Big & Bold Bookmarks*

For those of us still attached to good ‘ole paper, ink, and binding…bookmarks are a great way to keep track of where you left off.  They are perhaps the simplest thing to knit…extra mini scarves, embellished however you’d like!  I’m giving you a mini tutorial here. But in the near future I’ll be combining a few different patterns into one FREE pattern for you to download and print out. Be on the look-out for it!

Here’s how I made these bookmarks:

I used Cotton Classic yarn and size 6 needles.  (Pictured here are my dpns-double pointed needles.  I love using these for small projects like this, but you can use straight needles or rounds if you like!)

Cast On 12 stitches.

Knit for 64 rows (32 garter ridges)

Bind Off.

Weave in ends.

Embellish as you like.  Click on each of the highlighted words above for a tutorial on How-2 do each step.  Then click on any of the following highlighted words if you need instruction on how to Fringe or add other Embellishments.

That’s it! So simple. Yet bold.

**Variations:  You can easily make your bookmark thinner in width or wider!  Simply cast on fewer stitches if you wish to have a thinner bookmark.  OR Cast on more stitches if you want it wider.  Keep on knitting beyond the 64 rows if you want your bookmark longer.  OR stop sooner if you want it shorter.

Remember:  Be the Boss of your own knitting! Why not think like a designer right from the beginning?

P.S. Though I’m terribly fond of traditional books, I do appreciate and enjoy the e-versions! I love my iPad and my husband can’t live without his Kindle.  Rest assured I will be offering in future, patterns for you to both knit & crochet cases for all these wonderful electronic book machines!

Oh so many things to show you how to knit and crochet…oh so little time!:)

Embellishments*

In the world of knitting & crocheting, EMBELLISHMENTS  are all the decorations one can add to your knitted/crocheted piece to give it a little pizzazz, a bit of flourish, or just a finishing touch.

Embellishments include everything from stuff to add ALONG EDGES, like fringe and crocheted/knitted edgework.  The latter gets into some wonderful add-ons such as ruffles, single-crochet edging, shell edging, leaf edgings and so on.  At a later date, I will give you some very basic edgings to knit and crochet onto your yarn work.  But for now, adding Fringe is the only one I have a How-2 for you.  Click here for how to add fringe to your scarf, poncho, shawl, purse, etc.

Other kinds of embellishments are things you might add ON TOP OF your knitted/crocheted piece and not along an edge.  You might add decorative buttons, ribbons, knitted/crocheted flowers or other shapes, and surface stitching.  The latter can also be quite elaborate as knitters & crocheters may wish to add the wonderful world of embroidery to their yarn work.  Satin stitch, running stitch, and chain stitch  are just a few options.  For now, I’ll just walk you through RUNNING STITCH.  I use it a lot to add spirals and other designs on my knitting and crocheting.

Knitted Scarf Flowersclick here for a tutorial on making these sweet and easy flowers.

Buttons & Beads-It may sound too simple, but sometimes we overlook the obvious: Sew on buttons and beads either along an edge or in a cluster, or as centers of flowers or a spiral running stitch.

Ribbons-Grosgrain, satin, and organza ribbons add a festive touch to any knitted/crocheted piece.  Try weaving it in a criss-cross fashion, or use it like you would use embroidery thread or yarn to make designs.  Follow the instructions below for making RUNNING STITCH designs with ribbons as well as with yarns.

On the back side of this ribbon criss-cross, I added beads to make the back side as pretty as the front.  Just thread the beads onto your ribbon as you go, then insert the needle where it needs to go next. *This would not be an issue on something where the wrong side isn’t seen.  But for this scarf, I wanted either side to be “presentable”.

Running stitch-Decide on the design you wish to make.  This stitch feels a bit like DRAWING WITH YARN, so sketch out a design, thread a yarn needle with your chosen color of yarn.

Begin by pulling yarn up through the wrong side of the knitted/crocheted fabric.^

Choose a spot just a little ways ahead of where your yarn is, insert the yarn needle, and then bring needle back up to the right side a little ways ahead.  Pull the threaded needle through.

Repeat this last step over and over until you have created the design you want.

In order to CLOSE IN  the dotted line you’ve created, you will simply reverse your dotted line and “fill in” the spaces left undone.  But I wanted to add a few beads as I went.  So…I UNthreaded my yarn needle, placed a beed on the yarn, and continued sewing until I wanted another bead.

Continue in this manner until you have created your design.^

End with the yarn dangling from the back side (wrong side) of your work.  Tie a knot (if desired) and weave in the ends. OR, add on a bead to this end, securing it with a knot.  I just let the end hang off for a little twist.

Create your own designs to make in RUNNING STITCH!  Sketch them out first on a piece of paper to guide you, or just improvise!  Like I said…it’s like DRAWING WITH YARN.

On the Fringe*

Making fringe is SO much fun!

You will need the following things:

*Yarn(s), *Scissors, *Crochet Hook (size I, J, or K), *Cardboard cut 5″ x 5″-7″.  (You decide the second number. It determines how long your fringe will be.)

1.  Starting at the bottom of your cardboard, wrap the yarn around and around lots of times!

2.  Cut yarn along bottom edge of cardboard.

3.  Choose 3-5 strands (you can really choose as many or as few as you like).

4.  Insert crochet hook into bottom corner of end of knitted/crocheted edge.

5.  Drape center of yarn over crochet hook and pull it through the knitted/crocheted edge.

6.  With yarn still on crochet hook, wrap all of the yarn around the hook and pull it through this loop.

7.  Remove hook and tug on yarn ends to secure fringe.

***Work fringe across edge of knitted/crocheted piece as desired:

a. All one color.

b. Alternate two or more colors.

c.  Alternate different fibers and textures.

d.  Combine fibers and textures in each individual fringe.

e.  Place individual fringe close together OR with space in between. In the above photo, I placed fringe every other stitch on the edge to allow for the multi-yarned fringe.  If you wanted to use only 1 or 2 pieces of yarn, you could add the fringe in every stitch.  You can also leave several stitches OPEN in between fringe.

f.  You can TRIM across the ends to make them nice and even OR leave them free like I have here.

Once again, YOU are the boss, you design your fringe any way you’d like!  In so doing, you are making it your own, being creative, celebrating what’s uniquely YOU.