Bookmarks - Part I

Copyright - Carolyn Groves 2003

How many of us will grab a slip of paper, grocery store receipt, a piece of thread or whatever comes to hand to mark the place where we stopped reading that really good book? During those times when we are reading rather than tatting (does this really happen?!?) why not use a tatted bookmark!

Tatted bookmarks are a wonderful way of trying a new technique, doodling with an unusual edging or experimenting with a design. Bookmarks can be simple or elaborate, elegant, whimsical or inspirational. And creating a bookmark can inspire one to design more complex patterns.

What makes a good bookmark and how long should it be? Well anything that fits in the book, isn't took thick to distort the pages and has enough showing to quickly open to the place works!

There are several styles of bookmarks that will catch the attention of most people. Generally, the simplest is a straight piece of work. This can be accomplished by using an edging pattern and "turning the corner" to create the ends. Or working one side then a "mirror image" along one side.

My favorite straight bookmark is a classic pattern. I actually received it in my first exchange (many years ago) then rediscovered it during one of Georgia's classes when we were exploring the pattern of a bedspread. I recently sent the pattern and thread in an exchange and one of my partners wrote back that she had "invented" nearly the same pattern while returning home on a long bus trip!

Cross bookmarks are always favorites. Gina's simple cross is a perfect exercise in practicing inner and outer corners. More complex crosses can show off your tatting expertise. From simple ring/chain designs to ornate Celtic patterns, crosses can be the perfect gift for anyone.

"Fob" style bookmarks are a great way to "convert" that favorite motif to a bookmark. The motif is worked then a long tail is attached and the tail is used in the book with the motif hanging outside. Stars, snowflakes, butterflies, hearts, small crosses...these all make perfect "fobs".

Whimsical bookmarks are those designs that are just too cute. Birds, animals, unusual shapes...whatever strikes your fancy! As long as it can be used in the book why not make it a bookmark!

The parrot is probably a bit harder to construct but the end result is stunning when done in variegated threads and it's an excellent gift for the men!

The straight bookmark can be simple or elegant depending on the threads used.

For a quick and easy bookmark do a small motif and create a long tail to be used as the bookmark. The cat works well as does a small butterfly motif, cross or heart.

Do beads belong in a bookmark? Some would say absolutely NO! But it all depends on where the beads are placed, the size of the beads and the effect you are trying to achieve. Gina's simple cross bookmark is a perfect example. Her original pattern is a great learning tool for diagram reading and construction lessons. I also love to place a small heart bead in the center of the bookmark rather than leaving a hole!

Does your tassel go up or down? Again this is a very interesting concept. Some people insist on having the tassel at the "bottom" and others must have it at the "top". The wonderful thing about bookmarks, though, is that it really doesn't matter! Wherever you want it to be!

Let me know what you think!

Carolyn Groves (copyright 2003)