace before I start my lace scarf , thanks!

Beffie wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 3:39 PM

I'm concentrating on small packable, portable projects.  This one looks great!  Many scarf and/or lace patterns can be trimmed down to make bookmarks.  And so little yarn then needs to go along.  My summer knitting bag is less than 8 square inches.   And I have everything in it including several pairs of short (17 cm) needles.  I love it.

LindaC@100 wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 3:37 PM

I have requested my free issue of this magazine.  What I got was a bill and no sign of the magazine...the bill stating that I actually had the opportunity to enjoy the publication...NOT....  What's the deal?

LeslieB@3 wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 3:26 PM

This is a cute little project.  I'm curious, though, whether there will be any discussion or explanation of various techniques as there was with Sandi's posts?  They were very informative!  (No offense, Kathleen!)  

Sandi disappeared rather suddenly, and although she is supposed to have her own posts at "What's on Sandi's Needles", so far there's been nothing.  Like Laura S, I'm also curious what happened.

BitsyB wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 2:50 PM

Lovely piece and I'm surely going to be knitting some for stocking stuffers.  Great for summer knitting fixes and I'm hibernating under the a/c this week.  102-103 F. here in the DFW area!  i can't even stand to knit socks!  I'm thinking about scrounging around in my stitching stash for some perle cotton to knit this with.

LauraS@11 wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 2:44 PM

I'm curious to know what happened to Sandy?

KLH wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 2:43 PM

Doh! I've been hankering for ideas for some small, thoughtful gifts for my bookish friends and here you are, laying one right in front of me. Thanks!

drjoanburrow wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 2:41 PM

I too love little projects, for airports and planes, hotel rooms, and car trips.  I took your advice, from another column, and read this pattern all the way through, so I'll be sure to have everything I need to start.  I can't see where it tells me about the fringe, and I don't think it'll be as pretty without.  What did I miss?

LindaW wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 1:42 PM

You could not have posted this at a better time.

I'm also looking for some small, portable projects (now don't smack me), but I hate knitting socks!  I never even get to second sock syndrome - I rarely finish one.

So, since all of my friends are avid readers, this would kill 2 birds with one stone - small knitting project to keep me busy - that could also be used as gifts!

This will be something new for me - and I need a new challenge!   Thanks!

TerriB@19 wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 1:12 PM

What a great idea for teacher and librarian gifts at Christmas! TerriB

TammyE wrote
on Jul 15, 2009 1:04 PM

I really like this project!  As an avid reader I love appropriate bookmarks too.  I am piling up the Christmas knitting rapidly!